Gloves aren’ exactly the piece of gear that casual bikers might think important – if they even think of them at all. However, if you practice cycling regularly, even daily a pair of good cycling gloves is an absolute must. So, what are you to look for when shopping for the best cycling gloves? Let’s skip the price and go straight for the important things – fabric, seams, padding. The holy trinity of the best cycling gloves. The fabric must be breathable so that your skin can breathe as naturally as possible, and waterproof, to keep your hands dry in bad weather. It also needs to be strong and, possibly, have reinforcements, for better protection. Of course, the seams must be secure, else you’ll have to take up sewing. Padding is there for comfort, obviously.
Top 6 Best Cycling Gloves 2017 Comparison
Of course, you’ll also have to factor in your riding style. For example, long distance riders will need more padding, whereas mountain bikers will need stronger fabric and more protection. Drop bar bikes will need different gloves to flat-bars, and winter riding is a hell of a lot different than summer riding, for obvious reasons (provided you live in an area where there’s actually a difference between the two seasons). Above all else, don’t be shy to ask around.
Reviews of 6 Best Cycling Gloves
1. Zookki Cycling Gloves Mountain with Silicone Gel Pads
The best cycling gloves on our list, and one of the best pairs for the previous year, the Zookki Cycling Gloves with silicone gel pads are making a bid for 2017. It’s a half-finger model, leaving your fingertips free to operate a touchscreen without having to take them off all the time. They come in four distinct, brightly colored flavors – black, blue, red and yellow. There is a reflective surface, though it’s on the palm-side.
The fabric is a combo of microfiber leather, mesh cloth and Lycra. There are fabric loops between the fingers so that you can pull the gloves off with ease. Moreover, the terry cloth on the thumbs is great for wiping off sweat from your eyebrows, greatly reducing the distraction and possibilities of… unpleasant scenarios.
You can always check out Giro for more options.
If you’re looking for the best cycling gloves for 2017, all it takes is take a look at the previous year. As of yet, Zookki is one of the top, if not top picks. The ample gel padding provides lots of shock absorption for bumpy rides. It won’t eliminate numbness once and for all, but it will reduce it greatly. Plus, the special palm fabric does a superb job of preventing skipping, giving you a secure grip throughout your ride.
2. Pearl Izumi – Ride Women’s Select Gloves
The Pearl Izumi Select Gloves for women are pretty much what it reads on the tin – they’re on of the best cycling gloves for women on the market. These gloves have a particularly ergonomically driven design that relieves pressure from the ulnar and median nerves (prevents claw hand or ape hand deformity, respectively).
The fabric is plenty breathable, but nothing will eliminate sweating absolutely, so be sure to wash them regularly (they do come with washing instructions, so give it a glance before stepping to it). It’s 70% polyester, with more than enough elasticity. Keep in mind, though, that the gloves tend to run small, so make sure you size up when getting yours. As far as colors go, there’s plenty to pick from – plain black, black/screaming pink, black/white, black/gumdrop, black/mandarin red, white/aqua mint and white/grayish white. In a word, you won’t have to worry about the fashion police stopping you.
Pearl Izumi’s Women’s Select series has some of the best cycling gloves for women out there, though we wouldn’t put it past guys with delicate hands to wear these. There are several pretty neutral color choices, and the gloves are more than comfortable. A word of warning, however – size up.
Good source of gloves: REI
3. Giro Women’s Tessa Gloves
The second best cycling gloves for women, at least on our list, would be the Giro Women’s Tessa Gloves. The gloves are more than affordable, though the price may vary by a considerable margin depending on the size and style you choose. Speaking of which, there are 11 different variants to choose from, though if you’re going for visibility, you might opt for the Titanium/Highlight Yellow combo.
The fabric is mostly dominated by AX synthetic leather, which is quite breathable and comfortable, although not as elastic as Lycra. That’s where the stretch mesh comes into play quite nicely. Also, there’s a convenient breathable mesh with highly absorbent microfiber surface for wiping off sweat, as well as a secure Velcro closure with pull tab for easier removal.
A word of warning, as ever – these gloves do tend to run small, so make sure you always size up. Otherwise, there’s nothing to criticize. The gel pads provide optimal comfort and make these the best cycling gloves for recreational bikers, or those going for a more traditional feel. Maybe it is a first choice to look for as a women bike rider.
4. Mountain Made Crestone Cycling Gloves with Touchscreen
Going by the name, Mountain Made should pump out highly protective gear, suitable for, say, mountain bikers. Funny enough, they live up to the name, and their Crestone Cycling Gloves with Touchscreen are some of the best cycling gloves on the market. This is a full-finger model, ideal not only for mountain biking, but also any type of outdoor activity, such as gardening, playing Frisbee, or just taking a walk. Their minimalist design means they don’t have much padding (doesn’t mean it’s not there, though), and puts more emphasis on breathability and protection.
The fabric is quite lightweight and cool on your hands, with Lycra backing for that added measure of elasticity. In a word, they offer a snug and comfortable fit.
If you’re looking for the best cycling gloves for mountain biking, you may have just found them. The Crestone Cycling Gloves with Touchscreen are one of the most convenient and purposeful products to be had; they’re great bang for the buck, and will surely provide an indispensable piece of biking gear in your collection. One thing, though – they’re athletic fit, so make sure to size up.
Informative and thorough article on the subject here.
5. Louis Garneau Men’s 12c Air Gel Cycling Gloves
Although they offer almost unparalleled breathability and grip, the Louis Garneau Men’s 12c Air Gel Cycling Gloves are still not the best cycling gloves out there, mainly due to the fact that the padding is not up to the game. That doesn’t mean it’s in any way inadequate, but there could be more gel inside the polyester.
The good news is that the gloves and their padding, the little there is, provide cushion exactly where it’s needed, so your ulnar and median nerves won’t suffer. Moreover, the multilayer palm with silicone coating provides excellent grip, which is of equal, if not greater importance. This is a good product to pair with your best touring bike.
If you’re looking for the best cycling gloves, you’re close to your target. Despite the fact there’s precious little bio-gel in the padding, these gloves still give better cushioning than many models with more fluff. This is mainly due to its strategic distribution. Besides, when it comes to grip and material breathability, these gloves are at the top.
6. Giro Bravo Gloves
The Giro Bravo Gloves sell quite well, which in and of itself speaks volumes of their quality. Of course, these are not the best cycling gloves out there, but they do rank among. They are quite lightweight, made with synthetic Clarino leather for more durability. If the stitching were up to scratch, these would be the most durable gloves on the market.
They’re a good value for money, though the price may vary depending on the size and style. Speaking of which, there are nine pretty much gender-neutral variants, so there’s more than enough choice.
Summary best cycling gloves
The Giro Bravo Gloves are the best cycling gloves for traditional bikers and those who need heavy padding. They do tend to run small, so make sure to size up, to avoid cutting off circulation and ending up with the padding in wrong places.
On a balance, all of these items could fit the bill for the best cycling gloves, but there are those minor blots and chinks that enable us to rank them and pick a favorite. In this case, the pick is the pair of Zookki Cycling Gloves Mountain with Silicone Gel Pads, since they bring the whole package – cushion, protection, breathability, and with a tempting price tag, at that.
As far as others go, here are some recommendations: for best overall performance for women, go for the Pearl Izumi Select, with the Giro Tessa at a close second; the best mountain bike gloves are definitely the Mountain Made Crestone. The Louis Garneau Men’s 12c Air Gel Cycling Gloves and Giro Bravos are two sides of the same coin, for lack of a better description – the former are light on padding, whereas the latter are heavy on it. Think what you need, and decide accordingly. For other articles and reviews, just get back to our homepage.