Bicycle gloves may seem like optional fashion accessories, but if you plan to spend any amount of time on a bike, you'll want to outfit yourself with a pair. In fact, bicycle gloves are arguably the most important piece of bike clothing you'll buy. You can bicycle in regular exercise clothing and shoes, but there's no replacing a good pair of gloves. If you're still skeptical, consider all the advantages that bicycle gloves offer.
The primary purpose of bicycle gloves is to protect your hands. Try riding a mountain bike down a rock-strewn hill and you'll immediately realize that your hands take abuse from the impact of the front end of the bicycle. Gloves will help to absorb some of the impact and will also prevent blisters and chafing. Bicycle gloves often feature some form of padding in the palms to help with absorption. Your hands will spend a lot of time on the grips, so they will benefit from the protection of gloves. Bicycle gloves will also protect from other injuries to the hands. If you fall off the bicycle and put your hands down on the pavement to brace yourself, you'll have gloves protecting from scrapes and cuts. In mountain biking, gloves can even take out some of the sting of getting hit by branches, thorns or other natural trail hazards.
In addition to affecting your hands, the front-end impact can also cause you to lose a firm grip on the handlebars, an issue that can be scary and dangerous. Moist, sweaty palms will also limit the amount of your grip. Bicycle gloves are constructed to enhance your grip around the bicycle grips. Materials such as leather or synthetic leather provide a better grip than you'd get with bare hands. Gloves also absorb sweat and moisture, so you can maintain firm, dry contact with the bike.
While cycling is often thought of in terms of balmy, summer days, many cyclists and mountain bikers enjoy riding year-round. In this case, gloves help provide warmth in the winter and cooler months. Heavier, insulated gloves are available for winter riding and are an important accessory when the temperatures hover near freezing.
Article Written By Joe Fletcher
Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.