Tested: Spidi X-Force motorcycle gloves review

John Milbank, BikeSocial Consumer Editor
bennetts_bike Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial, John's owned over 20 bikes, is a member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators and part of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group

 

Date reviewed: October 2020 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £99.99 | spidiuk.com

 

The Spidi X-Force gloves on review here really are unique; not because they are, admittedly, a relatively expensive short-cuff design, but because they have a truly innovative fastening system that makes them quick and easy to put on, secure and comfortable. And, to be frank, it just looks cool to use.

I’ve been wearing them on a BMW S1000XR, Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and a Honda MSX125 for several months and on several full-day rides…

 

For and against
  • Brilliant fastening system
  • Very cool in the summer
  • All-day comfortable
  • Touch-screen compatibility not great
  • I’d prefer leather on the side of the thumb
  • A bit of fluffing on one finger

 

Fit and feel

Any motorcycle kit of course needs trying on before you buy it, but these gloves fit me in my usual size (large), and while snug at first and a little tight to put on (especially with hot, sweaty hands), they soon broke in and now fit like a… No, I won’t say it. Clichés should be avoided like the plague.

We all have different shaped hands, but the fingers on these Spidi X-Forces are exactly the right length for me, helped by the stretchy material in the webs of the fingers, and the accordion panels just in front of the knuckles.

It’s fair to say that, once on, these gloves are some of the most unobtrusive I’ve ever worn, seemingly hugging every part of my hand, with no loose or baggy areas to interfere with comfort or control.

 

Spidi X-Force motorcycle gloves review_07

 

Touchscreen compatibility

The Spidis aren’t great with a phone – the touch-screen section is on the pad of the forefingers, not the tip, so it can be a little awkward to bend your hand into the right position and it’s also not very accurate; when using Calimoto on my phone, attached to the bike with the SP Connect mount, I find myself often having to take a glove off to use it, especially when controlling some of the smaller buttons.

I’m yet to find a really good pair of touch-screen compatible gloves; to be honest, my Racer High Speeds are the most accurate and easy to use with a phone, but they’re not even designed for it – there’s just so much of my sweat and oils soaked into the leather that they work a treat.

 

Warm and cold weather use

These are not winter gloves. The mesh on the tops of the fingers and thumb, and on the palm – as well as the fabric between the fingers – allows plenty of cooling air to blast through onto the skin. Only the wrist can get a little sweaty, but this is noticeable simply because the rest of the hand is cooled so efficiently. Great in the summer, okay in average temperatures, but you’ll soon get cold in the winter.

 

 

Protection and certification

Rated as Personal Protective Equipment under EN 13594:2015 (as all gloves legally should be), these are also tested for the hard knuckle protection. There are similar-looking pads on the finger joints, though these are little more than soft buffers.

The palm is a mixture of goat leather (tougher by thickness than cow hide) and a man-made ‘suede’ microfibre; having been tested to the gloves standard, they clearly offer a reasonable level of protection, but obviously a short-cuff design like this isn’t intended to be used on track; it’s not a race glove.

I’m not keen on the mesh over the thumb, especially on the side – while sliding down the road with your palm flat on the tarmac your hand would have the leather and microfibre material protecting you, but if your thumb were to tuck be slightly tucked under, the fabric mesh would be in contact. It’s fairly thick, so would be unlikely to fail immediately, but I prefer leather up the sides of the thumb. Having said that, this design is typical of a lot of gloves, and it’s a compromise made for cooling comfort. Ultimately, they’ve still become my go-to glove for warmer weather.

From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.

 

How easy is this?!

Quick shot of the Spidi X-Force fastening system

 

Fastening

Genius. Slide the glove on, pull the cuff strap over and the zip is pulled tight automatically, securing the glove to your hand. It won’t pull off in a crash once secured, so this one motion does the action of a separate wrist and cuff strap while also keeping the glove looking sleek and tidy.

I did find one shop review that saw a customer saying his zip had failed after three weeks and about five uses, but he’d had them replaced under warranty. In the several months of use I’ve given them, they’ve shown no signs of any problems with the zip, or the way it’s held to the strap. I’m very confident these will have no issues as I continue to wear them, though like all our reviews, it will be updated if anything changes.

The only slight bit of wear I’ve seen is a bit of fluffing of the fabric mesh on the top of one of the fingers, which seems to have been caused by the Velcro from the other glove catching on it.

 

Spidi X-Force motorcycle gloves review_10

 

Wet weather use

The Spidi X-Force is not a waterproof glove, so you’ll get wet hands very quickly if you’re caught out in a shower.

 

Lining

The lining is comfortable and well secured. This material can sometimes feel a little slick in some gloves, but these have remained comfortable at all times, with only a slight amount of sweatiness under the cuff on one particularly hot day.

 

 

Spidi X-Force gloves review: Verdict

Unless I’m going for it on a sportsbike, or out on track, these are now my favourite summer gloves; whether worn with a textile adventure suit on my S1000XR, or with a leather jacket on the Interceptor 650, they’re cool, extremely comfortable and fit perfectly.

While there are cheaper (and all leather) options out there, these are great when the weather’s particularly hot and a unique alternative to the more traditional styles… well worth a look.

Do you have a pair of these gloves? Email us at enquiries@bikesocial.co.uk to tell everyone what you think of them…

 

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