When it comes to riding in the summer, I like short-cuff, lightweight and perforated gloves. They feel great on the hands, give excellent feel for the bike’s controls and don’t get too hot and sweaty. Being short, they tuck under jacket cuffs so you can get some airflow up the sleeves as well as in through whatever vents the jacket has and are easy to get on and off.
For almost all of last summer, I wore these Spots from Held; well, not the actual pair pictured, as will become clear presently but another pair in red and black.
As I have found, my hands are broad compared with the length of my fingers, so my usual medium tends to have the right length of fingers and thumbs and be a little tight across the back of the hand.
1. Held Spot
1. Held Spot
I prefer this immeasurably to the alternative, which is a looser fit across the width of the hand but fingers and thumbs that are too long and interfere with the bike’s controls. Some of Held’s gloves can be specified with different lengths of fingers and thumbs compared to the width of the hand but not the Spot.
Out of the bag, they are fairly stiff but that is to be expected with new, unused leather gloves like these – the main body is goat skin with additional kangaroo leather in key locations such as across the palm.
They are initially tricky to get on, even with the elasticated section over the back of the hand but a rubber pull-tab helps and once past the hand, they slip on snugly and feel very nice. It took only a couple of rides for them to begin to loosen up and were quickly supple and comfortable.
The fingers are pre-curved so with the hands in the natural position on the bars, the thin leather across the palm holds the grips nicely and gives excellent feel and feedback. It also means that, with no separate lining, response to movements, such as on the throttle, are instant with no lag due to separate layers moving in relation to each other.
The fingers use external bottom seams with internal ones at the ends of the fingers so they shouldn’t interfere with the hands and generally, they don’t though occasionally I can feel one under the fingernail at the end of my right-hand little finger. If it was all the time, it might be an issue but it’s not, so no real problem.
There are concertina-style stretch panels at the top of the thumb as well as each finger and the back of the ring, so moving digits or the whole hand is easy. There is also a small bridge between the fourth and little fingers, but it is small and very high up on the fingers, suggesting it may not be particularly effective and it doesn’t restrict movement at all.
When it comes to protection, the gloves are rated 1KP, indicating a basic pass in testing and feature large, hard-plastic knuckle armour, as well as padding on the fingers and superfabric sections on the landing zones on the heel of the palm.
There is double-layered leather on the outside of the hand to provide additional abrasion resistance and there is Kevlar-fabric reinforcement on the inside of the leather on the back of the hand. They are secured by a small Velcro flap at the wrist, over an elasticated section.
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In addition to the vented knuckle armour, the leather on the fingers is also perforated to allow air in to keep the hands cool while the section just above the wrist is as well. This actually works nicely in practice, preventing the hands from getting too sweaty and warm in use with a gentle but useful flow of air to the hand. In terms of convenience, they work here too; there are touchscreen-compatible sections on the fingers and thumbs and a visor wipe on the left-hand forefinger.
My only issue was with the first pair I had. I used them near-constantly through the spring, summer and even into early autumn, as I liked them so much. However, I clearly used them a little too much; the seam on the right-hand thumb began to part and I could see the threads were coming undone.
A quick call to the UK distributor and Held’s guarantee saw a replacement pair winging its way to me immediately. However, as this was the tail-end of the autumn, even though we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter so far, it’s still a bit too chilly to get the new ones out, so they will have to wait until next spring to make sure they don’t do the same thing.
I really like these gloves. They are great for warmer rides on pretty much any bike; they are light and cool yet give excellent feel and feedback for the bike’s controls. Once broken in, they are easy to get on and off and are super comfortable and despite that failed seam, confidence in them on the bike remains good, with excellent protection and the addition of Kevlar and Superfabric sections. I’m looking forward to another season in them.
Great feel for the bike’s controls
Perforated for cooler rides
Hard knuckle armour and excellent protection
Split seam dented confidence a little