While on the track, I would prefer nothing but full-gauntlet gloves, knowing that if I take spill well over 100 mph my hands will remain ultra-protected.
But on the real-world street where speeds are lower, gauntlet gloves are sometimes uncomfortable. This is especially if you’re only going for a short canyon-carving ride or meeting some friends downtown.
Knowing there is a need for this, the Italian-based AXO released the Pro Race Gloves, a short-cuff glove that provides all the protection of a full-cuff glove, but with short-cuff comfort. And this protection is enhanced with carbon-fiber knuckles, which also add some styling to the AXO product.
When I first slipped on the AXO Pro Race Gloves, they reminded me of a motocross glove, mostly due to the cuff ban’s shortness and feel. This was no surprise, considering the company has its roots in motocross gear.
But quite unlike motocross gloves, the Pro Race series feature additional leather inserts on the palm and thumb. This material is gritty, allowing for additional adhesion on the grips. Besides allowing a more comfortable feel on the grips (the most cushion i felt in a long time), the leather inserts on the Pro Race gloves also provide more grip in case of a rain storm, although the gloves are far from being water resistant.
For comfort in hot weather, the AXO Pro Race gloves feature perforation across the tops of the fingers and thumb, and a short ban across the lower-part top of the hand. My fingers remained comfortable in temps ranging from about 65-degrees in the evening to about 90 in the daytime; any warmer than 90 degrees and expect some palm sweat.
The Pro Race gloves also feature pre-curved fingers with some flex-panels at the base, providing natural-grip comfort. The gloves are true to size, with my normal Large (size 10) fitting, and break-in comfortably in less than 20 miles, especially if the temps are high.
There was one qualm, though; AXO places its logo on the top of the hand in a silver, reflective insert that is obviously there to provide traffic awareness. This is a great feature for its cause, but sometimes the sun would hit the silver reflective material and direct light into my eyes.
The UltimateMotorCycling.com AXO Pro Race Gloves verdict: If you’re searching for long, gauntlet-style glove protection in short-cuff style comfort, check out the AXO Pro Race Gloves. Just remember to adjust your grip position if the reflective material distracts rather than creates rider awareness.
AXO Pro Race Gloves
Sizes: S (8) – XXXL (13)