The best way to enjoy control of your mountain bike is having the right grip on the handlebar. This is easily done if you have the right gloves. Never try to ride these bikes with your bare hands, you will end up getting sweaty palms, which can cause you to lose your grip pretty quickly.
However, the use of gloves helps you to travel for many miles without getting tired or blistering your fingers while enjoying riding your mountain bike.
To choose mountain bike gloves that fit your needs you should look at:
- The type of Gloves
- The Grip
- How Protected Are You In Case Of An Impact?
- The Size
- Look For A Built-In Snot Rag
- Smartphone Compatibility
- The Materials
- Finger Or Fingerless
- The Comfort Levels
- The Minimalist Gloves
- Fancy Designs
It is worthwhile investing in good mountain bike gloves, they help to protect you from cold, abrasion, blisters, and vibrations when cycling. They also have a severe impact on how comfortable you will be when riding your mountain bike; therefore, you should take your time to look for comfortable ones. Before you invest in any mountain bike gloves, you need to assess your priorities and ensure that the gloves fulfill them.
Type of Gloves
Before we look at the things to check when buying mountain bike gloves, let us start by talking about some of the types available.
Two main styles to choose from:
- Fingerless: As the name implies, it means that the gloves do not cover the whole hand. The fingers and your thumbs are exposed from the knuckles. This design is suitable for warm weather since it gives your skin the chance to breathe and provide enough protection. However, in cold climatic regions, these gloves might not be the right choice as they leave your fingers exposed.
- Fully Enclosed: These look like regular gloves as they cover the whole hand. It is an ideal choice for colder climates and gives you the right grip. It is also the best choice to protect your hands from harsh elements.
One of the main reasons you need mountain bike gloves is to provide enough grip. The brand you invest in should provide the best gloves so that makes it easy to hold the handles.
A lot of manufacturers use synthetic leather known as clarino to improve the grip as it helps to absorb sweat and ensure you do not have sweaty palms. Others add rubberized patterns that enhance grip and also silicone coating on the fingertips to help improve brake lever gripping.
How Protected Are You In Case Of An Impact?
Mountain bike gloves should protect your palms and fingers in case of a fall, protect you from bushes and trees also as you cycle along the trails. Look for a company with an armor built-in on top of the knuckles so that the impact does not affect your fingers. Search for gloves that reduce the pain and bruises if you fell on hard rocks or were hit by the tree branches.
You should invest in the right size of mountain bike gloves. Do not be guilty of wearing gloves that are too big because they cause blisters and the small ones prevent your hands from breathing. Look at the sizing charts of different manufacturers. it enables you to find the right one that suits you.
Most of the brands label their products in categories such as small, medium, and large to make it easy for you to shop. When you search online, there is a sizing chart on most websites, that helps you identify which size is perfect for your hand.
Even though you know the right size of your palm, it is always recommended to try on different sizes if you are shopping from a physical store. It helps you to see the different sizes of mountain bike gloves available, and which would be the best fit for you. Settling for one that is a little bit tight is vital. This is because you can be sure it will loosen with time and still fit you. With tighter gloves, you reduce the chances of the formation of the blisters. Blisters can form on your fingers if your gloves are too big or too small. Pick mountain bike gloves that you fit in without struggling.
Some brands use a snap to keep the glove intact at the wrist while others use an elastic band. If you have well-fitting gloves, an elastic band is enough to keep you steady on the bike. However, you might want to add a snap or a velcro for maximum safety.
Look For A Built-In Snot Rag
If you are a starter, a built in snot rag is one of the best features you can look for in a mountain bike glove. Each company utilizes different materials, but the most popular and the most common of all materials is terry cloth. It is placed on the top part of your thumb so that it is easy to use in case you need it.
A lot of modern gloves come with a feature on the fingers or thumb section. With the growth and innovation of smartphone technology, this feature has become more popular than ever. It means that you can easily receive phone calls without worrying about holding it to your ear. This is an advantage as it means you can take phone calls while on a ride.
Professional Tip: You can still use your nose to tap on the phone without removing your gloves.
Find gloves that are made of comfortable materials to make your cycling sessions easy and fun without struggling to get a grip. Many of these gloves are made from acrylic, polyester, fleece, and a blend of other materials. During your search, get materials that are suitable for you depending on the location and the uses. Here is a breakdown of the typical mountain bike glove materials that can help you decide on which to select,
- Fleece: The material is warm and well-insulated. It is suitable during winter because it is not breathable. However, it also has a toweling panel to help you wipe away sweat.
- Polyester: Has wind and waterproofing capabilities. It is breathable, and that makes it the ideal material for summer.
- Polypropylene: It is the best weather resistant material you can get. However, when it comes to moisture management, this might be the right deal for you.
- Acrylic: The material stretches easily, which makes it an ideal choice for most mountain bikers. Also, it is breathable and warm, which helps with the regulation of moisture. However, it does not have resistance to harsh weather conditions.
Finger Or Fingerless
You can invest in fingerless gloves because they are not only needed by road cyclists but mountain bikers. Fingerless gloves are the best if you want to use the phone to get GPS service while riding. When you have your fingers free, it is easier to quickly grab hold of the brakes or levers. However, most fingerless gloves are hard to take off because they do not have a hook to hold onto when removing.
If you live in wet or cold climates, it is good to get fully enclosed gloves with waterproof capabilities. It is also a critical tool for people who are serious mountain bikers. That is because full-fingered gloves have a better grip, which improves protection in case of a crash.
The Comfort Levels
If you tend to have sore hands when riding, it is recommended that you look for padded palm gloves or those with gel. It makes it easy to hold the hand without problems. Look for breathability before investing in any mountain bike gloves. A lot of expensive brands say they have the breathing capability but, that is not always the case, so ask before buying. It is through ventilation that you have a chance to increase the comfort levels. Comfortable gloves reduce the chances of having slippery hands. Wet and slippery hands make it hard to get the right grip and could cause accidents.
The Minimalist Gloves
These gloves are light and have a well-streamlined design. They are best for hot climates, and what makes them incredible is that they are compatible with the smartphone touch screens. But what this simple glove’s design lacks is comfortability. The seams rub on your skin and cause discomfort, something most mountain bikers want to avoid.
If you are into designs because they show your creativity, look for brands that make fancy items. Most of them have different styles to choose from and are based on colors and the art you want on your gloves. Others offer customized services meaning that you can have something that you love or stand for on the gloves, so keep looking until you see a team with a couple of funky designs that you love. You are more likely to wear gloves if you like how they look.
When you are looking for mountain bike gloves, a lot of consideration should go into your decision making, including the designs and materials. Ensure that you invest in comfortable and versatile gloves that provide enough protection without affecting how you hold your bike’s handlebars. Look for ideal sizes of gloves and, most importantly, settle for the right brand.