Home > REVIEWS > GEAR > All a-tingle

All a-tingle

By Ernie Copper

Qwi Nerve Protection Sport Motorcycle Gloves

Etsuko LLC

$99, Sizes XXS–XXL
877.Qwi.Hand (794.4263) or 870.762.8075

I think almost everyone who has ridden has had or heard of numbness in the hands. Counting myself among them, I was eager to try Qwi’s Nerve Protection Sport Motorcycle gloves. Qwi manufactures their gloves in nine different styles ranging from partial fingered gloves to these gauntleted sport gloves. They also make gloves offering similar solutions for driving and bicycling.

First, let’s look at the science behind the gloves. Dr. Joseph A.Yao, the orthopedic surgeon behind the design of Qwi gloves, believes numbness to be caused by pressure and vibration on two major hand nerves—the median and ulnar nerves. Conventional gloves pad the palms of the hands directly over these nerves. According to Qwi, grip-related pressure and vibration are then transferred directly to the underlying nerves, contributing to pain and numbness. Qwi diverts this pressure and vibration through U-shaped, solid gel, nerve protection pads. These pads create a space for the nerves to live in, minimizing pressure and vibration. Think of it as Qwi’s padding creating a “nerve conduit” keeping pressure at bay.

Understanding that theory, I was eager to take a trip of some distance to test the gloves. I had a trip on the PA Turnpike of about 250 miles each way coming up. I’m not a big fan of The Pike, particularly from Pittsburgh to Breezewood. The curves and mountains would be great if it weren’t for the truck traffic, lack of run-off and concrete Jersey barriers separating the oncoming traffic. I figured this lack of “space cushion” should create enough stress on my part to promote a little white-knuckle gripping, and give the Qwi’s science a good test.

The gloves are comfortable to wear once your hand slides past the seam that attaches the lower edge of the gauntlet to the body of the glove. That area is a little tight, even with the strap totally unhooked. Once your hand is in, you can tighten the wrist strap with its reflective strip and hook-and-loop fasteners and the non-reflective gauntlet strap to suit your comfort. The padded area on the back of the hand also has four tasteful, reflective piping stripes. The gloves are supple and comfortable right from the package.

On the road, the “U” pad takes some getting used to. My initial impression was that it increased the diameter of my grips, thus discouraging me from grabbing too tightly. Think about it—if your bars were 4″ in diameter instead of 7/8″ to 1-1/4″, it’d be difficult to hang on to them too tightly. I felt the U-shaped pad encouraged me to relax my grip, in addition to allowing my nerves to live un-pinched, while allowing me to maintain a good grip and good control of the bike. After 250 miles I arrived at the tollbooth with full dexterity, able to dig out my money and exchange my ticket with ease. The return trip was equally pleasant both during and after the ride. I’d have to say they perform as advertised and accomplished their task of allowing me to ride tingle-free.

The gloves are designed with other rider-friendly features, including pre-curved fingers, rubber visor wiper on the left index finger, and extended gauntlets, big enough to accommodate your jacket sleeves. They are constructed of two layers of cow leather, except for the bottoms of the fingers—just a single layer here to allow for better feel. There is impact-absorbing closed-cell foam of varying thicknesses throughout the glove and the seams are all internal to protect from seam blowout in the event of a crash.

The absence of Kevlar, carbon fiber or other hard armor on the Qwi glove belies its Sport Glove moniker. Most sport bike gloves today bristle with armor. The U-shaped palm pad does extend substantially toward the bottom of the palm and would offer some additional protection in the event of a crash, but Qwi is largely counting on the leather as the line of defense if things go badly for the wearer. They believe the risk of injury from armor piercing the leather outweighs any potential benefits.

My Qwi gloves are well made and comfortable to wear during the summer and fall in a variety of temperatures and weather conditions. If you’re tired of numbness in your fingers, I’d recommend trying a pair of Qwi’s motorcycle gloves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *