Best Mountain Bike Gloves: Improve Grip and Control on the Trail
Ride harder and further with these grippy and durable mountain bike gloves
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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
- 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.