Visitors send us many different suggestions for products to review. Some of the ideas work out pretty well, while others are a flop. The time it takes to order the product, run the evaluation, write the article and get it published can vary from days to weeks, depending on the schedule, and we never know how it will all shake out. As luck would have it, we have a convergence this week; three different items that were originally suggested by visitors have gone through the process and the evaluations are ready for publication.
So let’s start with these Racer Supply RSC2 gloves. Great suggestion, R.T., because at $49.00, these babies have to be the best deal in the motorcycling universe. I have no idea how they do it, but obviously Racer Supply doesn’t have a back room full of little old ladies sewing these things together, so the gloves are surely imported and then labeled with the Racer Supply logo. Depending upon the level of Scrooge DNA in your system, you can even save 10 bucks by ordering the RSC1 gloves, which look similar but only cost $39.00. That, my friends, is a steal.
On top of that, they only charged $5.00 to ship them and we had them on our greasy mitts four days later. Over a weekend, no less. Now that’s what I call service! We love bargains and I have to admit that low price and high quality topped with good service goes a long way towards biasing our opinions towards the right side of the X axis. So we’re not sure at this point if it’s necessary to take my giddiness with a grain or two of salt, for who knows how long the RSC2’s will last?
It’s also nearly impossible for us to evaluate how well a glove might fare in a crash. Like everyone else, the only thing we can go on is reputation and buzzwords, with terms like Kevlar, Keprotec, Titanium and other trademarks and market-speak designed to instill confidence in the buyer. I can say that we’ve been very disappointed recently with two very high end and expensive gloves that don’t really work for us.
The Hurt Schizo gloves we reviewed cost $300+ and they took several months to arrive after we ordered them. The result? They’re so painful to wear that they’re useless to us.
Which leads us to Lesson #1: the best, most expensive and highest-tech gloves in the world offer absolutely no protection if they aren’t on your hands because they’re too painful to wear.
The Teknic Speedstar gloves (see our review) with the “Scaphoid Protection System” are another disappointment; a $179.99 choice that have offer a combination of pain and fingers so thin that only Jack Skellington will be able to slide them on.
The RSC2 gloves do not have that problem. They’re actually very comfortable, especially for $49, which seems to add quite a bit to their physical comfort level. They have box construction fingers with internal stitching, just like race gloves should have.
The downside of this type of construction is the seams that can be felt inside the fingers, but this is nitpicking, because you’ll only feel it in the RSC2’s if you try to.
The gloves feature a leather accordion-like stretch panel on the back of the hand, giving the flex in that important and sensitive area that the other brands lack.
Racer Supply says that the knuckle protectors are made from Kevlar carbon fiber. The first three knuckles have a separate CF protector than the fourth knuckle, and this also seems to provide more flexibility than would be otherwise.
The 0.8 to 0.9 mm leather is double-stitched nearly all the way around, although I’m not sure what type of thread is used. But it’s almost impossible to tell what type of thread is used on any glove, so that is a moot point.
The stitching is first-rate and better looking actually than the stitching on the $300 Hurt Schizo gloves, at least to our eyes.
You tell me: take a look at these two photos; the top photo illustrates the stitching on the fingers of the Hurt Schizo and the bottom is a similar photo of the RSC2:
The downside (you knew that was coming)? I have to say that the little vented knuckle protectors on the RSC2’s are rather flimsy in comparison with the more expensive brands.
Well, “rather flimsy” may be too mild; they’re made from a soft rubbery material that I can easily grab and tear with two fingers, which is really too bad. I’d rather do without the vents, which actually don’t seem to do much anyway, if they have to use this stuff to cover them. In fact, save the 10 bucks and get the RSC1 gloves, which do not have the vents that they don’t need anyway.
Fortunately, the vents that use this material are located on the back of the fingers and above the wrist and they’re probably located in areas that are less important in terms of protection, so the tradeoff may be worth it. But, if I had to do it over again, I’d get the RSC1’s instead.
Racer Supply guys: you may want to can the vents on the next batch and save a few pennies!
The palms and pinky finger have the requisite second layer of leather, which is good. The big surprise on the RSC2 gloves is the wrist fastening system, which is nearly as complete as any full-race glove we’ve seen.
The gloves use a dual closure, with an adjustable strap securing the underside of the wrist with “hook and loop” fastener and separate fasteners over the gauntlet. The gauntlet is fairly long with a wide cuff, so the gloves should fit over most motorcycle jackets.
Another slight problem is the cover flap for the wrist strap, which isn’t quite long enough to do its job. You can see in the photo below that the flap, with the zig-zag stitching, doesn’t fit over the wrist strap.
Overall, we have to rate the Racer Supply RSC2 gloves as an excellent value. Too bad about the vents, but that can be easily solved by ordering the RSC1 version instead, although remember that we haven’t tried those.
From “J.M.” (2/09): “I’ve had my Racer Supply RSC2 Motorcycle Gloves for about 2 years now and they have held up well. I have not crash tested them.
One note, the little rubber vents on top of the fingers seem to be a lot stronger than the tester stated. I’ve picked at mine and they do not feel like they would tear easily. Speaking of vents, the perforations on the sides of the fingers breath very well. The stitching that anchors one corner on one of the gauntlet flaps has come loose, but is not an issue. The rest of the stitching has held up quite well.
I purchased the large size and the gloves initially fit fairly well. They now have stretched out a bit so when I buy another pair I will buy a medium. I keep waiting for Racer Supply to sell a winter glove from the same supplier.”
UPDATE: “Well, I crash tested my RSC2 gloves a year after I commented on them here. They held up great after sliding about 20 feet after a lowside. Took the impact on the heel of my left palm and saved my hand from damage.
Here is a photo of the slight damage to the palm padding. Some stitching was worn through. I will continue to wear them.”
From “Ron R.”: “I bought the RSC1 gloves a while back, but only recently tested them. I lowsided at Homestead Speedway between 30-40mph, I hit the ground with my left palm and slid a short distance. The gloves only sustained slight abrasions, but no stitches burst. I actually like the extra flap on the wrist since I think it prevented the Velcro closure from coming undone. However, the gloves feel wide in the palms and the Velcro “hook” portion is too short. I’m able to fully tighten it, but with only a few mm’s of hook and loop.
Overall, it was a good $50, I wasn’t hurt and they provide decent feel through the controls.”
From “E.L.”: “Well, I read the review on the RSC2 gloves, and ended up purchasing the RSC1 gloves as I don’t need the vents. What I’ve found is a much stiffer glove than I expected. I expect that the stiffness is due to the lack of perforations, elastic around the wrist, and ribbing behind the knuckles. The wrist strap for the RSC1 is on the back of the wrist, which means the flap on the bottom of the wrist serves no purpose. These gloves don’t have the pinkie and ring finger strapped together.
These gloves are very comparable to my Racer High End glove, the exact same glove you’ve also reviewed. I expect these gloves to provide nearly the same level of protection…only less because of the wrist strap and missing pinkie/ring finger strap.
This looks like a really good glove, and for 1/4th the price of the Racer High End gloves, it’s a great bargain. Thanks for the review!”