- The Far North - June 10, 2023
- Merlin Mahala Explorer Pro pants review - June 9, 2023
- Cheap Charlie motorcycle sock adventures - June 8, 2023
Not all reviews are going to be positive and this is a negative one so if that sort of thing annoys you then don’t read on.
I was not intending to buy gloves from this brand but the night before my recent Kaputa tour I discovered my summer Rough and Road gloves I thought were in one of the shipping boxes from Japan were in the two boxes stolen by Australia Post.
I could wear my mid season Gore-tex gloves in the cooler air next morning and then simply detoured into Mackay AMX Superstore mid morning.
Surprisingly for a shop located in the tropics they had just three pairs summer gloves to choose from once I told the shop assistant I wouldn’t touch Dainese or Alpinestars gloves again after throwing away their products so poor was the stitching. So of the three other pairs these appeared the best.
Visually they do look quite good, the design appeared to be similar to my RS Tachi summer gloves (also lost in shipping) which was the main reason I chose these over the other two candidates. The secondary reason was the sales girl said they were lined and I could see some sort of liner in the palm but had to take her word on the rest being lined. I still had to ride to Rockhampton that day so I did not spend all morning comparing like I normally would have.
First of all I soon realised they were not lined other than the palm. The stitching of the fingers and the leather there began to irritate me after just a couple of hours. If a maker is going to stitch the glove fingers inside then they better do it right or that stitching will irritate and that is the case with these (and my experience with gloves from the two Italian brands I mentioned)
I had no choice but to try break them in over the next three days as it was quite hot riding to Brisbane and in the Gold Coast hinterland. They flow air quite good but never became comfortable.
I then put them in my bag and switched back to my mid season gloves when riding the New England Tablelands which were like silk to wear in comparison and I did not return to these gloves until the final day when reentering the northern tropics.
Here is what they look when I got home. Just 4 days of use.
The knuckle has disintegrated revealing a bit of plastic mesh that you think is steel mesh through the vent holes. Can you imagine what poor quality other Dryrider gear must be if this is their premium shorty glove costing $99.
I took them back to my local AMX superstore and they were very good about it and replaced them with another identical pair. I put that pair for sale on Facebook marketplace unused and got half my money back.
Serves me right of course. I should have checked all my gear well in advance and had time to order decent gloves online before I left but as I have said before that song ‘I’ve done all the dumb things‘ was written about me.
I am not able to import the Rough and Road coolmax lined gloves Aus Post stole as they are no longer made but I have ordered what I think will be a very good summer glove and will review once I have used them – hopefully very soon on a northern ride.
The quality of this product is dreadful and disappointing to put it mildly but not surprising sadly to me. One of the banes of modern life is what I would call “bullshit brands”. These are companies that purport to make a product with a certain function and charge as though they are but in reality it is bullshit and the product is junk made as cheaply as possible so they can make an undeserved profit. Often these products will say something like “Australian owned” or “Designed in the USA/Germany/UK” etc etc. when in reality they are cheaply made tat that the company buys from some no name Chinese manufacturer by the container load at a trade fair. One of the skills of modern life is to find the genuine companies that do actually provide good quality and value and avoid the bullshitters. They do exist (Nolan is an example in my experience) and it is very satisfying to me at least to find and then support those businesses that do work hard to provide real value. A further complication is that previously decent brands often give in to the temptation of a quick buck and go down the bullshit route and we often do not discover this until too late after we have made an expensive purchase. This has happened to me a number of times to my exasperation. I appreciate honest reviews like yours to help me keep up to date on the good, bad and the downright ugly.
Yes I continue to find Nolan helmets to be quite good. My third Nolan is as well made and finished as my first and is still made in Italy.
One brand that falls into that ‘bullshit’ category (in my experience) is Alpinestars which many riders rely on. My friend in Poland has business repairing rider gear and she has shown me photos of their suits that burst apart in a modest slide due to low quality materials and stitching. My experience with their gear it was good in the 90’s but then it changed.
You are right, an important skill now is seeing beyond the marketing BS that sponsorships, social media and youtubers spam at us endlessly.
A lot of the problem is poorly managed outsourcing I suspect. Some companies are good at this and some are not. I suspect Alpinestars might be an example of the latter. I notice that they manufacture in Croatia, China and Vietnam. Probably back in the day they were a genuine brand made in Italy but now living off past glories and poorly made in a contract factory in the third world somewhere. It is how they manage the contractors. Some companies are good at this and can maintain quality across many plants and countries but many cannot. I know people involved in this line of work and it is very difficult. Alpinestars at least still appear to be family owned. The other killer is when they get taken over by private equity.
Can’t agree more, Dririder is and has always been rubbish, as is RJays. On the glove front though I have had a pair of A*s SP8 summer gloves for 9 years and found them to be very good. I replaced them with the latest version last year and they do seem solidly made but I am alternating between the old and the new set depending which is closer to hand.
As for leather riding gear I might look at a Ricondi 2 piece suit in the near future (I seem to be getting too large for my old Rivet suit). It seems to be decently made, even if it is made in Asia. They seem to be doing quite a bit of other kit as well. Might be worth a look?
Oh that is nice to know about the Alpinestars gloves Dave.
I actually have a original made in Italy Alpinestars jacket. It is a quality leather jacket still in good condition now 28 years old that a friend uses.
So I had a soft spot for the company but they let me down later with their Andes suit which literally fell apart and I threw in the bin.
I think with proper QC things can be made anywhere. Honda build cars and bikes in Thailand to a Japanese standard.
Perhaps I am being harsh on Dryrider and Alpinestars, but all I can do is go on what I have experienced.
No, you are correct about Dririder and possibly about A*. One can’t base future quality/fit-for-purposeness on past experience with a brand these days, unfortunately. You have to very carefully examine expensive products these days.🤨
No arguments here. Dririder is low quality at best. I’ll be looking for a proper adventure suit very soon and ditching the dririder gear.