Cruisers are all about style and most cruiser gear — the good stuff anyhow — subscribes to that rationale. Performance is important - but not at the expense of aesthetics. Enter these Roland Sands Design Barfly gloves.

Enter Roland Sands Design. The gear/apparel arm of the famous builder’s company is busy producing what is, to my mind, the best motorcycle apparel going. It’s protective, comfortable, and looks and feels great.

So if you’re looking for a new costume for the superhero closet, you’d best keep shopping. If you’re in the market for flashy or colorful gear, there’s nothing to see here. If logos and brand names are your thing, then RSD’s apparel is simply not for you. This is vintage-inspired cruiser gear manufactured with contemporary techniques and materials, for the rider who wants to look fashionable as well as be protected. And the Barfly gloves are a welcome addition to the family.

Roland Sands Design Barfly Gloves top

The Gear

RSD’s Barfly gloves are made of the same supple cowhide as the brand’s fine leather riding jackets. With pre-curved fingers, reinforced palms and padded knuckles, they are ideal riding gloves, designed for all-day comfort and three-season wear.

The palms are reinforced in the crook between the thumb and forefinger, down the pads of the hand to the ring finger. Another reinforcing strip travels down the pinkie to the base of the hand, and features extra padding for comfort.

The wrist closure has an elastic band on the inside of the wrist and another on the back of the hand, above the hook-and-loop patch. The hook-and-loop closure provides a secure seal and a red perforated gusset is a nice contrasting touch. Flex material on the back of the fore- and middle fingers aids movement and provides a better feel for your levers, but with leather this soft, flexibility isn’t a concern.

RSD Barfly gloves are available in the Tobacco (brown) I tested, and also in Black and Sand (white). They range in size from Small to 2XL. It should be noted that RSD gloves favor American sizing; that is, they run a bit larger than European-fit gloves. I’m an average-sized guy, and a Large is just fine, thank you very much.

Roland Sands Design Barfly Gloves palm

The Good

The lynchpin of RSD’s apparel stems from its seamless blend of style and function. These are high quality gloves, and they look fabulous.

The quality of the cowhide is obvious on first touch, and after a season of riding and essentially exclusive use, my Barflys hardly revealed any wear at all — no popped stitches and virtually zero scuffs.

I also like that the fit is snug. The fingers aren’t overly long, like a lot of gloves.

Roland Sands Design Barfly Gloves top detail

The Bad

The perforation on the fingers and the backs of the hands seems superfluous; as is the case with most perforated leather, the effect is minimal.

And if that’s the worst thing one can say about the Barflys, you know they must be pretty great.

The Verdict

Describing the gloves, Roland boldly stated: “Every rider needs a great pair of all-around gloves.” With the Barflys, RSD has nailed that mission. Granted, with their perforated backs the Barflys are not made for extreme cold-weather riding, but the fleece inner liner combines with the leather outer to provide a soft yet solid barrier from the wind and cold that held up fine in chilly mountain passes. And they’re lightweight enough to have served me all summer long, from the beaches of California to Sturgis, the Grand Tetons, and beyond.

With a list price of $70.00 RSD’s Barfly gloves are a great bargain, considering the amount of use you will get out of them. “All-around,” indeed.

Roland Sands Design Barfly Gloves palm detail
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