LAST UPDATED: October 3, 2019
Best Mountain Bike Gloves: Improve Grip and Control on the Trail
Ride harder and further with these grippy and durable mountain bike gloves
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 3, 2019
Mountain biking is a thrilling way to spend an afternoon or weekend. Whether you’re a pro or just getting started, you will need the right gear to stay safe and have fun. One of the most important things you will need are mountain bike gloves. They protect your hands and give you a firmer grip on the handlebars. If you need a new pair or are just starting out, here are the best mountain bike gloves to consider.
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Benefits of Mountain Bike Gloves
- Improve grip. Wearing mountain bike gloves is the best way to make sure you have a tight and firm grip on the handlebars. Having more control of the bike improves your accuracy, speed, and performance. Plus, your reaction time will be improved so you won’t hit as many trees, branches, or rocks.
- Protect your hands and fingers. Making sure your fingers and hands are protected while you ride is important. Mountain biking can be a dangerous sport and branches or rocks can scratch or scuff your hands on long bike rides. Gloves will keep them safe and prevent them from getting injured.
- Circulate airflow. Biking without gloves can lead to sweaty hands, which could lead to a reduced grip. Gloves can increase airflow circulation throughout your fingers so they don’t get sweaty. Gloves can also keep them cool in the summer or warm them up in the winter.
- Increased comfort. Constantly gripping the handlebars can be exhausting and lead to calluses on your hands. Gloves are padded and soft and increase comfort, especially on long rides or over rough terrain.
Types of Mountain Bike Gloves
As their name suggests, fingerless mountain bike gloves do not cover your entire hand but instead leave your fingers and thumbs exposed. Half finger gloves are primarily designed for warm weather use or in the summer. Your fingers can breathe easier while your palms and hands are protected by padding that increases your grip.
Fully enclosed mountain bike gloves or full finger gloves are ones that offer protection for your entire hand. Thick and durable padding surrounds your palm, knuckles, and fingers. They are best used for cooler months and can keep your hands warmer. Their full covering also makes them best at improving your grip and therefore your control over the bike.
Giro began in 1985 in Santa Cruz, Calif. after developing the first ventilated lightweight cycling helmet called the Prolight. The company is focused on developing equipment for cycling, skiing, and snowboarding. One of its best mountain bike gloves, the Giro DND Mountain Bike Gloves, is also our best choice overall.
The Fox Racing company was first formed in 1974 in Irvine, Calif. It is an American extreme sports lifestyle clothing brand company that focuses on gear and accessories for motocross. It also designs equipment built for bikers and cyclists as well. Check out the Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves for one of its best cycling gloves.
Mountain Bike Gloves Pricing
- Under $20: Mountain bike gloves under $20 will give you a sturdy grip on the handlebars without breaking the bank. The downside is that their durability may be on the lower side, so they may tear more easily.
- $20-$50: The middle range is where you’ll find the majority of mountain biking gloves. These will feature fingerless and fully enclosed gloves that offer exceptional grip and control.
- $50 and up: Gloves over $50 are designed for motocross or more hardcore mountain bikers. These will be made out of better quality material and can include leather palms or metal knuckles.
Choosing from hundreds of MTB gloves can be difficult but you’ll want to make sure they are comfortable. You don’t want a pair that is too tight or too large on your hand. You should be able to find a sizing chart online to help you decide which glove is perfect for your hand. If your hands sweat too much when wearing them, you may want to consider a different material. You also may not be getting enough circulation. Make sure the Velcro strap isn’t too tight when you fasten the gloves.
The design of the glove really comes down to preference, but we aren’t focusing on color or style here. If you prefer to ride in the winter, then you may want to consider a mountain bike glove that is fully enclosed. Those who ride in the summertime may want to invest in a pair of fingerless gloves.
- Color: This may seem trivial, but you can match the gloves color to the rest of your ensemble and bike if you so choose. Mountain bike gloves come in so many different colors that it can be difficult to decide which ones you want. Matching them with your gear is a great way to stand out.
- Size: Size is important, as you will want to find a pair that fit just right. Your fingers need to be able to access the gear shifter and brake levers easily and effectively, so make sure to get gloves that free up your fingers.
- Phone Accessibility. You may be able to find fully enclosed gloves that give you access to your phone’s touchscreen capabilities. If you want to be able to interact with your phone without removing your gloves, check to see if the gloves can allow you to do so.
Best Mountain Bike Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2019
For one of the best pairs of mountain bike gloves to protect your hands, consider the Giro DND Mountain Bike Gloves. These are developed out of a strong and durable synthetic fiber for improved durability, performance, and grip. They also include a four-way stretch design and breathable material.
One of the best features of these gloves is that they are compatible with your smartphone’s touchscreen. They include moisture-wicking material that prevents water and other liquids from soaking through the fabric. They also come with a suede microfiber palm and EVA crash pads for added protection.
However, there are a few downsides you should be aware of before making your final purchase. It may be a hassle to get them to work with smartphone screens. The material can be a bit tight, as they tend to run snug. Plus, the gloves are not the best for riding in wintertime.
As our choice for best value mountain bike gloves, we had to go with Gearonic’s brand. Each glove is designed with a tough high-quality nylon fabric that improves their durability and strength. They also include tough palm pads to increase grip and comfortability.
A benefit we found incredibly useful is the gloves’ breathability that allows cool air to flow through during rides if you get the fully enclosed pair. You also get an anti-shock slip pad feature that gives you more control over the handlebars and bike.
The fingerless style, which can be a plus and a minus, will not protect your fingers from harm. Plus, they will get cold. As for both the fingerless and fully enclosed versions, the gloves may take a bit of time to conform and stretch to your hands.
If you’re looking for a pair of gloves that are thick and offer great protection, consider these. They are fully-closed gloves that include silicone finger pads and durable knuckle guards for enhanced protection. The gloves are developed with a padded Lycra material with touchscreen recognition.
The padded and grippy material design helps to increase grip strength and control on the handlebars. Plus, their versatility makes them great for not only mountain biking, but BMX biking, ATVs, and downhill biking as well. Their fully enclosed fabric makes them ideal for cool weather.
As far as negatives go, these gloves have a few things you should know about. Your hands can get hot and sweaty due to the thick material. Plus, the fabric isn’t that breathable. The touchscreen ability may be difficult to get to work.
These men’s gloves come in 10 different colors and styles to pick and choose from. If you want to match your bike, clothes, attire, or entire ensemble, there are plenty of colors to choose from. The MOREOK Cycling Gloves are developed with 5mm-thick shock-proof SBR padding for the entire palm, increasing their comfort and grip on the handlebars.
The gloves also feature tiny breathable air holes to keep your hands cooler in warmer weather. They also help reduce the amount of sweat that builds up under the mesh fabric, and are designed with an anti-slip coating, all of which gives you much more grip and traction when riding difficult off-road trials. The biggest bonus of these gloves is the amount of comfort they provide for your hands.
While it isn’t a big issue, the gloves are fingerless. This may not be to every biker’s liking. Your fingers may get tired more quickly and they aren’t protected like the rest of your palm. There may also be trouble with sizing.
Fox Racing is one of the most well-known brands when it comes to high-intensity biking, whether it be riding on the mountain or the road. Its full-fingered mountain bike gloves are durable, reliable, and developed out of comfortable material. They are designed out of 100 percent nylon fabric, are made in the USA, and feature absorbent micro-suede material in the thumb and pointer fingers.
While they may not come in many colors, there are two available to buy on Amazon: one red and one black pair. One of the best features of the gloves is the amount of ventilation they provide. The fabric makes them ultra-breathable so your hands and palms don’t get sweaty while you ride. Plus, the full-finger protection keeps your fingers from blistering.
You may be able to find them in different sizes, but these specific ones only come in size 10. They also aren’t too compatible to use with touchscreen devices. You will have to use your fingers, as screens may not recognize the gloves. There have also been complaints the fabric is too thin.
INBIKE’s mountain biking gloves are designed with comfort and protection in mind. The fabric is a durable polyester design mixed with terry cloth and mesh material. All of this makes the gloves rather breathable, giving your hands more grip and traction on the handlebars. Speaking of comfort, the palms are built with 5mm-thick padding to keep your palms from blistering or burning on the ride.
There is nothing more annoying than putting on gloves that you just can’t seem to pull on correctly. The genius of the INBIKE Cycling Mountain Bike Gloves is in its design. Each is built with a handily attached pull tab that allows you to easily slip them on by simply pulling the attachment.
However, the gloves only come in two colors: red and blue. This doesn’t allow much choice when it comes to matching your attire or bike. They also have a tab to remove them but it isn’t as good as ones built between the fingers. Plus, the Velcro straps seem pointless.
The Cool Change Full Finger Mountain Bike Gloves definitely are the most stylistic looking of the bunch. They are a highly breathable pair of gloves which is important on any ride through the forest or on the road. The gloves’ moisture-wicking fabric is one of the best factors when it comes to keeping your entire hand cool and sweat-free on the trail. They’re stretchy and comfortable, no matter if it’s hot or cold outside.
The gloves come in 10 different colors and are available in four sizes. However, one of the best benefits of Cool Change’s gloves are their ability to function with phone and tablet screens. You won’t have to worry about removing them to access your phone on-the-go. Another benefit is that the gloves are built with SBR padding and terry cloth. This increases their shock-absorbing power, traction, and grip.
As with any gloves, pants, or shirts ordered online, there are complaints with sizing issues with these gloves. The gloves are also not waterproof or water-resistant. They are rather thin and may not be the best for extreme cold weather riding.
The Grebarley Mountain Bike Gloves are designed out of a stretchable and breathable Lycra fabric. The elastic microfiber is soft on skin, anti-abrasive, and anti-slip, giving you better grip. But one of the best features of the gloves is the three-piece thick silicone gel SBR padding. The material is built to absorb more shock so your hands aren’t beat up in a crash.
They are available in three colors—red, green, and blue—and five sizes to fit any rider. They also include easy pull-off tabs on the middle and ring fingers. Plus, the thumb has a built-in terry cloth meant for wiping away water or sweat from your face. They’re even multi-purpose gloves, as they can be used for working out, weight lifting, and any other outdoor activity.
However, they may run a size too small as there have been complaints they fit a bit too tightly. The logos may peel off after a few more difficult rides as well. You may also find the padding, while thick, may not last all that long if you ride on more strenuous or lengthy trails.
- If you like riding in the winter or colder months, you can invest in hand warmers, glove liners, or full-arm sleeves to heat your fingers.
- To increase the amount of grip on the handlebars, you should also consider investing in enhanced rubber grips.
- Fingerless gloves are designed to give you more control over the brakes and gear knobs. They are also more convenient if you need to use your cellphone during the ride.
- You can find gloves that allow you to use them with your smartphone. However, they may be more expensive and don’t always work very well.
Q: How can I be sure a mountain bike glove fits comfortably before buying it?
A: Measure your hands and compare the size with the manufacturer's sizing chart. To do this, measure the length of your palm and consult the sizes listed with the gloves. Find a pair that fits comfortably without being too snug or too loose. You need to move your fingers around without being restricted by the material.
Q: How do I wash mountain bike gloves?
A: Mountain biking can leave you sweaty and stinky, so it’s a good idea to wash the gloves and your gear after the ride. Washing them also depends on what style and material they are made of. Many are easy to clean by simply rinsing them with warm water or using a wet towel mixed with soap. You can also toss them in the washing machine, and then leave them out to dry. Consult the manufacturer to see the best way to properly clean your gloves, so you don't ruin them.
Q: Are there mountain bike gloves designed for specific seasons?
A: Yes, there are gloves designed to work and protect your hands in fingers depending on the weather. For hot weather riding, you’ll need breathable gloves to keep your hands cool in the summer. You may want thicker gloves if you ride in the rain or in winter.
For one of the best pairs of mountain bike gloves to protect your hands and fingers against the elements and cuts or scrapes, consider the Giro DND Mountain Bike Gloves.
There are also Gearonic Mountain Bike Gloves, which provide a strong grip and more control over the bike.