Widely carried by the Cycle Gear stores in the US, UK manufacturer Frank Thomas has gained some market share in recent years. The Air Rage glove is a quality product with many great features that one would expect from the top manufacturers and is overall a good glove option for anyone looking for a hard armor glove.
The Frank Thomas Air Rage gloves have a thick cowhide top, supple kangaroo skin palm and composite knuckle armor for protection. The fingers have vents to encourage airflow and the palms have additional padding for comfort.
I decided on the Air Rage Gloves since they were the only armored gloves that came close to fitting me. Alpinestars makes a women's carbon glove now, but the fitment is wrong for my short fingered hand. After much searching I found the slightly smaller than most, men's small and purchased them. I have been happy enough with them that I will likely purchase the women's size of the new style for my next glove.
I purchased my Frank Thomas Air Rage Gloves in 2004 and have been happy with them overall. The 2005 model appears to have made some additional improvements on the design so I can only imagine that the product would be even better now.
The main improvement in my book is now they are offering this glove in women's sizes. Albeit that they only have two women's sizes, likely women with larger hands will be able to fit in one of the men's sizes. For those of us with small hands, the women's sizing is a godsend.
Unfortunately, the women's sizes were not available for me when I was purchasing so I went with a pair of men's small that are just a bit too big for me. So, on my gloves the size is the largest problem that I have but that isn't a statement to the quality of these gloves. This is a fine product made with fine materials.
The Air Rage is a gauntlet style glove that goes up past the wrist and is worn on the outside of the jacket. The wrist has two levels of adjustment with and inner Velcro and an outer Velcro strap. There is also a Velcro adjuster right at the wrist. Because mine are a little large when wearing them with thick jackets the glove tends to push forward on my hand which is a hassle.
The new design has molded air vents on the wrist but my older model has them just across the knuckles. This makes some improvement in circulation during warm weather. During the winter I wear these with a glove liner and I am able to ride with them year round as a result.
The outer shell of the glove is fairly sturdy leather, though I have definitely felt thicker. I would say that they are pretty average as far as weight. The seams are well constructed and after a year and a half I haven't lost any…about the only gloves I can say that for.
The kangaroo skin palm is nice, soft and comfortable. Kangaroo skin is a very delicate material, though and requires additional care. You have to soak these gloves from time to time to get the salt deposits from your sweat out or the kangaroo skin will deteriorate. Even with just a little wear I noticed that the kangaroo skin started absorbing the dye from the cowhide. My kangaroo skin is now a purplish color from the dye, instead of the crisp tan color that they picture.
The carbon knuckles are nice for protection but note that they are a fixed grouping across the top of the hand. If the fit on these isn't just right you can experience some pinching from this sort of armor design. I don't seem to have much trouble with mine except on very long rides.
These gloves are a quality item and come with a quality price tag. I paid $100 for mine but it looks like Cycle Gear is selling them for $89 now. They are more expensive than many glove but a nice product overall.
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