Review (& Rant): Dainese SteelT Lady GlovesPosted: January 11, 2012
I love Dainese. I am a self-proclaimed Dainese gear ho. When I’m in the market for new motorcycle gear, I always check out what Dainese has to offer first. Heck, I drool over their gear even when I am not. I am awed by the quality of their products, their attention to detail, their commitment to research protective gear and its continuing development, their use of the latest tech. Il Dottore doesn’t look half bad in their stuff either… especially when viewed from the rear; …inside line in a turn, as he hangs a cheek off the hardware, dragging his kn…
Where was I? Oh, yeah… Dainese. Their stuff is so expensive, their price tags easily induce sticker shock, but the brand is considered one of the best in the industry.
Dainese = Quality. Always. Or so I thought.
I bought a pair of Dainese SteelT Lady gloves, which seem to be the women’s version of the men’s Full Metal Pro gloves, or a derivative of the design. At a $229 price point, I expected more than what I had.
The gloves felt well-made, are comfortable and looked to me like they would protect me in a crash. They have plenty of protection on the knuckles and the back of the hands. None in the palms. They did put some extra layers of extra thin leather in the contact zones.
I busted the seam on the inside of my right thumb a few weeks into using them regularly on the street. I didn’t do anything other than get on the throttle with that hand. No. Really.
I busted the seam on the inside of my left thumb during a low-speed lowside coming out of Turn 4 at the Nashville Superspeedway during my very first road race. Nothing a fashionable little piece of red duct tape couldn’t fix. There’s a reason racers call that stuff “200-mph tape”. 😉
I tore the left glove to pieces when I tucked the front end of my Beemer hauling 120-some miles into Turn 1 at Barber Motorsports Park. I had ample opportunity to test out the various friction coefficients of select parts of my body as I made my way down the hill sliding this way and that, flipping over the Indy strip and following my bike into the gravel trap.
I remember the exact moment the glove had worn through. It wasn’t but seconds after my premature get-off. I was on my stomach, sliding feet first, ahead of my bike down the hill. I felt an increasingly sharp pain in my left hand, and I tried to lift my arms off the pavement, but was unsuccessful. I remember wondering how far one would slide at triple-digit speeds and how long it would take. It didn’t seem like I was going to slow down anytime soon. Fortunately, I tumbled over onto my backside shortly thereafter.
I had a few bruises on my right thigh and leg. My ego suffered a blow. Other than that damned hand I was fine!
That was in May 2011. The injuries on my hand still hurt. I have a gnarly collection of scar tissue in two places. Great. I don’t think dudes dig scars, do they?
I make it a point not to buy women’s gloves anymore. Not from Dainese, not from any other manufacturer.
Fortunately, my Sidi Vertigo Lei boots and my Dainese Yu Lady one-piece leather suit are holding up to the abuse I throw at them on the track.
I really can’t understand why women’s gear must be inferior in quality to the men’s gear. It’s not just the gloves. I have heard other women complaining about the very same thing: how their female-specific gear came apart in a crash, while the men’s gear they were wearing did its job just fine. A lot of the lady riders out there who are fortunate enough to fit into men’s gear more often than not buy men’s gear for the higher quality and added protection.
Either the industry believes women to be invincible or they think we are not serious enough riders to warrant the same level of protection our male counterparts enjoy.
Screw variety, give us gear that freaking works as designed and fits.
And why in the hell are we paying the same as the guys when our gear is inferior to theirs? Last time I checked, inferiority came with a price break.
Sidi can do it with their boots! Why can’t Dainese do it with their gloves?