No need to break the bank or your fingers with these sub-£100 gloves: MCN's Oxford Nexus 1.0 review

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Any motorcycle kit offering more than two attributes from the “affordable/protective/comfortable” pyramid demands a closer inspection, which is exactly why we’ve got these Oxford Nexus 1.0 gloves on test.

The safety bit is covered off by a CE Level 2 KP rating – more on this later, but it’s pretty rare to find a pair of gloves that exceeds the standard Level 1. Especially a pair costing under £100.

If you want top-spec protection for your hands without paying through the nose then on paper at least the Nexus 1.0 appears to be worth a look.

Tested by Adam Binnie for three months, 600 miles

Pros

  • CE Level 2 protection
  • Comfortable
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Not weatherproof
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Looks
    3.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Protection
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction 100% Aniline leather
Type Sports
CE rating Level 2 KP
Armour TPU Knuckle protection
  • Aramid reinforcement
  • Touchscreen compatible

Comfort

I think I must have very awkward-shaped hands because to me, the expression “fits like a glove” has always made about as much sense as “sleeping like a baby”. As in, not at all.

That said, Oxford gloves are usually about as close a shape as it gets for me and these follow suit – there’s no bunching up in the palm and external seams on the fingers means they’re long enough without any annoying overhanging material.

As such you get a great connection to the bike’s controls, with good feel through the palm and easy activation of fiddly indicator switches. The third and fourth finger are connected by a thin piece of leather to protect the latter in a crash but you honestly can’t feel it in normal use. In fact I’ve actually typed a fair bit of this review wearing them

Oxford Nexus gloves palm

They’re made entirely of high-quality aniline leather, which is incredibly soft and didn’t require any time to break-in. Inside there’s a plush lining with a moisture-wicking layer on the backs of the hands that feels a bit like silk.

There’s not a huge amount of ventilation, in fact it’s limited to some perforations down the sides of the fingers, but my hands were fine even on a hot summer’s day. Even so, these are three-season gloves rather than specific summer gloves.

The fingers come pre-shaped and feature accordion panels, which is also located behind the knuckle protector to improve stretch across the top of the hand. It doesn’t look like it from the outside but these feature a floating protector like the Oxford Brisbane gloves I’ve reviewed, which has huge impact on flexibility.

Looks

In terms of styling the Nexus has quite a sporty look – but not so much that it restricts them to just one type of motorcycle. They’re a bit more subtle than an out-and-out track-focussed glove, which you’ll either like or not.

Oxford Nexus gloves fingers

A greater consideration here is the fairly slim opening, and the bulky full cuff. I’ve struggled to get them to sit over any sleeve thicker than a leather race suit and they only tuck into a few of my textile jackets. Still, that’s the case with most full cuff gloves, in fairness.

Quality

Despite the soft feel of the leather the Nexus gloves feel built to last, with plenty of reinforcement around the high wear areas.

I’ve pulled the fingers apart really hard and there’s zero bulging or movement around the seams, even in the somewhat vulnerable-looking material connecting the third and fourth finger.

There are two hook-and-loop closures so you can tailor the fit and the component parts of these feel absolutely rock solid, and there’s no annoying loose interior fabric to pull out either.

Protection

The main selling point of these gloves is that Level 2 KP rating, and Oxford’s marketing material boasts the advantage of this extra protection, namely its five second palm abrasion resistance (vs 1.5 on a Level 1 glove) as well as 40Nm palm tear strength (vs 25Nm) and double minimum seam strength (12Nm vs 6Nm).

Oxford Nexus gloves protection

This is achieved by the placement of Aramid reinforcement panels, a thermoplastic knuckle protector, and a thermoplastic rubber logo on the back of the cuff.

Everywhere you look there are little bits of armour, including at the base of the palm and an additional plastic shield near the wrist, which is the bit you’re likely to put down on the ground first.

Overall they make me feel pretty confident and protected – in fact they make my other gloves feel a bit basic.

Value

If protection is your main concern then the Oxford Nexus 1.0 is superb value for money – it costs about the same as the RST Tractech Evo 4, which is only rated to CE Level 1. Same goes for the Alpinestars SP-8 V3 and Held Race-Tex, although the latter is waterproof.

Verdict

No pair of gloves is going to make you invincible in a crash (save perhaps for a pair of titanium gauntlets) and in reality, there’s always going to be a trade-off between protection and usability.

Just like you wouldn’t be able to safely ride in those metal gauntlets, a pair of overly bulky or restrictive leather gloves can reduce your ability to control the bike, or at the very least your confidence.

Oxford Nexus gloves knuckle protector

These Oxford Nexus 1.0 gloves are a pretty perfect balance – thin in the right areas, and sturdy in others, at a price where rivals are offering lowlier Level 1 protection.

A waterproof membrane would open them up to an extended riding season, while those of you with hotter hands might want more ventilation on the warmest days of the year. Otherwise I don’t have a bad word to say about them.

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