Even though crashing when it’s cold is probably going to hurt just as much as when it’s hot, most cold-weather gloves go for bulk over protection. You get a leather palm here and there, maybe, but that’s not going to help a lot if you punch the pavement. For serious hand protection you need more sporty gloves, but few of them will keep your hands warm and dry if the weather turns foul. The Dynamic II from Racer Gloves does all of that, though, combining insulation and protection, and throwing in waterproofness for good measure.
Running down the features list reveals the Dynamic IIs use a cowhide and textile outer, and waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex technology on the inside. The weather protection is supplemented by Dexfil insulation and a Polartec fleece liner that together are probably responsible for the Dynamics being fairly warm with less bulkiness, and having better control feel and feedback than most of my winter gloves. There are leather grip patches on the palms, and gel palm protectors. Small raised pads on the first three fingers add a measure of safety in a fall, but the real impact protection comes from the leather-covered hard-shell knuckle protectors.
A thin hook-and-loop adjuster snugs down the wrist fit, while a larger hook-and-loop tab adjusts to the flare of your jacket sleeves for a windproof seal. The outside of the wrist area has several raised padded areas. Overall, a lot of thought was given not only to keeping out the wind and rain, but to keeping you out of a cast in case of a crash.
My bike is currently without a windscreen, so the Dynamics squared off against the early spring chill unaided. They kept my hands comfortably warm despite the previously mentioned apparent lack of bulk, and the adjustable gauntlet kept the wind from whistling up my sleeves. No rain fell during the test period, but the insides of the gloves were still dry after five minutes of spray in the shower at home. I haven’t tested the protective padding and don’t intend to—sorry if that disappoints you, but testing to destruction is above my pay grade—but the large protectors on the knuckles presented no fit or flex problems.
The Dynamic IIs’ overall fit was, however, an issue. A lot of me has grown stouter over the years but not my hands. I’ve worn size XL gloves practically since I started riding, and still do today. The XL Dynamics, though, were so small I couldn’t get my mitts in them at all. After some back-and-forth with Racer—whose rep admitted the Dynamic IIs tend to run small—a pair of 3XLs arrived that fit me like all my other XLs. In case you were waffling over buying from a retailer or online, this is a good argument for going brick-and-mortar where you can try the Dynamics on in person before you buy.
Get the fit right, and you’ll likely be happy with the Dynamic IIs. I did, and I am. They’re available in black in sizes M-3XL for a suggested retail of $169.99, and come with a 5-year waterproofness warranty.
For more information: Call (408) 852-0700 or visit racerglovesusa.com