As the name implies Velomacchi's Speedway gloves were inspired by '60s and '70s flat track racing. Their website drops the names of legendary racers such as Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Ray Carroll and looking back at old photos of the riders in their gear the connection is clear. We recently had the chance to slip our hands into a pair of the Speedway gloves for our own review of the relatively young companies first endeavour in motorcycle glove manufacturing.
"We are inspired by the engineers, racers, tuners, and builders that have gone before us and brought the sport to where it is today. We strive to match their thinking and effort to move the sport forward."Velomacchi (pronounced Velo-makki) is a play on the Italian words Velocità Macchina, which translates roughly to "Velocity Machine". Their products are influenced by the gear their peers designed and used before them. Their range is intended to celebrate classic styling while improving upon function through the use of modern materials and production techniques.
First impressions count and the Speedway gloves certainly started off on the right foot. The striking contrast of the black and yellow paneled leather, the totally unique knuckle armour design and the studded palm had my interest piqued from the first sighting. Then, to back this great looking product Velomacchi published a video on their website (see above) that will pull on the heartstrings of any motorcycle enthusiast. We all yearn for the opportunity to escape the daily grind astride our motorcycles and watching the Velomacchi video from my office chair was almost unbearable. Somehow I'd become a Velomacchi fan before I'd even had the chance to try one of their products!
When the postman delivered the gloves to my door I was just as impressed with how they looked in the flesh. As I examined the gloves closely more of the design details and features became evident. On each wrist are easy to operate velcro fasteners with an embossed rubber panel featuring the Velomacchi logo. On each index finger and thumb is a diamond stitched pattern of conductive thread that allows the wearer to use their touch screen device. I also had the chance to inspect the armour more closely and found that it was made from silicone rubber that's held to the glove by stitching that runs down the centre of each segment. There's also an embossed Velomacchi emblem on the wrist and white stitched Velomacchi wording down the side of each palm for some branding.
After enjoying how nice the gloves looked I wasted no time stuffing my mits into them. The Speedway gloves are constructed using a combination of goat and deerskin leather. Goat on the outside for abrasion resistance and deer on the inside for comfort. The deerskin did not disappoint in the comfort department with a very soft, smooth feel on the inner palm. A polyester/cotton lining with foam padding provides extra comfort and insulation of the inside upper areas.
The fit was also spot on. I ordered the large, as I usually would, and the gloves fit snugly to my palm and fingers without affecting dexterity or movement. Another nice comfort feature is the outer seams on the fingers which prevents any internal seams from irritating your digits.
I often find with gloves that there's a big divide between comfort and safety. Some are so protective you can hardly feel what you're holding, while more fashion focused designs instil as much safety confidence as a pair of gardening gloves. Thankfully Velomacchi has managed to find a midway point with their Speedway glove. The gloves outer armour provides a basic level of bash protection without affecting movement thanks to the properties of the silicone, then on the underside of the glove you'll find extra layers of leather and brass palm studs for additional protection in high impact areas.
I've now worn the Speedway gloves for a total of around 300kms and have been very pleased with the comfort of the gloves. I would question the strength of the outer armours fixture to the glove over time, but for now it's holding up well. Although the video shows the rider tackling inclement weather conditions I wouldn't recommend the gloves for rainy days due to the side vented fingers, they are however good at keeping the cold out and the longer gauntlet style cuff does a good job of stopping the wind from flowing up your sleeves. Unfortunately I haven't found the conductive thread in the fingertips to work all that well. To get any sort of response from my phone I need to press extra hard. Personally this is a feature I could do without, but I can see value in having it there. Also I noted a few loose thread ends, which you could have been cleaned up a bit better, but there weren't enough to raise any concern about the quality of the product.
There was one feature of the Speedway gloves that I have not yet had the opportunity to test. On the Velomacchi website it states that the rubber outer armour doubles as a goggle wipe, or should I say make shift windscreen wiper. That's certainly a first for me and a good example of how much thought has gone into creating these great looking gloves.
- Conductive thread not so conductive
- Final finish could be a little cleaner
- Finger vents make then not waterproof
- Great looking glove
- Very comfortable
- Do not restrict movement or dexterity
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