If you're like me, you instantly fell in love with cycling the second you went on your first scenic ride.
You were on a decent bike and hopefully you were wearing your helmet. Fast forward a few years and here I am, cycling every week and loving it.
It took me some time to realize how important cycling gloves were, but now I wear them on every ride. Since cycling gloves are so cheap, I went through dozens of pairs before finally finding my favorite. This list is to help you skip all the testing and cut straight to the good stuff - finding the best pair of cycling gloves.
Here's the bottom line:
The following are what I found to be the best cycling gloves after testing many, many more pairs. Some are different styles, but ultimately they are all great in their own regard.
Inbike 5mm Gel
Comes in full finger or fingerless option. Full finger allows for touch screen usage. Provides the best support. Very adjustable, but could be too tight if you just want a leisurely ride. These are best for commuters or those who ride every day.
Firelion Touch Screen Gloves
Full fingered, touch screen tips allow you to use your phone or GPS tracker. Wicking material makes them very breathable, while still providing a snug fit. Due to the exceptional support, they are great for cyclists with arthritis. Also ideal for mountain biking.
Pearl Izumi Men's Select Gloves
Great for handlebar support. Synthetic material with gel padding. They run small so buy a size up to be safe. They are a fan favorite and are considered one of the most comfortable cycling gloves. A great choice for more competitive road cyclists.
Louis Garneau 1 Calory
Made with amara and spandex, so they are quite stretchy and mold do your hand. They offer great support and are ideal for long rides. Best for cycle touring or if you go on less frequent, long rides and need the extra support.
Mesh material that is snug but breathable. These gloves are ideal for road cycling hobbyists. They are great for 10-20 mile rides a few times a week. If you do more than that, you'll need something with a little more padding and durability. A great low-budget option.
What To Look For In Cycling Gloves
Bike gloves, aside from your helmet, are one of the most important pieces of cycling gear. It is important that you know what to look for when selecting a pair.
Giro Bravo Gloves are a top pick for medium-distance cyclists. Their three-panel palm custom-fit design and cloth material enables you to conquer just about any moderate distance ride with ease.
The mesh material provides your hands with proper ventilation while not compromising on grip. Oftentimes cycles will choose a leather glove over mesh, but this comes with its fair share of problems. While out of the box leather gloves may seem like a great choice, experienced cyclists have discovered over time as you sweat the leather absorbs the sweat rendering the glove hard and unusable.
The leather version of these Giro cycling gloves, the Monaco, has this exact problem. The overall design of the Bravo and the Monaco are very similar. The one core exception was the Monaco’s leather material vs the Bravo’s cloth/mesh. One little tweak can make all the difference.
Various online reviews (which in my opinion provide a great metric of assessing the quality of a product) are filled with praises of how comfortable these gloves are. It is not uncommon to be skeptical of a low-priced glove, but in all honesty the Giro Bravo is a great choice for the majority of cycle hobbyists.
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Giro Bravo Glove Summary
Pros: They have a snug fit that allows for your hands to breathe and highly recommended for cyclists who ride 10-20 miles per ride.
Cons: The gloves have sub-par stitching which can come undone if used often. Additionally, the padding between the thumb and index finger is poor in comparison to other gloves. This may be something to consider if you are an avid long-distance cyclist.
The Pearl Izumi are a fantastic choice for the cyclist that is looking for handlebar support. The material is synthetic, with gel padding.
One thing that is very impressive about these gloves is the wiping area near the thumb. The material is perfect for the intense bike rides where you get very sweaty.
For this particular model, you are also given many different colors to choose from. The rider who wants to look stylish have their pick of sleek dark color patterns, riders who are concerned with safety have various bright colors to choose from.
The gloves have a very tight fit and I would advise choosing one above your normal glove size. Most places that sell these gloves online will have a sizing chart available. Make sure you take the correct measurements of your hands and don’t just get medium because you’re a medium in other gloves.
Customer satisfaction for this glove is extremely high. Of nearly 400 customer reviews on Amazon, 2/3s rate these gloves with 5 stars and 25% with 4 stars. A common theme of the happy customers is how comfortable the gloves are, especially the padding.
Pearl Izumi Men's Select Gloves Summary
Pros: These gloves provide a ton of shock absorption. They will protect your hands from bumpy roads and provide a comfortable grip.
Cons: The pros of these gloves are also the cons. While the padding is a great shock absorber, if you are always on smooth trails you may find these gloves unnecessarily bulky.
The Louis Garneau 1 Calory gloves are the perfect gloves for the rider looking for comfort and function. They are made with Amara and spandex that gives you that a stretchy feel and molds to your hand.
The gel padding is carefully located in key parts to give your hand maximum support. One excellent design element is the patented Ergo Air which prevents your hands from getting too sweaty. A velcro strap and puller tap makes these gloves easy to put on and off.
The 1 Calory Gloves have a very impressive aesthetic feel. You look at them you say “Wow! This is what gloves should look like!” They have a round look and many colors to choose from. They are highly rated across multiple platforms, speaking to the overall quality of this pair of cycling gloves.
A constant theme in the reviews has been the comfort the gloves give. Some more traditional riding glove designs don’t provide the same level of give, which can cause numbness on long rides. The 1 Calory Gloves virtually eliminate the issue of hand numbness on long rides. However, the gloves do run small, so you may experience some overall tightness.
If you are a road rider that wants a professional, modern look as well as support, these are the gloves for you. However, riders who do not require much support, these gloves will be too tight and uncomfortable. The puller tab might get in the way for some riders.
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Louis Garneau 1 Calory Glove Summary
Pros: These gloves provide great support, while allowing a lot of flexibility for a wide range of motion.
Cons: They run a little tight, so they are better for riders who are looking more for support than overall comfort/breathability.
The Inbike 5mm Gel Pad Cycling Gloves are designed for the cycling enthusiast. These gloves come with either a full finger or fingerless option. The full-fingered option includes touch screen tips to allow you to easily use your phone or GPS tracker while riding.
The gel padding is carefully placed throughout the palm to provide the best support bike enthusiasts require. The mesh material allows for your hands to get excellent ventilation during those high-intensity rides.
Often times gloves are designed without allowing for adjustments in how tight or loose the glove is. Inbike 5mm solves this problem with their Velcro wrist straps.
Over 400 customers have reviewed the Inbike 5mm on Amazon. Nearly 60% have given 5 stars and close to 30% have given 4 stars making these gloves one of the highest rated on the market.
If you love bike riding and go frequently these are the gloves for you. You are given the support you need. I would highly recommend these gloves for spring and fall. The occasional rider will likely find these gloves to be too tight. If you do more leisurely riding I would not advise these gloves.
Personally, after having tested my fair share of fingerless cycling gloves, these have proven to be the most comfortable and reliable option out there. At the time, I was able to snag them on sale for under $20 on Amazon, but pricing options may have changed.
Inbike 5mm Gel Pad Cycling Gloves Summary
Pros: They are very adjustable and their unique gel padding provides great support. They are good for aggressive cyclists who are looking for a light-weight glove that doesn’t compromise on padding and support.
Cons: Due to the fact that they so well ventilated, these would not make good winter gloves. Their extra support is good for long distance cyclers, but could be irritating to a more casual rider.
FIRELION Unisex Outdoor Gel Touch Screen gloves are perfect for someone who wants full finger cycling gloves, but doesn't want to give up the ability to use their smart phone. The snug fit with the touch screen tips will allow one to use all their smartphone apps without needing any adjustments.
A great bonus to these gloves is the wicking material that allows sweat to evaporate almost immediately. Additionally, the palm padding does a remarkable job at relieving hand numbness and the thumb section is designed so you can easily wipe away sweat. Although full finger, these gloves are some of the best summer cycling gloves you can buy.
Getting the sizing right is a drawback and something that will make or break your experience with the FIRELION. We suggest that you pay close attention to the sizing chart. They tend to fit snuggly, so if you want more flexibility you may want to purchase a size up from your normal glove size.
These gloves have a great reputation among competitive cyclists. Riders who suffer from arthritis have stated they are amazed at how well these gloves relieve pressure. This is a real testament to the engineering of the FIRELION.
These are one of the few gloves that are truly great in all weather. They are breathable enough to provide airflow in the Summer, while other cyclists have remarked that even in 30-degree weather these gloves do the trick.
For the outdoor mountain rider, these are you for. They adapt well to the elements, and their touchscreen tips enable you to check your smartphone or adjust the music you are listening to without having to move your gloves.
FIRELION Unisex Outdoor Gel Gloves Summary
Pros: They are great all weather gloves and can be used in any season. They provide great support and protection for mountain bikers and road cyclists alike.
Cons: They run small, so be sure to pay attention to the sizing chart when looking to purchase a pair. As long as you get the right size and are looking for full fingered gloves, there are not many other drawbacks to the FIRELION Unisex Outdoor Gel Touch Screen Gloves.
Choosing The Best Cycling Gloves For Your Needs
A good pair of road cycling gloves really does make or break your riding experience. When riders have insufficient gloves they can get calluses, or have a numb feeling after a long ride. What is vital in picking out the right gloves for you is understanding the type of riding you normally engage in.
As is the case with riding gear in general, the size varies from company to company, so paying close attention to sizing charts if you plan on buying online is a must.
Remember that padding is key when your usual terrain is bumpy but for smooth terrain the additional padding will not be helpful, but rather cause an irritating bulky feel.
Do you have experience with any of these gloves? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!