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Racer’s Factory Gloves Are Awesome, But Motion Knee 2s Rub Me The Wrong Way

Racer Motion Knee 2 and Factory Gloves
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Established in 1927, Racer is a long-standing brand. But I just recently became aware of them when they showed up at Crankworx Whistler. This year I got the offer to test their Motion Knee 2 pads and Factory Gloves, so I jumped at the chance to see if all that experience added up to top-notch products.

With a simple design, nice feeling materials, and a great fit, I absolutely fell in love with the Factory Gloves. At first look, I was very impressed with the design and construction of the Motion Knee 2 pads, but unfortunately pedaling in them proved problematic.

Racer Motion 2 Kneepads:

Racer Motion Knee 2, pair

Right away I thought the Motion Knee 2s looked like great pads. I liked the thickness of the knee protection and the flexibility of the D30 pad. I like the side zippers, as being able to put them on with your shoes already on is convenient. The Velcro adjusters on the top and bottom hems should ensure a snug fit even as the pads break in.

I was hoping the Motion Knee 2s would become new favorites, but unfortunately, they presented an issue with abrasions that made it impossible for me to pedal in… since that may not happen to everyone, let’s check out the Motion Knee 2’s construction.

Racer Motion Knee 2, D30 pad

Protecting your kneecap is a flexible D30 pad. The pad is on the thicker side to offer a good amount of protection, and is heavily cut out to allow air to flow through. The Motion Knee 2s offer Level 1 protection and are intended for trail, enduro, bike park, or DH use.

On the pads’ exterior, a thin piece of Rubbertec material covers the center of the knee to provide abrasion resistance. Three additional pads on the outer side of the leg provide extra protection for sensitive areas around the knee. 

Racer Motion Knee 2, inside

The pads’ main fabric is a perforated neoprene (called Airprene), and the backing fabric is a thin grid-style mesh. In addition to the Velcro closures, silicone grippers inside both hems help keep the pads from moving around.

Racer Motion Knee 2, zipper hood

The Motion Knee 2’s zippers get hoods to keep the pulls from touching your legs. There’s also a strip of fabric on the inside to prevent you from painfully zipping up leg hairs (which works!). The lower Velcro strap also sits over the top of the zipper pull, neatly holding it in place.

Ride Impressions:

Racer Motion Knee 2, on legs

The size small Motion Knee 2s fit me well – They are very snug, to the point that I have to zip them up on my shins, then pull them up over my knees. I didn’t get a ton of use out of them, but they haven’t stretched out at all so far. These pads cover a good portion of my leg; it’s not excessive, but I wouldn’t want them to be any longer on the top or bottom.

Racer Motion Knee 2, abrasion on leg

On my first ride with the Motion Knee 2s I had a serious issue with the backing fabric rubbing the underside of my left thigh, just above my knee. While my right leg fared perfectly well, about 15 minutes into a climb the left pad started rubbing very uncomfortably. Within 6-7 minutes of discomfort, the pad’s backing fabric had rubbed through my skin leaving a raw spot behind. It seems the fabric had bunched up in that area and was overlapping itself with every pedal stroke. I had to drop the pads onto my shins to continue climbing.

The next chance I gave the Motion Knee 2s was a day in the Whistler Bike Park. The pads fit quite snug without cinching down the Velcro adjusters, yet I did have to tug the top hems of the pads up several times. Doing so, I got through over three hours of riding without any abrasions on my legs. If the hems stay up, the backing fabric doesn’t bunch up and start rubbing uncomfortably. However, it doesn’t take much pedaling to create that abrasion…

Racer Motion Knee 2, SF, climbing

I gave the Motion Knee 2s two more chances on the trails and unfortunately had the same issue with the backing fabric rubbing. After both rides I came home with the same raw spot on the back of my left leg, but again my right leg was just fine. It seems as soon as the top hem slips downwards, the backing fabric will double over itself and create an abrasion point. As the fabric moves up and down with every pedal stroke, the problem becomes serious quite quickly.

Racer Motion Knee 2, fabric fold

It’s worth mentioning that my pads never moved very far on my legs, but the little bit they budged was enough to present this problem. The bottom hems don’t move at all, but even with a very snug fit, the tops do creep down a bit, especially with pedalling. After three test rides, I had to give up on pedaling in the Motion 2s.

Racer Motion Knee 2, SF, rock, sm

It was disappointing to have to stop riding these pads, as the only issue I had with them was this abrasion. Otherwise they were comfortable, and non-restrictive when pedaling, and I liked the thoughtful design and features. If for any reason other riders don’t experience the rubbing I did, I bet they’d love these pads. For me, however, not being able to pedal in them was a deal breaker.

The Motion Knee 2s sell for €129.95. Sizes S-XL are available in black only.

Factory Gloves:

Racer Factory Gloves, pair

Fortunately for Racer, their Factory Gloves are new favourites of mine! I immediately liked the high-end feel of the backside and palm materials, and their minimal construction. The main fabric is Lycra, which offers a wetsuit-like feel and has a little stretch to provide a conforming fit.

Racer Factory Gloves, backside

The Factory Gloves feature a one-piece lambskin leather palm and fingers, with perforations covering both areas for some airflow. The lambskin palm even extends to act as a pull tab at the wrist. The Lycra backing fabric is breathable, with a light silicone print for some aesthetic appeal and abrasion resistance. A thin mesh provides ventilation for the sides of the fingers, and there is a small soft nose wipe panel on the thumb. 

I’m wearing size medium (8) gloves, as Racer’s online size guide suggested, and they fit very well. The finger length is perfect for me, and the cuff is just long enough to cover my wrist. 

Racer Factory Gloves, palm

Ride Impressions:

After riding the Factory Gloves, I am loving the lambskin palm material. It is thin and smooth, but offers a tacky feel on your grips. On my first ride, I could hear the gloves peeling off my grips when I took my hands off the bars! The thin palm offers a very precise grip feel, and every square millimeter of it provides a nice degree of tackiness.

I also noticed the fingertips felt grippy on my brake levers, but somehow despite being tacky on the bike, the palm material doesn’t grab onto fabrics. These gloves slip in and out of pockets with ease!

Racer Factory Gloves, on bars

Although the cuff looks a bit bunchy in my photos, I never had any issues with the palms bunching up, or discovered any uncomfortable seams inside the Factory Gloves. The minor bunching on the cuff went totally unnoticed during rides.

Racer Factory Gloves, SF, rockroll

These gloves could easily be worn in a wide range of temperatures, but they’re not as cool as a mesh-backed pair. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them on really hot rides, but there are cooler options for when the mercury soars.

I’ve ridden plenty of different gloves now, and I’d easily say Racer’s Factory Gloves are my new favorites. Of the four pairs of gloves I’m currently testing, the Factory Gloves get picked up more than the rest. They look great, but it’s the tactile and tacky palms, soft-touch fabrics, and excellent fit that won me over.

Racer’s Factory Gloves are available in black or black/grey. They retail for €39.95 and come in sizes S-XXL (7-11).

racer1927.com

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Stephanie
6 months ago

Hello Steve!
Thank you very much for this review on our products and we are so glad to read that you love our factory gloves 🙂
As you know, at Racer 1927, we are committed to offering top of the line products and we are always looking to improve.
Concerning the knee pads you try, they have been tested by us, by our team of athletes and ambassadors and by many users. We never heard any negative feedback.
That’s why, after looking carefully at your pictures and reading your feedback, we believe that Motion Knee2 are not the most suitable knee pads for your body type and ergonomy.
However, in order to ensure our feelings and that the model you have tested does not present a problem (unfortunatly this can indeed happen despite all the care taken at each stage of production), our subsidiary in Canada will contact you shortly to organize a return for diagnosis but also to offer you to try a new model that would suit you best 🙂
Have a very nice day
Racer Team

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