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Best Cycling Gloves in 2021

 

We all know that protecting your head is the most important thing when cycling. A MIPS helmet is your most prized possession on the bike.

But there are other parts of your body that take a beating when you ride, and that’s it even when you fall off.

Whether you’re riding for 30 minutes or 5 hours, your hands are under constant pressure. You’re leaning your body weight on them if you’re on the handlebars, and even if you’re on aero bars, you need to be gripping them tightly to stay safe and secure.

We’re reviewing the best cycling gloves to protect your hands. They may not seem as important as other equipment, but believe us – when your hands go numb on the handlebars or get scraped up in a crash, you’ll wish you were wearing protection!

We highly recommend the Castelli Cycling Rosso Corsa Pro V gloves for men, and the Castelli Cycling Roubaix Gel 2 for women.

They’re packed with engineered Castelli Damping System padding, gel inserts for excellent shock absorption, and use textured mesh for both style and breathability.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Start protecting your hands today with one of these pairs of cycling gloves.

Top 3 Best and Favorite

 

Castelli Cycling Rosso Corsa Pro V

 

  • Castelli Damping System
  • Crash protection design
  • Textured mesh with stretch
CHECK PRICE

 

Castelli Cycling Roubaix Gel 2

 

  • Ergonomic design
  • Thick gel padding
  • Castelli Damping System
CHECK PRICE

 

Louis Garneau Nimbus Gel Gloves

 

  • Biogel progressive padding
  • AirFit mesh upper
  • Silicone-coated palm
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Overall For Men

1. Castelli Cycling Rosso Corsa Pro V

These light and comfortable gloves have been made out of textured mesh.

They’re breathable, keeping your hands ventilated and reducing sweat that can cause slipping on the handlebars.

The back of the glove and the cuff are elasticated, making it super easy to get on and off in a hurry. Areas of silicone on the palm allow the best grip on the handlebars, but keep in mind that those with a silicone allergy won’t be able to use them.

The best feature of this glove is the Castelli Damping System (CDS) built into the palm. Just looking at the design of the glove, it’s easy to see how the company mapped out the main parts of the hands that take strain while riding, and has added extra padding to these parts for protection.

Four distinct metacarpal pads and a lower palm pad use gel padding to absorb the vibration that comes through the handlebars, preventing hand and wrist fatigue and numbness. Not only does this protect the joints from jarring, but it also adds to the comfort of these gloves.

The lower section of padding is crafted from abrasion-resistant material, and Castelli labels it “crash protection”. It wraps up around the outside of the hand, providing light protection for the bone and more robust protection for the skin if you’re in a crash.

They come in a variety of colors, use an easy hook-and-loop Velcro closure, and are fingerless for even better airflow and grip.

PROS:

  • Castelli Damping System (CDS)
  • Crash protection design
  • Gel padding and silicone grip
  • Textured mesh with stretch

CONS:

  • Cyclists with allergies to silicone should avoid these gloves
 

Best Overall For Women

2. Castelli Cycling Roubaix Gel 2

Like the men’s above, the women’s top choice is a Castelli glove that features many of the same excellent qualities.

The Roubaix Gel 2 is a fingerless glove made from light mesh material, allowing for optimal airflow to keep the hands cool and dry.

It’s the most padded women’s glove that Castelli offers, featuring the reputable Castelli Damping System in the palm for the best protection. Gel padding in strategic places across the hand protects the most vulnerable parts from numbing and pain.

Their biggest downfall is the lack of crash protection on the side of the hand, which the men’s glove features. But their padding and ergonomic, anatomical design make them comfortable to wear for many hours on the road.

PROS:

  • Perforated material for ventilation
  • Ergonomic design
  • Thick gel padding
  • Features Castelli Damping System

CONS:

  • No crash protection
 

Best Value

3. Louis Garneau Nimbus Gel Gloves

The Louis Garneau Nimbus Gel gloves may be more affordable than some, but that’s no indication of their quality.

AirFit mesh (a combination of mesh and Spandex) makes the upper both easy to get on and light and breathable. Integrated into these gloves is patented Ergo Air technology, which helps wick away moisture and maintains a comfortable temperature.

An ergonomic Velcro wrist strap allows for easy fitting, while pull tabs on the fingers help get the glove off without a hassle.

Biogel progressive padding on the palm reduces pressure on the nerves of the hand, preventing numbness and pain as a result of nerve compression. The palm is split into sections of padding, between which is an X-Vent for better airflow and comfort.

The palm is lightly coated with silicone for better grip on the handles and a microfiber thumb allows the wearer to wipe away sweat without abrasion.

PROS:

  • Biogel progressive padding
  • AirFit mesh upper
  • Silicone-coated palm
  • Finger tab pullers

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for users with a silicone sensitivity
 

Most Padding

4. PEARL iZUMi Attack

If padding is your priority, try the Pearl Izumi Attack gloves. They’ve been designed in such a way as to offer exceptional cushioning, but still give the wearer hand-to-bar feel while riding.

Their 1:1 Connect Palm uses a single-piece, low-profile gel insert in the palm, which provides impressive padding. It’s designed to support the natural arch in your hand and keep it in position.

Despite being low-profile and offering more support than padding, this glove does wonders for reducing hand numbness.

The palm is made of synthetic leather, which is not only soft and durable but also provides a natural slip-free grip on the handlebars. On the thumb, a soft surface makes it easy to wick away moisture on your face when you need to.

The unique shape of the gel pad allows full handlebar contact at the top and bottom of the palm, so there’s no sacrificing raw feel for comfort.

An easy hook-and-loop closure is ergonomically designed to avoid irritation at the wrist while keeping a tight enough fit. They run ever so slightly tight around the fingers.

PROS:

  • 1:1 Connect Palm design
  • Slip-free grip
  • Low-profile gel insert
  • Hook-and-loop closure

CONS:

  • Run slightly tight
 

Best Leather Gloves For Men

5. Giro LX Glove

Leather is not only durable, protective, and easy on the skin, but it’s also stylish. These Giro LX gloves are superbly crafted, giving you a professional look no matter where you’re riding.

But they’ll do a good job of keeping your hands safe and comfortable too. Large perforations across the back of the leather and micro-perforations on the palm ensure sufficient airflow through the glove.

Giro has designed these gloves using Super Fit engineering, which is a special process that creates an anatomical fit for best comfort and performance. Everything from the finger length to the padding zones has been carefully thought out using this tech.

Another useful innovation is their 3-piece palm. This allows for a natural foot and movement of the hand, while placing padding in the right areas and still allowing for a hand-to-bar feeling.

Using unique 3mm-thick Technogel padding, which molds to the hand and moves with you, pressure is evenly distributed and hot spots are prevented. It also absorbs the vibrations that are natural whether riding on the road or trail, protecting the joints from being jarred.

Be aware that there’s a chance that the black dye on the inner of the glove may stain the skin when damp. This isn’t at all a performance deficit, though, and won’t necessarily happen to everyone. But it’s a possibility.

PROS:

  • Vented leather
  • Unique Super Fit engineering
  • 3-piece palm construction
  • 3mm-thick Technogel cushioning

CONS:

  • The black dye may stain when damp
 

Top Lightweight Gloves

6. Louis Garneau Mondo Gel Glove

If you need a light glove for the summer heat or you’re put off by excessive padding, then try the Louis Garneau Mondo Gel glove.

It’s lightweight and features a slip-on design for improved aerodynamics. Mesh and Spandex on the back create an ideal blend of light, airy, and just stretchy enough for comfort. On the palm, synthetic leather with silicone grips give you the best of both softness and grip.

Progressive Biogel padding offers some protection, but it’s not chunky enough to add much to the weight of the glove. It’s strategically placed to take pressure off the median and ulnar nerves, which maintains full sensation and pain-free comfort on long rides.

PROS:

  • Lightweight with mesh backing
  • Progressive padding
  • Silicone print on the palm
  • Seamless, slip-on cuff

CONS:

  • Absence of a hook-and-loop strap means no custom fit on the wrist
 

Best Full Finger

7. PEARL iZUMi ELITE Gel Full Finger Glove

Whether you need more protection from the cold or you just like being fully covered, this is the full-fingered glove we’d recommend.

With a palm made from Ax Suede Laredo leather, it features 4-way stretch for comfort and durability. The back is light and breathable, made from a blend of polyester and elastane.

On the front, 3D, shaped gel pads deliver comfy padding, leading to reduced pain, less numbness, and good grip without adding bulk to the glove.

A feature we appreciate is the ability to use touch screens without having to remove the glove. This is perfect for bike computers, smartphones, and even touch screen watches.

To get a tight enough fit, the minimalist hook-and-loop closure wraps around from front to back, staying comfortably out of your way while riding.

PROS:

  • 3D shaped gel pads
  • Touchscreen-compatible full-finger glove
  • Ax Suede palm
  • Hook-and-loop closure

CONS:

  • Run slightly small
 

FAQs

If you have questions about why you should buy the best cycling gloves and not forgo them completely or get a cheap pair, here are some answers!

What are the Benefits of Cycling Gloves?

Cycling gloves may seem like a small piece of equipment that isn’t extremely important. Sure, you can ride without cycling gloves, but wearing them offers you some benefits that you don’t get when riding bare-handed.

Firstly, they soak up sweat and keep your hands dry. This is important for a firm grip on the handlebars, which keeps you safe. Nobody wants their hands to be slipping around on the handlebars while riding at a speed.

Some gloves even have a “face wipe” section, which is a soft, towel-like section, most often on the back or side of the thumb, which can easily be raised to your face to wipe away sweat and keep you comfortable.

Many gloves also have some padding in the palms. When you’re leaning on your palms on your handlebars for hours, this can be extremely helpful to cushion your hand joints and wrists from vibration.

Lastly, they provide a layer of protection in the event of a crash. While they won’t stop bones from breaking, they can definitely help reduce or prevent road rash and skin injuries if you happen to come off the bike.

Do Bike Gloves Help with Numbness?

Wearing bike gloves can help to stop your hands from going numb when you’re leaning on the handlebars for hours at a time. Pressure on the hands can compress the nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, and a loss of control over the hands and fingers.

Obviously, losing feeling in and control of your hands is extremely dangerous on the bike. Your hands are what you use to keep the bike steady in the right direction, and help you to avoid obstacles.

Most pairs of bike gloves are designed with specially shaped padding on the palms, specifically to help reduce pressure on the hands and absorb some of the shock on the hands and wrists.

This helps to prevent nerves from being compressed and the hands going numb, keeping them safer on the bike.

What is the Difference Between Gloves and Mitts?

The term “gloves” is usually used interchangeably for any kind of hand covering, whether it’s got fingers, no fingers, or is one pouch for all the fingers.

But technically, “glove” refers to an item that covers the whole hand. “Mitt” usually means a hand covering that doesn’t extend to the fingers. In other words, a fingerless glove.

The Wired Runner