Have you seen Internet ads pop up about Carvenal motorcycle gloves? In late August, 2022, Bennetts BikeSocial published the results of a months-long investigation that it did into the brand and its products. The ads, which frequently appear on the likes of Facebook and elsewhere, were seemingly inescapable at that time.
The initial investigation resulted in some rather sketchy findings. For one, these supposed ‘leather’ gloves are apparently actually made of polyurethane, frequently referred to as PU. While that may not be the best material to use for a pair of gloves, it’s not necessarily terrible to use PU in general. That said, you shouldn’t claim that it’s any type of animal hide product if that’s the case. Here in 2022, leather and PU do not offer the same abrasion resistance, nor share many other protective qualities.
For another, the CE certification document that the brand proudly displays on its website appears to be misleading, at best. It appears to skirt the idea of fraudulence by including, in extremely tiny text at the bottom, the following phrase: “The CE mark shown above is for reference only and does not indicate accreditation.” (Oh, so that’s supposed to be all right, then! Got it! </sarcasm>)
Earlier in 2022, Bennetts obtained the assistance of independent PPE expert Paul Varnsverry, who's also appeared in some previous Bennetts videos to examine bootleg motorcycle protective equipment in the past. He noted that the company that issued this certificate, Euro Assessments & Certification Limited, is one of several companies that appear to be online and selling fraudulent CE documentation to dodgy companies.
After completing its initial investigation. Bennetts and Varnsverry attempted to reach out to Carvenal, Euro Assessments, and Facebook, in an attempt to get any of them to put a stop to some part of this activity. Carvenal either didn’t respond, or blocked any attempts to communicate with it via Facebook.
Euro Assessments claimed they were contacting Carvenal to ask them to stop using this certificate, and said they were suspending it. However, if you take a look at its webpage as of October 20, 2022, it’s very much still visible—and if you didn’t know better and/or read it carefully, you might not suspect anything strange was going on. Facebook had no response to Bennetts, which isn’t terribly surprising.
Further digging into the companies issuing the certificates via British governmental public records (hooray for Companies House) found that one offers its services to register any Director of XXX Company at this address as long as you pay a fee. The other address is shared with over 3,000 other companies, which probably couldn’t appear sketchier if they tried (that is, assuming anyone researches any of them this far).
Even If They’re Not Certified, Are the Gloves Decent Quality?
When you buy a cheap piece of junk, you usually expect the kind of quality that comes with a cheap piece of junk. When you spend a little more, you expect better quality. Carvenal claims that its gloves usually retail at around $100—but some models currently retail for about $50 thanks to a supposed 50 percent off Black Month sale that’s apparently ongoing. (Other models are offered at higher prices at the time of writing.)
Since none of Bennetts’ attempts to do anything—including publishing their initial investigation in August—seem to have had any effect, they bought a pair of these gloves to see what they’re actually like. As you’ll see in the video, a simple tear test of the material between the fingers ripped the stitching apart with very little effort. Just imagine how well they’d perform in an actual crash!
While viewers can’t feel the quality of the gloves that Bennetts’ John Milbank tests in this video, he says the craftsmanship felt incredibly shoddy, even before he ripped them apart. They’re clearly not worth $100, or even $50—particularly when you can get your choice of actual CE-rated gloves from multiple reputable gear manufacturers for the same money.
Finally, Bennetts turned off the advertising on this video, because it wants to encourage as many riders to watch and spread the word about these gloves as possible. It stresses that it doesn’t personally care what gloves you buy, but it does want to help prevent fellow motorcyclists from getting ripped off and buying unsafe, misrepresented garbage.