Review: Royal Racing Minus Gloves

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Winter. The will to go out and ride certainly wains when it’s cold and wet doesn’t it? More often than not, a compromise has to be made between comfort, tactility and warmth – all of which are huge factors when it comes to riding in crappy weather because after all, if you’re battling with your kit or lack of the right kit, you’re most likely not enjoying your ride! When it comes to cold body parts, hands are right up there as what many of us want to keep really warm, and with warm hands high on our agenda, we set about putting the miles in on the new Royal Racing Minus winter glove to see if they live up to their namesake…

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Words and photos: Nathan Carvell

Overview

The design itself is longer than your regular riding glove, although it does offer you more protection against the elements thanks to an overlap on the cuff. The 40G Thinsulate insulation on the back of the glove and between the fingers keeps things shower proof and warm where it matters most – at the brunt of you and your bike – and we are not talking sealed bags of sweat here, the Minus’s are fully breathable.

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The contact point of the glove – the all-important palm, is constructed of a weather-proof single layer and although not fully weather-proof, it’s near as dammit is, with a happy medium between contact and protection. Technical features include some subtle reinforcements towards the heal of the hand to help add some protection and the index finger features a grippy area to aid with brake lever contact. All standard stuff from a modern glove, but easy to overlook when you’re trying to keep warm too.

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Other notable features worth pointing out are the reflective designs on the back, which if you’re like me, and like to commute on a bike, it sure comes in handy. The wrist enclosure is tight and secure using a ‘hook and loop’ along with a baffle to stop any drafts.

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Out on the Trail

Contact through the Minus’s on the grips isn’t quite at the level of a regular summer glove, and nor should you expect it to be with the increased material in there to keep you warm. Being thin enough to keep that necessary ‘feeling’ and not experience any bulking up, is of upmost importance, particularly from a glove that is for the coldest of days, of which the the Minus certainly stands up against. The majority of the tech is found on the back of the glove, but having that solid contact is number one priority unless you are venturing into the Arctic Circle. The fit is bang on, almost encapsulating your hands from finger to wrist and only reinforcing the weather proof nature of Royal’s winter mitt offering.

The sizing is also conveniently in-line with the rest of Royals range making choice easy too.

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Neat additions to the cuff in the form of direct inject logos, help you grip the cuff in winter conditions while being able to close the glove up in a low profile way really helps seal between glove and jacket; it’s the little things! Another ‘handy’ addition are the soft areas on the back of the thumbs, which are ideal for wiping the snot from your nose and rain from your face – nice!

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Conclusion

If you are after a fully water-proof Arctic explorers glove then you are better off looking elsewhere, but if you are after a glove that allows you to ride a few hours and enjoy what our beautiful winter has to offer, then this could be right up your alley. Coming in at an RRP of £35 they are priced fairly for such a feature packed glove. Naturally the conditions the Minus’ are designed for, you expect them to get mucky and in turn be washed a lot, which these have, and not a single loose thread or peeling graphic can be found. These are a sound investment for your winter riding wardrobe that will last you a good few winters indeed.

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Royal Racing is exclusively distributed in the UK by Decade Europe and for everything Royal and beyond, hit the big logo. Happy trails, Nathan.

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