Aerostitch Elkskin Roper Gloves | Gear Review

Aerostich Elksin Roper Motorcycle Gloves
Aerostich Elkskin Roper gloves. Story by Joe Michaud.

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.

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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.

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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.

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