Roadgear CarbonMaxx Gloves
Roadgear Carbon Maxx Summer Vented Motorcycle Gloves
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: A summer vented glove that actually offers some
protection. Unique hybrid gauntlet is long on one side and short on
the other to help maximize air flow, but the tradeoff is it can interfere
with some jacket cuffs.
Motorcycle Glove Reviews | Owner
Winner: The Roadgear CarbonMaxx Gloves won the
2008 Motorcycle Gloves of the Year Award!
Roadgear has done it again
-- they sure seem to know how to make gloves that work.
I don't think the company has the brand recognition of,
say, a Teknic, Held or Olympia (among others), but
somehow or another, they're able to come up with the
secret formula for making gloves that function better
than most of the Big Boys.
The Carbon Maxx gloves have
a sort of "bobber" motorcycle style; that is,
they're cut down
and stripped to the basics but they have a mean-looking attitude.
I didn't think it was possible to make a vented leather
glove that offers, oh, about 85% of the protection a
full race glove provides, while still allowing lots of
air flow to keep my hands from toasting in the summer,
but here they are.
While the Carbon Maxx gloves probably won't
yield the same outright protection as a full-gauntlet race glove,
surely they have more to offer than those flimsy textile
summer mesh things that make me wonder whether I'd be better
off with a pair from the garden shed.
The Carbon Maxx gloves have
a fair amount of double-row stitching along the palms,
with an extra section of suede-like leather under the
grip at the upper part of the palm and under the
forefinger/thumb area. The "hybrid" gauntlet
extends under the wrist on the bottom side and includes
four small padded sections, but the top side of the
wrist is pretty much your typical short "stunt" glove
This is actually a decent
compromise, because my feeling is that if I hit the
ground, it will probably be spread-eagle with my hands
down, and some extra protection under my wrists is
important. The compromise with this design is that like most
short-gauntlet gloves, they don't quite work with some
types of motorcycle jackets, and the cuffs can get
bunched up around the wrist of the glove, which now
doesn't have a gauntlet to cover the end of the cuff.
In reality though, this so
has not bothered me, nor does it seem to affect the
functionality of the Carbon Maxx gloves -- it's just that it can,
at times, look
rather strange, and in some cases, I suppose the jacket
cuff can bunch up enough to interfere with riding.
The gloves have a single
closure; it's a Velcro strap that secures the glove up
and around the inside of the wrist, which is also a
unique solution that I haven't seen before.
The backs of the Carbon Maxx
gloves are made from fully perforated leather, with a
separate floating carbon fiber knuckle protector
covering another section of padded leather towards the
outside of the hand. The carbon fiber section is
padded in back and has enough room to move with my hand,
so it doesn't interfere at all or put undue pressure on
my hands like some other very expensive gloves I can
The fingers have padded
leather sections over the first, second and third finger
tips and articulated leather sections over the
The first, second and third
fingers also have combination protectors and vents over
the second knuckle, but like many gloves lately, these
protectors are made from some type of soft rubber, and
I'd have a hard time believing they wouldn't grind down
to powder pretty quickly during a slide.
But I look at gloves and
most protective gear as a one-time deal. If they
do the job and save my hide, the investment would have
been well worth it, and I'll replace the entire lot --
from helmet right down to boots -- if necessary.
As far as I'm concerned, protective clothing is
considered not permanent but temporary and sacrificial
and it has but one life to give, and it had better be
for me. I'll honor it by replacing it if I
Maxx Gloves - wBW
Lightbox - Click photo to view.
Knuckle Armor Close-up
So the lack of pure ultimate
protection doesn't bother me -- it's all a matter of the
risk calculus. If it's hot and I want to ride,
I'll choose clothing that provides the most air flow,
and sometimes that means compromising a bit on outright
protection. I'm making a conscious choice to
balance comfort with risk and reward.
But enough philosophy; the
Carbon Maxx gloves are also pretty comfy. They're
lined with some type of flannel-like material that feels
nice and soft. I can feel a few of the seams
inside on my fingers, due to the modified box section
construction with internal stitching, but overall,
they're a comfortable fit and the size large shown here
fits me perfectly, with just enough room in the
fingertips so they don't bind.
Also, the lining doesn't
extend completely around all of the glove and the
fingers -- there are a few places inside where the seams
and the leather are open. This is the only gripe I
have with the Carbon Maxx gloves -- when riding a
Sportbike that puts weight on my hands, I can feel the
seams in between my thumb and forefinger, and when I
take the gloves off, I have a pretty big imprint of the
seams in my hand.
It's a minor quibble
actually, but prevents me from exclaiming that the
Carbon Maxx gloves are 100% perfect. In all other
respects though, including the very soft leather, I'd
say that they provide a nice combination of good air
flow with a decent amount of protection. I can't
think of another pair of summer or hot-weather gloves
we've reviewed that can beat the Carbon Maxx equation.
The price is higher than
those 30-buck cheapie textile no-name shredders you find
on the rack at the corner YamaKawaZuki dealer, but worth
it, in my opinion.
The Roadgear Carbon Maxx gloves offer a lot of air flow without
compromising too much protection. The leather is
soft and for the most part, the gloves are comfortable
and immediately feel broken-in. Anyone looking for
good protection in a hot-weather riding glove should
definitely have these on their wish list.
2008 Motorcycle Gloves of the Year Award!
Product Review: Roadgear Carbon Maxx Motorcycle Gloves
Retail Price: $66.90
Sizes: XS to XXXL
June 2008 Notes: Gloves provided by Roadgear for this
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From "G.G." (9/09): "So far I have
had less than 1,000 miles with these gloves and here's
what I think. First off, these gloves flow a lot
of air. I like the semi-gauntlet design. It
makes me feel as if Roadgear really is trying to protect
my hands with these gloves. The leather is soft as
if it's already broken in.
However, I have a few gripes that I feel weren't
elaborated in the above articles. These gloves
immediately transferred black dye to my hands, more than
I am used to from black leather gloves. They are
still transferring black dye to my hands every time I
The internal stitching is mildly uncomfortable because
it is sharp and pointy feeling between the fingers.
There is one area behind my thumb where I feel that if I
pulled on the material to hard the glove might rip open.
I feel there needs to be more double stitching on this
The leather on the palms is peeling off in layers and
sticking to my hand grips. I can pick tiny chunks of
leather off my grips now. As "C.M." mentioned,
there is some rough stitching under the thumb pads on
the back of the thumbs of the gloves. This pokes
into your thumb about 8mm above the thumb nail and can
be irritating. I took care of this by taping small
pieces of duct tape over those seams that are under the
Keep up the good reviews wBW!"
From "C.M." (6/08): "I picked up a
set of these at the (Roadgear) booth at the Dallas IMC
show last November and finally have had a chance to try
them out since summer is officially here in South
The gloves are very cool to wear, great airflow even
on my ST-1300. The workmanship and construction
are easily as good as my cold weather Roadgear gloves
that I got at the IMC show 3 years ago, (see a pattern
here?). I also have a 3/4 length winter jacket
from them that I like so I am always interested in
There is only one "hot" point in this set, the right
thumb rubs against the inside stitching when holding
firmly to the throttle and is causing a callus on the
inside edge of the thumb joint.
My other gloves do the same thing so this is not a
It was 94F last weekend and they were great, I will
be using these all summer and retiring my older
perforated leather gloves that are not as cool and in my
opinion not as protective as the RG carbon gloves.
They did transfer a lot of black dye to my hands the
first couple of uses, but that has stopped.
Great glove at a good price."