The Best Cycling Gloves in 2017 - The Ultimate Guide

Cycling gloves are specifically designed to provide warmth, comfort, enhanced grip and protection for every cycling activity whether it is a leisure ride, mountain biking or for competitive sporting activities. In this article, we will help you choose the best cycling gloves whether you are looking for short finger, long finger or winter/thermal cycling gloves.

As with any sport, the risk of injury in there. While it’s possible to cycle without gloves, they are the best way to protect your hands from the vulnerabilities of the sport.

In this article, we will take you through the various reasons why you need them and the ways you can choose the best cycling gloves for yourself. Not only that, you will also be able to learn in this guide the different ways you can use, care for and properly maintain your gloves long after purchasing.

Owning a pair of the best cycling gloves is an investment your hands will thank you for. Whether you’re new to cycling, or you are a pro in need of a new pair, we’ll guide you through what you should know on this page.


The Best Cycling Gloves on the Market Today

Top 5 Short Finger Cycling Gloves

Short finger cycling gloves are designed in such a way that airflow is not restricted as the top finger openings allow even distribution of air when cycling. Usually known as summer gloves, these gloves are made to offer comfort and protection from bruises and cuts while cycling. Here are our top 5 short finger cycling gloves:

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau 1 Calory

Louis Garneau 1 Calory

Bag of Money - 3

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro LX

Giro LX

Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau 12c Air Gel

Louis Garneau 12c Air Gel

Bag of Money - 4

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Select

Pearl Izumi Select

Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Elite Gel

Pearl Izumi Elite Gel

Bag of Money - 3

Honorable
Mention

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro Bravo

Giro Bravo

Bag of Money - 3

Top 5 Full Finger Cycling Gloves

Unlike the shorter gloves, the full fingered cycling gloves offer full protection for the entire hand leaving no part opened; they are usually used for mountain biking and also serve to protect the hands on cold days. Some of the best long finger cycling gloves are reviewed below:

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Cyclone

Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel

Bag of Money - 4

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell

Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell

Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Fox Racing Mountain Bike

Fox Racing Ranger Mountain

Bag of Money - 3

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro DND

Giro DND

Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau Rover

Louis Garneau Rover

Bag of Money - 3

Top 5 Winter/Thermal Cycling Gloves

The best winter or thermal gloves are built to function especially well in low-temperature areas or the winter season. They have a thick material construction and thus cannot be used all year round. Some of the best winter or thermal gloves you can select from are listed below:

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Zackees LED

Zackees LED

Bag of Money - 4

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Castello Estremo

Castelli Estremo

Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Craft Siberian Split Finger

Craft Siberian Split Finger

Bag of Money - 3

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Ride Pro Lobster

Pearl Izumi Ride Pro Lobster

Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Thermal Conductive

Pearl Izumi Thermal

Bag of Money - 3

Types of cycling gloves

Before taking this tour, there is the need to understand that cycling gloves differ from each other in build and functions. There are different types which are listed below;

Track mitts

Made to serve as summer gloves, they are usually fingerless and lightly padded to allow proper ventilation and prevent sweat accumulation on the palms.

Full finger gloves

The palms are made to give an enhanced grip on handlebars and to make braking easy. They are suitable for both summer and winter period though they don’t offer intense protection for either season. They are most suitable for average/mild weather conditions.

Winter gloves

These cycling gloves are thick, built and bulky gloves that are made to provide warmth for the hands in cold weather. They have an outer and inner layer and are often insulated and waterproofed. They also have longer cuffs that can be easily tucked in to protect the hands and wrist from cold.

Mittens

Specially made for extremely cold weather, these are usually thicker than the winter gloves and could be worn with inner gloves at subzero temperature levels.

Lobster Crawlers

These are part-glove and part-mitten. They have two fingers placed in two wider fingers. They have much of a mitten feature but like a glove, they are much easier to use with brakes.

Mountain bike gloves

Mountain Bike gloves are gloves built specially as a safety gear for off-road cyclists. They have extra paddings for increased protection against shocks, low branches, and falls. They also provide comfort. The mountain bike gloves are made of full grained leather palms and protective plating to protect from hazards of extreme biking.

Anatomy of a Cycling Glove

A cycling glove can be identified by these different parts; the upper, palm, fingers and cuffs:

Upper

This is also the back of the glove usually having thicker material for extra protection against the wind, cold and low tree branches for mountain biking.

Palm​

Built to be slightly thick so as not to compromise the gripping ability of the gloves. The palm gives a firm grip on handlebars and at the same time offers palm protection against blisters.

Fingers

Based on this, a glove can be full fingered or fingerless (mitts). Fingered gloves provide full warmth and protection while the fingerless gloves or mitts are usually used during summer when full breathability is needed alongside grip and palm protection.

Cuffs

A very important part of a glove that goes around the wrist to make the glove fit snugly and comfortably on the hand. Glove cuffs shouldn’t be too tight nor too loose,, though it is often best if they are made to be adjustable (Velcro fastener).


What are cycling gloves made of?

Cycling gloves are usually made from synthetic materials except when otherwise stated and sometimes, they are made from a blend different materials used based on the area and function of that particular part of the glove.

Polyester, for instance, is used in glove construction because it allows high breathability and has a moisture wicking ability; most summer gloves (mitts) are built with polyester. Fleece, on the other hand, is an insulating material that can provide enough warmth needed in winter cycling gloves, though most of the sweat wiping surfaces on the thumb part of gloves is usually made from fleece.

Furthermore, the breathable, stretchy and warm Acrylic material is usually used as a partial material for most gloves while Polypropylene is a material that offers great resistance to the wind, though is not necessarily a good moisture absorbent.


Top Key Considerations While Choosing The Best Crossfit Gloves

In order to choose the best gloves for cycling, there are several factors you would want to consider which you can look out for when shopping. First is to know the benefits you stand to get from cycling gloves, this will then give a simplified view of the things you really need in cycling gloves and others that are just brand additions or bonus features.


Benefit of cycling gloves:

There are different benefits a pair of cycling gloves offers to a cyclist, the major one being to serve as protection.

Hand Protection

A pair of cycling gloves should protect a rider from abrasions, blisters and chaffing whether it is for a short or long ride. In the case of a fall, since it is impulsive for a rider to throw out his hand to guard his body against the fall, it is common to land on the hand. With gloves worn, the hand is protected from cuts and bruises. The gloves also serve to protect against weather elements such as the wind, the sunshine, rain, and extremely cold temperatures.

Bicycle control

Gloves give enhanced grip on bicycles while riding and this allows the rider to steer the bicycle and shift gears or brake easily without slipping. A good pair of gloves worn by the rider allows easy control of the bicycle without having to exert much pressure on the hand.

Shock absorber

A good pair of gloves should serve the function of absorbing shocks and vibrations that transfer up to the hand of the rider. Since not all roads are smooth, and there will be bumps and holes, these vibrations rise from the tires even until they are felt on the hands.

The shock absorbing ability of gloves depends so much on the palm padding. Glove comfort can be from either a gel palm pad or a thick pad, though mountain bikers use a thicker padding due to the unevenness of their trails.

Sweat-wicking

One other feature of some of the best cycling gloves is the sweat wicking ability. This prevents the accumulation of sweat on the palm while riding as this could cause a slippery grip.

Also, most gloves have a sweat wipe design on the thumb or backhand of the gloves just to allow riders to easily wipe off the beads of sweat that could form on their faces.


Top factors to consider when choosing the best cycling gloves

Padding

Great glove padding should offer these two benefits; a protective and firm grip on handlebars and ability to absorb shocks. Though padding can also add to the bulk of the gloves, it also provides additional warmth (based on the pad thickness), which may be necessary (on cold days) or unnecessary (in summer). It is advisable to test the paddings or if you will be placing an order, read about the glove padding specifically before purchase.

Temperature

This is an important factor you might need to consider before buying your next pair of gloves. The temperature of your location will determine the type of gloves you intend to buy.

If summer will last for two months before winter sets in, it will be advisable to buy a full finger pair of gloves that suits well for average temperature, as you might likely need to buy another pair to protect the hands from the winter's cold and vice versa.

Temperature

Basically, cycling gloves are of two types based on length; the full finger and short finger. While the full finger gloves offer full protection for the hand, the short finger gloves are preferable for summer cycling and also for riders who prefer the palm protection and grip they offer than having close up fingers.


Cheap versus Expensive gloves

Every passionate cyclist will agree that owning a pair of quality gloves is an investment you don’t want to overlook. This is because the best pair of cycling gloves will not only serve to give comfort but in many cases enhance performance as well.

This is why when you want to get a pair, you should make sure you get a pair of course within your budget, but also don’t ignore the benefits of high quality pair of gloves that will stand the test of time, if you have the money to spend. Most of the cheapest gloves are only built for instant gratification. They are usually built to look like nice, however the time they last will be obvious in comparison to spending a little more up front for higher quality.

Expensive gloves, on the other hand, are built with every smalldetail intact just to provide the buyer the comfort and functionality needed in a glove. Most expensive gloves are built with ultra-thin paddings, well; don’t be discouraged, as the thin paddings have a technology embedded within that makes them capable of doing more than what a bulky or thick padding would have done.


Top brands to consider

There are different types of cycling gloves found in the market today, each brand promising the best quality one can afford, but it is important to take a look at the following top brand lists before you finally make your choice. The brand of the product you choose goes a long way to determine the quality and durability of the gloves and to know if you have spent your money well.

Giro Bravo Cycling Gloves

They are often gel padded for maximum palm comfort and protection. Made with the Giro unique SuperFit design, Giro gloves are optimally built for durability and stability. Their products are of high quality which you can get at affordable prices. Made from synthetic leather, they have highly breathable mesh, moisture wicking technology, and thumb surface wipe. They are simply one of the best in cycling gloves production.

Pearl Izumi Cycling Gloves

This brand is known for the exceptional quality gloves they make which cut across all the types of gloves. Each of these gloves has a unique feature that sets them apart from other gloves; no wonder they are rated the manufacturer of some of the best gloves for cycling in stores today; from the fingerless mitts to the winters gloves, you can’t get less than you expect from the Izumi brand.

Louis Garneau Cycling Gloves

The latest from this highly rated glove company is the 12C Air gel gloves with constructively inserted gel padding to provide the warmth, comfort, and protection you’ve ever wanted in a pair of gloves. It is a breathable pair that keeps your hands cool and dry while riding and definitely one of the best pairs to own.

Troy Lee design Air Cycling Gloves

This brand manufactures unique low-priced cycling gloves made from elasticated Lycra and knitted mesh fabrics. They offer high breathability and shock absorbing feature, plus the fact that they come with a pull tab that makes for easy removal of gloves.

Mountain Made Cycling Gloves

Built with an excellent insulation, these gloves are considered some of the best cycling gloves suitable for winter. They keep the hands warm while offering a good grip on handlebars with their honeycomb patterned palm interior. They are made from spandex and Polyester for a lightweight and comfortable feel.

Fox Racing Cycling Gloves

These are built to look like competition gloves with their full design and synthetic leather support on the palm, while the outer part of the gloves is meshed to allow for adequate ventilation. For design and function, these also fall under the category of the best cycling gloves you can invest in at an affordable price.

Zookki Cycling Gloves

Suitable for mountain biking and road racing, the gloves are made from a combination of different materials- lycra, microfiber, and mesh fabric just to ensure they are durable and with great functionality.

They are built with other features especially the smartphone touch screen compatibility and the extra gel padding for comfort and full protection against bumps and falls. They are in fact one of the best mountain bike gloves on the market and have been around for a long time.

Zackees LED Cycling Gloves

For a pair of gloves that goes an extra length to add security to the list of cycling gloves function, the Zackees LED gloves are the best. With a lot of innovative technology included in the manufacture of the gloves, especially the LED signals that keeps other cyclists and drivers aware of your movement on a busy road, they are worth adding to the list of the best gloves for cycling you can own and surprisingly at a very affordable price.


How to Find the Perfect Fit and Size of Cycling Gloves

A pair of gloves may meet one’s need and be sold at a price just right for you, but all these would be useless if they don’t fit right. A perfect pair of cycling gloves is expected to fit snugly and comfortably on the hand leaving no loose ends because trying to adjust gloves while riding could lead to accidents; also, when the gloves shift constantly from the palm due to insecure fit, it could lead to blisters or chafing of the palm.

In a similar way, gloves that fit too tightly constrict the flow of blood through the hands and as a result, the hands would swell and go numb. This is why most cycling gloves are made with adjustable Velcro fasteners for one to easily fasten the straps to a comfortable fit.

For perfect sizing, most glove brands give a size chart for one to easily identify one’s glove size. Cycling gloves are usually between the small (S) and the double extra-large size (XXL), but it is not advisable to make a guess pick of the size you wear.

To know what size you wear, you can measure around the base of your knuckles without including the thumb and look up the category you falls into on the sizing chart. To make this easy for you, a sizing chart is given below.​

Hand Length & Circumference

Length of Red (1)

Length of Blue (2)

Size

<7.0"

<6.8"

XS

7.0" - 8.0"

6.8" - 7.0"

S

8.0" - 9.0"

7.0" - 7.4"

M

9.0" - 9.75"

7.4" - 7.8"

L

9.75" - 10.5"

7.8" - 8.3"

XL

>10.5"

> 8.3"

XXL


How to Break-in Your Brand New Cycling Gloves

Because cycling gloves are made from leather, be it genuine or synthetic, there is every need for you to break it in so as to get the best out of the gloves. Even the best cycling gloves, if not properly broken in would be difficult to flex and use on the handlebars.

Though with consistent riding, they will break in eventually, but you won’t want to go through that stress before you get to enjoy what you gloves have to offer. These are a few tried methods by which you can break in your cycling gloves

  • Choose a proper fit: Before you purchase the gloves, ensure that they are your exact fit. If you don’t this could present a difficulty for you when you try to break in the gloves. You can also buy a leather conditioner with the gloves as this will help you to properly stretch your gloves.
  • Soaking: Although this method is not really convenient to try, it is also a proven trick for breaking in a pair of new gloves and also, since cycling gloves are washable, you can give it a try. Soak the gloves in warm water and allow it to absorb enough before wearing the wet gloves on your hands.
  • Use consistently: This is a more natural way to break in gloves. You have to continuously wear it for a ride, whether it is leisure or a long ride. The more you wear them, the more they break in, though this method takes longer.

Care and Maintenance for your Cycling Gloves

Once you have decided on the best cycling gloves to go for, it is important to know how to care for the gloves to ensure they are always clean and stay together for as long as you have them before thinking of replacements.

Light pull: though some gloves have the pull-tab feature that allow them to be easily removed, others do not have this. Due to this, you will have to be careful while pulling off the gloves so as not to rip them at the seams, as most gloves have fragile seams. Gloves are more delicate when they are wet or sweaty from use, so you have to be patient while you remove them one finger after the other.

Turn them inside-out: it is always advisable to turn out your pair of gloves to dry immediately after use as the inside would have absorbed much sweat that can cause dampness if not properly dried. A damp pair of gloves will smell awful and can be a perfect breeding place for germs. So never wear your gloves if they are not properly dried from the inside-out.

Wash: one advantage of cycling gloves is that they can be washed. Though constant washing is not advisable as it could weaken the build of the gloves. Whenever you choose to, wash with mild detergent and wring out lightly before leaving it out to air dry.


The Best Cycling Gloves in 2017

For effective cycling either for recreational purposes, sport or even commuting from place to place, cycling gloves are necessary for cyclists to ensure safety and comfort while riding. Since most of the time, the hands undergo a lot of pressure from operating the handlebars and also can be used impulsively to shield a fall for example, there is every need to keep them well protected.

There are four types of cycling gloves; the short fingered, long-fingered, winter and thermal cycling gloves and each of these gloves have their own unique features that differentiates one from the other.

Below, we’ll show you the best cycling gloves in 2017 under each of these categories with each product specification that should help guide you in your search for the best gloves for cycling for you this season.


Best Short Finger Cycling Gloves

Short finger cycling gloves are designed in such a way that airflow is not restricted as the top finger openings allow even distribution of air when cycling. Usually known as summer gloves, these gloves are made to offer comfort and protection from bruises and cuts while cycling. Some of the best short finger cycling gloves are described below:

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau 1 Calory
Louis Garneau 1 Calory
Bag of Money - 3

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro LX
Giro LX
Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau 12c Air Gel
Louis Garneau 12c Air Gel
Bag of Money - 4

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Select
Pearl Izumi Select
Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Elite Gel
Pearl Izumi Elite Gel
Bag of Money - 3

Honorable
Mention

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro Bravo
Giro Bravo
Bag of Money - 3

Best Long Finger Cycling Gloves

Unlike the shorter gloves, the full fingered cycling gloves offer full protection for the entire hand leaving no part opened; they are usually used for mountain biking and also serve to protect the hands on cold days. Some of the best long finger cycling gloves are reviewed below;

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Cyclone
Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel
Bag of Money - 4

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell
Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell
Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Fox Racing Mountain Bike
Fox Racing Ranger Mountain
Bag of Money - 3

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Giro DND
Giro DND
Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Louis Garneau Rover
Louis Garneau Rover
Bag of Money - 3

Best Winter/Thermal Cycling gloves

The best winter or thermal cycling gloves are built to function especially well in low-temperature areas or the winter season. They have a thick material construction and thus cannot be used all year round. Some of the best winter or thermal gloves you can select from are listed below:

Position

Image

Name

Rating/Price

Review

Latest Price

First Place Trophy
Best Cycling Gloves - Zackees LED
Zackees LED
Bag of Money - 4

2nd

Best Cycling Gloves - Castello Estremo
Castelli Estremo
Bag of Money - 4

3rd

Best Cycling Gloves - Craft Siberian Split Finger
Craft Siberian Split Finger
Bag of Money - 3

4th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Ride Pro Lobster
Pearl Izumi Ride Pro Lobster
Bag of Money - 3

5th

Best Cycling Gloves - Pearl Izumi Thermal Conductive
Pearl Izumi Thermal
Bag of Money - 3

Conclusion

Finding a perfect pair of gloves for your cycling experience could be challenging with the array of options available, but once you do choose a pair, you’ll find it was worth the search. You don’t have to settle for less when there are lots of quality cycling gloves available for you to select from, and since the price of cycling gloves are quite affordable especially when compared to other sporting gloves, you should endeavor to get a pair that’s worth the cost - the best of which we have reviewed above. You can check out our cycling gloves guide for a better understanding on how to select one of the best cycling gloves of 2017 without breaking a bank, and with the confidence that you’ve found the best pair for your needs.

Enjoy the ride!






shares