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A pair of cycling gloves are one of the few pieces of apparel that make direct contact with both your body and the bicycle. They help you maintain proper grip on the bars when things get hot and sweaty, they protect your skin in the case of an accidental dismount, and they can help alleviate soreness and numbness in your hands.
However, like any other type of cycling gear, you can’t just grab any pair of gloves off the shelf. The gloves have to be the perfect fit for you. Below is some information to help you find the right pair.
The importance of cycling gloves to the ulnar nerve
Through the palm of your hand runs a nerve called the ulnar nerve. It’s the nerve responsible for the shock you feel when you hit your funny bone. It’s also responsible for the sensation in your pinkie, ring finger, hands, and any subsequent discomfort when riding. By holding the handlebar, pressure is placed on the ulnar nerve, sometimes creating numbness or pain.
The ulnar nerve and the critical pressure point
At the location where your hand, the ulnar nerve, and the handlebar make contact is where cycling gloves offer relief. Many gloves include padding on the palm to disperse the force being applied to the Ulnar nerve. The pad acts as a little bridge over the nerve, eliminating hand discomfort, and allowing you endless miles of comfortable riding.
Ulnar nerve being protected by pad
Finding the Perfect Pair of Cycling Gloves
When trying on cycling gloves, focus on the webbing between your pointer finger and thumb. The webbing will give you a great indication of fit when holding a handlebar. If the glove is snug enough to avoid scrunching up and chaffing, then it’s a good fit. However, if the glove is too tight through the webbing, then holding the bar will only intensify that pressure.
If this is your first time using gloves, realize that holding a bar with gloves will feel different. If it feels like the padding puts your hand in an unnatural position, try on different pairs until you find one that feels more normal.
Cycling gloves come in two major categories; full finger and half finger. Both types offer the same sizing and padding options. For road and path riding half finger gloves work great. They allow for good feel on the controls and manage sweat well. If you are riding off road, a full finger glove offers better protection in case of an accidental dismount.
Half finger and full finger cycling gloves
When you follow the tips above, you should easily be able to find gloves that help you enjoy mile after mile of comfortable riding.
For keeping your gloves clean and stretching there longevity this article.
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In a previous article, I talked at length about the Sealskinz’ new Super Light Pro Sock. While Sealskinz as a company began with socks, they have evolved their product line to include headwear and gloves for winter rides. One of the products that piqued my interest was the Halo glove. It drew my attention because it is a waterproof, winter glove with an active blinker system built in. Read on to see what makes these gloves interesting and some of my initial thoughts.
The Halo Glove for winter rides
Even though Sealskinz made a name for themselves with socks, they didn’t allow themselves to get caught on their heels (HEELS! Get it!). Sealskinz is committed to keeping all your extremities warm and dry. That mission is the inspiration behind the Sealskinz gloves we will be reviewing for winter rides. My first review will be on the Halo glove, a unique waterproof glove with powerful LED lights built into the back of the hand.
Waterproof doesn’t stop at the product for Sealskinz. Even the packaging that holds your glove is considered. Rather than punching holes in the glove to mount it to a backer card like most brands, Sealskinz sews loops into the glove to ensure it never gets damaged.
The Halo bike glove is an $80 investment full of many features. It is constructed with a synthetic suede palm, incorporating gel pads for greater comfort on winter rides. The outer shell is completely waterproof, and the glove is machine washable. Additionally, the liner uses an anti-slip material that won’t pull out of the glove when you remove them. Finally, the cuff closes with soft Velcro straps that are large enough to be manipulated with a gloved hand.
Bicycling Glove Features
One thing that is unique to cycling gloves is the way they insulate. Most cycling gloves are windproof, waterproof, and have minimal insulation. I can hear you asking already “minimal insulation?”, yes minimal. Cycling gloves rely on you to generate heat by exercising on winter rides. Under those circumstances, the glove holds the heat you create, keeping you warm. By being water/windproof and relatively thin, cycling gloves offer better dexterity than a normal winter glove.
Immediately upon putting the gloves on, I was impressed. The liner is soft and warm to the touch, and the glove fit was great. All the fingers articulate well without any pulling of material folding uncomfortably. Additionally, the lights activate easily and are really bright.
The first time I rode with the Halo bike glove the temperature was just below freezing and rainy. Luckly, it wasn’t a real downpour and more of just a misting, but it was wet none the less. My forty minute commute ended with all my fingers being warm and toasty. Since that day I have ridden down to about 20 degrees and the gloves never left me wanting in the warmth department. My commuter bike has a flat handlebar, so when the Halo’s lights are activated, they shine forward giving me more visibility to oncoming traffic. In the case of a drop handlebar, the Halo glove will shine to your sides.
The Halo’s lights are really bright, and really lightweight.
I hope to push these gloves as far into the cold as I can handle. Once I reach the Halo’s limits, I get to switch to Sealskinz Highland Claw Glove for the colder temps. Overall, I am really excited to see what the life of the lights on the Halo glove is and if they can survive the cold and moisture of Minnesota’s winter. Stay tuned for more info.
As you enjoy the fresh fall air while you ride, we hope you have clean biking gloves!
With Fall officially here and some of the best biking ahead, with colorful scenery and mild temperatures, many people are thinking about winter storage preparations. While bike
Clean biking gloves are essential so they are not gross or smelly.
maintenance is an important thing to do before storage, taking care of your cycling gear is just as essential especially if things are a bit smelly. Specially bike gloves, which should be cleaned periodically throughout the season, so they aren’t foul and disgusting.
Not everyone realizes that their riding gloves should be washed occasionally – this includes gloves that have leather or a material that may not seem like it is ‘machine washable’.
Why Clean Biking Gloves?
Clean biking gloves do more than just grip those handlebars better or reduce vibrations while riding. They also absorb all the sweat and skin cells that come from a rider’s hands. The sweat and skin cells can eventually build up within the gloves and make them smell due to the growth of various bacteria. Therefore, taking care of cycling gloves is something that everyone should do.
When riding, whether racing or for recreation, biking gloves can become quite dirty, stinky and bacteria ridden.
What gets on Typical Biking Gloves?
Here is an assortment of clean biking gloves you may have that should be washed periodically to eliminate odors.
Dirt, Grease, and Bacteria
Let’s start with the most obvious one. Dirt and bacteria. When a rider puts on their gloves it isn’t likely that they will be taking it off anytime soon. Even if they stop for a drink, you’ll generally find gloves still securely on the rider’s hands. Your hands touch a lot of objects and whatever you can usually find on your hand when out and about, it’s likely to be on your gloves.
Dirt and general bacteria from the great outdoors isn’t the only thing that might end up on gloves. Many riders also use their gloves to rub at chain ring tattoos. Therefore, grease can also adhere to the gloves and be transferred on the handlebars or penetrate into the gloves. For information about how to avoid and deal with grease marks, we have an article that covers that so hopefully grease – on a general outing – won’t be on your gloves.
Additionally, bacteria can come from when riders may cough into their gloves. This means that saliva can also get on the outside of the gloves and stay there.
Another obvious offender is sweat. The cycling gloves help ensure a good and tight grip on the handlebars so the rider always has control of their bicycle. Without gloves, sweat can make handlebars slick. This decreases the degree of safety a rider can have while doing serious biking. The gloves absorb the sweat into the material so it doesn’t cause a problem or irritate the rider as they continue on their journey.
Since the material is easily accessible, as it is on a rider’s hands, riders also tend to use the gloves to wipe sweat from their faces. So while sweat may be in the interior, it also tends to be on the outside as well.
Dead Skin Cells
We continuously lose skin cells, but a moist glove gathers those skin cells since there is no place for them to go. This can eventually cake the inside of the gloves. While it may not be obvious, can make the material stiffer and make the material inside less comfortable.
When listing off what can be on biking gloves, snot is not something that readily comes to mind. Why should it? It definitely isn’t pleasing to think about, and definitely makes many people cringe. However, when someone is biking, sweat and a runny nose that comes from exertion, in any weather, can happen. Unable to reach for a tissue or blow their nose, many riders use their gloves or sleeves to quickly deal with a dripping nose.
Sweat makes the interior and exterior of the gloves moist. When gloves are placed in darkness, it becomes the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria to quickly multiply. This creates the smell that gloves can emit. If not taken care of properly over time, the smell can be difficult to remove.
So before you dig into your bike bag for a pair of gloves or borrow someone else’s, remember this. You never know what another person’s biking gloves have been through. It also means that washing your own biking gloves should be seen as a regular practice rather than only washing them once during the biking season.
Learn how to clean your gloves – no matter what material – by looking at our easy step-by-step article.
Fall is a gorgeous time to get on that bike and pedal to the medal – or maybe just pedal. The crisp autumn air makes breathing easy and without a hot sun, heat stroke isn’t an issue. With the gorgeous hues of oranges, yellows, and browns that color the landscape, fall bike riding is arguably the best.
Rather than putting a bike in storage early due to the fluctuation in weather, here’s the answer you’re lookin for. To conquering this fall problem is by wearing layers. While this might seem obvious, the key lies in correctly layering appropriate clothing. If correctly done, it can optimize comfort for the rider. Not only that, it can also increase the ability of how each layer works to maximize moister and temperature regulation.
Your base layer should have great moisture and wicking ability to keep your body dry. Also opt for something that you’d wear if it were to get on the warmer side compared to the colder side for this layer. For example, put on the short sleeve jersey, undershirt, and arm warmers compared to a long-sleeved jersey or shirt. If it gets too warm, you can only do so much with long sleeves whereas you can always taken off the arm warmers if you become too toasty.
For fall bike riding, at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, knees should always be covered.
For your bottoms, keep up with this same principle. Realize that legs will warm up quickly while pedaling. Whether you keep them bare by wearing shorts or your usual spring/summer attire or go with wearing long knickers, it’s good to layer these items as well. Leg warmers are also a good thing to use if you have them. Also, they can easily come off and be put away when the temperature rises.
Remember, at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, knees should always be covered. Even if they warm up during the ride, with wind, it’s best to keep them protected from the cold.
The top layers are arguably the most important layers you need to choose. This is because these are the layers that you’ll remove to try to reach that ideal temperature. There are many different potential items that you can layer over the base layer, but the rule of layering for fall weather absolutely applies. The Rule: Layer smartly. Keep in mind that the last item you’re putting on should be the one you’d want to take off first.
Arm warmers are a great clothing items to wear for fall bike riding if you have them.
We like the idea of having a long-sleeved jersey or shirt that can help keep the arms warm, whether that ends up over or under arm warmers (if you decide to use them). A windbreaker can be exceptionally helpful. Even if there are no gales going through the area, biking moves you though the air and produces a ‘wind’ that can chill you. Over the long-sleeves, we’d recommend a jacket – heavy or lighter depending on you and the weather. Other layers can be added as well.
Other Important Areas – Head, Fingers, and Feet
Today, there are many different accessories and products that can help keep the other parts of your body warm and therefore keep you happy and riding longer. Scarves, earmuffs, full-fingered biking gloves, cycling caps, shoe covers to reduce cold air into the shoe – these are all things that you can consider adding to your list.
Depending on the out door tempurature full fingered gloves may be more desirable to wear for fall bike riding.
Scarves help ensure cold air doesn’t sneak into your jacket where you don’t want it – plus it keeps your neck and can keep part of your face warm!
Riding is hard when your ears are cold and aching. This is where earmuffs, or a hat with earflaps, are a welcome sight. It’s something you won’t regret once out biking, especially when it gets colder or the wind picks up!
Your head tends to be overlooked when going out to bike. While the helmet can feel warm while biking, when the temperature drops more, sometimes a little more is needed to keep your scalp warm. Today, many helmets allow some leeway in them for biking caps or headbands to help keep the rider’s head warm.
Hands and Fingers
Many bikers have fingerless cycling gloves, but when it comes to colder weather, full-fingered biking gloves are a must. When your fingers are frozen stiff and numb, you can lose your grip and find it difficult – if not near impossible – to shift gear. Since this is so dangerous for the rider, we would highly recommend getting a good pair of full-fingered biking gloves.
Feet and Toes
Shoe covers aren’t generally necessary until the temperature drops further – usually below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Socks made of wool have great breathability and warmth, but even so, your toes can get chilled when the wind picks up. Shoe covers can help keep the wind out from those breathable athletic shoes many wear in the summer.
Again, if you’re not exactly sure how to layer, just remember that the last article of clothing that you put on should be the first item that you’ll want to take off.
No mater what your choice in clothing items to wear for fall bike riding, get out and have fun.
It might take a few tries to get this right. With so many different material types, combinations, and different conditions to factor in, a lot of the time it takes a few trial and error runs to find the order that you should layer on clothing. However, once you figure it out, it’s easy sailing! Then, you can reach your perfect temperature and adjust whenever needed during your bike ride.