by "Smalls" for webBikeWorld.com
A short-cuffed textile and leather glove with protection and attitude.
Even with hard knuckle armor, these gloves are very comfortable while riding and they breathe well.
Some time ago, when I first started riding, I was shopping at the local motorcycle stores for gear when I slid on a pair of Shift RPM gloves.
I immediately fell in love with the fit and sassiness of the white version with black and hot pink accents.
They are feminine without being "foo-foo", I knew I wanted a pair.
For long-forgotten reasons, I chose full leather that day and much to my delight, I finally got my hands on a pair -- or rather in a pair of the Shift RPM gloves shown here.
All of the Shift Racing womenís gear is designed specifically for a woman's shape, and this includes the RPM gloves. They also run true to size; I normally wear a large and these slide on easily.
The textile fabric on the top of the hand stretches and it allows a snug fit without becoming too tight.
Also, an accordion stretch panel on the back of the hand provides extra flexibility when my hands are wrapped around the grips.
The length of the index finger and thumb feels a little shorter than in other pairs of gloves I own, but this has not caused any irritation or numbness when Iím riding.
The Shift RPM gloves include hard knuckle armor secured with double stitching in a leather panel on the back of the hand. I was very pleased that the rigid knuckle armor does not feel binding at all.
The padding underneath the knuckle armor, combined with the elasticity of the textile on top of the gloves, makes the armor barely noticeable. In fact, when Iím riding, I forget that itís even there.
Iím a big fan of hard knuckle armor and for a good reason. A friend was wearing a pair of gloves with hard knuckle armor when he hit a deer.
The armor on one glove cracked in half, but his hand was okay; I canít imagine what might have happened to his hand without that protection in place.
Shift also put padding on the back of the thumb and fingers of the RPM gloves, along with thermoplastic rubber additions on the back of the fingers.
The combination of the knuckle armor and the padding will give extra protection and -- hopefully -- good abrasion resistance in an impact.
The natural reaction is for hands to automatically go out in front to brace for a fall or impact, so Shift put goatskin palms on the RPM gloves, along with a second layer of leather and padding for extra reinforcement and protection.
The first three fingers includes perforations in the leather for breathability.
The top of the RPM gloves, other than the leather section which holds the rigid knuckle protection, is made of a textile that stretches and conforms to the hand.
The lightweight material with small vents provides great airflow to keep my hands cool.
Pre-curved fingers with Lycra sidewalls provide stretch and comfort without bunching. On the inside, the top of the hand is lined, while the bottom is not.
Inch-long (2.5 cm) cuffs are slightly longer on the outside of the wrist and cover my wrist bones. Hook-and-loop tape at the wrists keeps the gloves on.
Rubber wrist straps and Shift logos on the back of the gloves add dimension and sass. These gloves are cute!
Just a note, the color of the RPM gloves in the photos is bright white, not off-white like the Shift Viper womenís leather jacket (review).
You may want to check out the rest of the Shift women's clothing lineup, which features a good selection of coordinating jackets and gloves along with riding jeans!
The Shift RPM leather and textile womenís gloves have good protection and detailing that makes a statement.
They're feminine without being too fussy and the white pair with black and hot pink accents are a definite standout.
If you want a more subdued look, the RPM gloves also come in black with gray and white accents. But for just forty bucks a pair, why not buy both?