Without a firm grip on your bike handlebars, you are not going to enjoy long rides. This is why you need to have the right pair of biking gloves.
In fact, we would advise you not to ride bikes with bare hands as you will end up with sweaty palms, which can cause safety issues and discomfort on long rides.
You don’t want this scenario to happen. Check these four benefits of wearing gloves when riding a bike.
Why Wear Biking Gloves?
- Offers protection to your palm in case of an accident
Even the best riders get into accidents and fall, which means no one is safe from falls. When an accident occurs and you fall, in most cases, the palms of your hands are the ones that are majorly affected as you try to support your upper body from getting to the ground.
Wearing gloves help to reduce the chances of your palms getting bruised. What’s more? Quality biking gloves come with a good layer of padding, which means they absorb shock. In other words, a pair of gloves can make the difference between experiencing deep bruises on your palms and preventing serious injuries.
- Comfort during rides
If you are an avid rider or planning on riding for long distances, gloves will offer you comfort. Considering that your hands are one of the three areas of your body that comes into contact with your bike, it makes sense to think about them as this is where most of the pressure is. Gloves give you the comfort you need to ride for long without getting sore palms.
- Firmer grip
For safety and easier maneuvering, you need your hands to grip the handlebar with enough firmness, and gloves can improve your grip thanks to their textured surface. If you find gloves that are well-fitting, you will have an easier time shifting and braking without worrying about slipping your hands off your handlebar.
- Offers insulation
If you are riding at high altitudes or during colder months without gloves, your hands will feel cold. Full-finger gloves can help insulate your hands for more comfortable rides.
I do hope that you are now convinced that gloves are an important accessory for bike rides. Now that you might be in the market looking for biking gloves, let’s guide you on how to get the best gloves for your rides.
How To Choose Cycling Gloves
Full-Finger or Fingerless
Fingerless gloves work well if you intend to use your phone to get GPS service while cycling. Besides, when fingers are free, it’s easier to grab hold of the breaks and levers in case of an emergency. However, removing fingerless gloves is a challenge because they lack a hook to hold onto when removing.
My favorite pair of fingerless gloves is from Pearl iZUMi. The men’s select gloves are usually on sale for $25 or less. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
On the other hand, if you are riding in cold temperatures, it’s advisable to use fully enclosed gloves with waterproof capabilities. Fingered gloves are also useful for serious mountain bikers because they provide a better grip, which increases protection should a crash occur.
You need your hands to firmly hold the bike handlebar so that you can maneuver through different terrains with ease, and gloves help to improve their grip. Therefore, when buying gloves, go for gloves that have textured palm surfaces.
Will you be cycling during winter or at high altitudes? Then, ensure that the gloves you are buying are thick enough to provide the much-needed warmth. However, make sure they are breathable.
Do your hands get sore when riding? You could try out padded palm gloves or those designed with a gel to make it more comfortable on your hands. Still, look for breathability before buying bike gloves to keep your hands dry and cool.
Don’t take a word from these expensive brands that claim their products have the breathing capability because that’s not always the case. Comfortable gloves should offer enough ventilation to reduce the chances of your hands being slippery, which can affect grip and increase the chances of causing accidents.
Another factor to consider for the best biking gloves is the material used to make them. Find gloves that feature a comfortable fabric to make your rides easy and fun with enough grip. The most common materials used include polyester, acrylic, fleece or a combination of any of the materials. The material you choose will depend on the location and the use. Here is a breakdown of different biking gloves materials you can opt for;
- Fleece: this material is suitable for winter because it keeps your hands warm. Although it’s less breathable, it comes with a toweling panel that helps to wipe the sweat away.
- Polyester: Riding out on a hot summer day? Polyester is the ideal material to choose from because it’s breathable with good wind and waterproofing capabilities and can dry faster.
- Polypropylene: This is arguably the best wind and weather-resistant material for gloves, but it is not too good for moisture management.
- Acrylic: This material can easily stretch, making it ideal for mountain bikers who need more room and flexibility. Additionally, it offers exceptional breathability and regulates moisture much better. Although it’s warm, it may not be the right option for harsh weather conditions.
- Mesh: if you can sacrifice protection for maximum ventilation, then mesh gloves may be the ideal option for you. Most of these are ideal for slow-speed riding and when you want to look great. For this reason, we do not recommend mesh gloves for pro-riders who wish to exceed city limits. You could use it when riding on hot days simply because of the fantastic ventilation they provide.
- Leather gloves: leather boasts strength and is abrasion resistant, so it won’t tear off should a crash occur. Having a well-ventilated leather glove allows you to enjoy comfort and protection.
Other factors to keep in mind;
- Ease of cleaning– if you want machine-safe gloves, don’t go for leather gloves.
- Waterproof. If possible, go for waterproof biking gloves. Leather gloves are great for this
- Wrist support. Bike gloves with wrist support are great as they reduce the pressure on your wrists, thereby reducing wrist pain
Whether you are buying bike gloves for kids or adults, you should consider all the above factors before making a purchase decision. Ensure that you invest in a pair of quality, comfortable gloves that offer maximum protection to your palm and wrist. Make sure they fit and are quality.
Once you have your biking gloves picked out, check out these cool mountain bike accessories to enhance your riding experience.