It was another glorious weekend here in the bay area, and it was my turn to go riding (ThrottleDad and I alternate weekends). I suited up, lubed my chain, and headed out to meet some friends for twisty fun.
We rode some great roads, did some good gossiping, and caught up with old friends. AND… I got to try out my Christmas gift from ThrottleDad for the first time – a beautiful pair of Helimot B-11 Sport Race Gloves from Helimot.
My experience with gloves is probably typical for riders with small hands. The fingers are always too long and get caught on my levers when I move back and forth from braking and shifting to just cruising along, and there is a ton of extra material at the seams – again, particularly in the fingers. The palms and wrists are often too wide, making it possible to pull the gloves right off my hands even with the wrist safety strap fastened. These problems are exaggerated in heavier all-weather and winter gloves, but are even present in race gloves.
Up until now, I had been wearing a pair of Alpinestars Stella GP Plus gloves for trackdays and fair weather weekend rides. They were a decent fit, with only a little extra length in the fingers, and external seams on the inside grip for comfort. But the leather is thin, there is almost no protection on the palm, and zero protection in the gauntlets. After two seasons the seams are fraying, the leather is wearing, and I just wouldn’t trust these gloves in a get-off anymore. Enter the B-11…
First of all, these gloves are designed for men’s hands, and even the smallest glove was too big in the usual places – wide palm and long fingers. This is where buying local is a huge advantage – I was able to take my gloves in to the shop, and have them semi-customized to fit my hands. Helmut, the owner and operator of Helimot, took a trace of my hands and made a few notes, took my gloves, and a month later I picked up the safest, best fitting pair of riding gloves I have ever owned.
While riding in them, I first noticed the ventilation in the gauntlet (that cool fabric patch in the lower left of the picture) and the excellent grip of the material on the inside of the fingers. The ability to keep the throttle open with less grip force led to a more relaxed and happy (and therefore safer and faster) rider. The gloves were easy on and easy off, a major plus over the Stella GP Pluses that I always seemed to be struggling with. Fortunately I have not tested their crashability yet, but there is enough padding and thick enough leather in all the right places that the gloves feel safe without feeling bulky. Big bonus points to ThrottleDad on this gift. I’m looking forward to their track debut in March.