When I started to train for my half ironman, specifically in the cycling category, that was when I truly started to appreciate and appreciate cycling gloves. I’ve been cycling since I was a kid recreationally and I would always be donned in helmet, knee and elbow pads, even cycling socks. Back then, it was for protection from bruising my palms in case I fell from the bike.
My half ironman training took me to a different level in terms of discovering how important cycling gloves are to me. Now, you would or wouldn’t agree on this. Some people like the extra layer of protection, others like the bare feel of their hands on the bars. I’m always looking for better ways to prevent injury while cycling to ensure I remain consistent in my overall training.
Personally, without the gloves (or the right pair), I experienced a conundrum of things: first, I had a bit of trouble with my grip. My palms were naturally sweaty from holding on to the bars for too long, so yes, they slipped sometimes and were just generally uncomfortable. I constantly thought about my sweaty hands and was worried about slipping. I was always scared to trip on my bike pedals and end up grazing my hands upon impact (It’s happened before!).
Another thing was, I realized how cycling can not only be harsh on your thighs, knees, and back, but also your hands. Long hours training on a bike didn’t actually make my very smooth at all. I started having calluses on my palms and certain areas of my fingers which was annoying and visually unappealing.
So, I researched some of the best cycling gloves in the market today. Hopefully, this would help you make the decision to use cycling gloves and choose a pair that suits your needs.
Best Cycling Gloves Compared and Reviewed
#1 - HTZPLOO Cycling Gloves
This is composed of 55 percent polyester material and 45 percent nylon. These will help you to prevent your hands from being fatigued and hurt too easily while providing as much comfort as possible. I like how this pair of gloves also allow flexibility, which is very important so as not to allow you to feel too constricted while wearing it.
Another thing that I like is how easily I can remove it from my hand, which is a cause of frustration for some. It has this two-string mechanism that’s situated between each pair of fingers.
You’ll only need to pull this in order to remove the whole glove— none of that pulling and tugging while you’re all sweaty, drained, or rushing to get our hands on a water bottle to quench your thirst. You might also like that extra added feature of a special cloth attached to it for you to wipe your sweat off.
It is unisex and will perfectly fit male and female riders. It comes in different sizes but is very consistent in terms of its quality regardless of how large or small your hands are. These are also a very breathable pair and will provide that extra cushion to keep your hands especially the base of your fingers, very comfortable even during long rides.
I would recommend this pair for riders who like to put their hands on the drops of your bike’s handlebars. Your weight should mostly be on the edge of your hand which will be supported by this glove. Otherwise, if you’re into straight handlebars, you might find that this pair lacks a bit of padding in the middle of the palm area. Goes to show how the edges are perfectly padded versus the middle of the gloves.
Overall, the glove seems very solid, and the stitching looks high quality. You can choose from different color variations like black and blue, grey, black and grey, black and pink and black and red.
#2 - LuxoBike Cycling Gloves
An alternative to the HITZPLOO Bike Gloves is this product, the LuxoBike Cycling Gloves. This is a small company that manufactures cycling and other athletic equipment but the quality they deliver is comparable to the big names. Like the HITZPLOO, this one’s also perfect for female and male riders.
Its shock absorbers on the palms guarantees to protect your hands from sudden breaks that are usually the culprit for minor abrasion and calluses. It does this through its 4-zone padding design which is shock-absorbent placed strategically on the palm area of the glove.
While its Micro Suede Pal feature allows the rider to hold the handles of the bike as firm as possible.
Another feature of the product that I like a lot is the Lightweight Cool Quick Drying Lycra mesh clothing, which provides the riders’ fingers with as much room to navigate so as not to tire quickly while allowing breathability and flexibility.
The gloves can also be easily put on through the streamlined hook and loop pull-tab closure while removal is also simple as its finger loops can be easily latched on and be pulled away from the hands where they are attached. It’s also half-finger to ensure more than sufficient contact to the bar and is designed with non-slip material to ensure maximum grip.
Besides all these great features, the LuxoBike glove has been designed to be as soft as ever, with absorbent towel-like material that will help you whisk away sweat while on your cycling sessions. These come in four sizes: small to extra large, starting from 2.95 inches up to 4.15 inches as the largest.
I would recommend these to younger bikers or those who are just starting out and trying to get a feel of whether they’d like cycling gloves. These are ultra-comfortable that you’d just forget about them once you put it on.
#3 - Tanluhu Cycling Gloves
The next one on this list is the Tanluhu Cycling Gloves. One of the main features of these gloves is its exceptional shock-absorbent properties. This is one of the things that I look for in a glove because it helps you get rid of that feeling of stuffiness and fatigue in your hand.
This is ultra-important for me especially when I was training for half iron man as I had to lift and accommodate run and swim training, too. Stuffy hands tend to get in the way of that as it takes your focus away.
Being shock absorbent, this feature minimizes the vibration you feel as you ride longer on semi-rough roads. The product is made out of elasticized fabric and it fits different sizes of hands from people. It is easily adjustable and fit for purpose for other recreational activities such as mountain climbing, lifting weights, and even hiking.
The back of the product is made from Lycra spandex alongside Knitted Mesh Fabric, which makes it as durable as it can possibly be. Despite being very hard to break down, the product itself is very comfortable— durability and comfort are two features that I look for in my gloves.
The thumb area has been designed for sweat absorption as well. It’s made from 50 percent polyester, 25 percent Spandex, and 5 percent PU. They’ve also incorporated Knitted Mesh fabric on the general material of the gloves, making it lightweight.
One thing I like is that it’s not prone to deformation because of its material. And this mostly happens to all of the gloves I’ve used before as if they can’t tolerate the wear and tear. When this happens it’s almost not wearable as it rubs and causes calluses on the ‘dented’ or deformed areas of the glove already which defeats the overall purpose.
Tanluhu gloves are way up there in terms of being a favorite by cyclists, can’t help but love it as they offer a full refund if you’re not satisfied with it.
#4 - MOREOK Men’s Cycling Gloves
Another pair on this list you should consider when buying a new pair of protective apparel for your hands is the MOREOK Cycling Gloves.It is made out of LYCRA and knitted mesh fabric, which allows your hands to be more comfortable even as you wear it for a longer duration.
This, in turn, helps riders enjoy a prolonged cycling experience as it minimizes the fatigue.
One of the main things that I like about this product is how the manufacturer was very meticulous to the detail with how they designed the palm area of the glove.
The area on the palm near the finger edges where you’ll most likely develop blisters or calluses have been designed with double EVS padding. EVS is a material used for knee and elbow pads.
This doubles its shock protection which is added with a feature that mimics your palm. So you get what they call a ‘secure anti-vibration’ system of protection on your palms. This helps lessen the restriction on your hands making it feel as natural and comfortable as possible despite the design.
The thumb components of the gloves are designed with terry cloth that allows you maximum sweat absorption. The hooks attached to the gloves give users the chance to get them off easily while the velcros on the wrist are easily adjustable, allowing you the added flexibility on the hands.
The product comes in different sizes to cover a wide array of users who are in need of good gloves, it’s also unisex and it also comes in blue, green, light blue, pink, yellow, black, gray and red– in case you’re into colorful cycling gear.
Perhaps, another factor that makes the MOREOK Cycling Gloves very appealing is its versatility. The gloves can easily serve fitness enthusiasts who are into hiking, camping, and those who travel using motorcycles. You can also feel that added security and customer care as MOREOK provides a one-year warranty and permanent service for the products that they offer on the market.
#5 - GEARONIC Cycling Gloves
The final product on this list and an entry from Gearonic is the Gearonic Cycling ShockProof Gloves. Gearonic is a brand from California which aims to provide modern gears for the athletes living a modern lifestyle.
They first started making gloves in 2015 and have been developing more ever since.
This is the only pair in this list which has been specifically targeted for cycling at the semi and professional level.
It is best suited for races, those training for triathlons like me, and those who face more complex road situations on a regular basis. However, it’s versatile enough to be used by recreational riders as well.
Gearonic guarantees that their gloves are made of 100% brand new and high-quality materials. Although I would have loved it if they put exactly what kind. Is it lycra? Mesh? Some kind of leather? Unfortunately, we would all be left guessing but the guarantee is that it’s brand new.
They did not mention specifically what kind of material was used on its palm and padding but the back of the glove is made of mesh, which is a good indication of its breathability and flexibility. The fit is exceptional though, it gives the right amount of compression while maintaining ample support on your palm and at the edge of your fingers.
It’s a fingerless glove, so immediately, you would probably love this or instantly cancel it out. Foam pads are incorporated in the glove which acts as its shock absorbers. I’m just not a fan of fingerless gloves but some riders actually love the feeling that it allows more contact with the handlebars.
Some say it gives them more control, more connection with the bike, and I wouldn’t argue with that cause, to each his own.
Men, women, and children can wear them since they are available in different sizes. Similar to other products in this list, the gloves can be used for other purposes such as weightlifting, mountain cycling, and other recreational activities.
My Number One Choice
Considerations To Make When Looking For The Best Cycling Gloves
As with any new purchase, you should always do your research first and look into the reviews. However, there are also other important nuances to look out for in order to find the best cycling gloves tailored for your needs. Below is a guide to help with that. I hope it helps you find your fair pair of cycling gloves!
Like buying the perfect bike jersey and shorts, everything has to fit like a glove for optimum performance. The same goes for when you’re looking for the best cycling gloves. The fit of your cycling glove will be one of the make it or break it factor for all the padding and other features. Unfit gloves will be disadvantageous for you as it puts more pressure in areas that should be tension-free.
In order to fully grasp what a great fit means, it’s critical that you understand the parts of your cycling glove:
- Uppers or back of the glove:
The main purpose of the back of your glove is to protect your skin from harsh weather and the wind. Ideally, this area should have a waterproofing or wicking feature that would ensure moisture from sweat or a bit of rain doesn’t enter the glove from that part. An upper too tight or too loose will affect the fit of the whole glove so it’s important that it’s snug. It also tends to lose it’s wicking capacity when it’s very loose.
- Palm Area:
From the products I’ve researched above, you’d notice how I put a lot of emphasis and importance on the materials being used for the palm area. Personally, palm protection is a critical component for me as I tend to develop calluses easily. Also, besides your backside and legs, your grip on the handlebars will help sustain your balance.
Some like their fingers fully covered, others not. Still, others would depend on their cycling weather situation: is it humid or cold? Fingers are also essential to protect as this helps maintain your grip. A comfortable grip equates to long hours on the bike.
This is the part of your glove which ensures that it is secured on your hand. It goes around the wrist and will be usually adjustable as not all wrists are the same size. It usually comes in Velcro. What’s critical is to ensure that the cuffs aren’t too tight as this will restrict your circulation.
Besides the fact that you can be allergic or reactant to certain materials, the make of your cycling gloves will determine how effective your glove will be in terms of breathability, durability, weather protection. Each kind of fabric brings something different to the table, so before buying check which material works for you.
Here are some of the most common materials offered by manufacturers in their gloves:
- Polypropylene or what they sometimes refer to as addition polymer is a kind of plastic material that combines different propylene monomers. Mostly, it is used in consumer packaging, also in the health industry for face masks and other tools, equipment, and containers. For cycling gloves, this is usually incorporated with other materials like leather, lycra, or mesh. It’s highly resilient and has great moisture-wicking capabilities. It is also very breathable.
- Acrylic is a kind of transparent plastic with many uses in different industries as well. For cycling, gloves with acrylic fiber tend to be more durable. It will be able to withstand and provide stronger resistance to sunlight. To incorporate these in gloves, acrylic undergoes a process where it is converted into a material called acrylic fiber. This is then sewn into gloves.
- Polyester products are usually wrinkle-resistant and do not exhibit any signs of wear and tear. When you wear gloves made of polyester, you’ll find that it is quick-drying and water-resistant. It is usually combined with Spandex to double the protection on your hands. The HTZLOO cycling gloves are made of about 50 percent polyester.
- Lycra is also a commonly used material for gloves because of its elasticity, comfort, and durability. This is also probably one of my favorite materials as it is highly breathable. The MOREOK, Tanluhu, and LuxoBike cycling gloves have Lycra incorporated into their materials. It clings very well to the hand and shrinks back to its original size after wear.
There are other kinds of materials being incorporated in gloves. Manufacturers have continued to innovate and try out different materials to make their gloves more durable, breathable, and helpful to cyclists. It helps to ask the brands what kind of materials they use to give you more an idea of how the cycling gloves will perform.
Finger Protection Option
Before even considering anything, one of the first steps is to determine what type of finger protection you’re going for based on the cycling situations that you usually encounter: do you like half, full, or three-finger cycling gloves? Each serves a different purpose.
- Full finger gloves are usually made to combat any kind of season. This is usually used by professional cycling racers as it provides maximum protection. They’re usually made of leather with other softer materials. Free riders and downhill cyclists usually prefer this to protect their hands more from small tree branches or crashes.
- Half-finger gloves, on the other hand, are preferred by cyclists in hotter climates. These are more lightweight, with heavier stitching on critical stress areas like the area between the thumb and pointer finger as well as certain parts of the palm.
LuxoBike and Tanluhu’s gloves are both in half-finger variation. It also allows more breathability if you prefer cooler fingers.
- Three-finger gloves are usually being used by cyclists who are in colder climates. Basically, your pinky and ring finger are housed in one finger sock, while the middle finger and the pointing finger are together in another, and a separate one for your thumb as well, hence, three fingers.
- Pogies are also worth a mention in this as it is being used by cyclists in even harsher, colder environments. Pogies are basically a cyclists’ mittens. It’s shaped like a mitten that intends to provide full coverage to your hand and wrists. It is already attached to your handlebars, covering the brakes which will allow you to maneuver your bike while being protected from the harsh cold. It comes in thicker material, sometimes even fleece, but some cyclists prefer to still wear gloves even with the pogies.
Padding on the Palm
When you start looking for the best cycling gloves you can find, one thing to look at is the padding on the palm. This area is critical to protect your ulnar nerve. The Ulnar Nerve runs down from your fingers, to the palm of your hand then to your arm. It allows you to feel on your pinkie, ring finger, and hands.
When you grip your handlebar, as the whole hand shifts to a semi-closed fist position, there is instantly pressure placed on the ulnar nerve. The role of the glove is to decrease or completely eradicate this pressure with the right amount of padding in your gloves.
Fitting a glove and trying it on a handlebar will help you determine if the padding is sufficient or if the glove forces you into an unnatural position.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cycling Gloves
Q: Can I wear the same kind of gloves for summer and winter?
A: While yes, you can, I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s a big difference between the materials being used for winter gloves and summer gloves.
Winter gloves could have fleece, thicker padding, and thermal fabrics incorporated into it to provide protection against cold. On the other hand, summer gloves or gloves more suitable for hotter climates tend to use thinner materials such as lycra, mesh, or polyester. These are more breathable and would feel cooler against your skin to combat the heat.
Q: How do I know if the fit on my glove is correct?
A: You can always opt for eyeballing or estimating your hand size, relying only on the feel of it. If you’re going this route, make sure that when you fit the cycling glove to use any makeshift piece of metal that can be likened to a bike’s handlebar, better if you use an actual one.
This way, you’d know how the gloves will feel on your hand as you grip a handlebar, any unnatural feeling and you should steer away from the glove.
You can also measure your hands. Simply get a measuring tape, measure the circumference of your entire hand, then measure how many inches from your wrist to the tip of your middle finger. This will help you find the best fitting glove. If you fall half sizes short, opt for the larger size.
When I ride, whether on my motorcycle or road bike I always ensure I’m well equipped. This means a cycling rain jacket (if its pouring), helmet (of course!), as well as wearing the right cleats and socks for the job.
Cycling is definitely a great activity that you can enjoy at the recreational and training levels. It can help you lose weight, lift your stress away, and in my case, train for my triathlon.
And having the best pair of cycling gloves for you will help you prolong your rides.
Cycling gloves minimize the risk of hands being tired too easily and provide enough comfort due to their material and elasticity. There are numerous choices to pick from. By picking the right pair of cycling gloves, you can attain maximum comfort without sacrificing protection.
I hope I gave you a good idea about where to find the best cycling gloves. At the end of the day, there are thousands of options to choose from, finding the right pair is all a matter of your preference and will be dependent on which features you value most.
Looking for more tools to add to your arsenal? check out these indoor bike racks we’ve recently reviewed too.
Let’s start the discussion on the comment box below and let me know which pair of yours you used and trust the longest! It’s all about sharing and making each other better. No one has all the answers!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.