If you didn’t know, we’re big fans of Racer gloves around here, having tested no less than five different models throughout the years. First, there was the Warm Up gloves, then the High Speed, the Stratos Goretex II, Sprint, the High Racer, and finally the Multitop 2. As you can see, we’ve gone through a few Racer gloves over the years, and for the most part, we’ve come away really happy with them. Though the name might say Racer, the Austrian company makes gloves for all different kinds of riding – and you certainly don’t need to be a racer to wear them.
With Racer’s latest glove – the Hi-Per – it certainly helps to be a racer. The third glove in Racer’s race glove lineup, the Hi-Per slots in between the flagship High Speed glove and the High Racer. At $259.99, the middle-tier price point puts it only ten bucks higher than the High Racer and 20 bucks below the High Speed.
All that is to say there really isn’t much separating any of the three race gloves from Racer. However, in the Hi-Per’s case, we start with the obligatory full-gauntlet design with kangaroo leather on the palms for maximum feel of the controls. Cow leather makes up the rest of the glove. In the critical palm area that’s prone to be one of the first things to hit the ground in a fall, you’ll find Knox SPS palm sliders. As you can guess from the name, the palm sliders enable the hand to glide across the pavement better than pure leather, reducing the risk of the hand catching and rolling in a way it shouldn’t.
Carbon fiber armor is used on the knuckles, fingers, and the wrist to protect those spots in the case of impact and road rash, while a perforated gauntlet and fingers allow air to pass through for better ventilation. The Hi-Per stays on your hand thanks to two velcro enclosures, and like nearly every race glove out there, the ring and little fingers are joined together to help reduce the chances of the little finger rolling under in a fall.
So far, if you’re up to speed on your track gloves, nothing I’ve written above is particularly groundbreaking. In fact, if anything, those features are ones we’ve come to expect from virtually every track glove. The secret sauce that Racer has somehow figured out is how to make a brand-new race glove feel like an old favorite the minute you put it on. Usually gloves need a little break-in period before they start to feel comfortable. With the Hi-Per, I’ve taken them straight from the packaging and hopped on a bike and never thought twice about the fact I was wearing brand new gloves. Sure the kangaroo palm feels very supple and little details like the tiny accordion panels on the fingers and back of the hand provide flexibility, but anybody who has put on a Racer glove, including the Hi-Per, will comment on just how comfortable they are right from the start.
On the bike the feeling is no different. You can feel every dimple from the grips, the knurls of the levers, everything. We don’t know how Racer does it, but it’s the reason why we keep coming back whenever we have glove needs. By nature of being ventilated race gloves, don’t expect them to keep your hands very warm when the temps are low. But I’ve worn them on track in 50º ambient temps, and it wasn’t too bad. This comes from a Southern California native.
The only thing I haven’t done with a set of Racer gloves is crash in them, and I don’t intend to start now. However, I have no reason to believe the Hi-Per will let me down should karma finally catch up to me. As for gripes, well, I really don’t have any. What more could you ask for from a race glove than to be comfortable, provide great feel, and come at a very reasonable price point? That said, I do know of people who have had seams come apart from normal riding. It’s not something I’ve personally experienced, and Racer has been excellent in rectifying the situation with these individuals. If anything, it would be nice if it came in more colors. Black, white, or white/red are rather limiting color choices. But at least they go with practically everything.
Just Get Them Already
If you’re the type with weird fingers and are never able to size yourself correctly the first time, Racer’s website has a detailed measurement chart to reference. And if you still aren’t sure, contacting them directly with your measurements will get you a live human being’s response and recommendations.
Shop for the Racer Hi-Per glove here
Racer Hi-Per FAQ
Are Racer gloves good?
We tend to think so. The review above will explain why. Other owners of Racer gloves tend to tell us the same.
Where are Racer gloves made?
Racer gloves are designed in Austria and are manufactured in China.
What are good racing gloves?
Good racing gloves are full gauntlet gloves, constructed from cowhide and sometimes contain kangaroo leather in strategic areas. At the very least you’ll find protectors over the knuckles and wrist. Unlike, say, gardening gloves, the fingers on racing gloves are slightly pre-curved for extra comfort and less binding while holding the bars. More expensive gloves may contain more armor, better ventilation, or use more exotic materials but the basics are the same.
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