There's nothing like a bit of Knog for igniting the old form over function debate amongst cyclists, yes their stuff does look really cool, but does it actually do what it's supposed to? These long finger Ride Hard gloves don't buck that trend.
They're made of fine grain goat skin, which is lovely and soft although the seams are quite intrusive on the fingertips and along the side of the hand - we found the same with the Knog's Love Hate mitts. They might flatten down with use, but if most of your riding is of the short haul urban variety, then you're going to have to spend a lot of time playing bike polo or running alleycat races to break them in. Padding is almost non-existent with just the grippy suede palm pads providing a little extra cushioning, although riding on the drops this wasn't such a big deal. They won't keep you very warm either although the leather is wind resistant and breathable - these are very much spring/summer items in that respect.
White is never a good colour for any bike wear and these have already started to acquire a patina of dirt. They are available in black though, which is a better bet. The cuffs fasten with some of the weediest looking velcro I've ever set eyes on, which doesn't inspire confidence in their longevity.
Here's the rub with the Ride Hards, for most people they are actually going to be a hard ride on their hands those seams and the lack of padding will take a lot of getting used to. If though you are one of those people that really lives in the saddle they might well suit - many elites and pros use very minimally padded gloves, put enough miles in and you grow your own padding in the form of calluses and they don't move either. That's certainly the way it went with the Knog leather mitts we tested although even then the seams still dug in a bit.
So, if you're an ultra-mile munching hard riding pro, or you think style is worth suffering for these could be the gloves for you.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Knog Ride Hard gloves
Size tested: L
Did you enjoy using the product? Well I enjoyed looking at them
Would you consider buying the product? I'd slug it out with my inner fashion victim… but he's such a wuss
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Hmmm, maybe
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,