Velocity Gear SS Metalwear Motorcycle Gloves
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycle Glove Reviews
Summary: Way more comfortable than you'd think, stainless steel
riveted protection, high quality construction topped off with looks that
make Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert jealous.
These are better than the
similar-looking originals once offered by another company and are 30%
The Borg never gave up, and neither do these. The metal knuckle
look is coming to get you.
Look familiar? They
should. We reviewed the nearly identical twin of
the Velocity Gear SS Metalwear gloves a couple of years
ago. Remember the
And don't forget their distant cousin, the
Road Iron gloves, also worn by Dark-Siders who want
a touch of whimsy.
SS Metalwear isn't for everyone, to be
sure, but de rigueur for any self-respecting Borg
The TiMax gloves were popular
and generated more than a few emails praising their
goodness, but Icon
dropped them from their lineup for some strange reason
and the shrewd
dudes at Velocity Gear took up the cause.
Maybe the originals were
ahead of their time, because for some reason, the SS
Metalwear gloves seem even badder now than they were
then. I wish we kept that original pair
(collector's items?) to compare, but they were sold in
last year's webBikeWorld garage sale to a happy owner.
But, as it turns out, that's
not a problem -- the
Velocity Gear version is even better and -- get this -- 30% cheaper.
Now you may think these
puppies are all show and no go. Well, I don't
remember all that much about the Icons, but the SS Metalwear
gloves are, believe it or not, some of the most
comfortable mitts I've worn in a long time.
I think it's a combination of the fit, the design, the
softer-than-most leather and the "floating" metal knuckle
protectors, combined with the large formed shield
covering the base knuckles, which gives them enough room for
my hands to flex over the grips without binding, unlike
the too-tight-but-well-named Hurt Schizo or the
The SS Metalwear gloves have
not a vent or perforation in
sight either, but for some reason, I don't notice much
of a difference, and I've been wearing them in
temperatures bouncing around the 90-degree mark.
Velocity Gear says the gloves are made with 1 mm "Grade A" cowhide,
which does seem on the thick side and, I assume, have
superior protective powers combined with their supple feel.
Another millimeter of the
stuff covers the palm and also the grip wear point
under the thumb and forefinger, and there's plenty more
sewn on the backs of the fingers and over the wrists.
These other layers hold the riveted stainless steel metal
pieces, which are reminiscent of skid plates on an SUV,
and about as big.
We don't have the ability to
conduct standardized wear tests on the leather or the metal sliders,
but my Sense-O-Meter tells me two things: 1) I don't want to find
myself sliding down the road, arms akimbo; and 2) If it
does happen, I'd just as soon be grinding
stainless steel than muscle 'n' bone. Just think
of the sparks that would cause! After all, as long
as you're going to entertain horrified bystanders with
an impromptu pavement luge, you may as well throw in a
free light show.
The palms of the gloves are also said to
contain a layer of Kevlar, although I'm not quite sure
where it's located on the size large gloves shown here
(Kevlar is used on the palms of the size XL gloves we
received, see the photos in the Lightbox below), and just about all of the other leather
pieces are laid together with nicely spaced
The size large gloves have two big metal
sliders on each side of the wrist and one on top
that simply exclaims "RACE". Reminds me of a
'50's-era rainy, dark and lonely back road truck stop,
with that single neon sign out front: "EAT".
The XL's have no embossed letters.
The gauntlets are lined and big enough to fit over the thickest
leather jackets I could find. The gloves also have a
separate leather cuff riveted on the back, with two
sections, connected by metal loops, that fold down on
each side and around the bottom of the wrist to wrap
These sections connect under the wrist
with hook-and-loop, one over the other. This gives the critical area under the
wrist three separate layers of leather protection.
The fingers have a
floating leather interlocking cover sewn over each knuckle
and another sewn over the top of the finger tip.
Each of the knuckle leathers have a metal
slider riveted on top, attached with four rivets.
That seems like serious protection to me. And that
big metal cup over the base knuckles? It's locked
on with 10
The SS Metalwear gloves
shown here are labeled as size large and they fit me
perfectly, with enough room for grip and control without
binding, so I guess they run true to size. The
size XL's we received were slightly different, with a
smaller metal plate on the back of the wrist, without
the stamped "RACER" script but with what looks like
Kevlar in place of leather on the palms.
The metal hardware is also slightly
different; a bit flatter, I'd say. I'm not sure
why this is -- possible due to the larger glove size.
I tried on the XL's and I also think they're true to
size; they feel slightly larger overall and have about
another 5 mm or so of fingertip length.
Velocity Gear SS Metalwear Gloves, wrist, palm and
Velocity Gear SS Metalwear gloves, business end.
Close-up of extra leather palm coverage.
Back of the top of the wrist.
Knuckle sandwich anyone?
Under the wrist, 3 layers of protection after the glove
Nice leatherwork and articulated thumb add to the
I'm surprised at myself -- at first I thought the
Velocity Gear SS Metalwear gloves were quirky imitations
of the Icon TiMax, designed to put on a show. Well, imitation is the
sincerest form of flattery, as they say. The TiMax
gloves were never as comfortable, and they were more
complex, with a zipper, metal studs on the palm and
other bits that made them bulkier and less flexible.
The SS Metalwear gloves are simpler, and in this case,
less is more. These gloves are more comfortable
than they should be and until someone proves otherwise,
I'll guess that they offer the best protection available
for 99 bucks.
Review: Velocity Gear SS Metalwear Motorcycle Gloves
Retail Price: $99.99
Sizes: XS to XXL
|Review Date: August 2007
|Comments: The gloves
for this review were provided courtesy of Velocity Gear (more).
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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►Your Comments and
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Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
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From "G.A." (10/09): "Interesting and intriguing pair of gloves, these. When I buy my 2010 V
Max (right after I win the lottery, I know people who paid less for their
first house than the starting price on the V Max), these gloves will be my
next purchase. They shout "Mad Max" or "Water World" (sorry if my knowing
that movie scares anyone) very loudly. Can't you just see Dennis Hopper and
his crew wearing these gloves on the big boat?
I enjoyed the other reader's comments about sword dueling. I used to tell
folks that, yes, I do ride a motorcycle, no, I do not rape and pillage. I
pointed out that pillaging on a motorcycle simply is not practical, even
with expandable luggage.
The armor would certainly come in useful when that cager makes a left
turn right in front of you, and you survive to follow him into the parking
lot, where you also think better of taking off your helmet.
But the main reason I am writing is the statement: "After all, as long as
you're going to entertain horrified bystanders with an impromptu pavement
luge, you may as well throw in a free light show." That is without a doubt
the funniest line I have ever read in a motorcycle gear review, on the net
or in print. I laughed so hard I almost hurt myself. Good thing I wasn't
riding at the time. Keep up the great work!"
Editor's Note: Note that the "SS Metalwear Gloves" in
this review have since been superseded by the
Metalwear Gloves in our 2009
Velocity Gear review.
From "C.J.": "After reading your review on these gloves,
I ordered a pair of XL’s late last year. I use my bike every single day of
the week. Monday to Friday it’s to work and back, and weekends it’s to
go play on the twisties.
On average, I wear these gloves for about 2 hours every day
of the week. The first week I had some discomfort from the knuckle
guard, it pushed against by knuckles, but after the first 2 weeks they
either shifted, the leather stretched to move them, or I got used to it, but
it doesn’t bother me any more, and I find them extremely comfortable.
We have scorching hot days during the summer here in South
Africa, but I never felt like these gloves are to hot or to warm for riding
in. It’s getting cold now, and I will only be able to tell after
winter how well they hold up, but I don’t think they will offer the best
protection against the cold… On rainy days they took a bit longer then
my old gloves to get soaked right through, but I found that they dry
My only gripe is the Velcro fasteners on the wrists, the
bottom ones are slowly tearing away, but this is nothing a bit of stitching
wont fix. I also think this is partly due to the high usage I put
these gloves through.
In summary, I love these gloves, I have been riding with
them for about six months, every day, and they are holding up better then I
thought they would. They are very comfortable, provides loads of
protection and have that extra bling factor."
From "D.C.": "When webBikeWorld’s review
of these came out I said to myself that they would be fun to
have. Even off the bike I could use them while wielding my
Well, at the time I didn’t have…no…couldn’t
justify, $99+ for a pair of gloves I might wear once or
twice. I was also aware that my number of cutlass wielding
days on the road was severely limited, so it wasn’t until I
saw them in the WebBikeWorld Yard sales did I break down and
Why not! It’s for a good cause, and who knows what
the future holds for us pirates. Anyway, the review held
true, as they often do, yet I was still a bit surprised at
just how comfortable they were. Heavy, in comparison to
today’s crop of popular gloves made from ultra light this,
and micro thin that, but what do you expect from thick
leather and enough stainless steel to make a small sink.
like having something substantial on my hands for a change.
I also noticed that, properly cinched up, they were rather
secure, and extremely flexible. Is it worth the price? I’d
say so. Just look at the amount of work and materials that
went into making these! The number of pieces and
construction steps is amazing if you know anything about
leather and metal work, or even basic sewing.
Conclusion? They certainly won’t keep your hands warm during a Maine
winter, and you certainly will get some looks from your
cruiser buddies. But let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Have some fun while you ride, and if the budget allows, get
you a pair of these. Heck, we are always looking for
something to polish aren’t we?"
From "N.A." (Updated, See Below): "I just received my SS
gloves from VG, which I ordered based on your review on the
site. I got them for a couple of reasons: the main one
is that they looked cool, and the other was that with it
getting colder, I felt they would be a good fall/winter
On the first part, they are great. The looks are very
cool and the quality seems pretty good. I like that
the seams are all on the outside, nice touch. On the
weather factor, they seem like they should stand up well.
The materials are pretty tough feeling and looking. I
ordered the Large after talking to VG (as there is no sizing
chart on their site), and they fit pretty good. The four
main fingers are perfect, with only the thumb a bit long.
I do have a few gripes though. The one prominent
feature of the gloves, the SS knuckle guard, while seemingly
tough, does not seem to be positioned properly to actually
go over my knuckles, where my fingers are all the way into
the gloves. The guard is more over the back of my
hand, right behind the knuckles. Not really a big deal
for the looks, but I would like to have had the knuckle
guard in its named position.
My other gripe was that they did not show up as described on
wBW or VG sites, some minor variations, such as no "Race" on
the metal tab. I ended up calling VG and spoke to
someone who said that they were actually closing out the
glove line until the wBW review, but now have put a new
order in for more that will be even better than before, more
So while I have a few problems with the gloves, they are not
enough to return them, and the customer service from VG
seems good. I would wait for the new gloves to come in and
see what they look like though before ordering through Nov
Editor's Note: See the ending
paragraphs of our review (above); we did mention that the
size XL SS Metalwear gloves were different, and they appear
to be the style that you received. We reviewed the
size L, which have the "Race" logo embossed and the knuckle
armor is different. If the gloves we received were
only like the size XL's we have, our review would probably
be different. I'm not sure why the various sizes use
different patterns or if this is an issue throughout the
UPDATE From "N.A.": "After having and using
the gloves a little more extensively, and dealing with
Velocity Gear, I think that the gloves are not worth the
money. In the end, it is more about the looks than the
comfort of the gloves that is paid for. My main gripe
is the knuckle guards that are riveted on the back of the
hand area. They are not even over my knuckles, nor are
they evenly spaced on each glove. The quality control
seems a bit lax.
As for the supposed new gloves (Editor's Note: See N.A.'s
comments above), they still never materialized, so I am
returning my SS gloves to VG for a refund, probable to use
the money better on some bark-busters."