When you hop on your bike, the first thing on your mind may not be protecting your hands.
Even in warm weather, cycling gloves can be helpful, and they’re a must for cold weather riding.
The type of cycling gloves, or some would refer to as mitts you need depends on the weather and of course, your personal preferences.
Further Reading :
- 3 Things to Consider Before Buying Summer Cycling Gloves
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Winter Cycling Gloves
Otherwise, here are my top cycling gloves picks.
1. Giro Zero CS Gloves
The Zero CS gloves is Giro’s top level, premium gloves for those who are after zero padding.
Don’t be fooled by its very minimalistic and lightweight design. Not only it’s very breathable, grip and control is spot on with the use of 100% sheep leather around the palms.
They fit very snugly to give you a very real fee of your handlebars. For those who are fashion conscious, they come in 6 different color which would definitely match your kit of the day.
2. Endura FS260 Gloves
Scottish brand Endura is no stranger to cycling having sponsor the Movistar procycling team for many years now.
The FS260 Pro Aerogel gloves are the same gloves used by the procyclists, albeit in different colors. You can expect to have the best materials and features, all tried and tested at the top levels of cycling.
The palms are printed with silicone which gives an exceptional grip while the gel padding is minimal yet adequate.
3. Castelli Arenberg Gloves
Castelli is one of the top cycling clothing brands and has been around for more than a century.
The Arenberg gloves are lightweight yet functional. No surprises here coming from a reputable brand. They’re ergonomically designed with suede palms and minimal gel padding at places you need the most protection.
Breathability is spot on with the use of mesh fabrics at the back panels. More importantly, you can be sure to get a perfect fit with the adjustable velcro wrist closures.
4. Gore Bike Wear C5 Gloves
You’re probably familiar with the outdoor brand Gore. But did you know that they’re also into cycling via a brand called Gore Bike Wear.
As with all Gore’s products, you can expect a quality pair of gloves. The C5 gloves’ gels are strategically inserted around the palm areas for effective padding. It’s highly breathable using proprietary Gore fabrics at the back panels for those hot days.
There are also loops between the fingers for easy removal, a nice touch by Gore.
5. Sportful Bodyfit Pro Gloves
Sportful has been making clothing since the 1940s but it’s only in 1985 that they started making cycling clothing.
The Sportful BodyFit Pro gloves are the same gloves used by procycling teams sponsored by Sportful. They’re clean, simple yet comfortable.
They’ve just the right amount of stretch to provide a snug fit, along with a microfiber section at the bottom of the thumb for wiping off the sweat.
6. Assos Summer S7
Assos has been around for more than 40 years and are well-known for producing high quality cycling clothing.
The Assos Summer S7 gloves are an updated version of their popular CYC gloves. The padded inserts are strategically placed to provide comfort while not getting in the way when gripping your handlebars.
It’s made of stretchable fabrics along with mesh panels to keep you cool and dry while you ride during the summer.
7. Giro Monaco 2 Gloves
Today Giro they make a wide range of cycling gears and they’re well-known for their helmets and cycling shoes.
The Giro Monaco 2 is the improved version of the original Giro Monaco gloves. They’re designed for high-mileage riders who are tough on their gloves.
The vented leather palm, gel padding and double stitching ensure it holds up for ride after ride.
Fit wise, the wrists are adjustable via a velcro strap and they have a breathable, stretchy back panels.
8. Pearl Izumi PRO Gel
The Pro Gel Vent is Pearl Izumi’s mid-range cycling gloves that provides plenty of padding. Please excuse the word Pro in the name.
Maximum padding is achieved by a gel insert around the palm area. The unique feature about the padding is there are air vents covering the gel inserts, making it more breathable.
If you sweat a lot, there’s a sweat wipe below the thumb to wipe them off.
Road Cycling Gloves Buyers Guide
1. Gloves Size and Fit
This is by far the most important consideration. Proper sizing is critical for ensuring your cycling glove fits appropriately.
Let me explain.
A gloves that fit too small and tight could lead to chaffing and discomfort. You’ll also find it annoying when the gloves dig in between your fingers.
If it’s too big, your fingers will tend to wiggle inside making it difficult for you to grip the handlebars properly and securely.
Also, take note that gloves come in all shapes and cuts. Some are narrow and short while some are wide and long.
Always check the manufacturer’s sizing guide.
Cycling gloves size is determined by measuring the circumference of your hand at the widest point below the knuckles. If required, you should also measure the length of your hand from the tip of the middle finger to your wrist.
The longer of these two measurements will determine your size.
Geek Tip : The gloves should fit snugly; neither too small nor too big.
2. Padding Levels
Padding levels in each pair of gloves vary.
On one end of the spectrum is zero padding. On the opposite end is maximum padding while there are some that falls anywhere in between.
Paddings are placed around the areas of your palm that are in contact with your bike’s hoods and drops.
The padding location of each gloves could differ slightly, but they generally cover about the same areas.
There are 3 main types of materials used for padding. The main difference between these is their cost and quality.
- Foam. The cheapest form of padding and can be found in low to mid-tiered gloves. Doesn’t provide a good feel of the handlebars.
- EVA. Also known as ethyl vinyl acetate. This is also a material commonly used for cushioning in running shoes. Can be found in mid to high end gloves.
- Gel. These feel soft and squishy and usually used in mid to high end gloves.
By now you’d probably be wondering,
Do you need padding?
- Pro. Padding absorbs road vibrations and distribute the pressure when you ride over uneven roads.
- Con. Too much padding has the same effect as wearing a glove that is too big. It makes it difficult to feel and grip the handlebars well.
What about zero padding?
It’s just the inverse of having padding, really.
It all depends on yourself and the type of terrain you’re riding on that day.
Personally, I’d prefer zero padding as I want to feel my handlebars.
Geek Tip : Gel or EVA padding are the best padding materials.
3. Price Range
You’d probably notice that the price difference can be at times huge between models. There are $10 gloves and there are those which would cost you nearly $100.
So what’s the difference here?
Aside from the brand name, the biggest difference lies the materials used. In fact, there are no surprises here.
As you move up the price points, you’ll be getting better fabrics, a better grade of padding materials, a more ergonomic fit and a higher construction quality especially the stitching around the fingers where the cheaper ones tend to come off after continuous rubbing against the hoods.
Geek Tip : You get what you pay for. High quality gloves fits ergonomically and are much more comfortable to your hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most asked questions about cycling gloves.
1. Which cycling gloves do I need?
It depends on the season you’re riding in. If it’s during the hot summer, you’ll need a fingerless gloves, aka short fingered gloves.
If you’re riding in chilly conditions over autumn/winter, then you’ll need a full-fingered gloves. The materials and thickness will depend on how low the temperature will get.
2. Why do cyclists wear gloves?
The main reason cyclists wear gloves is to protect their palms should they fall off the bike. The palm is one of the most common places to get injured as the normal human reaction is to break the fall using their hands.
Besides that, cyclists also use gloves to wipe off sweat during the summer and to protect their fingers during the winter, using full fingered gloves.
3. How should my cycling gloves fit?
The gloves should fit snugly; neither too tight nor too loose.
Your palm and finger movements will feel restricted if it’s too tight. If it’s too loose, it could lead to unexpected skin abrasion with the constant rubbing between your palms and the inner layers of the gloves.
4. Why are cycling gloves fingerless?
A fingerless cycling gloves is a pair of gloves that don’t cover your fingertips. These are usually used for hot weather during the summer season.