Cycling gloves might seem like a luxury made for elite, Tour de France-level bike riders. But the added grip, comfort, protection, and — in winter — warmth they provide can mean the difference between a comfortable bike ride and a miserable one. Bicycle gloves come in a variety of styles, sizes, thicknesses, and comfort levels. If you’re new to the cycling scene, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re a hardcore single-tracker or a weekend warrior who spends most of their two-wheeling time on paved roads, there’s a perfect pair of cycling gloves for you. Here, we take a look at the best cycling gloves for any weather or skill level in 2021.
Expertly designed gel inserts provide cushion against vibrations, while an exterior leather shell boosts your grip on the handlebars with these fingerless gloves courtesy of PEARL iZUMi. The hook and loop closure means the gloves won’t slide up your palms and bunch around your handles as you cruise the city.
Never lose step-by-step directions or your favorite music station with Simari’s full-finger gloves à la touchscreen capability. Specially made to keep hands warm through cold weather, the gloves are lined with cozy flannel. Additionally, you won’t lose any grip with the silicone-integrated palms and fingertips.
Attack snowy slopes and winter winds with these resilient, weather-proof gloves outfitted with 3M’s Thinsulate insulation technology for around $20. Fitted, knit cuffs keep weather and snow at bay, closing the gap between your hands and your jacket. These winter gloves earn back their cost quickly since they’re ideal for all winter sports, including snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing, too.
Witness the powers of ventilation and moisture-wicking materials with these Tanluhu gloves. Best used for mountain biking, these provide desirable shock-absorbing support and sweat control that allows you to make your descent sans hot, clammy palms.
Is rain your main adversary on the road? Highly efficient, waterproof fabrics like Gore-Tex are your best armor, thanks to their lightweight construction that won’t change the way you ride. They’re also windproof and can be worn across seasons, so long as you’re not planning a trip to the Arctic region, of course.
Another high-quality pair from Gorewear are these wind-stopping, insulated gloves ideal for temperatures between 41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The thumbs wipe away sweat while the elastic wrists shelter your hands from strong gusts. They may seem pricey, but this pair is a multipurpose accessory that’s built to last.
Try Craft’s split-finger gloves to enjoy a dry, wind-protected ride on your day off. Also known as split-finger gloves, this style is great for freezing conditions like alpine climates. A silicone print offsets the bulkiness of these gloves, introducing better grip compared to a standard mitten.
Long-distance biking might have you exerting pressure on a single point in your hand, resulting in numbness, discomfort, or even bruising. Multiple shock-absorbing padding across the whole palm on these INBIKE gloves helps alleviate hand fatigue during long stretches on the road.
If you want a pair of gloves chock-full of features that won’t break the bank, these winter gloves from Greenf fit the bill for under $15. They feature the same 3M Thinsulate material in the KINGSBOM thermal gloves, plus touchscreen compatibility you’ll find useful in snowy conditions. Faux leather encloses the palms, delivering a solid grip on your equipment, and saving your hands in the event of a fall.
When shopping for your new gloves, we recommend consulting this benchmark to determine the best ones for you.
- Style: Mitts, full fingers, or lobster/split-finger gloves
- Weather-appropriate materials: Insulated, waterproof, mesh, or windproof
- Fit: Thick, thin, dual-layer, padded, unpadded, drawstring closure, or Velcro closure
- Comfort: Location of extra padding, gel inserts, foam, or extra thick layers
In short, yes. For rides lasting longer than an hour or those that take you on bumpy, steep terrain, the best cycling gloves for men help prevent chafing and soften vibrations from uneven surfaces. Heavy-duty gloves also shield you against rain, wind, and cold while keeping your hands sweat-free.
For shorter rides, you might leave the gloves at home, but safety remains a priority. In fact, many cyclists keep gloves on to avoid road rash. For this reason, we recommend stocking up on two pairs: One for warm weather and easy rides, and one for poor weather and arduous routes.
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