By now you’ve probably seen a lot of cyclists with jazzy, colorful gloves. What’s with that? Obviously, comfort right? There’s more to it than just comfort. Bike gloves provide a lot more to the rider than what’s visible. Apart from looking cool, bike gloves also serve multiple functions. We’re going to tell you the top five reasons as to why we think gloves are an important accessory for a cyclist.
One of the most obvious advantages of wearing gloves is for the added comfort. The padding on the underside of the gloves, if placed correctly, aids in cushioning your hands from the vibrations passed through the bike and handlebar.
When riding, you are placing pressure on your ulnar and median nerves. By entrapping them, you will start to feel numbness, tingling or even pain in your fingers. This will affect your grip strength and how well you control the bike. Therefore, wearing gloves will ensure optimal comfort over long rides.
When riding on the open roads there will always be a risk of getting into an accident. You never expect a crash to happen so it’s better to be prepared for one in case it does happen.
Quite often when you are crashing, it is your immediate reflex reaction to stick your hands out to break the fall. Gloves can act as a useful first layer of defense to prevent painful cuts and grazes. Road rash can be quite awful. A nice pair of cycling gloves can be the difference between being able to get back on the bike and not being able to hold the handlebars because of road rash.
A lot of the “ride feel” while cycling comes from the handlebars. A good level of grip will inspire a higher level of confidence will cycling.
Your hands also tend to get pretty sweaty and can easily slip around the handlebars. Gloves help to soak up the sweat, keeping your hands dry and allow you to maintain a safe grip on the handlebars at all times. Gloves are especially useful when you are caught in the rain or are in very humid conditions.
Gloves are particularly helpful when you’re cycling in cold weather or even early in the mornings. Since your handlebar and fingers are the first to get the windblast from ahead it can be quite helpful with a pair of gloves.
Winter specific gloves are full fingered and are considerably thicker than your average gloves. These gloves have some insulation material built into them as well.
Descending or simply riding fast can cause a lot of cold air to hit your fingers. In certain cases it can get so cold that you might experience hand numbing. That’s never good when it’s your fingers that are responsible for braking and overall control.
5. INJURY PREVENTION
Cyclists put excessive loads on their hands – especially road cyclists. Due to this, they are prone to suffer from handlebar palsy. It is an injury is caused due to prolonged compression of a nerve in your wrist.
The pain can be severe and if you are not careful, you might risk suffering from nerve damage too. Therefore, wearing gloves can help to disperse the force being applied to these nerves and reduce the chance of you injuring yourself.
Many riders ignore gloves assuming it’s meant for pros (many pros also forgo gloves). In reality, cycling gloves help every rider – beginners, commuters, the endurance junkie, or the race machine.
Not only do gloves add a level of safety and comfort by extra padding but they also help massively by preventing scraped palms in the case of a crash, in helping with sweat management without stopping your ride, adding an extra layer of visibility and also making you look like a million bucks on your bike.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: RockRider 5.3 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010