Any serious cycler will tell you the importance of cycling gloves. Whether you are a beginner cyclist or a pro at the game, if your hands get too cold, your ride gets all sorts of uncomfortable. It can impede your grip and ability to brake and shift. On the other hand, if it’s too hot, your hands get all sweaty, making it hard to hold on. And we don’t want that do we? For this, you’ll need something that offers resistance to the elements while balancing warmth and breathability. You can get this in a nice pair of cycling gloves.
That said, you can’t afford to just grub the first pair of gloves lying around. Cycling gloves, just like driving gloves, come specially made for their purpose. For instance, since they need to keep their sensitivity for operating things like brakes, buttons, and shifters. They also need to be made from unique fabric to keep the water out and allow breathability if it gets too warm.
Cycling gloves in different varieties, too, with varying inner padding depending on the weather or temperatures outside. So whether it’s just chilly, deep in the winter or hot in summer, there is a cycling glove for you. This is why we have compiled a list of the best cycling gloves out there today to help you make a wise choice.
Top 10 Cycling Gloves Of 2020 Reviewed
1. FIRELION Unisex Outdoor Gel Touch Screen Cycling GlovesBest Cycling Gloves for Long Rides
These gloves from FIRELION stand out to us because of one big thing – you can use your phone without having to take off your gloves because of the touchscreen finger. Now, that’s convenience. Of course, several things also make this pair an ideal option for some. These are full-fingered gloves that feature a reinforced Micromatrix synthetic leather palm for comfort, durability, and padding. You can definitely use these for mountain biking but you might not find them breathable enough for road cycling.
Also, one thing to note is that there is no small size; sizes only range from medium to XL and fit tight. Keep in mind that these are not winter gloves so you’ll need something else come November.
- Touch screen finger
- Very comfortable
- Perfect for mountain biking or downhill biking
- Not for use during winter
- No small size
- The fit is tight so measure carefully
2. Giro Bravo GlovesBest Cycling Gloves for Summer
The Giro Bravo gloves are lightweight mitts that are ideal for the summer months. It features Giro’s Super Fit™ design with three-panel palm and Clarino synthetic leather. The upper part of the glove has moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch, breathable mesh that’s made of 80% nylon and 20% polyester. At this price point, these are great gloves that will provide you with protection and breathability on your bike rides. And they hold up well in the wash. However, the velcro seems to keep catching on the cloth which frays it. Also, the size tends to run small. There have also been complaints regarding the poor stitching. When used often, it can come undone.
- Great breathability
- Moisture-wicking mesh
- Velcro keeps a fraying cloth
- Sizes tend to run small
- Poor stitching
3. INBIKE Bike Gloves
These are another summer glove option with its short fingers, knitted mesh fabric, and high elastic lycra. The breathability of the fabric, as well as its moisture-wicking abilities, ensure you’re comfortable on long rides under the heat of the sun. And there’s terry cloth at the back of the thumb to help you wipe sweat off your brow or wipe your runny nose. The gloves feature extra padding in the palm for better protection and shock absorption. The pad surface features anti-slip coating.
The velcro is easy to use and features reflective coating to help increase your visibility at night. The main problem with the gloves is that they’re hard to take off even with the pull tab. Also, the velcro is a bit oversized while the sizes of the gloves tend to run small.
- Excellent padding
- Very breathable
- Anti-slip coating
- Hard to take off
- Oversized Velcro design
- Runs small
4. Pearl Izumi Men’s Select Glove
The Pearl Izumi Men’s Select Gloves aren’t that different from the other two we’ve previously reviewed. These are also summer gloves that are great for shock absorption. Gel-foam padding helps protect your hands from pain, numbness, and fatigue during your rides. The back of the thumbs features sweat-wiping pads. Sizing does tend to run small so make sure to check the sizing chart of the manufacturer.
One thing that makes these gloves stand out is that they strike that perfect balance between padding and thickness. These gloves have sufficient padding to keep your hands comfortable while being lightweight. However, taking them off can be a pain. And some cyclists have reported that the dye of their gloves bleeds.
- Good padding
- Sweat-wiping pads
- Hard to take off
- The dye bleeds
5. Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves
These gloves are another lightweight, full-finger option for trail riders. Like the FIRELION, these are also touch screen compatible. The absorbent micro-suede thumb helps you wipe your sweat away. Silicone grips on the fingertips give you better control and dexterity. These gloves do not have padding like all the others we’ve looked at. Instead, they simply doubled the layer of the fabric in strategic areas of the palm. Doing so gives you a better feel of the handlebars as well as an enhanced grip. It’s like the next step to riding barehanded.
The back of the gloves is tough for better protection from trailside vegetation while the mesh side panels on the fingers give you much-needed breathability. However, the sizes run small. Also, not everyone will like the lack of padding. And while the velcro design is pretty good, some MTB riders prefer elastic cuffs.
- Enhanced grip
- 20 colors/designs to choose from
- Runs small
- Lacks padding
- Not elastic cuffs
6. Boodun Mountains
These Boodum Mountains Cycling Gloves bring a breath of fresh air to biking gloves everywhere. 5 vibrant colors to choose from including the Blue Flower. These short-fingered gloves are made of 55% polyester and 45% nylon, making them nice and stretchy so you have dexterity and mobility. The upper material is lycra for breathability. 8mm foam padding protects you from blisters and reduces road vibration while towel cloth on the thumb enables you to wipe sweat away. And then there are two elastic tabs so you never have a problem pulling these off. However, the padding is not enough for some riders. Also, some felt that the loops were too long and kept catching on stuff.
- Easy to take off
- Vibrant colors
- Needs more padding
- Loops were too long
7. Zackees LED Turn Signal Cycling Gloves
Safety is the key ingredient in these gloves. This is because these gloves enable you to signal vehicles all around you whenever you’re making a turn with the LED Turn Signal built inside the gloves. The LED light is bright enough to be seen during the day and features Ambient Light Sensors to help extend your battery at night. The gloves come with extra rechargeable batteries and a charger. The material of the glove is Lycra Spandex which is very breathable. The gloves feature leathered palms and absorbent towels on the thumb. Best of all, these gloves are machine washable. However, they are on the expensive side and the sizes run small.
- Machine washable
- LED turn signal
- Comes with extra rechargeable batteries
- Runs small
8. ARLTB Bike GlovesBest Cycling Gloves for Autumn
These are lightweight, full-finger gloves that feature a foam palm pad design to decrease friction between your hands and the handlebars, preventing blisters. The gloves are made of a breathable microfiber that absorbs sweat and keeps your hands dry. The fabric is also elastic to ensure that the fit is snug but not tight. At the back of the thumb, there’s terry cloth to help you wipe sweat or snot away.
And there are three colors to choose from. The low profile velcro tab works great and the loop ensures you don’t have a problem taking the gloves off whenever you need to. The finger and thumb tips are designed for touchscreen compatibility. However, they don’t work as good as we’ve experienced with other gloves. These work great on cold days during the fall but it’s definitely not good for winter. The sizes seem to run true but the length of the fingers are too long for some cyclists.
- Can keep you warm even during fall months
- Touchscreen compatibility
- Not winter gloves
- Fingers are too long
- Some reports that the touch screen fingers don’t always work
9. Pearl Izumi P.R.O. AmFib LobsterBest Cycling Gloves for Cold Wet Weather
Biking in winter has never felt so good. These Pearl Izuma Lobster gloves are made from 46% polyester, 36% nylon, 10% elastane, and 8% polyurethane. The “claws” are an anatomic fit that ensures maximum dexterity when shifting and braking while keeping some fingers together to increase warmth.
Wind and water protection are provided by the P.R.O Softshell with DWR finish shell while the Primaloft Gold insulation gives you protection from the cold without adding any bulk. On the thumb, there’s soft fleece for wiping. Clarino synthetic leather palm for softness and durability. There’s a hook and look closure. And BioViz reflective elements ensure you’re visible to oncoming traffic at night. However, it can take time to get used to your fingers being split. The sizes run small and the inner lining is a bit loose. Plus, the grip isn’t the best out there.
- Wind and water protection
- Soft fleece for wiping
- BioViz reflective elements
- Loose inner lining
- Runs small
- So-so grip
10. Lumintrail GL10 Bike GlovesBest Budget Cycling Gloves
These Lumintrail GL10 Bike Gloves are made with a breathable mesh fabric at the back for airflow and a synthetic suede palm with padding in strategic locations. These gloves were specifically designed to provide you comfort, protection, and shock absorption while you ride the roughest terrain you can find. The hook-and-loop closure enables you to easily secure the glove and create the perfect fit. At the back of the thumb is a soft cloth for wiping away sweat.
For added durability and strength, the thumb grip area has been reinforced. However, unlike most of the other lightweight, full-finger gloves on our list, these are not touch screen compatible. It’s perfect for summer riding; it’s definitely not enough to protect your hand during cold weather.
- Reinforced thumb area
- Good airflow
- Not for cold weather riding
- Not touchscreen compatible
How to Choose the Best Cycling Glove: the Ultimate Buying Guide
Bike? Check. Helmet? Check. Backpack? Check. Gloves? Wait, what?! Do I need gloves if I’m going to become part of life in the bike lane? If you ask any serious cyclist, then the answer would always be yes. Gloves are an important part of your biking gear for many reasons.
Why Buy Cycling Gloves?
Improved Grip: you know you’re going to be sweating your ass off on that bike. You must observe safety precautions at all times. And that’s not the only body part that’s going to be wet. Your hands will turn slippery which means less control on the handlebars. With gloves, you get to trap the sweat instead of letting it affect your grip. As a result, you’ll always have better control even on the hottest days and longest rides.
Shock Absorption: a lot of gloves are made with additional padding to ensure that the shock and impact from the road are not transferred from the bike into your hands and the rest of your body. This means there’s a lesser chance that you’ll be experiencing an achy neck and back after a long ride.
Crash Protection: when you fall, your first instinct is to try to stop your fall with your hands. By doing this, you prevent the impact from hitting your face. Unfortunately, it won’t save your hands from tearing up. With gloves, your wipeout would not be as painful.
Warmth: during the winter months, your hands will need something to help keep it from getting numb from the cold. Gloves can, at the very least, help break the wind and, at the most, insulate your hands to enable you to still grip the handlebars of your bike all throughout your long, cold ride.
Wiping snot: yes, it may not seem hygienic but cyclists don’t generally have a hankie stored somewhere to help wipe your nose when it starts running. Some bike gloves feature a fleece lining on the back of the thumb so you can easily wipe your snot away. The same goes for sweat.
What are the Different Types of Gloves?
Summer gloves: these are the typical fingerless mitts that are used by roadies to give them cushioning for gripping the bar end. The backs of these gloves typically feature a thin mesh or some sort of ventilation at the back to give breathability to the hands. One good example of summer gloves is the Giro Bravo Gloves.
Lightweight, full-finger gloves: these are a summer option for mountain bikers that need more protection from trailside vegetation such as thorns. Because it offers full coverage and is still lightweight, this type is usually considered an all-around choice by many riders. One example of these gloves is the FIRELION Unisex Outdoor Gel Touch Screen Cycling Gloves.
Winter gloves: during the winter months, this type of glove is perfect for keeping your hands warm and dry. Keep in mind that the gloves should not be too bulky that you won’t have the dexterity you need for shifting and breaking. The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. AmFib Lobster is perfect for keeping your fingers warm while you ride your bike in really cold weather.
What are the Materials Used to Create Cycling Gloves?
Synthetic materials are typically used in the construction of cycling gloves. Some may incorporate more than one material in the glove based on the properties.
Polyester: great at wicking away sweat and providing breathability but not windproof or waterproof.
Acrylic: Stretchy and breathable but not weather resistant.
Fleece: warm and insulated but not breathable.
Polypropylene: great weather-resistance but not great at wicking away moisture.
What Features Should You Take Into Account?
Breathability: your gloves should allow sweat inside the glove to escape, keeping your hand dry and comfortable (not too hot, not too cold).
Wicking: certain materials draw moisture away from the skin and allow it to be evaporated.
Protection: different types of gloves offer varying degrees of protection. You need to check if the type of protection offered by the glove. Mountain bikers need additional protection for trailside vegetation and in case if a crash due to the rough terrain. Road cyclists need only gloves that will offer protection to the palm in case they fall.
Waterproofing: some gloves have membranes that prevent water from seeping into the glove to keep your hands dry during rainy days.
Grip: most cycling gloves will feature a specific material such as leather to provide better grip. Some gloves add silicone grippers on the fingers for better dexterity when shifting and braking.
Warmth: wearing gloves will offer you some degree of warmth. Some will offer better insulation such as winter gloves but these can be too bulky and too warm for summer riding.
So, How do I Find Out Which Gloves are Right for me?
Just as you take care of your bike, maintaining it and locking it when not in use, you should also observe safety measures when out cycling, and this means having the best gear like cycling gloves. When choosing the best, you should consider what type of biking you’re going to be doing – road cycling, mountain biking, off-roading, etc. You should next consider what type of weather you’ll be riding in. And then, consider your budget. The best thing you can do is to try out gloves inside your local bike shop to see how the sizes run. Once you find one that has the fit, feel, and padding you need, you can shop around online for the best price.