When I was looking for products to bump me up to Walmart.com’s free shipping threshhold, I came across the Chase Ergonomics Decade Street Motorcycle Gloves. At around $25, they are very reasonably priced and on paper offered a fair amount of protection and comfort. I’ve been pleased with the saddlebags and tank bag I purchased from Walmart, so I figured I’d see if these gloves were worthwhile.
I normally wear Sedici Ultimo Race Gloves (check out my review) which are a double cuff closure, full gauntlet style, leather gloves. I like them a lot. They are very comfortable, fit well, and protected me in my recent crash. Unfortunately, I’ve had to get them replaced twice due to the velcro wrist straps coming apart at the seam. Sedici (a house brand of Cycle Gear) has a lifetime warranty on their gloves, and Cycle Gear has been great about replacing them both times. But it’s annoying to have to make a trip to the store to get them replaced, even if it is at no charge. My second replacement is now experiencing the exact same issue in the exact same spot, so I need to exchange them for a third time. There is clearly a design flaw in the wrist strap. Hopefully, the manufacturer will take a look at that in future versions of the glove.
Anyway, I digress…. Back to the Walmart gloves!
The materials specified in the product description are pretty good. Double-stitched goatskin leather, hard knuckle protectors, gel padding in the palm and wrist, and slight pre-curve. The stitching looked pretty good, and the armor is well placed except for the pinkie.
Well-amored gloves usually reinforce the side of the pinkie with a full piece of leather running the length of the finger. The Decade gloves do not do this; instead, you have spandex material on the majority of the pinkie, which would not be super protective in a slide on pavement or gravel. I know this to be important after seeing the areas on my glove that were damaged when I crashed. The velcro strap on the cuff is far too short to secure the glove to my arm. With only a cinched wrist instead of a strap, I wouldn’t trust these gloves to stay on in a serious tumble.
Fit & Comfort
The gloves are offered in size M/L or L/XL. I am normally a size medium in men’s gloves (Alpinestars, Olympia, Sedici), so I ordered the M/L. The Decade gloves fit more like a large than a medium. The hand area is very wide and roomy, so when I wrap my hand around the throttle, excess material in the palm–especially between the thumb and first finger–bunches up, interfering with precision control. The gloves did feel like they had a good balance of protection and flexibility (not too rigid, not too floppy).
I think the Decade street gloves would be okay for a passenger over short distances at moderate speeds (40-50 mph). For $25, these gloves appear to offer more protection than similarly priced brand name gloves. However, if you travel longer distances or ride at faster speeds together, I would really recommend going with a more protective, higher quality glove for your passenger. If all you have is $25 and not a penny more, then I think these gloves are a better choice than the $25 “Mechanix” glove I see many riders wear. And they’re definitely better than no gloves at all!
I’m not dinging the Decade gloves for this, but the pair I received in the mail were covered in dust and had pieces of straw stuck to the fabric part of the wrist. I’m not sure if they were a previous return, or if they were just stored in a bird’s nest. Once I cleaned them up, the gloves themselves appeared to be in good condition.
I’m going to return these as they just aren’t what I was looking for. I could overlook some of the shortcomings, but the sizing is a real problem and is also the reason I’m not giving them a third bike. “Street Motorcycle Gloves” need to be individually-sized not M/L or L/XL. The Decade street gloves might be worth a look for a passenger if you’re in the market for a protective but not pricey glove.