When it comes to armor for motorcycle riders, Knox is likely a familiar name. Knox not only produces standalone protectives and armor for over two dozen motorcycle apparel manufacturers but they also have their own line of jackets, pants, and gloves. Some of which we’ve even reviewed at wBW here.
Knox was established back in 1981 and one year later they produced the world’s first back protector designed for motorcyclists, the Pro-tek. Knox went on to produce the first CE certified armor for motorcyclists in 1995.
Fast forward to 2017 and Knox started producing their new MICRO-LOCK armor which is some of the softest CE rated armor I’ve handled. My own Knox Zephyr Jacket has a CE level 2 back protector that unbelievably soft until you strike it with some force. It’s very comfy.
With a little Knox history out of the way, let’s see how they have taken their armor expertise and applied it to a pair of sport-touring oriented gloves.
The Knox Nexos Gloves
The Nexos gloves to me are the next logical step up in protection from the Orsa Leather MKII gloves which I reviewed previously. Not that the armor and protective features are a huge step above but rather the Nexos gloves have a substantial gauntlet offering protection over a larger area than the short-cuff Orsa gloves.
A black or white and black color scheme is available, with the gloves shown in this review being the latter color scheme. I chose the white as it should be a little cooler on sunny days and, of course, the bright white offers more visibility over the more stealthy all-black version.
Knox offers up the Nexos gloves as either a “Sport” or “Touring” glove depending on how one interprets their website. The description on the Nexos product page refers to them as “The Nexos Sport Glove” but they are listed under the “Touring” category in the product listings. Let’s just call them sport-touring and leave it there.
There are several hard armor pieces on the gloves but they are not as plentiful or large as on a full racing glove. They are also relatively lightweight and flexible which leads them to have easier storage in small spaces over some full-on sport or racing gloves like Knox’s own Handroid gloves.
With all that said, let’s dig into the details.
The main body of the Nexos gloves is made from a combination of cowhide and goat leather. In addition, there is a strip of synthetic material running from the inside edge of the thumb and under the base of the fingers for added grip/durability in this area – and that’s just the beginning.
Stitching is a mixture of single and double stitches with the doubled style used in areas covering armor and other areas likely to experience impact. The stitching itself is very even, consistent, and the construction overall has a very solid feel to it.
*At the time of this writing, I’ve been wearing these gloves for nearly ten months and they have held up very well.
Looking at the gauntlet, we have an opening of 9.5 inches (24cm) in circumference which should accommodate most jacket sleeves if you wear your gloves over your sleeves. The gauntlet closure is handled using a curved TPU panel that is about 4.5 by 5 inches ( 11.5 x12.5cm) that wraps around the anterior facing side of the wrist.
BOA Closure System
This panel is cinched using the BOA system that includes a thin, coated, steel cable that is gathered by a ratcheting dial on the gauntlet. Turning the dial tightens the cable and subsequently the overall gauntlet. To release, the dial is lifted and the spool inside is allowed to spin freely and the closure opens.
This type of closure is very secure and durable but the dial/spool mechanism does add some bulk to the gauntlet itself. For riders who prefer to have their sleeves on the outside of the glove gauntlet, the BOA mechanism might be too bulky for you. You can read more about the BOA system on their website.
The interior of the gloves is lined with a thin and smooth polyester fabric that goes all the way into the finger boxes. In some other lined gloves, the lining is left out of the underside of fingers to provide better feel. In this case, the lining is so thin I don’t see that it makes much difference in that way.
At the wrist is an elasticated section of leather on the back of the hand with a .5 inch wide (13mm) leather strap on the underside to cinch down on the wrist. There is plenty of adjustabilities here and the glove feels well secured when the wrist strap is closed.
One should fasten the wrist strap before the gauntlet as the edge of the TPU protector on the gauntlet can get it in the way of fastening in the wrist strap.
On the tips of the index fingers is a small patch of soft fabric that is touchscreen compatible to allow interaction with mobile devices. This is a great idea in theory but in practice, I found the sensitivity to be below average.
The right glove did a little better than the left but it still would take repeated swipes and/or presses to get the device to respond to the gloves. By contrast, the ORSA Leather Mark II gloves had a similar provision but used a smooth material that worked much better than the material used on the Nexos gloves.
The top sides of the fingers use a unique construction with a “split” over the second joint of the first three fingers in the leather exposing the polyester lining inside. This split allows the finger joint to bend easily while still providing good protection. The little finger gets the opposite treatment by having an extra layer of on top for extra protection.
Speaking of protection, let’s have a look at the protective features of the Nexos gloves.
The Nexos gloves offer a very good set of protective features for the style and price point. The large TPU piece that makes up half of the gauntlet is substantial and combines the TPU center with a covering of leather and foam padding. This is a very robust way to protect the outside of the wrist and at the same time doesn’t hinder movement or comfort.
Moving up to the palm is Knox’s Scaphoid Protection System (SPS) which is comprised of two thick plastic sliders that sit at the heel of the hand. These two sliders allow the glove to slide on the ground instead of catch on the surface of a street.
Basically, since people often put their hands out in front of them to break a fall, allowing this part of the hand to slide in a crash can prevent or reduce the sudden shock in this area that could break the scaphoid.
On top of the knuckles is a large TPU protector. This uses a floating design so as one makes a fist, the protector glides over the leather panel underneath. This is a pretty typical set for most sport riding gloves these days and is a proven design. Knox uses their Honeycomb Gel padding under the TPU to enhance the impact protection in this area.
The index and middle fingers get some small TPU pieces above the first and second bones of the fingers while the ring finger gets one piece just about the first bone. These small pieces look like they would work like the SPS system and would allow for sliding over abrasive surfaces instead of catching on it.
As mentioned earlier, the little finger gets an extra layer of leather that wraps around the outside facing edge of the finger. This leather patch also carries the KNOX logo on it like the wrist strap. One other similar logo is located on a small piece of TPU in place on the back of the hand which itself rounds out the protective bits in place on the Nexos gloves.
All of these features add up to the Nexos gloves being CE certified to EN 13594 – 2012. Not bad for a glove that offers the level of comfort available so let’s have a look at that now.
Fit & Comfort
I was expecting the Nexos gloves to fit in a similar way to the ORSA Leather Mark II gloves I purchased the year before which fit rather snug. Instead, the size mediums I received fit closer to what I expect for a medium glove so I’d call these “true to size” as I’m a solid medium in most gloves.
Putting on the Nexos gloves also ended up being easier than the very deliberate pull required to put on the ORSA gloves. Once in place, it is easy enough to fasten the wrist strap and use the BOA mechanism to cinch down the gauntlet.
BOA Dial Quirk
One little quirk I noticed was that the BOA dial turns clockwise to tighten on the right glove but the rotation is counterclockwise on the left glove.
This is nice in the sense that each glove turns “up” the arm to tighten but, at the same time, those of us who grew up learning “righty-tighty” get a little confused turning it differently for each glove. Not a deal-breaker, but something I note each time I put them on.
Once on, the gloves feel great in more ways than one. Firstly, they are comfortable against the skin with the polyester lining feeling very smooth. It helps hide most of the feeling from any of the internal seams and the ones that can still be felt aren’t distracting.
They also offer very good feel at the controls with the lining doing little to interfere with your sense of connection with the controls. While they might not offer the intimate feel of say, only kangaroo leather between your skin, the grips, and the levers, it should be more than enough for real-world use on the street and then some.
Ventilation is about average with perforations on the thumb and some scattered ones on some of the fingers. The Nexos gloves aren’t touted as a “hot weather” glove but they do fine in warm weather until the hottest days of Summer. Even then they aren’t stifling.
Since they aren’t heavily perforated they also work well on cooler days. Combined with heated grips, I wear the Nexos gloves well into the low 50’s (F) (just over 10 Deg C) and find them comfortable.
Flexibility is very good and the Nexos gloves break in well after only a few rides. Since the protective armor pieces are very large, the gloves can be folded up to fit pretty easily in small storage spaces.
The cut of the Nexos gloves allows more freedom of movement over their short-cuff sibling ORSA gloves in the thumb area. The ORSA gloves did noticeably limit the movement of the thumb but the Nexos don’t have this issue. Overall, the Nexos gloves are surprisingly comfortable considering all the bits and pieces scattered over them for protection.
It may be obvious at this point but just to be clear, I am a fan of the Nexos gloves. Being a rider who likes to feel protected, I appreciate the protective features of these gloves. Knox has found a sweet-spot here between comfort and protection in offering good quantities of both here in the design of the gloves.
I feel the Nexos gloves would make a good 3-season glove for most riders but this is, of course, dependent on your riding climate.
It also helps if one has heated grips to extend their usage into colder conditions so your own seasonality might vary. Ventilation is good enough to keep them from feeling stuffy on hotter days but they do not flow air like a “designed for Summer” glove.
Pricing might seem a little on the steep side at $150.00 USD (£99.00 in the UK) but I think it’s about right for what one is getting. I’ve also spent about 10 months riding in these gloves minus a few cold days in the winter and they still look very good with little wear shown.
Still, the price might be a barrier to many riders so hence the loss of one star from our system of one through five stars.
- Good protective features
- Quality Construction
- Accurate sizing
- Scaphoid Protection System
- Touch screen feature on fingertips not as good as ORSA’s
- BOA closure system adds som bulk
- Manufacturer: Knox
- Price (When Tested): $150.00 (USD) £99.00
- Made In: China
- Alternative models & colors: Black, Black and White
- Sizes: Small through 2 XL
- Review Date: June, 2019