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Our Guide to Buying: Gloves and Mitts

Do I really need cycling gloves?


In a nutshell

Gloves are essential gear, whatever kind of bike you ride and whatever the time of year. Fingerless road and track cycling mitts are great for summer and some have aero features for time trials and racing. For mountain bikers long-fingered gloves increase your control at the bars, protect from the weather and reduce damage if you were to crash.

What are common features for cycling gloves?

Some features of cycling gloves are pretty common; most good gloves feature some kind of soft section on the thumb area for wiping sweat or snot, most palms offer both protection and padding and all gloves should have a secure, snug closure at the wrist.

One frequent complaint among all kinds of cyclists is numbness or tingling through the base of the thumb. This is often caused by the ulnar nerve when extensive or enduring pressure is placed on the area and can be irritating. If this applies to you, look for gloves with plenty of padding in this specific area.

 

Summer Gloves


What gloves are best for road cycling in summer?

Gloves and short finger mitts come in a huge range for different cycling disciplines and weather conditions. For summer road bike riding and track, short fingered mitts are preferable. Thin mesh or ventilated backing helps to reduce heat building up whilst a supple palm is good for bar ‘feel’ and grip.


What gloves are best for mountain cycling in summer?

Mountain bikers, even in hot weather, are best to stick with long fingered gloves so all of the hand is covered. Extra knuckle protection can save your hands, not just if you crash, but from scratches and scrapes as you negotiate tight single track. Look out for extra grip on your braking finger for fine control when it matters most.

Winter Gloves


Do I need winter gloves for cycling?

Cold hands, along with cold feet, are one of the main miseries of winter. Just as you would always need thermal and waterproof socks and cycling shoes, thermal and waterproof winter gloves keep your hands warm and dry in even the coldest of weather. Winter gloves, whether road or mountain bike, can make the difference between enjoying your ride and heading home early. The range of winter gloves is huge.

What should I look out for when choosing winter cycling gloves?

The best gloves are really warm without becoming bulky so you maintain dexterity for braking and shifting. Look for features such as a slim tight cuff that will prevent water dribbling into the glove and palm grip so you stay in control even if your bars become wet and slippery.