Bicycle Gloves: Do They Keep Hands ‘Nimble and Dry’?

We’ve all heard a lot of claims. But how about bicycle gloves contributing to the ‘nimble and dry hands’ club? If you read the review of the Cannondale Surpass cycling gloves that’s what you’ll see.

And that’s a claim a young marketing executive may have regretted making as he cleared out his desk and moved on to another industry. You see, the Cannondale Surpass cycling gloves are featured in the closeout bin at REI.

I wonder how much nimble hands help in cycling.

If you wear Cannondale bicycle gloves while playing the piano, would your concert draw rave reviews? So much to consider and so few answers.

Bicycle Gloves Materials

One thing I like about bicycle gloves is that the best cycling gloves pack a multitude of materials into a very small space. We have to agree that compared to something as bulky as cycling shorts or a cycling jersey, a pair of cycling gloves is a mighty small space.

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And yet a review of cycling gloves yields a list of materials like:

super, duper stretchy fabric for snug fit (“if the glove don’t fit, you’ll want to quit“- Johnnie Cochran )

leathers resulting from special tanning processes

synthetic suedes

absorbent materials to soak up sweat and mucous

‘hook and loop’ closure tabs (formerly known as Velcro)

pad inserts made of shock absorbing materials

and the list goes on…

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So what’s a mother to do? Don’t ask me! I‘m only the idiot writing this cycling glove review.

No, how about having a good time and trying a variety of bicycle gloves. It’s not like you’ll have to skimp on tasty, expensive meals because you wasted money by making a less than desirable choice. They don’t cost that much.

Who knows, maybe you’ll develop a fond affection for gloves in general. Learn a few dance moves like the ‘Robot’ and the ‘Spacewalk’ and you may have your own Neverland.

Getting The Correct Fit In Bicycle Gloves

I’m told that your hands swell a little bit when riding so don’t get a pair that‘s too snug in the bike shop. This isn’t like bike shorts where there is significant shrinkage of some body parts when riding.

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Fingers/ No Fingers/ Fingers/ No Fingers In Cycling Gloves

You have the bicycle gloves without fingers and you have the gloves with fingers. Which are the best cycling gloves? If you can’t decide because it’s one of those in-between days, you can do like my friend Mike. He has a pair that has a full-fingered index finger and a full-thumbed thumb. The rest of the fingers are half length.

It’s great idea because the thumb and index are exposed to more wind in the most classic ‘hands on bar’ orientations. But he told me that they don’t make them anymore. My advice- get a pair of full fingered gloves and ruin them by cutting off three of the fingers. If you don’t like that advice, I’ve got plenty more where that came from. My mind is awash in foolishness.

To Gel or Not To Gel In The Cycling Gloves Debate

How about that gel in the palm of the hand? If it’s Sorbothane, it’s supposed to mimic the effective padding on the bottom of the foot. Translation- good shock absorption.

I’ve experienced hand/finger numbness on long rides. It may be shock related or it may be related to prolonged extension of the wrist.

In my Chiropractic practice I see patients whose carpal tunnel problems are exacerbated by extension at the wrist. The classic test for carpal tunnel involves the patient putting the hands together (palm to palm) in front of the chest. After a time (known only to health care providers) carpal tunnel symptoms will be reproduced if the syndrome is present.

So is the numbness of the cyclist’s hands alleviated by bicycle gloves with gel inserts because of the shock absorption properties or because the gel insert limits the amount of extension of the wrist by the way the hand contacts the bar? I could tell you, but I’d have to charge for an office visit.

Oh, wait a minute. I’m a Chiropractor, so I’d have to charge you for six visits.

But I digress.

Bicycle Glove Liners

Here’s a great way to be versatile. Get some bicycle glove liners that you can put under your fingerless gloves on colder days.

If you’re mad at me and my friend Mike because you ruined your fingered gloves by cutting off three perfectly good fingers, here’s some more advice. Put some glove liners under your ’customized’ gloves and you’ll have two layers in the thumb and index finger, while maintaining the ‘nimbleness’ of one layer in the other three fingers.

Let me know how it goes.

No one’s ever been foolish enough to follow my advice that far.

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