Best Cycling Gloves: Our Top Picks!
Cycling is an exhilarating and fascinating sport that, like many others, carries with it a risk of injury. One of the most common injuries occurs when one grips the handlebars too tightly, and as a result get small abrasions on the hands. These can hurt and make riding a bike hard, which is irritating if you cycle often.
Another common injury is when you fall off the bike, and use your hands as a way to stop your fall. Without some kind of protection, you can get hurt pretty badly, if not suffer from fractures. So using a good and durable pair of gloves can help you to avoid many of the injuries that come with this sport.
It is important to make sure you cover up correctly when you go out. With these come a good deal of other benefits that we will get into later. So, Which of these are good when riding and how can we tell?
Bicycle Gloves Comparison
- Mountain Break Racing Gloves
- Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves
- Pearl Izumi Select
- Gore Windstopper Universal
- Louis Garneau Men’s Flare
- Trideer Ultralight Cycling Gloves
Cycling Gloves Reviews
1. Mountain Break Racing Gloves — Our Favorite Pick
These are the cheapest of all of the ones on this list, so fairly good if you are on a budget. They are elastic and have a velcro strap, which can fit onto just about any hand. There are also two straps near the top which make it easy to take these off.
They are slip resistant and even shock absorbing, to help when you are riding on bumpy terrains, such as off-road cycling. These half-finger gloves are breathable, they cool down your hands to help them to remain sweat-free.
There is no reflective material on these, so they will not help you if you are riding in the dark. Also, they tend to run a bit small, like most of the other ones on this list (although these ones are unisex). So keep that in mind.
2. Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves — Best Full-Finger
These are pretty recommended when it comes to full-finger gloves. In fact, I would say they were our top pick when it comes to these kinds. They are highly durable, and have a faux leather palm, making them a better pair to have when it comes to preventing injuries.
They have silicone grip fingers, which allow you to keep a firm grip on the handles, even if your hands are starting to get sweaty. Also, when it comes to sweat, these are very breathable, which means that your hands will not sweat as often as they might in many other gloves, leaving them to be nice and dry as you ride.
These ones are made specifically for men, although I am sure that some women should be able to fit them too if they have larger hands. That aside, they are pretty comfortable, lightweight, and fairly flexible. This allows them to be a good choice for road cycling, and, as the name suggests, mountain biking.
There is an issue that some people have complained about when it comes to how thin they are. Some have claimed that they are fairly thin, and as a result would not be durable for use long term with mountain cycling. They do, however, come in plenty of different colors. If that is a plus for you, then this guy’s got you covered.
3. Pearl Izumi Select — Best for Women
This one is a half-finger, which means that the fingers about halfway and above are exposed. This can make biking more comfortable for many, and several people think they just look cooler. They also come in a few colors, which many people like.
These are also gel-foam padded and even have synthetic leather on the palms, which make them a good form of protection for your hands. This also makes them pretty durable as well. Their thumb comes with a microfiber surface. This works to help wipe the sweat off your head without having to stop your bike and pull out a cleaning cloth.
They come in men’s sizes as well as women’s and are fairly comfortable. However, there have been some complaints when it comes to the sizing, as many people claim that they size fairly small. One of the main issues coming from the finger holes, which are said to be too tight.
It does have a hook and loop closure on the wrists, making them as tight as you need them to be there. This can be important to make sure that they fit properly before going on a ride.
4. Gore Windstopper Universal — Best Unisex
This is the only one on here is that is a unisex glove. This means that it will fit either men or women, but I guess that depends on your hand size. Some have complained that this fella runs a bit small, so I would say that it would be best to get it in a larger size.
They are full finger gloves, and are designed specifically to resist water, and is windproof. Meaning that your hands can stay nice, dry, and warm, while also being breathable at the same time.
This one is my personal favorite, as I adore the way that it looks. Even better is the fact that you can get it in a variety of different colors. The sleek design makes it look pretty cool. I also like the fact that it has microfiber fabric on the thumb, allowing you to be able to wipe off sweat easily and efficiently.
It also has padding between the thumb and the index finger, allowing for extra protection when riding. One part that I like is the elastic wristband, which definitely makes this more universal. And it has a reflective coating, which means that it can help prevent crashes into cars late at night.
5. Louis Garneau Men’s Flare — Best Half-Fingers
This one is another half finger, and it is a little different than the others because the entire palm is coated in synthetic leather and a biogel, that works to absorb shock. If you look at a picture of this, you will notice that it has some odd loops near the fingers, and this is to help you to remove them from your hand.
The design is pretty nifty. It, like many of the others, has a microfiber thumb to help you wipe away the sweat from your forehead. It also has a velcro strap, making it easy to put on. A reflective logo is also on it, which is good for those late night rides in the dark. They have good breathability to avoid sweaty palms.
While it was designed for men, many people say the sizes run a bit small, so they might work well for a woman’s hands as well.
6. Trideer Ultralight Cycling Gloves — Best for Summer
These ones are nice because the entire palm is coated in faux leather and other protective measures. This may seem a bit odd, saying that it is a half-finger pair, but they provide that protection none-the-less. They have both anti-slip as well as shock absorption, on the off-chance that you fall off your bike and have to break the fall.
In the middle of the palm is a hole to allow your palm to breathe. The whole thing is made out of a highly breathable material, keeping your hands nice and sweat-free. These also have pull tabs, so you can easily take them off when you are done for the day.
They also have a micro-fiber cloth on the thumb portion, allowing you to wipe away sweat easily and efficiently. Also, in the off chance that these get damaged or are not for you, they have a 12-month warranty that allows you to return them for a replacement.
How to Tell if Your Cycling Gloves are Quality
The main thing that you have to look for is durability. If a lot of people claim that they are durable, as well as breathable and comfortable, it is a sign that the loves are pretty good quality. However, these are not the only things that you should be looking out for, here are a couple more.
Materials are important because they can provide a lot of factors. Sometimes, leather or faux leather can be used in order to provide comfort and durability to these. Other materials, such as polyester, or nylon, can make them more waterproof, or at least water resistant. They can do this while also keeping them breathable.
Having some that are breathable helps you to be able to ride your bike without having to worry about your palms getting sweaty. This can be an issue because it can cause your hand to slip while riding and can cause a crash. Sweaty hands can also be incredibly uncomfortable, and make riding less pleasant.
So if you are looking for a good one of these, try to make sure that they allow your hands to breath and release moisture.
Since these are going to be on your hands for an extended period of time, you are going to want to make sure that they are comfortable. However, the thicker the gloves, the less comfortable they tend to become. So you have to find a good balance between protection and comfort.
These are all meant to provide your hands with protection from the elements, as well as protection from your own bike. As a result, getting some of these that are highly durable is key. Thicker ones tend to be more durable, and also provide more protection.
Many come with leather or faux leather palms, which work best when it comes to preventing injuries. However, there are many that are much thinner, and although they can work as well, they are not as powerful as the ones with more padding.
Having some that are waterproof helps if you are planning on riding in the rain or near water. With regular ones, you do not want them to get wet often because they can start to damage them. Although, with waterproof ones, you should be able to continue riding.
Even in bad weather, you should not have to worry about less durability. A few of these on this list are either waterproof or water resistant. Some even dry quickly and use that as their selling point.
Many of these are designed for specific purposes, such as for mountain biking, or off-road, etc. There are other aspects that change too. For instance, some have a more elastic wristband, which means that you do not have to clip them on the same way you would have to do velcro.
Another design feature that I have noticed many of these have is microfiber fabric on the thumb. This is a design that I think is nifty as it allows you to wipe the sweat off of your while you are still biking. Having this allows you to not have to come to a full stop and take out a rag in order to wipe your brow.
What gender is it designed for?
Gender is very important when it comes to these, as women tend to have much smaller hands then men do. As a result, the size, as well as the fabric and even the durability can change. Women’s gloves also tend to be more comfortable and less rugged than the guy’s ones, and as a result can be far less durable.
So this is definitely something that you should keep in mind when shopping around. Some of these are unisex, which means that they are designed for either men or women, but they may run a bit small as they try to be more “in-between.” So make sure to consider that if you have larger hands.
When it comes to price, you generally do not have to worry about it with the ones on this list. All of the ones that are listed are pretty much the same price, give or take a few bucks. You will notice that smaller sizes will be cheaper, and larger ones significantly more expensive, though.
Summer or Winter Cycling
The difference between hot and cold can determine which ones you might want to invest in. For instance, a winter one should be thicker, and able to keep the hands warm while biking. However, summer weather calls for a thinner and much more breathable one.
Half-fingers work better in the summer months, and full-finger ones work best during the winter months, when it is much colder.
Half-finger or Full-finger
Many people prefer to have their fingers gripping the bike, while others may not want that. However, half-finger ones might fare better during the hot summer months, as it allows the hand more of an opportunity to breath. Full finger ones may do better in the winter months when it is much colder.
Although it should be fair to note that the half-fingers do not offer the same amount of protection that the full-finger ones provide. So understand that if you are buying these as a way to protect yourself against the elements or finger injuries.
Off-Road and Mountain Biking
When it comes to mountain biking, you are going to want to have good protection for your hands. This is because being off-road is bumpy and without good protectant for your hands, you can end up with burns to even serious injuries. So always make sure that you are wearing the right protection.
Because of this, off-road gloves tend to be thicker and much more durable than their road-bike counterparts. They are usually the ones that come with leather or faux leather on their palms, in order to prevent abrasions.
Road Bike Gloves
These can be thicker if you want them to be, but it is less of a requirement. Because of such, these are more likely to be thinner and much more comfortable. However, they can still help protect you from rubs and abrasions. These can be less of an issue because roads are much calmer and less bumpy than otherwise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cycling gloves necessary?
No, they are not necessary, but they can be vital in preventing injuries to your hands in the case of a crash or simple wear of the bike. Riding around can, it itself, cause abrasions on the hands, so having a good set of these can help with that.
They also help you to stay warm or dry if you are cycling in cold or rainy conditions. So it is good to keep that in mind.
Why do cycling gloves have loops?
This is a very good question. When you are new to the feature of many of these, seeing some of the loops around the fingers may be confusing at first. But in fact, it is fairly easy to answer. They are there simply to help you when you want to take them off.
Do they have size charts?
Many of these have size charts right on their Amazon page. But if you cannot find them on there, it is very easy to just take a trip to their website and find it from there. However, it should be good to note that the sizes tend to run small. So buy a slightly larger size if you are going to buy a pair.
Can I wash these gloves? And if so, how?
When it comes to washing these, many people suggest you place them in the washer with a cold wash. You are then supposed to air dry them, as the heat from the dryer can easily cause them to break down. Yet, I suggest taking it a step further and washing these by hand. Mainly because some washers can be harsh and cause damage.
Can I use them in a gym?
Sure, you can use these for whatever you would like to use them for. They work well if using them for gym equipment, although I doubt that they would really be needed for such. Unless you are a bodybuilder and like to lift weights, in that case, they can be highly useful.
Do any of these gloves have light-reflective parts?
Some of them do. For instance, the Gore Bike Ware Unisex and the Louis Garneau both have reflective surfaces. This can be important in order for cars to see you in the dark. This is especially true at night when there can be many cars on the road, so having any instance that helps cars to see you when riding is a plus.
Are they durable?
All of the ones that are on this list are durable. It is important to make sure of this before you buy any product, as you do not want anything to break or fray soon after buying. Buying any of the ones that have thick leather or faux leather pads on the palms is best for high endurance riding.
The fabric material that is used is often polyester, nylon, or spandex. These can be less durable depending on the products used, but a lot of them will still provide a great deal of protection.
Can they protect you in the event of a crash?
Since many of these are just gloves, chances are, they will not do too much to protect you from a crash. They may help to protect your hands from getting scuffed up. But none of these offer much more than that for protection.
So while it may not be as helpful as we would hope, do wear them anyways, as they can protect you in a ton of other ways.
Some of the designs that these gloves had, such as the Gore Bike Wear ones, which I think look incredibly smooth and comfortable. The Mountain Break guys also seemed to have some good looking ones as well, and I would buy either of those if I was going for style.
When it comes to great quality, I think that the Louis Garneau and the Fox Racing ones would be best. These ones are not only highly breathable, but they are also padded with faux leather, which makes mountain cycling a breeze. They are thicker too, so they should be able to keep your hands warm a toasty while riding.
All of these are a similar price point, and all of them are good quality. I like the fact that many of them come in a variety of colors, giving me the choice to pick the ones that have my favorite color in them.
When it comes to Road vs off-road, you should get the pair that fits what you are doing. Also, pick a good pair for the weather. You do not want to be wearing half-fingers when it is extremely cold outside. You also may not want to be wearing thick gloves when it is sweltering hot wither.
Finding the right ones for your lifestyle is key to ensure both safety and reliability when riding. Nobody wants to get hurt or be unable to ride due to a cut or something. So finding a good balance between protection and freedom is key.