Cycling gloves are an essential aspect of cycling just like a helmet and the right pair of shoes. A pair of cycling gloves allows to be in control and prevent the handlebars from slipping, something that can cause dangerous accidents. Furthermore, best winter cycling gloves prevent the development of blisters that appear as a result of the friction that happens between the handlebar and the hands.
During cold weather, keeping warm is also essential, and gloves become a must-have accessory. Modern gloves enable you to operate touchscreen devices and other amazing features that make your work easier as a cyclist.
Deciding on the best brand of cycling gloves to purchase can be difficult whether you’re a pro or a novice cyclist. There are different brands to choose from, and this may leave you confused. Here is a detailed guide on what you should look for and the top-rated gloves based on user reviews.
What to Look For in Cycling Gloves
Although selecting a pair of gloves is not as complicated as purchasing bike computers or cycling shoes, there are critical things you should take into account when choosing the right glove.
Type of Glove
Cycling gloves differ from each other when it comes to construction although they are designed to meet the same standards. This is because there are various types of cyclists who ride on a different type of bike. Some of the cycling gloves include:
Mountain Bike Gloves
Mountain bike gloves give you a right amount of tear protection and shock absorption. They also have a good amount of padding that is essential when riding on rough terrain. What’s more, they have a metal or carbon fiber to withstand any signs of damage as well as enhance the quality of the gloves.
Track mitts are a favorite as they are fingerless and are designed to keep sweat away. They provide a comfortable experience and better shock resistance as they have a gel padding.
Winter gloves are not only meant to provide warmth; they have long wrists to cover your arms. You can tuck the gloves in coats or jackets. However, the gloves shouldn’t be bulky as this will affect your braking and shifting.
Full-finger gloves provide the best amount of water and wind resistance. Moreover, they work well for multipurpose bikers who traverse through different weather conditions and temperature. These type of gloves shouldn’t be used in cold weather as their build is not meant to provide warmth.
Summer gloves are fingerless mitts that have a thin mesh on their back for added breathability. They work to protect you against losing your grip.
The Perfect Fit
No one wants gloves that easily slip off when cycling. You need to choose a pair that offers the best fit. There are various fit options, and it’s essential to look at each to find what works for you. Some gloves are tightened through a pull tab flap or a Velcro around the wrist, while others have a slip-on design.
With the Velcro design, you can adjust the tightness for a personalized fit. However, with the slip-on design, you enjoy less friction, and they are thinner. As a rider, find out what design option best works for you.
You should not ignore the finger design. Some gloves cover the entire finger while others cover only half the finger. Make sure that you try a glove on first to avoid disappointment later.
It’s critical to understand that not all gloves can perform different forms of cycling. The quality of the gloves largely depends on the materials used. Gloves with the best materials combination make your cycling experience a breeze. You’ll realize that gloves that are breathable, have a snug fit, and those with a fast drying material work best.
Some of the materials to look out for include Gore-Tex dry wicking material, synthetic leather, spandex, and Lycra. You’ll find some to be breathable and others will be durable. Polypropylene has fantastic weather resistance but lacks moisture wicking capabilities.
Polyester is a conventional material that provides breathability, but it’s not waterproof. Find gloves that have a layer inside which keeps the moisture away. Most gloves have a terry cloth lining on the back which allows you to wipe off the sweat that could get into the eyes and affect your performance.
The closure is another vital element to look out for when buying cycling gloves. Most gloves have a Velcro strap closure which provides an adjustable, snug fit. The strap should be thin to avoid interfering with your fingers range of motion.
Each cycling glove brand is different and has a unique thing to offer to users. You’ll find the wipe guard a critical element when you need to wipe sweat from your face. Check to see that it’s soft and has an absorbent material.
Do not forget safety when choosing the best cold weather cycling gloves. You’re more prone to falls during winter due to the slippery feel of the handlebars. It’s critical to decide on whether you’re looking for a globe to keep your hands warm in the cold weather or one that will keep your hands relaxed during the sunny days.
The design is another key feature that determines a glove’s level of comfort and functionality. Also, the design will determine their safety level, durability, and aesthetics.
The padding provided by each glove varies. You’ll find specific gloves with zero padding, and you may come across those with maximum padding. Paddings are in the area of your palm that is in contact with the bike drops and hoods. Having a padded glove helps to absorb road vibrations and works to distribute the pressure over uneven roads. Glove manufacturers use three main types of materials for padding. The difference lies in the quality and cost.
Foam padding is the cheapest and is in low to mid-tiered gloves. Although this type of padding provides warmth, it’s not comfortable on the handlebars. Gel padding is found in mid to high-end gloves and provides a squishy, yet soft feel. If you’re looking for something that offers more cushioning, gloves made from ethyl vinyl acetate are an excellent choice.
You can find gloves from as little as $10 to some that go up to $100. As an athlete, you should decide on a budget and work within that range. Check to see if the glove comes with a warranty as this may also reflect on the price. Various gloves are available for those on a tight budget, but you can find some that offer more flexibility and features.
Remember that as you go up the price points, you get an ergonomic fit, better grade of padding materials, and excellent construction quality.
Impact and Shock Absorption
How well do your gloves deal with shock and impact? Riding on harsh terrain can have a significant impact on your hands. You need gloves that are built to absorb any impact and shock. Also, they should help keep your hands away from bruises and painful sores.
Durability and Excellent Grip
You don’t want to deal with regular repositioning of your hands on the bars as this could impact your performance. It’s valuable to choose a pair of gloves that provide a good grip. Check for a gripping material on the fingers and palms which ensures that you enjoy a safe, yet comfortable ride.
Gloves made from materials like Lycra, leather, and polyester are durable. You might find gloves with these materials thicker than standard gloves. This is an aspect that would make durable gloves less breathable and heavier than thin gloves.
The Top 5 Best Cycling Gloves
Inbike cycling gloves have elastic Lycra with knitted mesh fabric. The gloves have cushioned palms which enhances comfort and reduces the pressure on the nerves when you need to ride for long hours. With a shock-absorbing palm pad, a Velcro wrist closure, and a breathable fabric, you get value for your money.
- Absorbent pad
- Velcro wrist closure
- Foam gel pad
- Breathable fabric
- Comes with a half-finger design for summer temperatures
- Has an absorbent pad to wipe forehead sweat while riding
- Quality construction and comfortable to wear
- Palm pad to reduce nerve pain
- The stitching may come loose
- Bulky palm pad
- Not ideal for winter months
- The size is not accurate
Giro Bravo gloves are an excellent choice for summer months as they are lightweight and have a breathable material. With a Super Fit design, the gloves come with a 3-panel palm and Clarino synthetic leather.
The gloves have a breathable mesh on the upper part that has 80% nylon and 20% polyester. Furthermore, they hold up well in the wash, and the stretch provides added comfort. Their price and design make them the best option for anyone looking for a comfortable long bike ride. You also get to choose from eight color combinations.
- Three section padding
- Velcro closure at wrist
- Welded pull tab
- Towel material
- Bright colors for extra safety
- Excellent breathability
- Moisture-wicking mesh material
- Poor stitching comes off after several rides
- Small sizing
- Velcro has a fraying cloth
- Incorrect padding placement
Pearl Izumi is a renowned brand that strives to produce only the best products for the athletes. The select gloves feature a sleek design and fantastic breathability, something that works well for every cyclist. You’ll love the wiping area around the thumb and the variety of colors to choose from. It’s advisable to go a size about your standard glove size as they have a tight fit.
- Extra leather rings for gripping
- Gel cushioning on palms
- Synthetic leather for strength and comfort
- Soft and breathable material
- Breathable and comfortable material
- Varied color options
- Sturdy gel padding
- Unsuitable for the cold weather
- Not ideal for people allergic to nylon
- Size may be small
If you’re looking for gloves that offer functionality and comfort, The Louis Garneau gloves are a fantastic choice. The gloves are made from spandex and have a stretchy feel that ensures that you the best fit. Moreover, they have a gel padding that gives your hand excellent support.
The Ergo Air design element prevents your hands from getting sweaty. The puller trap and Velcro strap allow you to put the gloves on and take them off.
With multiple colors to choose from and perfect quality, the gloves boast of extra comfort even on long bike rides. The only downside is that the Louis Garneau gloves run small and a regular size may feel tight.
- A Velcro fastener
- Microfiber thumb for moisture absorption
- Pull tap for easy removal
- Added flexibility for a wide range of motion
- Has reflective elements
- Excellent support
- Velcro strap for added comfort
- Moisture wicking
- May run a little tight
- Thin material
- Lacks enough ventilation
The Zookki cycling gloves are ideal for road racing and mountain biking. With a full finger design, these gloves boast of plenty of features at a reasonable price. What’s more, you can easily access your touch devices as they come with a touch recognition feature.
Zookki gloves have microfiber which ensures durability and Lycra which helps to remove moisture and enhance breathability. The gel on the palm acts a shock absorber and reduces numbing.
- Half finger design
- Silica gel pad
- Velcro closure
- Breathable mesh top
- Affordable and has amazing features
- Breathable and comfortable
- Gel padding for extra cushioning
- You may need a size bigger than your regular fit
- Only one color option available
- Weak stitching