by Andy Shiu
Lake Forest (IL) Police Department
Upon graduating from the IPMBA Police Cyclist Course many years ago, one of the first presents I purchased for myself were bike gloves. After all, who doesn’t want a pair of fingerless gloves emblazoned with “POLICE” on the knuckles? I went through many sets of “bike gloves” over the years, eventually settling for a pair of fingerless workout gym gloves. I was frustrated by the poor craftsmanship of the gloves out there. The “top-of-the-line” at that time wore out on me – with the stitching on the palms coming loose after the first few times riding. Others fell apart over time, or were well-padded for riding but too bulky for firearms manipulation.
Most recently, I’ve had the opportunity to use and review another fine Blauer product, the Rumble Bike Gloves. I wore these gloves literally every day I could. Riding days, firearms training days, defensive tactics training days and during BRT training/deployments. I couldn’t beat these things up enough. In fact, I’ve only had ONE issue with them. I wore them so much that the Velcro strap on one glove finally broke when I was putting them on during a bike detail, but the gloves still work flawlessly otherwise.
The first of many things I look for in a patrol bike glove is versatility. Will it help me maintain control of my bike, resist impact, and yet allow me to manipulate people or deploy firearms? Will I be able to maintain tactile feeling? Are they padded too much or not enough? How will they withstand the sudden jerking and torque while dealing with a suspect who is actively resisting? Do they offer any protection while searching suspects? These Blauer gloves are a resounding YES all the way around.
Now granted, wearing bike gloves to search suspects isn’t necessarily the best idea. Gloves lined with Kevlar or another protective lining are preferable. However, if necessary, the long-fingered Rumble bike gloves can double as tactile yet effective searching tools while protecting your hands. I wore them this past winter while searching a pair of suspects. With no loss of dexterity, I found drug-related evidence/sharp objects in their pockets. I’ve also used both the short- and long-fingered gloves during my Department’s rigorous defensive tactics and firearms instruction programs; they protect the hands without sacrificing tactile feeling. Given the use of items mounted not only on belts but also on MOLLE body armor carriers, dexterity while wearing gloves proves to be very important. Blauer Rumble bike gloves allow for critical manipulation while maintaining officer safety.
Another feature I look for in any police equipment, not just gloves, is durability. Will it work every day I put it to use? After each use – shift, BRT, or training deployment – literally every time I took these Blauer gloves off my hands – I inspected them closely. Although they usually had dirt on them, there were no tears, loose, or frayed stitching. They were perfect for everyday use and comfort.
So there you have it. Aside from a Velcro strap, the Blauer Rumble brand bike gloves have been ideal. When used solely used as a bike-riding tool, they fit the bill perfectly. However, they are capable of so much more. Give them a try! You won’t be disappointed.
Officer Andy L. Shiu is a 16-year police officer with the Lake Forest (IL) Police Department. He is IPMBA-certified as a Police Cyclist and as a Bicycle Response Team rider. He specializes in defensive tactics and firearms instruction. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(C) 2017 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of IPMBA News.