Long Term Gear Review – Velomacchi Speedway Gloves

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I like things that are different – often just for the sake of being different. So when I was reviewing Velomacchi’s Speedway backpack, I couldn’t help but notice the Speedway gloves as well. I’ve been using them nearly every day for the last 8 months, but the gloves sold out quickly and I was waiting to share this review with you until they were back in stock. As you can probably guess, the fact that you’re reading this means they’re in stock – but they’ve made some updates so my review is on a slightly outdated glove. Still, the general concepts are the same, and I hope it’s helpful in your research if you’re interested in these!

Let’s start with the basics:

What I like:
  • Deerskin palms are incredibly comfortable.
  • Truly unique – this looks like no other glove on the market.
  • What I don’t like:
    • Deerskin palms get dirty quickly.
    • Conductive fibers on thumb and index finger started fraying instantly.

    The Verdict

    Velomacchi's usual thoughtfulness extends to their freshman effort with gloves. The style is polarizing but the feel isn't - it's top notch and these are some of the most comfortable gloves I've ever worn. A couple of loose stitches remind you that this is their first attempt at making protection for your hands, but if you value unique style these are an excellent option.

    Check out the Velomacchi Speedway Gloves!

    The Speedway gloves use a combination of materials (deerskin, goatskin, TPU, conductive thread, and even brass) in their attempt to strike a good balance between feel, style, and protection – though I’d say priority is placed on the first two.

    How they looked after 3 months of every day usage. 5 months later,
    the palms are an entire shade darker.

    Feel

    This is the highlight of the Speedway gloves – they’re incredibly comfortable. They’ve become my go-to glove (and you can tell by how dirty they’ve become, see above). I used them for Wheelie U, the UK trip, my daily commute, LA-Barstow-Vegas, and even an excursion to the highest road in California.

    Photo by Aaron Schasse.

    When I first got the gloves, I felt a seam inside the opening for the left index finger. It annoyed me to the point that I contacted Velomacchi about exchanging the gloves. But after a couple of days of break-in, the gloves became so comfortable that I never bothered to actually mail them back. The deerskin palm is supple and it feels fantastic. Because the gloves get a lot of visual interest, I often let people try them on and invariably the first reaction is positive, almost shockingly so. The feel is the main reason why I have kept these on for so long.

    Styling/Features

    Now, I realize style is subjective so I won’t pretend I’m the final arbiter here. With that said, I’m still going to force my opinion onto you. My two cents are that the palms look fantastic while the other side of the gloves look a little drab. In well lit product photos the back of the gloves looks fine:

    But in real life the TPU on the fingers blends in and it’s just too much black. Plus, I think the TPU just looks a bit silly.

    The TPU on the thumb is more than a styling exercise as it doubles as a goggle/visor wipe. To me that implies you’d be wearing these while it’s raining, but these aren’t waterproof because are holes that run alongside the fingers for breathability. If you’re not a glove nerd, the technical term for this part of the glove is the fourchette. Congratulations, you learned something today!

    See the holes? Photo by Aaron Schasse.

    The wrist strap closure is secured by Velcro, which is simple enough. The one piece of complicated technology is the conductive thread that’s woven into the tips of the thumb of index finger on both hands. These work fine if you don’t have to be precise and just need to open up an app to read a text message. But hitting small buttons is too difficult – take your gloves off or just wait till you arrive at your destination.

    There is also an option for those of you that prefer monochromatic apparel. The all black livery should also do a much better job of hiding dirt, but I prefer the black and tan:

    Feels like these are gloves for murdering, not riding.

    Protection

    This is a bit of a unknown simply because I’ve had the good fortune of not crashing hard in them yet. I used to normally wear gauntlet gloves and the obvious gut feeling is that these gloves give up a level of protection in high-speed impacts/slides for the sake of improved tactile feel. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, you just have to know what your priorities are. With that said, I have had a few sub-30 mph tumbles in the dirt while wearing the Speedways – the gloves have held up great and my hands were perfect.

    On paper, your hands will be preserved by 1mm thick deerskin on the palms, highland goat skin on the back, and impact gel behind the hypothenar pad on the palm – the portion with the embedded brass to aid in a slide. In addition, you’ll get Pittard’s sheepskin on the fourchettes (see, you’re already using your new vocab) for better breathability and to reduce hand fatigue

    Longevity

    I’d estimate that I’ve put approximately 12,000 miles on this pair over the last 8 months, about 1,000 of which were off-road. Structurally, the important parts and stitching of the glove have held up quite well.

    As mentioned above, the conductive fibers in the fingertips started fraying immediately but they still work. It doesn’t bother me. As a reminder, I have a prototype of the new glove. A friend of mine has a pair of production gloves and his fibers have stayed in place.

    The one thing that does annoy me is the velcro closure on the left wrist, which seems to find a way to open itself every twentieth time I get on a bike. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention when I secure the clasp, but my right glove has never given me a problem.

    After 8 months of nearly every day use. Photo by Aaron Schasse.

    My thoughts here are very simple. These gloves are comfortable as hell, and I like them so much that I wear them constantly. For more information or to purchase the Speedway Gloves for $149, head on over to Velomacchi’s website. But act soon, because if the first run was any indication, these may sell out quickly, too!

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