New cyclists and new guests on our trips sometimes ask us about nuances of cycling. One of these reoccurring questions is about cycling gloves. “Are they really necessary?”, writes one of our guests, assembling his attire for an upcoming bike trip. Some people prefer to ride without gloves, some with gloves. It’s a personal choice, but here are some reasons why you might want to consider wearing them and what you can expect when you ride with them.
If you’ve never ridden with cycling gloves, you may be surprised to know that many cyclists experience greater comfort when wearing them (with or without fingers). Often there is light padding that protects the pad of the hand from discomfort that could be caused by hours on the saddle with the hands in the same position. But if you’re already experiencing a lot of hand pain from riding, don’t look to gloves as the only solution. Make sure that your position on the bike is correct and that you’re not putting too much pressure on your hands while riding. Gloves can be great, but they are not a solution for poor form or bike set-up.
In the unfortunate event of a fall, the gloves provide a layer of protection. The first point of contact with the ground is often the hand. Keep them protected from road rash by wearing a glove..
In the case of cooler temps, gloves provide your hands with warmth. Have you ever tried to shift gears on a road bike when your fingers are frozen solid? Your fumbling phalanges can’t seem to do even the simplest task. Gloves help.
Before you scrunch up your face and go, “Ew”, most seasoned cyclists we asked confirmed this to be true. Cycling-specific gloves often have soft patches between the thumb and forefinger, perfect for a quick nose wipe or mopping a bit of drool off your chin.
Image Above: “White leather fingerless cycling glove” by Lewis Ronald – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_leather_fingerless_cycling_glove.jpg