Shift Carbine Motorcycle Gloves
MTech Racer and Shift Carbine
vs. Teknic Violator Motorcycle Gloves - Part II
by Rick for webBikeWorld.com
Part I: MTech Racer Gloves
Motorcycle Glove Reviews | Owner
Summary: Pre-curved fingers and thick leather protectors with stretch material to
keep everything together, the Shift Carbine gloves are another worthy alternative
to the old Teknic Violators.
This is the second of a two-part series comparing
modern alternatives to an old favorite, the original
Teknic Violator motorcycle gloves.
I described the
Racer Gloves in Part I, and although the Shift Carbine gloves
are probably closer to the original Teknic Violator
concept, these also have
some pros and cons. I can't decide on a favorite
-- I like them both -- and that doesn't happen very
If I had to sum up our
experience with Shift Racing motorcycle clothing based
items we've reviewed so far, it would be simply "Good
products at reasonable prices".
The Shift Carbine gloves are
no exception; while they list for $99.95, which is $11.00 more than the MTech Racer gloves I described in
of this comparison, they're still about $50.00 or so cheaper
than full-on race gloves, yet the Carbine gloves have
all the right features and they offer plenty of
The Carbine gloves are not
the company's top-line product; that distinction goes to
the Shift Vertex and SR-1 gloves, which both list for $129.95. I haven't tried either of
those, but I picked the Carbine gloves because their
price is closer to the MTech and to the original Teknic
Violator gloves that are the benchmark for this
comparison, and also because they look pretty cool in
this silver and black design.
Leather and Fabric
The first thing you'll
notice about the Carbine gloves is the use of fabric in the sides of the fingers, the back of
the hand under the main knuckle protector and in the
gauntlet. Shift says it's DuPont Cordura, but the
material has some stretch and I didn't know that Cordura was available as an elastic.
The stretchy fabric makes the gloves keep their shape, and the
fingers are definitely pre-curved and will probably stay
This is both a plus and a
potential minus -- the stretch fabric in the sides of
the fingers has a strong elastic action,
which mildly forces the fingers into the curved position whether you
want it or not. The elastic material is slightly
thicker than you might expect, consistent with Cordura,
it's stiffer than a very elastic material such as Lycra.
The fingers seem larger than
the MTech gloves, but the stretchy fabric gives the
fingers a rather snug fit; this can be felt when my hand
first slides into the gloves -- it takes an extra push
to get them on.
Similar to the MTech Racer
gloves, there are features in the Carbine gloves that
may be viewed as either pros or cons, depending upon your
For example, the use of the stretch fabric isn't
necessarily a bad thing -- in some
ways, it's beneficial.
It seems to help reduce
fatigue when the hands are wrapped around the grips,
although I ride with my first two fingers covering the
front brake lever, and the relatively strong stretch
force makes this a bit more difficult than it is when
I'm wearing, say, the Teknic Violator gloves, which have
no stretch material included.
There are two other
challenges, if you will, with the use of a synthetic stretch
material: it will pretty much remain as it is, because
it doesn't go through a leather-like break in -- it
won't get softer or looser over time.
synthetic material doesn't
absorb moisture, nor does it have a natural ability to breathe,
as does leather. So the Shift
Carbine gloves do feel slightly warmer than the MTech
Racer gloves...although it's been warm
enough around here lately that just about any
full-gauntlet, non-perforated glove is going to feel
too hot at times.
OK, so the use of
non-natural fabric may be the most
controversial part of the Shift Carbine gloves, but
again -- the stretch feature isn't necessarily a
drawback, it's just there. Some riders may really
appreciate it; others may not notice it; and a few may not
care for it.
Armor and Protection
The remaining features of the Carbine gloves are
right on the money, and overall I'd say these
gloves are closer to the original Teknic Violator
concept than any others I've worn so far, including the "higher-tech" MTech Racer gloves.
The Carbine gloves don't have a
lot of carbon fiber or other flashy material for their knuckle
protectors. The only thing you'll see here are big,
thick honkin' slabs of pure cow hide. The stuff
is stitched on to the gloves 8 ways from Sunday, literally,
and if the generous use of leather on these babies
doesn't protect your digits, nothing will.
And there's a surprise --
hidden underneath the leather protectors on each finger
that covers the
middle phalanges between the top knuckle (closest to the
fingertip) and the middle knuckle, Shift has added a
type of hard armor as added protection. The armor can only be
felt if you squeeze the leather overlays, when you'll
notice the little oval shaped protectors underneath.
The finger segments between
the base (largest) knuckle and the middle knuckle of
each finger (including the thumb) are also covered by leather protectors.
These are sewn to the gloves separately from the tip
segment protectors, which gives added flexibility to the
fingers, and the leather extends up under the tip
segment protectors to provide a double layer of leather
for added abrasion resistance.
The middle and ring finger
also have a thin rubbery-feeling "V" shaped
protector on top of the section between the base and the
middle knuckle. I'm not sure how much these add
to the abrasion resistance equation, but they do
add a bit of flair to the styling.
The big base knuckles are
protected by a large and wide hard plastic armor section. There are some small vents
molded in that open towards the front, but they don't really
allow much air to get through, as they are backed with a
The base knuckle armor is attached to
the back of the glove with 10 small metal (I think)
rivets and the entire assembly is
mounted on a separate section of floating leather, with
stretch material at both sides, so there's plenty of
flexibility here, the most crucial area for comfort
in a motorcycle glove.
The back of the gloves have enough flex to prevent the base knuckle armor from
binding when the hand is gripping the bars, unlike the painful
Speedstar or the
named) Schizo gloves, both of which are much, much
more expensive than the Carbines.
The Shift Carbine gloves
have a couple of sections of perforated leather on the gauntlets, but
the perforations only allow air through the thin black
section of leather; the silver perforated section
located towards the inside of the gauntlet is backed by
the lining that prevents much of the air from flowing
A narrow elastic band is
sewn into the back of the wrist and a section of
leather covering the outside of the wrist also wraps
around the top and the bottom of the glove.
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Palms and Gauntlet
On the palm side, the
Carbines have the full array of protective features
found in most race gloves, with extra padding at the
heel of the hand, something that looks like Kevlar at
the outer edge of the palm and a lot of double-stitched leather all
around. Additional leather patches are sewn on to
the area between the thumb and forefinger and under the
which provide extra wear resistance.
The Shift Carbine gloves
have a large gauntlet, which is very nice (too-short
gauntlets are a constant complaint) and there's a
separate strap that closes underneath the wrist to keep
the gloves on the hand.
The under-the-wrist strap
is covered by an additional leather flap, which is the
preferred method for this type of closure. This
strap keeps the gloves firmly in place and I can not
pull the gloves off when the strap is secured.
This is exactly as it should
be to ensure the gloves are going to stay on in a crash.
Too many gloves have poorly designed closures -- you
should not be able to pull a glove off your hand once
it's secured; it makes no sense to wear a pair of gloves
whose purpose is to protect your hand during a crash,
and then have the things come flying off at the first
sign of trouble.
The Shift Carbine gloves have, in my opinion, just about
every feature required for a "race" type motorcycle
glove and they're about half the cost of the MTech
These come closest to the
original Teknic Violator motorcycle glove concept and
they are a worthy replacement. While the snug fit
that results from the use of stretch material in the
fingers may not please everyone, it certainly helps
ensure that the gloves will stay put.
gauntlet and secure attachment system, along with the
thick leather and armor on the fingers and hand, make
the Shirt Carbine gloves a winner and a relative
Product Review: Shift Carbine Motorcycle Gloves
Retail Price: $99.95
|Colors: Black or Black/Silver
Sizes: S to XXXL
|Made In: Indonesia
|Review Date: July
2008 Note: Gloves provided by Shift Racing (more).
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