Gloves are an integral part of your cycling kit. For many people, gloves are important for protecting your hands from the elements. They can also help to minimize the risk of injury in an accident.
But what makes a good pair of cycling gloves?
Here are five top tips for finding the best cycling gloves
Why Do You Need Cycling Gloves?
Although cycling gloves to provide some warmth for your hands during the colder winter months, there is so much more to them than that.
The right pair of cycling gloves will protect your fingers and hands from the cold, wind, rain, and the sun. Not only that, but they will also protect your hand to an extent in the event of an accident.
In addition to protecting your hands from accidents and the elements, they also help you to grip the handlebars as well as the brakes and gears. They help you to get tighter control over your bike.
1. Look For A Pair Of Gloves That Breathes
The breathability of your cycling glove is one of the most essential factors to consider. If you’re going to be out on your bike for a long period, you are going to sweat. Because your hands are in contact with your handlebars at all times, they will be prone to getting quite warm and sweaty. This can become uncomfortable.
The breathability of your glove’s fabric relates to its ability to let water vapor escape. If your gloves are made of fabric that doesn’t breathe and allows condensed moisture to sit next to the skin can lead to your hands being cold and clammy in the winter and hot and sticky in the summer. A good, breathable fabric will help your hands stay at the right temperature.
2. Decide What You Want From Your Gloves
What do you want from your gloves? If you are after protection from the elements because you will ride in all weathers, then you’ll be looking at a pair of gloves that is made of the right materials.
If you are looking for gloves that are primarily there to protect you in the event of an accident, then you’ll be looking for a completely different design.
3. Pick The Right Type Of Glove For The Type Of Riding You’re Going To Do
There are several types of cycling gloves, the most common include:
- Cycling mitts: This type of light, fingerless option is great for riding during the summer months. The gloves will generally offer an enhanced bar grip and give you palm protection, should you fall off your bike in an accident.
- Full-finger gloves: This type of glove will range from being lightweight and breathable gloves that are great for summer riding, through to more reinforced gloves that are typically well suited to gravity riders.
- Winter gloves: This type of glove will provide you lots of extra protection in the winter months, but over the summer may prove to be too restrictive or warm.
4. Make Sure That Your Cycling Gloves Fit Well
When you are trying on a new pair of cycling gloves you should focus on the webbing between your first finger and thumb. This webbing will give the best idea of fit when you’re holding into the handlebar. The gloves should be snug. You should be able to avoid your glove scrunching up and rubbing against your hand. If this is the case, then the gloves are a good fit.
If your gloves feel tight through the webbing, they’ll feel even tighter when pressed up against a bar.
If you’re not used to wearing cycling gloves, you need to understand that holding onto your handlebars while wearing gloves will feel different to without, The padding will put your hand into a position that doesn’t feel natural. You may need to try on a few pairs until you find a pair that feels natural.
5. Buy Gloves Made From The Right Material
Cycling gloves are often made out of synthetic materials. These include polyester, acrylic, polypropylene, fleece, or polyester. They may include a mixture of all of these materials.
Polyester is a breathable material that is great for wicking away sweat. It offers very little in terms of protection from wind or rain.
Acrylic gloves are stretchy, breathable and warm, however, they again offer little in terms of protection from the elements.
Gloves that are made out of fleece are good during the winter. They are insulated, so don’t allow for very much breathing. Many will have a microfiber section for wicking away sweat.
Polypropylene gloves give great protection from the wind and rain, however, they are not as good at managing moisture.