by Amanda Richter
According to Royal Racing, “The over riding aim with this and all our gloves is fit and performance. Each material is chosen to compliment the others to create a great fitting, light, and durable glove.” How do the Core gloves stack up to this goal? Let’s find out…
Women’s Core Glove Highlights
- Corded Nylon back of hand fabric
- Micro fibre thumb wipe
- Index finger silicone grippers
- 2/2 Mesh fourcettes
- Direct inject pull tab on palm
- 0.8mm Royal custom specced synthetic leather palm
- MSRP $24.95
These gloves are thin and light, no denying that. I couldn’t help but wonder about their ability to withstand even my first few rides. But I really liked that the backs of the hands were almost fully vented. This would be nice since they are black and gray. Off the top of the bat I did notice that they were maybe a little baggy in the palm but the fingers were perfect for me. Time to see how they would measure up both in terms of fit and performance on the trail.
On The Trail
The Core gloves are way more burly than they let on. The synthetic leather palms provide great grip and feel on the bars. They don’t have any padding on the palms but I didn’t notice any discomfort and I feel confident they would hold together in crash. The venting on the backs of the hand provides so much airflow that these are not the gloves you want on a chilly day. While the venting is nice on average to warm days, it certainly doesn’t provide any protection against hitting branches or bushes. That might be worth keeping in mind if you are worried about whacking your knuckles. An added bonus is the super soft micro fiber wipe on the thumbs.
The fit of the gloves was a little questionable for the first few rides. The palms were slightly baggy and they got a little bunched up. However, this was helped immensely after the first round of washing and drying. I attribute a lot of the bunching to the gloves not yet being broken in as the palms were a bit stiff at first. This slightly loose fit in the palm did seem a bit weird since the fingers fit perfectly and I have never had this fit issue with other gloves I have owned.
Things That Could Be Improved
My only complaint with these gloves was the initial baggy fit. For me personally the fingers fit just fine so I am not sure I could have gone down a size to try to remedy this issue. It would maybe be something to consider if you are between sizes. Also, if you are looking for a glove to provide more padding for the palm area, or more protection for the back of the hand, these might not be quite up to snuff for you, but that is not a criticism of the glove itself, rather something to keep in mind when choosing a type of glove in the first place.
Long Term Durability
As previously stated, the Core gloves are more burly than they look. They have held up quite well with an average of 4 rides a week for the last few months. There are a few snags from bushes on the lighter vented material but nothing that looks like it would be an issue down the road. The synthetic leather on the palms isn’t wearing down or balling up, which is a good sign. Also, the silicone gripper on the index/braking finger is still intact on both gloves. Overall they have stood up to the last few months of abuse surprisingly well, especially given how lightweight and thin they are.
What’s The Bottom Line?
Royal aims to focus on fit and performance with their gloves and overall I would say that they did a good job with the Core glove. While the fit was initially slightly off, it did stack up in regards to performance and durability. That said, I would have been more critical of the fit had it not been mostly corrected in the wash. If you are looking for a glove that offers more padding or protection, these might not be your cup of tea but as a lightweight XC/trail glove at a great price I would say check them out!
Visit www.royalracing.com for more details.
About The Reviewer
Amanda Richter fell in love with mountain bikes in 2005 after moving to Colorado and wanting to explore her new home. This love of riding, pushing her limits and exploring has taken her all over the US and even a few places internationally. It has motivated her to become a PMBI certified coach and personal trainer so that she can help people both on and off the bike. She has dabbled in racing downhill and XC and looks forward to more events and racing this coming season. While any day out on the bike is a good one, she is the most happy on anything that it challenging both uphill and down. Amanda recently moved out to Truckee where there is no snow this year but thankfully lots of new riding to explore!