The perfect cycling gloves, do they exist? I’m sure we will all have different preferences and requirements when it comes to what is between our handlebars and palms, some mentalists don’t even use them, but there must be some ‘must have’ features.
I have spent way too much money on cycling gloves over the years. I fall over and rip them, one gets lost, they get left in a pub, there’s many fates for a pair of gloves owned by me and no two end the same way.
So first off, what are the necessities? I would plumb for comfort, fit and durability being the defining features.
Some I have owned:
Verdict: Relatively cheap and it shows. I fell off at low speed and ripped the palm in half within a week of ownership. Otherwise decent amount of padding but will wear out quickly.
Verdict: Again pretty cheap but felt better made than the Cinelli’s. Personally I really like how they look, but they’re not for everyone. The padding is simple but effective. They also have a tendency to absorb smells, which isn’t so great. If I hadn’t left mine in a pub in Dunwich they would probably still be in my draw (stinking it out).
Verdict: Great gloves. They live up to their name of having loads of grip, there’s a reason lots of guys use them for the velodrome. Minimal but effective gel padding. The short finger version are great for summer and the long finger ones are surprisingly warm in the winter without any extra layers as they cut out the wind very well.
Unfortunately their quality control leaves a bit to be desired. The long finger pair had one thumb stitching down the side and the other one came across it the front. Also the palm gel padding folded over on itself forming a tumorous lump so I had to cut it out. The short finger pair decided to fall apart and the material on the top part started separating after getting wet then drying out.
Verdict: This is the pair I am currently using. They have no padding to speak of, however the leather palm is naturally a bit padded and has good grip. They are a bit hard to get off at first but quickly wear in and are very comfortable. They’re not crazy expensive (for Rapha) but the build quality feels much better than the previously mentioned brands. My hands haven’t ever got too hot in them but I have not tested them in colder weather yet. Overall I really like them.
Special mention – Altura Night Vision Gloves
Verdict: These are a different as they’re proper winter gloves. Unless you have an actual medical condition these will keep your digits warm enough, and if they don’t you can easily add a silk glove liner. They’re waterproof (and believe me I have tested them thoroughly), have reflective bits, have good grip which is important in the rain, don’t look fancy enough for anyone to half-inch them and are cheap enough in case you lose them. For winter gloves, look no further.
Overall the Rapha Pro Team gloves are my favourite at the moment, although it will hurt my wallet a little when I lose them, they fulfill my three original criteria.
What do you guys think? Got any that have served you well? Had any that I need to steer clear of in the future?