Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow
Royal Racing has put a lot of work into its glove range over the past few years, and there’s a pretty impressive selection on offer from the UK-based outfitters today. For 2014 there’s a brand new model in the catalog, and given the spec we were eager to try it out. Here’s our report after a good couple of months of trail time with the Quantum glove.
Royal Racing Quantum Glove Highlights
- 0.75mm AX perforated stretch palm material
- Minimal cuff closure with expander v panel
- Aggressive ergonomic pre-curving to avoid bunching
- Microfiber thumb wipe
- Lycra fourchettes
- Technical knit mesh back of hand material
- Unique wrap around one piece palm/seamless finger tips
- MSRP $34.95
You can call a glove a glove, but in truth, the glove is a crucial part of the riding experience. Get it wrong and you could quickly find yourself lacking comfort, grip, or both. Looking over the Quantum glove it soon become clear that Royal put all their know-how and experience into its design. Fitting in between the ultra-lightweight Signature glove and the more robust Victory glove, the Quantum looks to offer everything you need in a glove and nothing you don’t.
The first time we tried on the Quantum, we were taken aback by what we thought might be a defect. The glove is very aggressively pre-curved, to the point where it really strains against the fingertips when you try to straighten out your fingers – we thought we’d gotten on hands on (and in!) a pre-production Monday morning sample with funky sizing. That was until we realized that the Quantum was designed this way on purpose and with good reason…
Continuing our inspection of the Quantum, we found lots of well-executed details and a generally very high level of workmanship on display. Another stand-out feature that caught our eye early on was the wrap-around fingertip design – the palm side material extends from the palm area all the way along the fingers and around the tip, which does away with the traditional fingertip seam. Having had many gloves pop open at precisely this seam or present a generally bulky feeling in the fingertip area, this appeared like a step in the right direction. Note that the braking fingers lack any kind of rubber or silicone grippers often found on many other gloves, including some from Royal.
The back of the hand features a very thin mesh fabric, and the glove is held in place by an equally minimalist Velcro strap on the cuff. A thin microfiber thumb wipe is provided for your sweaty brows and runny noses.
On The Trail
The first time we gripped a bar with the Quantum, it became obvious that the heavily pre-formed shape was going to work really well for riding. It allows a snug feeling on the grip, with a lot of feedback and without any bulking up of excessive material. It stays very comfortable throughout the day, and due to its lightweight and breathable design, you soon forgot you’re wearing it. Even after several washes, the palm area remains soft and does not cause chafing or other discomfort.
In terms of protection, the palm area is one step up from the thinnest glove on offer from Royal. For such a lightweight glove it is fairly robust. Many long rides, impromptu trail work and less graceful dismounts have all failed to leave much of a mark on the palm side material over the two months we’ve been riding with the Quantums. The lack of silicone grippers on the brake fingers had us a little concerned at first, but that turned out to be non-founded as we never found ourselves wanting more grip on the levers - they usually just fall off after a few rides anyway. The gloves also work well both in the dry and in the wet.
As for the back of the hand, there is little to no protection on offer. The material used is thin and breathable, which translates to not a lot standing between you and the menacing protrusions of foliage that lay in ambush behind every turn. If you have a penchant for bushwhacking, you’d do better to go for something with more protection in this area. In keeping with the rest of the glove, the snot/sweat wipe thumb area is also thin, so it tends to become soaked fairly quickly if you are of the perspiring persuasion. It is effective enough to keep using even after it’s drenched though.
Things That Could Be Improved
There is not a lot we can find to complain about on the Quantum. The Velcro-equipped rubber strap on the cuff is a little bit stiff, and because it is so small, it doesn’t latch on all that securely. This did not translate to any real issues in use, but is worth pointing out. The sweat wipe material on the thumb area could also be made a bit thicker and perhaps also softer.
Long Term Durability
In terms of longevity, after two months of intensive testing, there are no alarm signals going off. No loose threads, the graphics are still hanging on, and the palm side material is showing almost no signs of wear at all. We have no doubt these will provide many more months of loyal service, which is great given how well they perform on the trail.
What’s The Bottom Line?
There was a lot of thought put into the Quantum gloves, and it has certainly paid off. The very aggressive pre-curved shape took us by surprise at first, but we were completely won over to the concept after just one ride. These are certainly among the most comfortable gloves we have ridden in. The design is meant to be minimalistic, but the gloves are made with great attention to detail and come with plenty of innovative features. If you like your gloves thin but still up for months of hard riding, take a good look at the Quantum.
Check out www.royalracing.com for more information.
About The Reviewer
Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.