New motorcycle gear is always eagerly anticipated, especially here at Demon Tweeks. Just like news of a brand new bike, new motorcycle clothing fills us with excitement and we can’t wait for the first sample to come in so that we can get out and road test them. New leathers, a new helmet, some boots – it doesn’t matter – and that was definitely the case when it came to the latest pair of gloves from Knox.
Knox Handroid and Handroid Pod’s have been around for a few years now and have proven to be immensely popular with riders from many different disciplines; so when we got wind of the 2019 MKIV versions coming out we couldn’t wait to get out and test them. So, without further ado, here’s what we thought:
Who are Knox?
For anyone who hasn’t heard of the brand before, Knox is a British designer and manufacturer of innovative motorcycle body armour and apparel with headquarters and a manufacturing facility based in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria. Founded in 1981 by Geoff Travell (who still leads the business today), who was a young motorcycle racer competing in a world where body armour just didn’t exist. Enter the lightbulb moment!
From the very first Back Protector released in 1982, Knox have always stayed true to their roots and have continued to push the boundaries and produce some of the most innovative motorcycle gloves, body armour and apparel available today with the same dedication and passion as was there at the start.
What are the Knox Handroid Pod MKIV Gloves all about?
The headline is that the Knox Handroid Pod MKIV gloves are a short cuff version of the award-winning full length Handroid gloves, so the shorter cuff makes them ideal for the road or urban rider. Instantly recognisable thanks to the exoskeleton spines on the fingers and the Boa “dial”, but there is so much more to these gloves than initially meets the eye.
Firstly, the main body is constructed from a lightweight 0.8mm drum dyed Korean leather which gives a soft, supple feel. This is further enhanced with the inclusion of sustainable 0.8mm Kangaroo leather on the palm and fingers as it offers superior strength and an enhanced feel in the critical areas. Staying on the palm area, the gloves also feature Knox’s patented Scaphoid Protection System (SPS), which offers enhanced protection of the scaphoid bone (an area which is incredibly prone to injury in the event of a motorcycle accident), and is not seen on many other motorcycle gloves.
Notably though, this SPS system also incorporates another patented Knox product in the form of their Micro-Lock material (an unbelievable material that is super soft and flexible, but then locks on impact, and is now used in a lot of Knox products).
Externally there are several stand out features. Firstly, the striking exoskeleton spines on the fingers which have been present in all incarnations of the Knox Handroid gloves over the last decade. Designed to offer increased protection for the fingers and knuckles, the latest version now has a much lower profile, a softer feel and are more aerodynamic. Next, all the high points on the gloves have been updated with smooth slick mouldings made from a strong durable TPU and there’s also a metacarpal protector covering the back of the hand that houses a gel pad that offers fantastic impact absorption. The final standout feature is the retention system. Like the exoskeleton spines, the Boa “dial” system has been present on all versions of the Handroid gloves, offering a simple yet very effective one-handed method of tightening and releasing the retention of the gloves.
The safety features speak for themselves, but as with all new motorcycle gloves and protection put on the market now, they must go through a rigorous CE approval process to test things like abrasion resistance, tear strength, impact resistance and dexterity. Needless to say, the Handroid Pod MKIV passed with flying colours!
Ok so they talk the talk, but do they walk the walk?
I’m quite fortunate that I get to test and try many of the products we sell which as well as being a great perk, also offers valuable insight into the real-world performance of a product. I have to be honest though, gloves is one area I’ve not had a desire to change as I’ve been using the same pair of gloves for the last three years and I didn’t think they could be bettered, that was until about a six weeks ago…
After being around Knox products and the Handroid’s for the last few years I’d always wondered what they would be like to use, so with the release of the MKIV for 2019 I decided to buy myself a pair (yes, I bought them with my own money!). Most of my riding is commuting and relatively short distance rides at the weekend so for me personally, my priorities (after safety) are comfort, a minimalistic feel and a shorter cuff that slips seamlessly under the sleeve of my jacket – and straight away the Pod’s tick all those boxes. You look at pictures and think they look bulky, but they’re not! For me the overwhelming feeling when I put them on is quality, they just feel such a quality product on your hands.
As I’m sure with most people when they see thee Handroid’s, the one thing I was really intrigued by was the exoskeleton spines on the fingers, were they going to give a restricted movement? Would they make the gloves feel bulky on your hands? No and no! Honestly once you’ve got the gloves on you forget they’re there. The freedom of movement is unrestricted, and they certainly don’t pose any notable bulky feeling. The feeling they give me more than anything else is one of protection. They just give you an additional level of reassurance that I’ve never felt with any other gloves.
Also, on the protection front, the SPS system on the palm gives you increased confidence. It’s such a clever idea and as with the whole glove feels well thought out and designed, but for me the cherry on the cake is the little slither of yellow you see as this tells me that the Micro-Lock material is present.
Without going into too much detail here, seriously, Micro-Lock is a game changer! Super soft to the touch (it makes wearing riding jeans through the day much more practical for example), but make no mistake, upon impact the material will offer unbelievable protection.
The final thing that’s struck me on the Pod’s is the Boa retention system. Any motorcyclist will know the struggle that comes with certain gloves trying to tighten up various Velcro straps when you’ve got a glove on the other hand. Well no more! The Boa system is simply awesome. Once you’ve put the glove on, simply push the dial down and twist to your desired tension. To release, simply pop the dial back up and slip the glove off. I was slightly concerned that the dial would get caught on my sleeve and be a nuisance whilst riding, but it’s not. It’s such a stream line design that once dialled in, the sleeve slides over the cuff seamlessly.
Whether you prefer a conventional sports style long cuff glove or a shorter cuff like me, the good news is Knox can cater for both tastes with the exact same quality, feel and feature set. If you’re in the market for a new pair of motorcycle gloves (or even if you don’t really need them, can you really ever have too much motorcycle gear?), then I’d strongly recommend considering a pair of Knox Handroid or Handroid Pod MKIV gloves. Be sure to check out the rest of the Knox range too!