Cycling gloves, even long bike rides are no problem at all
Cycling gloves are not only part of the basic outfit for active cyclists such as road bikers and mountain bikers but also for those who ride a lot in everyday life and for tourers. Cycling gloves are no fashion accessory but provide versatile and crucial functions. In general it’s about protecting your hands in any season, in any terrain and in any cycling discipline. And it’s about handlebar control and a tactile use of gear shifter and brakes. We will now offer you purchasing advice touching upon the basics and some specifics of cycling gloves.
Makeup and Function of Cycling Gloves
Every surface in cycling gloves has its own specific function which depends on both the cycling discipline the gloves are made for and of course the weather conditions.
- The Back Hand: In summer cycling gloves the back hand’s only function is holding the glove together. It therefore is made from highly elastic material and often features breathable mesh panels either with mesh or made completely from mesh material. Cyclists who want their hands to tan in summer can even get cycling gloves with a back hand which will allow UV radiation to pass through. The back hand in winter cycling gloves of course protects you from nasty weather and has an insulating effect. Modern, elastic membrane fabrics keep you warm, are windproof and many even waterproof. Cycling gloves for downhill, freeride or enduro usually feature full fingers and a partially rubberised back hand. They protect your hands from being injured in case of an accident or a collision with branches.
- The Palm: It is the heart of cycling gloves. The palm protects your sensitive hand nerves from vibrations and shocks with an ergonomic padding. At the same time it provides a good grip and handlebar control. The material of the palm usually is robust and wear resistant and silicone prints support the grip. It is always a balancing act between shock absorption and tactility. Because the stronger the padding of your cycling gloves the poorer the tactility. Professional cyclists and freeriders who demand 100 % handlebar control often forgo any padding. To them a robust palm with grip is sufficient. Winter cycling gloves usually feature waterproof palm materials.
- Wipe Thumb Panel: The area around the thumb is classically made from terry cloth or a synthetic material which is highly perspiration absorbing. This zone very mundanely helps you wipe the sweat from your face.
- The Wrist Fastening: It is often a Velcro strap that keeps cycling gloves well in place. When gloves feature a slim fit sometimes an elastic band at the wrist or an elastic Lycra gripper is enough.
- Easy On/Off Loops: Especially in summer cycling gloves with their short fingers taking them off can become really difficult without either loops or flaps in between the fingers. An inelastic material application at the inner cuff is often used as aid for putting gloves on.
- The Lining: Of course only full finger cycling gloves for winter will feature a lining. Usually the weatherproof softshell membrane fabrics are lined with a brushed fine fleece on the inside. Gloves for extremely cold days may also have an additional insulation material layer.
- Touchscreen Applications: Today you no longer ride your bike without your smartphone. This is why full finger cycling gloves for quite some time have been equipped with applications at the forefinger and thumb which make operating touchscreens possible without having to take off the gloves.
- The Fit: It goes without saying that cycling gloves should feature a tight fit. Sliding would not only compromise the shock absorbing effect but also the handlebar control. Most cycling gloves are specifically designed for either women or men with their gender-specific, ergonomic cut. And the size must be correct. It is therefore crucial to measure your hands to determine the correct size. At Bobshop you will find detailed measuring instructions in the size charts for cycling gloves.
Cycling Gloves for Women, Men or Unisex?
This is where the quality of gloves needs to be considered, the demands on cycling gloves and how or how often they will be used.
Unisex cycling gloves for both women and men usually feature a more simple construction and are cheaper. For occasional cyclists or for short distances they are totally sufficient.
Special women’s cycling gloves for demanding female cyclists are adapted to the anatomy of female hands. They feature a leaner cut than cycling gloves for men. The makeup of cycling gloves for women or men is exactly the same. The back hand of women’s cycling gloves often features a more feminine design either in colour of with prints.
Among Roeckl cycling gloves you will find a large selection of women’s cycling gloves in all price ranges and all designs. Specific cycling gloves for women and men matching the collection design are available here: Scott cycling gloves and with many other brands.
Cycling Gloves, Short or Full Fingers, for any Cycling Discipline
Each cycling discipline has its own demands on the functions of cycling gloves:
- Road cyclists or tourers prefer classic, lightweight and aerodynamic short cycling gloves with good shock absorption, which will also protect your hands on cobblestone stretches. Professional cyclists tend to favour very lean, tight fitting gloves for better aerodynamics.
- Short MTB cycling gloves resemble road bike cycling gloves as to their outer appearance. The material though is more robust and they tend to have stronger paddings. At the back hand you will often find rubber applications which protect you from injuries in case of an accident or contact with branches. Unfortunately the more robust finish sometimes compromises breathability.
Full finger gloves of course are also convenient in between the seasons when short fingers would not keep your fingers warm enough, and in winter they are a must-have. Then it’s no longer a matter of the cycling discipline but simply the protection from nasty weather and cold temperatures that determines the type of gloves.