I have to admit that I have a thing for gloves. The human hand is a delicate piece of architecture, sensitive enough to fret a violin or soothe a child, and sturdy enough to forge heavy iron. Why would I risk subjecting such a fragile design to abrasion and other motorcycling hazards?
For six years, Aerostich Elkskin Ropers have been my go-to gloves for much of my casual riding. However, I was lazy with their fit. I never felt the snap cuff cinched the gloves tight enough, and there was a wrinkle in the left palm. So, it was time for a proactive update.
Aerostich provides 10 sizes, in full- and half-sizes, so there’s no settling for the imprecise choices of S-XL. Changing my six-year-old pair for a smaller size made a huge difference. The snap closure is now positive, the palm wrinkle is gone, and the overall sensitivity is much improved.
There’s a lot of function built into the Ropers. The left thumb has a clever rubber squeegee sewn into the seam, wonderful on those misty coastal mornings to clear the visor. The medium- to heavyweight elkskin is thicker than deerskin, more water resistant and better at abrasion resistance. No air bleeds through these gloves, the stitching is tight and durable.
I popped for the upgraded touchscreen fingertips that allow control of smartphones, GPS and other digi-accessories. Aerostich also offers a Merino wool-lined pair for colder weather as well as a competition gauntlet-cuff with TF3 impact absorbing material.
Aerostich provides an accurate sizing guide and will exchange an unused pair for a different size within 30 days, so take advantage of the choices to get the best initial sizing.
After riding a few times, they can be made better. For a near custom fit, soak them in water, wring them out and let them dry on your hands on an afternoon ride. The ring finger on my left glove was a tad short but riding with the gloves until dry formed them to my hand curve and exact finger length.
The fit is precise, the retainability is excellent, and the price is decent. They may not be high-zoot, race-ready or farkled with carbon fiber and Kevlar, but if they’re good enough for the California Highway Patrol, maybe they’ll work for you. I like the natural color. Like blue jeans, they’ll acquire a nice patina that says, “I Ride.”
Aerostich Roper gloves are catalog number 429 and are available in Natural or Black and sell for $67.
For more information, visit Aerostich.