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Basic Guide to Summer Cycling Gloves

Wearing cycling gloves reduces vibration transmitted through the handlebar, prevents sweat from slicking grips and controls and protects your palms. For summer riding, look for a cycling glove that has a vented mesh or Lycra(R) back, and exposed finger tips that allow precise control when braking or shifting. Fall and winter gloves will have full fingers, insulation, some sort of wind blocking layer, and a handy terry cloth patch to wipe your nose.

Find Summer Gloves »

Let's take a look at some of the components that make a summer glove essential while riding in the heat.

Palms

The palm of the glove is the most important part of the glove; it does all of the work while riding and falling. The palm contains the pad and also resists abrasion incase of a fall or while cleaning road tires.

Cycling Glove Palm Material

  • Pittards Leather -A soft and flexible leather that is still highly abrasion-resistant, and absorbs moisture which makes it tricky to dry quickly. Can stiffen when dry but will soften with riding, but is a very durable material.
  • Synthetic Suede - Easier to dry and care for while providing more grip due to the textured surface. This material stays soft throughout it's lifetime even when dry.
  • Natural or Synthetic with grip enhancement - All the features of the palm material with silicon, rubber or plastic grip material adhered to the middle of the palm.

Pads

The palm of the glove will have a pad integrated into the abrasion resistant material. Pads range from lean to bulky and every rider has a preference.

  • Foam Pads - Most foam pads are a single thickness sheet of foam rubber placed between the layers of the palm material and can range from firm or soft depending on the construction of the glove. They tend to last a long time but will eventually compress or disintegrate inside the palm.
  • Gel Pads -
  • Usually thicker than foam, and absorb small vibrations very well. Gel will feel more firm than most foam pad, however these do not absorb, and any moisture must be taken care of by the palm material.

Closure

2 basic types of closure you will find with gloves.

Cycling Glove Closure Types
Quick Guide

  • Velcro Closure - Simple. The most adjustable and easiest to take on and off.
  • Elastic - You can avoid the "glove spot tan", however they are tough to take off when wet

Finger Length

  • Half Finger Gloves - Most popular for road cycling, and keeps finger tips open so controls feel the same. Since feel is maintained it is easy to dig small items out of jersey pockets.
  • Full Finger Gloves -
  • They protect finger tips from brush, and from becoming slicked with sweat. Frequently include more durable palms as they are intended for off-road riding.

Other Features: These are some other glove features to look for that will help in the decision process.

  • Reflective Material - Greatly improves the visibility when making hand signals at night. The actual relective portion of the glove can be either small piping or a large tab.
  • Terry Thumbs - Soft, absorbent and easy-to-wash material that can be used to wipe the face.
  • Knuckle Guards - Protect your knuckles from scratches and abrasions. Usually made from EVA or TPR, but top models can be carbon fiber or kevlar reinforced for extra strength and durability.
  • Pull Tabs - Usually found on fingered gloves to make pulling them on easier.