[Updated on April 20, 2020] The best mountain bike gloves have several purposes. Nothing ruins a wonderful trail ride on your mountain bike than ending up with blisters on your hands.
Sweating hands can be annoying, and sometimes even dangerous if your hands start slipping. But blisters often hurt for several days. This makes even the simplest of tasks difficult and downright painful.
Both the dangers of sweaty hands slipping and painful blisters can be avoided by wearing mountain bike gloves. Choosing the best mountain bike gloves is easy when you know what to look for.
In this sport, both men's and women's mountain biking gloves are judged equally. Read on for the ultimate guide to the best mountain bike gloves.
Types of Mountain Bike Gloves
Mountain bike gloves come in several styles and materials. There are sizes to fit the largest hands and the smaller child-sized hands of children bikers. The most popular styles of gloves are:
Full Finger Mountain bike gloves
These MTB gloves cover your whole hand and run the gamut from thin summer material to many layered versions for winter riding.
Half Finger Mountain bike gloves
These gloves offer padding for your palm and a better grip of handlebars but leave your fingers free to move.
Materials use for Mountain Bike Gloves
The materials you are most likely to find biking gloves made from are:
Buyer's Guide of Gloves
Video Transcript: Buyer's guide to winter gloves
Here's a question for you
What's the most unpleasant experience you can have while cycling? Is it being stuck at the back of a wet Club run while no one else has mud guards? or what about that hissing noise from your back tire just as you're at the end of a really long ride? Both pretty bad.
I'm sure you'll agree but I think there's nothing worse than losing feeling in your fingers on freezing days in the depths of winter leaving you unable to control the gear or brake levers to avoid this.
Here are What to Consider
You're going to need a good pair of winter cycling gloves so what should you be looking for to make sure you don't lose too many fingers to frostbite this winter. Choosing the right gloves depends a lot on where you live and the conditions you ride in. So, if you're from Inverness, say, you like to go out all conditions you're going to need an awful lot more protection than your average fair-weather weekend warrior.
The most important thing is this to be wind proof in order to keep you warm if you want a little more protection you can also get ones that will keep you dry too. The bad news is a lot only of waterproof gloves that normally cost you a little bit more but they can also compromise some breath ability which isn't good news if the temperature starts to rise.
Your hands will begin to overheat just as important is to get a pair of gloves with good insulation now. Good insulation means that even if your hands do get wet they won't get cold.
Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple with cycling gloves as it is with skiing gloves. For example, where you can just put loads of insulation in there that's when you're cycling you obviously need to retain your dexterity in order to break and change gear.
Other important things to consider
If you're out in seriously cold conditions it could be worth investing in a pair of lobster gloves such as these now these have a split-finger design which helps to trap warmth by keeping your fingers close together and reducing the surface area of the glove you can also combine. These gloves with inner gloves which give an extra layer of protection the final important area of a glove.
When it comes to keeping you warm is the cut now you either want a nice loose cuff such as these which you can pull the jacket underneath or a really tight one which it's closed against your wrists so you could pull jacket over the top. So, now you hopefully know how to keep your hands both warm and dry but what other features do you need to look for in your perfect pair of winter cycling gloves.
The first place to look for is the palm. Now, this is a great area of putting a little bit of extra padding and insulation which will help to keep your hands warm. But the most important thing especially if you're riding in wet conditions, just have a nice tacky surface to help you maintain good contact with the bars especially if you're riding after dark.
It can also be useful to look for a nice high visual pair of glass such as these now this will really help when you're just sticking your arm out to make sure that vehicles coming from behind will be able to see you signaling.
Choosing a glove size can be done easily using the following 3 steps:
Measure the length of your hand by starting at the tip of your middle finger (the longest) and ending at your wrist where the second line crosses.
To measure the width of your hand, hold the tape measure with your palm and make a fist. Wrap the loose end of the measure around your fist.
Find your measurements in the below charts. If your width and length are located in two different sizes, choose the larger of the two.
Mountain Bike Gloves Size Chart
Features to Consider
When looking for the best mountain bike gloves for you personally, there are several things you need to consider. In addition to deciding whether you prefer full or half finger gloves, take a look at where you need the most protection.
Gloves offer extra protection on the palm but can also offer protection on knuckles and wrist supports if needed.
4 Must Have Facilities of Good MTB Gloves
Breathability is the amount of air that can get to your hands. This allows them to sweat less, which can make riding more comfortable in hot weather. It also allows for more flexibility in movement.
Most gloves come with leather protection pads on the palms but you can find gloves that also have added protection on the knuckles and backs of the hands.
Some gloves also offer grip pads on the fingertips. Higher-end gloves may offer bracing at the wrist to protect from breaks during a crash.
This is a factor to consider when biking in the winter months. Many winter gloves come with several layers to keep hands warm and dry while riding in rain and cold.
This feature describes the ability of the material to draw sweat away from your palms and moving it through the material so that the air gets rid of the sweat.
Best Mountain Bike Gloves | Our Choices
These seven gloves have been chosen as the best mountain bike gloves of the year for various reasons. Whatever your needs, it is likely you will find a pair among these seven to fit those needs.
They are listed in no particular order, as the perfect glove for one individual may not be the perfect one for another. In the end, it is you who must decide what features are most important to you in a glove.
If you can ride comfortably, safely and enjoyably then you have found your best mountain bike gloves.
Gel pad unisex gloves
Light & anti-slip gloves
Pearl Izumi Select
Half finger gloves
Elite gel men gloves
FREETOO Tactical Gloves | Best Men's Gloves
These gloves are the "tough guys" on the block. Ruggedly constructed to withstand the hardest activity, these are the gloves you will be able to use regardless of the sport you choose.
They come in a variety of colors and boast a 4.5-star rating among nearly 2000 reviews. These gloves could very well sell at twice the price and still be a value.
Inbike 5mm Gel Pad Cycling Gloves | Best Unisex Glove
These gloves have the look and feel of professional racing gloves. Created to reduce the pressure on nerves that comes from long rides, the cushioned palm allows for hours of comfortable riding.
Velcro wrist closure, breathable fabric and a shock-absorbing palm pad all add up to one of the most comfortable gloves on this list.
TRIDEER Ultra Light Breathable Lycra & Anti-Slip Shock
These inexpensive gloves have received a 4.6/5.0 rating, which is high for gloves in this category. They come in both half finger and full finger styles and the neon-colored option gives riders extra visibility when wearing them.
Made of lightweight, breathable fabric that whisks sweat away to keep hands dry. The manufacturer is so confident in its product that it offers a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked and a one-year replacement guarantee.
Pearl Izumi Men's Select Glove | Best Durable Men's Gloves
Pearl has a reputation for fine quality items at affordable prices. These men's mountain bike gloves come in half-finger design.
There are a variety of colors to fit every taste, including gloves with neon green or yellow to make night riding safer.
Padding is a 1:1 ratio to help relieve nerve pressure. The palm is made of soft leather that is both flexible and durable. A final touch has a soft area on each thumb to wipe sweat away from eyes while riding.
Tanluhu Mountain Bike Gloves | Best Half Finger Gloves
This is a glove that has a pair for every member of the family. Sizes run from S, for children, through XXL for riders with large hands. Colors to appeal to all tastes are available.
These half-finger riding gloves are made of Lycra spandex and a mesh material that makes them lightweight, breathable and able to whisk away sweat to keep your hands cool and dry. They are machine washable for easy care.
The palms have a shock absorber built in and there is a thumb section created for wicking away sweat on heads and noses. All this comes with a low price tag that can enable you to purchase pairs for all family members.
Giro Bravo Gloves | Comfortable for Women Biker
Bravo gloves are the mid-range gloves of the Giro series. The three section palm panel allows for flexibility and strength.
There are a wide variety of colors to choose from and although the gloves are marketed as men's gloves, the sizing chart on the Giro website lists sizes for women's mountain biking gloves so women may find them completely acceptable.
These gloves are made from synthetic leather and mesh, making them breathable as well as offering strong protection.
Pearl Izumi - Ride Men's Elite Gel Gloves
The second pair of Pearl Izumi gloves to make our list, these were released as a new design this past year. The uppers are made of breathable material that keeps hand dry and the palms are covered in a soft, synthetic leather that allows for a sure grip.
The gel padding provides comfort for long rides, giving padding to sensitive nerves in the hands. A reduction of the seams in the palm help prevent chafing on hands. The hook and loop closure at the wrist is designed to keep the gloves from slipping on your wrist.
The colors run from unimposing black or white to stylish red and black. A pair in screaming yellow is available for those seeking extra safety in high traffic areas or on night rides. Both an updated style and better construction make these some of the best of the new line.
The best mountain bike gloves are the ones that you feel most comfortable wearing. You know best what you need based on the type of riding you do on a regular basis.
Our choices took into account the major features that most riders seek when they are looking for quality mountain bike gloves that are worth the cost and will last for more than a ride or two. We hope that perfect pair you seek has been found here.
While I am drawn toward those in the Number Five position because of the great versatility and reasonable price, your riding habits may require a stronger padding or you may prefer a full-finger glove with a different type of wrist closure.
Take time to explore your options. The best mountain bike gloves will work like an extension of your hand, adding protection but not hindering movement.