Having the best cycling hand gloves is equally as important as wearing a helmet or bib shorts. As your gloves make direct contact with the bicycle, they do much more than offering a good grip while riding.
Below is our definitive guide on buying the right cycling gloves. But first, let’s have a look at the benefits of wearing the best cycling gloves.
Benefits of wearing the best cycling hand gloves:
The best cycling gloves come with extra padding at the palms. This offers comfort that makes it easy for riders to ride for hours
- A good pair of cycling gloves will protect you in case you have a fall
- Gloves will also protect you from the cold by keeping them warm
- The best cycling gloves come with a small towel built in at the base of your thumb finger. This can be useful to wipe off the sweat while cycling
- They also reduce the friction between your hands and handlebars, which could otherwise cause blisters
- Good cycling gloves will dampen vibrations which might cause hand/finger numbness
- Reduce pressure on your ulnar nerve, which also causes numbness
What to look for while buying the best cycling hand gloves?
Before you get down to buying the best gloves for yourself decide what kind of riding you are into and what kind of weather you will be riding in. Then, choose your cycling gloves accordingly.
Big manufacturers consider the following factors while designing a pair of cycling gloves:-
- Grip and warmth
Breathability is basically the ability of cycling gloves to allow water vapour to escape. If the gloves are not going to let water vapour escape, it will get trapped next to the skin where it becomes clammy and cold. Gloves that let your skin breathe will keep your skin dry and at optimum temperature
This term is pretty common when it comes to buying a cycling jersey, shorts and even cycling gloves. Wicking is the ability of the fabric to draw sweat away from the skin to the surface of the fabric, where it will easily evaporate.
These days, you are likely to get gloves that are waterproof. Cycling gloves with a waterproof membrane help to keep your hands dry in inclement weather.
When you are looking for waterproofing, ensure to keeping in mind that they could impact on the breathability of the fabric. Hence, they are not ideal to wear during hot weather conditions.
Remember, different cycling gloves will offer a different level of protection. The full-finger gloves will provide full protection to your hands while half finger gloves will only protect your palm in the event of a crash.
A good grip is an important factor to consider when buying any gloves. Usually, gloves come with leather or synthetic palms to enhance handlebar grip. While there are also a few that come with additional silicone grippers on the fingers for brake levers, gear shifters etc.
Every pair of gloves will provide some degree of warmth. However, winter cycling gloves are the best when it comes with offering maximum insulation from the cold.
However, these gloves are not meant for year-round riding as they are too heavy and cannot be used for summer.
When it comes to buying the best cycling gloves, remember, there are two styles available.
1. Fingerless gloves
2. Full-finger gloves
1. Fingerless gloves-
When you want to feel the brakes and shifters, the fingerless gloves are a good idea. Also, they allow more breathability when biking in hot temperatures. Such types of gloves work really well for city riding and road biking.
2. Full-finger gloves
If you’re looking for complete protection, go for full-finger gloves. These gloves are useful to those who ride in cold temperatures. These gloves are ideal for riding off-road who prefer the extra protection.
Just like buying any product, it is important to have a budget in mind. A good budget will help you filter down gloves to a few from which you can choose. Needless to say, the quality will completely depend on the budget that you have decided to spend. The higher the budget better comfort, longevity and so on.
Gloves are typically made of synthetic leather in the palm for protection against rubbing, and other synthetics, such as polyester and spandex, in the rest of the glove for mobility and comfort. The best cycling gloves feature breathability technology to minimize sweating.
The being said, depending on the material and quality will affect price, fit, comfort and longevity.
Remember, cycling gloves have to permit you enough finger mobility to brake and shift gears. They also should not feel too tight or too lose. Also, they don’t have to be too big or too small.
If the gloves are too small, you will know for sure. However, you also need to ensure that the gloves don’t dig too deep in between your fingers when your hands are pressed into the handlebar. This happens when the gloves are too short in the palm.
Also, avoid cycling gloves that are too short at the wrist.
On the other hand, if the gloves are too big, it will be difficult to get a good grip on the handlebar.
Some hands are long and thin, some are short and wide, and it is the same with gloves.
The best way is to wear them and try holding a bicycle handlebar to get a better idea.
Wearing gloves that have too much padding or too little padding, can also be a cause difficulty in gripping the bars well. However, this depends on your personal choice. Some prefer minimal padding while others prefer more padding. Just keep in mind he cycling gloves fulfils its purpose while riding your bicycle.
Needless to day, Padding can either be some type of foam, or a gel, which is meant to maintain it’s cushioning effect longer.
Besides the fabric, padding and fit, you can also look for the following features while buying cycling gloves
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs
- Adjustable drawcords at the base of the cuffs (seen on full-finger gloves)
Parts of Cycling Hand Gloves:
Cycling gloves are made from a number of parts. This includes the following:
- Fingers and cuffs
Let’s have a look in detail about these parts:-
The back of the glove is called as the upper. The material here is often very thick to provide extra protection from the wind and weather. It could also have a waterproof member depending on the material that is used to make the glove.
Generally, cycling gloves come with thicker palms. This part of the gloves is made from synthetic leather for grip.
As we explained earlier, full-finger gloves cover the entire fingers while fingerless gloves don’t. The full-finger gloves are the first choice for a cyclist riding in winter while the latter is a popular Sumer choice.
The part of the gloves that goes around your wrist is called as the cuffs. Make sure it is comfortable and snug. Too tight and it will restrict blood circulation and too loose and the glove won’t feel like a snug fit.