Cycling Gloves – Should Naked Hands Be Covered?

No cycling gloves? Well, I just got the word that the guys over at Competitive Cyclist prefer to cycle with their phalanges au natural. That’s right, no bicycling gloves at all, if possible.

I was a bit surprised because I too have taken to viewing cycling gloves in the summer as just one more item to remember to put on.

Of course in cold weather, we’re dealing with a whole different animal.

Bicycling Glove Shock Absorption

This is the justification for a lot of warm weather glove wearing. It makes a good amount of sense. Spenco has made a cycling glove with a substance called Shock-Tek. One of the stated purposes of Shock Tek is to protect the median nerve thus preventing hand numbness.

Designed by an orthopedic surgeon, Shock-Tek has a channel in the padding to keep pressure off of the median nerve.

The median nerve innervates the thumb and the next two and a half fingers. The ulnar nerve innervates the small finger and half of the ring finger. Median nerve impingement is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. And now we’re back on familiar ground.


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Yes, even the most unmedical of the riders have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome. Well, one of the activities that you can do to experience some superbly painful carpal tunnel pain is keep your hand in extension (bend your hand backward at the wrist).

I suppose padding could be placed in a glove to keep the wrist from extending, but being aware of the position and avoiding it as much as possible works well too.

Here’s another Spenco innovation- Rip-it Bicycling Gloves. These were designed for triathletes who need to get the glove on and off with the greatest of speed in the transition zone.

Improved Grip With Cycling Gloves

It was last year on the mountain bike that I started to appreciate the added grip that cycling gloves can give. I was sweating like a dog (through my tongue) and I couldn’t get the twist shifters to shift into my lowest gears. My hands were truly ‘slippery when wet’. Even two handed shifting wasn’t working. When I rode the next time, the added grip of cycling gloves enabled brilliant shifting!

Not Quite As Good As Gel Cycling Gloves

I’ve taken to double taping my handlebars to make them meatier. I’ve got 26.0 diameter bars, rather than 31.8’s. The double taping probably brings it up to about the 31.8, but I’m getting some shock absorption in the double taping. I don’t hear too much about my secret technique so it’s probably idiotic.

Do Cycling Gloves Provide Crash Protection?

I took a full speed body slam fall onto the pavement this Spring and some of the deep abrasions were on three of my knuckles. It was a club training ride, so of course peer pressure ensured that I had my logo emblazoned gloves on. I guess I could have had some significant abrasions on my palms or on the backs of my hands if they weren’t protected by my manly cycling gloves.

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Bicycling Gloves…For Nose Wiping

Some people are repulsed by their own mucous. Of course, these are the same folks who cough and cough until they get a good goober out of their lungs.

Then they swallow it.

But anyway, most cycling gloves have some terry cloth or other absorbent material on the back of them so that the cyclist can wipe away the last few droplets remaining on the nose, after an effective snot rocket has beencycling gloves launched laterally.

Winter Bicycle Gloves

Now here’s a subject that’s above reproach. Cycling in cold weather isn’t even possible without warm gloves. There are a wide variety of thicknesses and materials to choose from. Of course there are fingerless gloves. Then there are gloves with two full fingers. There are a lot of full fingered gloves. Assos, the king of all cycling apparel offers the Lobster Shell Gloves. taleocompletekitThey make your hands look like …….lobster claws. Shop for cold weather gloves in the heat of summer. The deals are like sweet summer rain.

And now for the real reason Masters Racers wear gloves- Masters Racers spend outrageous amounts of time and energy (money too!) primarily so that they can ride around in a team kit. And nothing says COMPLETE team kit like cycling gloves with the sponsor’s logo on them.

Except maybe shoe covers.

And don’t forget to look at the deep discounts on Cycling Gloves at Bike Nashbar.

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