I’m not sure what’s the reason, or if it’s just a figment of my imagination, but the number of major crashes among riders, especially experienced ones, has shot up significantly in the last few months. It’s possible that I’m now connected to many more bikers than I used to, or that I’m affected by such news much more than I used to, but something is wrong somewhere.
Ever since I’ve come to Hyderabad and started experiencing the nightmarish traffic here, I’ve completely lost that hunger to tour on a motorcycle. For the first time in my life, I’m scared of going out. The lust to ride and experience the world has been subdued by the fear of death.
To compensate for this fear, I’ve bought the best possible riding gear that I can afford at the moment in the last few months. Thanks to the track days with Motovation, I still have some sort of connection to bikes, but I think it’ll take a full-sized Iron Man replica armor, with all the missiles and bombs and shit, to get me back on the road.
One of the items that I bought while coming back from MTM 2015 was a pair of Track Breed Gear Sport gloves. I made a mistake in the sizing, and picked the Small one to begin with, which made the return ride from Bangalore to Hyderabad quite a painful experience. Sapna from Let’s Gear Up was very understanding, and sent me a replacement piece without any extra charges.
Since then, I’ve used these gloves for short highway rides, many track days, and a bit too much off-roading. After some 3000 kms of experience, here’s my review the TBG Sport full-gauntlet leather gloves.
TBG Sport gloves review: Safety (9/10)
For a glove that costs less than 5000 bucks, the level of safety that this thing offers is exceptional. You get full-leather protection in a full-gauntlet form, Knox Scaphoid Protection System inserts on the palm which basically help your hand slide better, carbon fiber knuckle protectors, metal protectors on the wrists unlike foam/plastic on other manufacturers, and special abrasion-resistant material on certain areas.
And the party doesn’t end there. If you do happen to crash, all you have to do is send the damaged piece back to Let’s Gear Up, Bangalore, and they’ll send you a replacement piece at 50% discount, which is pretty awesome.
A friend of mine recently high-sided in dirt with these gloves on, and his hands and wrists are perfectly fine. He did almost break his foot though. Here’s the photo of his gloves after the crash. Notice how the Knox SPS system has taken the brunt, and also the metal protector on the left hand side.
With a double Velcro enclosure and brilliant fit, it’s pretty hard to get them off your hands in the even of a crash. Overall, sexy safety.
I’ve used the Rynox Inferno full-gauntlet gloves in the past, and although they are pretty good too and I raped them many times over without any trouble, they were never as comfortable as the TBG ones are. The biggest reason for this is probably the type of leather used. The TBG gloves feel much more softer and flexible as compared to the Rynox ones.
What’s also more comfortable is the insides, the liner is very soft, and doesn’t let your hands get too wet with moisture either. Since this is a full-gauntlet leather glove, I don’t really expect it to be as ventilated as a street glove, but it does pretty well even under extreme heat.
The fingers are pre-curved to help reduce fatigue over long periods of usage, and the glove has grippy panels at all the right places to ensure you don’t end up slipping the throttle at the wrong time.
Let me put it this way, when you are wearing this glove, you don’t remember it’s there.
Value for money (9/10)
At an MRP of Rupees 4400, this isn’t a beginner-level glove by any stretch of imagination. Considering the rivals from Rynox, DSG, Spartan and Cramster are all priced below or around 3,000 bucks, it does feel like you are paying a lot for a set of gloves.
However consider this, the level of protection and comfort you get in here is probably matched only by the high-end gloves from premium brands, like Alpinestars, priced at 10,000 or above. From that perspective, this deal feels pretty kick-ass.
As cheap a pennyfucker as I may be, I do understand the value of something that’s important for your survival. Hands are kinda important, to eat, to drink, to wash your ass, and I don’t mind spending this much money to ensure they stay with me.
Build quality (8/10)
I’m not sure where these gloves are made, but it’s most probably Pakistan, because that’s where everything leather is made. Nevertheless the build quality is superb, the stitches are sturdy, and the whole unit feels well made.
Even after months of hard usage, careless at times, the gloves haven’t lost their feel. I’m no materials expert, but all the items used to make this thing feel premium, be it the leather, fabric, plastics or metal.
The carbon fiber knuckle protector feels a bit flimsy at times, a friend once pressed it a bit too much in an attempt to brute test it, and it made a weird crackling noise like it was about to shatter. Nothing broke though, and it’s still working well.
Irrelevant, but this glove has a rather bland look to it, all black with a bit of shiny grey. There are no snazzy logos, or flowing lines, but it looks built for purpose, and I have no problem with function over form.
I would recommend the guys to use at least a rubber logo for the product/brand name, just printing it in there does make it look a bit shabby. If you understand what you are getting for the price, you’ll not complain, but for a newbie who hasn’t heard of TBG, small things matter.
When I’m wearing these gloves, I never even have a single thought about the safety of my hands and wrists. They have that snug feel to them, like a fistbump from an old friend that you instinctively know means he’s got your back.
I’ve used them on crazy trails, mad off-road sections, flowing corners on track days, and fast highways, but never worried about them, even while doing 230 kmph on the Daytona.
Try them yourself.
Highly recommended glove to buy, but buying them might not be such an easy process. First of all, they don’t sell from any other shop except the one they own in Bangalore, so if you are in any other part of the world, you can’t really try them before you buy them. Second, they don’t really care much for marketing, so chances are you haven’t really heard of the brand name before, ever. Third, you have to send them a message on FB to buy one and pay by bank transfer, no website to use your credit card on.
What you have to understand is that the reason they are able to price such a glove at such a price is because they don’t have to worry about distributor or dealer margins. The reason you pay this price for this glove is because they don’t believe on throwing money at computer screens in the name of marketing. They don’t care about giving the glove a snazzy name, or eye-catching looks, they care about what matters.
But the biggest reason why I bought these gloves is because I like the people behind it. There are a lot of whiners in this world, people who cry about shit being fucked up, but never do anything about it. Sapna and Sukesh saw a gap in the Indian motorcycling scene, and they are trying to fill it.
I dig that, and I will always try to support such people.