Best Biking Gloves

How to Choose Best Biking Gloves and be 100 Percent Satisfied

Most of the riders would order a pair of biking gloves for them and it wouldn’t take much to find out they are unhappy about it.

Well, once you understand everything there is to know about biking gloves, the chances of being unhappy about gloves are going to be significantly low. You’ll save both money and time.

After 30 pairs of bike gloves and few years of experimenting, I’ve started calling myself a self-proclaimed biking gloves guru, and Fox Racing ranger gel glove is my current favorite.

It would be a waste of all those research and data gatherings if I can’t help all my biker brothers and sisters out there to make their journey easier regarding bike gloves.

Biking gloves can be quite complicated when you don’t know which type you need, which material will be better, and which size will fit you.

I’ll try to cram up everything in one article so that you can be a bike glove guru as well after reading this.

P.S. I might use the word “bike gloves” and “cycling gloves” interchangeably. Also, I’ll provide my personal recommendations, and hopefully, you will find your favorite gloves by the time you finish reading this.

Best Biking Gloves

Gloves I Recommended In this Article

  1. Fox Racing ranger gel glove
  2. Souke Sports Fingerless Glove
  3. Souke Winter Cycling Glove
  4. Pearl Izumi Lobster Gel Glove
  5. RockBros Bike Pogies
  6. ROCK BROS Breathable Summer Cycling Gloves
  7. DIRT Fullfinger Summer MTB Gloves
  8. ROCK BROS Gel Padded MTB Gloves with protection
  9. Louis Garneau Road Bike Glove
  10. Pearl Izumi AMFIB Gloves

5 Important factors: What are bike gloves for?

Understanding what biking gloves are for will give you a clear idea and motivation to utilize them for best benefits.

Bike gloves are undoubtedly one of the most underrated bike accessories among bikers; once you go through the 5 main sections I’ve arranged, hopefully, you’ll never think the same about bike gloves.

1-Safety

Let’s be real, the probability of accidents can’t be completely eradicated. 

You’re always physically vulnerable to the outer world while cycling around. Sooner or later, you might fall on your face while cycling and at that time your gloves will act as your best friend by saving you from getting wounded.

It’s pretty common to get nudged with a tree when you are on a trail, and that can badly injure you. Besides that, when you fall, you try to protect your body with your hands first. That is why the protection of your hand is vital.

2-Comfort

A good pair of bike gloves can provide you water resistance in wet conditions, warmth in winter, and save you from blisters as some of them have cushioning and gel padding inside them. Gel pads and other cushioning inserts act as shock absorption.

Moreover, you can eliminate the chance of cyclist’s palsy (wrist pain caused by nerve compression), sweaty hands, numb fingers, and other negative scenarios by using a pair of cycling gloves. 

3-Control

A proper bike glove allows you to have a better grip and makes sure you can steer the bike skillfully for a longer period of time.

If you are going for a long ride or through a challenging trail, it gets hard for you to control the bike for a long time without the help of a comfortable bike glove.

4-Sweat wipes

It’s a common thing to sweat excessively while you are riding a bike, but managing face sweat can be a pain in the arse since you can’t keep carrying tissues or towels throughout a ride or race.

That’s where integrated sweat wipes come into play by helping you quickly wipe your face off with the back of your gloves. Some riders even take it up to the next level by attaching an aftermarket slip-on fabric on the back of their bike gloves.

These modern bike gloves work wonders for all kinds of bike riders.

5-Looks

Straight up – it looks cool and it makes you look professional.

It doesn’t end here. How your bike gloves look can matter a lot when you are riding in a city or night condition. Having gloves that are reflective, bright, and colorful can help you get more visible to others.

Types of biking gloves: 3 main categories

It’s quite hard to categorize bike gloves under one single category. There’s a high chance that one type of glove will overlap with another.

I’ll try my best to keep it simple and describe different types of cycling gloves in a way that’s easy for you to understand.

Bike gloves can be categorized in 3 different ways – appearance, weather, and bike type.

Fundamentally, there are two types of bike gloves – Full finger bike gloves and half-finger or fingerless gloves (or commonly known as mitts).

These two types can be further segmented by bike type, and weather.

Reading Suggestion

1 – Types Of Bike Gloves In General

Full finger biking gloves: Better Protection

Just as the name sounds, these gloves cover your whole hand including the fingers. From the fingertip to your wrist, they provide better protection for mountain bikers in challenging trails.

Full finger biking gloves
Image Source on Amazon

Full finger gloves provide more safety and warmth, however, you might not be able to feel the satisfaction of your fingers touching the shifters and brake levers.

Also, using your phone could be an issue. However, the modern glove manufacturers got you covered on that with touch screen enabled gloves and superior techy material to give more feel to hand operations. You just gotta look out for the right features.

I’ll put up all the typical features you can expect from bike gloves, so there’s nothing to worry about

Fingerless biking gloves (mitts/mittens): Better Feel

Fingerless gloves, commonly known as mitts, are great for summer and road cyclists.

Fingerless biking gloves
Image Source on Amazon

They are not the best for full protection when you have more chances of getting nudged with a tree or falling on bushes and trails.

However, they are great for providing grip and palm protection through the use of gel or soft inserts that act as shock absorbers.

Since these gloves tend to be cut off just below your first knuckle, you get a better feeling when using the brake levers or shifter. Also, doing other work or taking a selfie along the rides becomes easier as you don’t have to take the gloves off.

2 – Types of Bike gloves by weather

Winter bike gloves: a lot of variations

There are tons of things to consider when it comes to choosing the perfect glove for winter. Depending upon the temperature of your riding area, your decisions are going to widely vary.

So, buckle up for some interesting information that can help you ride comfortably even in extreme winter.

First of all, winter gloves are supposed to be full fingers, It’s a no-brainer. They come with multiple features to protect you from light to extremely cold environments.

Some of them would have thick insulation and be slightly bigger in size to allow you wear another fleece or woolen liner gloves inside. Also, winter bike gloves are waterproof and windproof most of the time.

Some extreme winter gloves come with heating systems within them. If you don’t feel like using those, since they are a bit on the expensive side,  you can also go for pogies or lobster gloves.

When the temperature gets below 0°C, you can use something called “Pogies”. They are not like conventional cycling gloves. You attach them to the handlebar and they are like a huge warm pocket that you slide your hands into.

Souke Winter Cycling Glove
Image Source on Amazon

Pearl Izumi Lobster Gel Glove
Image Source on Amazon
RockBros Bike Pogies
Image Source on Amazon

These are the ultimate solution to combat winter while riding.

Pro tip: Use one-time heating pads in winter and make sure your glove is a bit on the bigger size so that you can layer them up with another pair of gloves if needed.

Summer bike gloves: Breathable

Summer bike gloves are designed with breathable materials to make sure it keeps you cool enough during a hot summer ride.

Most riders would opt for fingerless gloves during summer, but there are full-finger summer gloves as well. They are usually designed to combat heat and sweat with lightweight materials and high air ventilation; you can expect a mandatory sweat wipe as well.

ROCK BROS Breathable Summer Cycling Gloves
Image Source on Amazon
DIRT Fullfinger Summer MTB Gloves
Image Source on Amazon

3 – Bike gloves by bike types

Mountain Biking Gloves: Ultimate protection

Mountain biking can lead you to fall over or get nudged by trees, rocks, or other obstacles. Hence the primary focus is on providing great protection.

ROCK BROS Gel Padded MTB Gloves with protection
Image Source on Amazon

Generally, MTB gloves should be full finger built.

When you’re sliding down a trail, It’s important to have stable control over the bike. The best mountain bike gloves offer you a great grip on the handlebar so that you can maintain the direction of your bike.

They also absorb the shocks from rough, bumpy terrain and provide you with a more stable and firm balance.

Mountain bike gloves might be the most durable gloves out there. They are designed to be rigid and robust. Their purpose is to withstand the inevitable distress you face on mountain rides and protect you in these situations.

Road Bike Gloves: High mobility

Fingerless gloves are mainly referred to and used as road bike gloves, but there are full-finger options available as well.

Louis Garneau Road Bike Glove
Image Source on Amazon

The thickness of the padding can vary depending upon the length of the ride. Gel padding gloves are great options here.

Fingerless road bike gloves will make sure you get a comfortable grip and feel as you use levers and shifter throughout your ride.

These two are the most common glove types when categorized according to bike types. One more type that you can find easily would be BMX bike gloves.

Features and functionalities of Bicycle gloves

Features and functionalities of Bicycle gloves

There are tons of features and functionalities a pair of bike gloves can offer you. I’ll try to list them out for your ease of understanding. Not all gloves will have all the mentioned features. Some will have one or two, other’s might have more.

Breathability: Your hands are supposed to get sweaty, itchy, or too warm while riding a bike. Heat needs to escape properly and better airflow is needed to keep your skin dry, moist, and resist sweat buildup. A proper breathable glove will ensure all these features using mesh, light fabric, air holes, and other stuff.

Padding: Multiple types of paddings are used in a typical bike glove to improve comfort and protection. Gel pads are found on the higher-end gloves, while others have foam padding. Proper padding can help a rider prevent both wrist and palm discomfort.

Touchscreen: Most bike gloves will have integrated touch screen sensitivity. Some electrical conducting material allows you to easily operate your smartphone or smartwatch while you’re on the go. 

Sweat Wipe: Sweat is inevitable. Buildup sweat on the forehead can drop down to your eyes and cause trouble with your vision. That’s why many bike gloves have sweat-wicking materials added to the thumb finger or back of the glove. You can conveniently mop your face and even add aftermarket sweat wipes as well.

Closure system – Velcro or slip-on: The closure system can be quite important for some. The Velcro system allows you to adjust the glove to your liking, whereas the slip-on system allows quick on and off time. Liking of these two systems depends from person to person.

Insulation: Insulation is a key feature if you are riding in a cold environment. Thinsulate is an innovative material to help you keep warm properly. There are other insulation properties of a glove available as well, for example – proper air circulation and wind resistance feature.

Waterproof: We will be honest here. Bike gloves cannot be fully waterproof. If it’s pouring rain or a blizzard outside, the gloves will eventually get soaked. Bike gloves that claim to be waterproof are usually water-resistant. They can remain dry with water splashes or in light snow. To make your glove truly waterproof, you can wear thin latex gloves inside if needed.

Scratch Proofing: Along with the padding and insulation, bike gloves are also assisted with synthetic leather materials to keep your hands safe from abrasion. They protect your hands from sharp objects or abrasive tree branches along the trail. 

Most common materials used in Biking gloves

Most common materials used in Biking gloves

Bicycle gloves have different properties for different types and conditions.

It might get confusing for to understand what the gloves manufacturers are highlighting if you don’t understand what each of those specific bike glove materials is and what are they used for.

I’ll try to keep it short and relevant to bicycle gloves for your ease of understanding.

Fleece – is a warm and insulated fabric material that was invented to imitate wool. Fleece is made as very fine fibers are woven into a very light fabric that acts similar to wool. Fleece can be produced from both natural fibers and polyester.

Gel pads– Gel pads are inserted in the palm of your glove so that they can act as shock absorption materials which helps you reduce hand numbness and gives you comfort in long and bumpy rides. Gel pads are made of silicone or latex that seems like soft rubbery material.

Gel VS Foam Cycling Gloves – which one to choose: Most modern bike gloves will have gel padding rather than foam padding, or both of them will be combined. Foam padding starts to get compressed pretty soon while gel pads tend to last way longer. Foam pads are simply cotton structured foam inserts, whereas the rubber structured gel pad doesn’t lose its form pretty soon and they feel much better and comfortable. However, some people wouldn’t prefer no padding at all.

Mesh it refers to a fabric structure where airflow is aided by the specific design. Micromesh refers to the same structure at an even minute and precise level.

Nylon – a common synthetic fiber used in gloves or other materials to give it durable and water-resistant properties.

Neoprene – is a synthetic rubber-type material that is well known for its durability and stability in different weather conditions and temperatures.

Rubber – a durable yet ductile material with waterproof properties. Used in gloves to prevent water from getting inside.

Spandex or elastane – a fabric material that has stretchable properties. It can stretch and get back to its original shape without losing any of its capacity. Often used in gloves to induce mobility without wearing the gloves out.

Synthetic and real leather – Leather is a very durable and premium material to make gloves with. They are often used to increase the durability, grip, and premium-ness of bike gloves. Synthetic gloves are available as well, but they are not that durable compared to natural ones, but they do look good nonetheless and give scratch proof properties to the gloves.

Polyester – very durable plastic natured fabric, that is commonly used in gloves to make them wear and water-resistant.

Polyurethane – is a coating for the fabric to make it more durable, supportive, and comfortable. This is often used in biker’s gloves to give them a premium finish.

Primaloft – a synthetic microfiber material used for thermal insulation. It was developed back in the 1980s for the US army. This material is often used in winter gloves to make them warmer and comfortable.

Bike gloves size guide: How to measure your hands for Bicycle gloves?

Bike gloves size guide

Size matters! If it isn’t the right size, you won’t be happy yourself. It’s something that you have to put enough emphasis on.

It can get quite confusing for you when choosing what size to pick as you are ordering online. It’s not the simplest thing ever, but I’m gonna make it simple for you.

The general sizes that gloves come in are s/m/x/xl. S (small) is the smallest in size and XL (extra large) is the largest size accordingly; it’s a no-brainer.

Pro tip: When you are choosing a particular glove online, check for their own sets of size guides to make sure you get the best fit for you. Generally, a size guide will be given on amazon or the parent website of the glove company.

Now, the big question is – which size should you choose? Let me help you answer that in a jiffy.

What size glove for me and how to measure?

There are 3 main ways to measure for glove size, and there are few sub measurements as well.

The 3 main measurements are “Fingertip to Wrist, Palm’s circumference, and Middle Finger Length.  

Some manufacturers would even provide you wrist circumference and few other measurements as well.

I took the time to create an illustration for you guys to make things easier to understand.

(After you are done reading the article, leave a sweet comment down below, if you truly appreciate my effort to help you choose the best biking gloves for you)

The Best Bike Glove Size Chart

The Best Bike Glove Size Chart

How Should a bike glove fit?

The fit and comfort of the gloves are subjective. I’d suggest you select gloves that snuggly fit your hand. Be careful that it shouldn’t be too tight, otherwise, it can scrape your skin with longer use.

Warning: Know that some winter gloves are designed with extra room around the fingertip so that air circulation can happen to keep your hand warm. Also, going for a bigger size allows you to layer with another glove inside if the weather is too cold to handle. You should be able to pinch a finger nail length on your middle finger to make sure it’s a perfect winter glove that allows air circulation.

A simple test for the perfect fit! 

Here’s a test you can do to confirm if the glove is a perfect fit or not. 

Put on the gloves and try to make a fist with your hands. If you face uncomfortable making a fist, that means the glove is too tight. 

On the other hand, if there are extra materials accumulated on the palm after making the fist, consider the pair as too large for you.

Pro tip: If you can’t confirm between two different sizes, go with the larger one. That’d serve you better in the long run.

How to choose the Best Bike gloves for you: Making the final decision

Let me start with an honest detail here – you won’t find one glove that will work in all types of conditions. Chances are, you might need few pairs according to your riding style and preferences.

Besides that, having multiple pairs of gloves make sure your gloves last longer since you are not putting way too much pressure on one single pair. Also, you can always change your pair for a cleaner and drier one when planning on going for a long riding session.

Now, how to choose the best cycling gloves for you?

It’s quite simple if you have read and understood all the information provided above. Now that you know everything there is to know about bike gloves, it’s time to question what are the perfect requirements for you only?

Step 1 : What type of bike do you ride, what weather conditions you have to endure, and what type of trail or road you will follow are the first three things to consider.

Step 2: List out all the features that you would like to have on your gloves; e.g. gel padding, sweat-wipe, and Velcro closure.

You might not find everything you want in one, but chances are that you’d find most of them in one and that’s exactly what you need.

To sum it up – note down what features and benefits you desire from bike gloves. Your need would depend on your riding style, environment, desired comfort and your budget

How To Wash And Care For Your Cycling Gloves: You Don’t Want Them to Stink

Your gloves are bound to get dirty and nasty. Overtime It will start to contain sweat, salt, dirt, and mud. 

That’s why It’s important to wash your bike gloves after every second ride to keep them clean and functional. 

Failure in taking care of the glove can result in early worn out and damage to the pair. 

So, how do you wash your bike gloves? 

The washing style depends on the gloves type. You can either wash them via a machine or by hand. 

I’d suggest you wash the gloves with your hands as dryers and washing machines are prone to hamper the gloves. 

Also important:  Read the instructions manual of the gloves to learn which washing style is best suitable for your glove.

Follow these 5 steps to wash your gloves: 

  1. Shut the Velcro or other fastening cuff
  2. Get a bowl of cool water and add mild detergent with a cap of white vinegar (to eliminate the smell) 
  3. Rinse the gloves carefully and completely. Leave them in the bowl for 20 minutes. 
  4. Take them out of the bowl and rinse them with clean fresh water. 
  5. Leave them on a line to dry naturally. 

The process is very simple. However, if you are washing a leather glove, make sure you always wash with your hands and DO NOT WRING LEATHER GLOVES. Simply try to get the water down as much as you can before you let them dry.

Pro tip1: It’s great if you can dry your gloves under the sun for an hour or so

Pro tip 2: All types of gloves are supposed to get stiff as they dry, but they will soften within few minutes as you wear and use them.

Pro tip 3: If you are feeling lazy to wash your gloves and other gears, simply jump into the shower without removing them. Easy lazy cleaning hack.

How to keep your hands warm while bike riding: 3 important steps

The first point is a no-brainer, make sure the glove you are using is dry.

Sometimes it gets wet because of sweating, in that case, make sure you are wearing a glove with proper air circulation and you are carrying a second pair of fresh gloves with you.

You should be able to pinch thumbnail depth on your middle finger to ensure air can circulate to keep your hand crisp and warm.

Also, it can get wet because of cold weather or rain, in that case, you have to make sure to get a waterproof and windproof glove while you ride.

To make it completely waterproof, you can wear a latex glove inside as well.

The second point is quite interesting. You actually have to keep your head and chest warm so that your hands don’t go cold.

When the vital organs like the brain and heart are cold, the body would cut blood supply from limbs to ensure the vital organs get more support.

Hence, covering your head properly is a good idea.

Third and ultimate step is to take help of the big boys. There are heated cycling gloves available that can make sure your hands stay warm enough no matter what the condition is. As a cheaper alternative, you can use one-time heating pads to keep your hand warm during cold rides.

Besides that, you can simply layer it up with wool or fleece liner gloves inside to get extra protection against cold. Also, lobster gloves and pogies work pretty great as well.

In short, to keep your hands warm during bike riders – keep your gloves dry, use multiple gloves if necessary, cover your head properly, layer up using fleece or wool liner gloves inside, and use heated cycling gloves for extreme cold.

7 Best brands for cycling gloves

There are new and innovative brands coming up every now and then.

Tons of bike gloves brands out there, I’ll try to list out the ones that I’ve tried or know for a long time.

  1. MOREOK
  2. Pearl Izumi
  3. DIRT GLOVES
  4. Rock Bros
  5. FOX RACING
  6. OZERO
  7. SOUKE

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do bike gloves last?

Bike gloves last somewhere between 6 months to a year. It depends mostly on the build quality, materials, and how you use them.

Do cycling gloves make a difference?

Cycling gloves do make a difference. Compared to naked hands, a cycling glove can provide more comfort, grip, mobility, and safety on your bike rides. 

Do gloves keep hands warm?

Yes, gloves keep hands warm. However, it depends on the temperature, quality, and type of gloves. If the glove holds a high level of insulation and is designed for winter then it can keep your hands warm and comfortable in the cold. 

Are cycling gloves worth it?

Cycling gloves are more than worth it.

Considering their inexpensive price, cycling gloves are a highly functional accessory to keep your hands sweat-free in the summer and warm in the winter.

They offer better grip and control over the handlebar and, more importantly, ensure protection for your hands at all times.     

Why do pro cyclists not wear gloves?

Only some riders will not wear gloves and that is mostly because of personal reasons. Some would even say it’s done to reduce some weight. But the truth is, according to our survey, it’s because some riders can’t feel comfortable enough using gloves.

When to replace bike gloves?

It totally depends on the condition of your glove; if it’s not gripping well, torn a bit, and doesn’t look good, you can definitely opt for a new one. However, there are riders who would start a new season with a new pair of gloves, and there are some who would use one or a few pairs of gloves for multiple seasons.

Where to buy bike gloves?

The fastest, easiest, and cheapest place would be Amazon to get bike gloves. And the next place would be the nearest bike shop where you could check, feel, and try the stuff for yourself. When buying online, you’d have to do some research and go through reviews to get the best pair of bike gloves for you.

Summing it up

I still can’t forget the day when I learned the importance of wearing gloves; it took me 3 weeks to heal my palm properly before I could get back to riding again. It’s super common to get nudged or crash your bike in trails, having a pair of gloves make a whole lot of difference.

Although I freaking love wearing biking gloves all the time, chances are, some of you might feel uncomfortable wearing bike gloves in the beginning.

Just give it a bit of time, you’ll get the hang of it, and always remind you of the importance of wearing gloves when riding.

If you don’t like flashy stuff, here’s an old school bike glove that is durable, warm, and doesn’t have any pads on them – Pearl Izumi AMFIB Gloves.

Remember, the right pair of bike gloves can be found as you assess the type of riding you do, the weather you’ll endure, the features you prefer, and the terrain where you will ride.

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Arbin Hank

The joy of riding bike has captivated me since the first time i rode a bike when I was 8. Since then, the passion for biking is all I've known. Hello, I'm Arbin Hank, the founder of california secret green-road bike team. Me and my team have decided to dedicate our time and effort you help out fellow bikers learn and choose the best products without losing themselves to confusing choices. Ride Bike, Stay green.

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