I find myself doing a fair bit of off-road riding these days and the usually thick and extra-protective leather sport gloves I wear simply don’t cut it. The plan was to buy a pair of MX gloves, but I wanted something with a little more protection; and that’s when these caught my eye.
The Sambia is from Held, a highly regarded German gear manufacturer that commands premium prices for its product. These certainly aren’t cheap, but they have a number of features buoying the price tag. Held brands these as ‘Adventure’ gloves, and a good part of ADV riding is done on the street. In this regard, you get some lower palm protection with mildly padded Superfabric sliders that help absorb abrasion on tarmac. Further abrasion protection comes in a part-leather construction along the fingers and the area surrounding the comprehensive plastic knuckle guard. The ulna bone also gets a little protection via a rubber moulding around the outer cuff.
The fingers have externally stitched seams to enhance road comfort, but the big draw comes in the incorporation of a kangaroo-leather palm. This is something you usually see in much more expensive gloves. Kangaroo leather is much stronger, in terms of abrasion resistance, than cow or goat hide. This allows a thinner cut to be used, thus enhancing rider feel. The downside is that kangaroo leather gloves can wear out quickly due to the thinner cut, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that.
In terms of off-road comfort, large panels of mesh on the top of the fingers and behind the knuckle guard generate exceptional air flow – I’ve never ridden in cooler feeling gloves. Closure is provided by a small Velcro cuff and I’d liked to have seen something more secure here.
These gloves are super comfy, but I wouldn’t use them at high speeds on the road. Instead, I’d keep the sporty leather gloves for the highway work and switch to these when the off-road fun begins. Being so light and compact, they can easy be stowed away in a backpack. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a pair of urban or off-road gloves with higher protection levels than an MX glove, these are worth a look.
Price: Rs 7,499