bike riding

2023's Best Bike Gloves for Road and Gravel Riding

A close up of a cyclists hand wearing a glove

Have you ever experienced discomfort or loss of grip while cycling due to inadequate hand protection? The right pair of bike gloves can make all the difference in enhancing your road and gravel riding experience. In this guide, we’ll explore the best bike gloves of 2023, delve into their essential features, and help you choose the perfect pair to elevate your cycling comfort and performance.

From comfort-focused to performance-driven gloves, we’ll discuss the factors that matter when selecting the right gloves for various cycling disciplines. Say goodbye to sweaty palms, slippery grips, and sore hands, and let’s find the perfect pair of gloves that will keep you in control and on track during your rides.

Key Takeaways

  • This article provides an overview of the best bike gloves for 2023, including comfort-focused, performance-driven and budget-friendly options.
  • Consider factors such as fit, materials, breathability and padding when choosing a pair of gloves.
  • Proper care and maintenance is essential to ensure longevity and optimal performance from your bike gloves.

Top Bike Gloves of 2023

A pair of cycling gloves with extra comfort and grip for long days of riding

Cycling gloves offer numerous advantages - enhanced grip, comfort, and hand protection. Indeed, these gloves significantly improve the cycling experience, particularly during long journeys or on uneven surfaces. With the vast array of gloves available on the market, finding the best cycling gloves can be a daunting task. But worry not, we’ve got you covered. We’ve researched and compiled a comprehensive list of the top bike gloves for 2023, ensuring that you’ll find the perfect pair for your riding needs.

Choosing the best summer cycling gloves requires careful consideration of features like padded and textured palms, sweat absorption, and protection from cuts and abrasions. Lightweight gloves, like the highly rated Rapha Core Mitts, are perfect for summer rides, providing enhanced grip and cushioning while keeping your palms dry and comfortable. For those participating in road or circuit races, gloves with pull tabs may be required for rider safety as stipulated by race officials.

We will categorize the top bike gloves of 2023 into three groups in this part: gloves focused on comfort, gloves designed for performance, and options that are budget-friendly. Each category caters to specific rider preferences and requirements, ensuring that you’ll find the right gloves for your riding style.

Comfort-focused gloves

Comfort is paramount when selecting bike gloves, especially during long rides or on rough terrain. Poorly chosen gloves can lead to an unpleasant riding experience. Comfort-focused gloves are designed to provide optimal comfort and bar grip. They boast features like:

  • Stretchy, closed-mesh panels on the back
  • Lycra bands on the wrist
  • Terry wipes on the back of the thumb
  • Soft microfiber palms with slim, perforated gel pads
  • Palm perforations for cooling

These features ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride.

Some of the best gloves and most comfortable gloves available are:

  • Rapha Core Mitts
  • Endura Xtract mitts
  • MAAP Pro Race Mitt
  • Castelli Icon Race mitt
  • Giro Strade Dure Supergel gloves
  • Altura Airstream Mitts

Long fingered gloves are suitable for colder weather and off-road riding.

Maintain the condition of your comfort-focused gloves by washing them with a mild detergent, air-drying them, and storing them in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight. By doing so, you’ll ensure that wearing gloves remains a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Performance-driven gloves

Performance is paramount for competitive cyclists. Thus, performance-driven gloves, also referred to as mitts, are of high quality and designed to ensure:

  • Superior grip
  • Aerodynamics
  • Durability
  • Strategically-placed gel for comfort
  • Touchscreen compatibility
  • Palm padding for shock absorption
  • Knuckle protection
  • Highly absorbent terry cloth for wiping
  • Pull tabs on the middle fingers for easy removal

The benefits of performance-driven gloves are numerous.

  • Enhanced grip
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • Increased longevity
  • Protection against the elements
  • Minimized fatigue

These benefits enable cyclists to ride at a faster and more efficient pace. Winter cycling gloves, specifically designed to keep hands warm and dry in cold climates, are a great example of performance-driven gloves tailored to specific weather conditions.

Budget-friendly options

For riders on a budget, there are still fantastic bike glove options that provide excellent features and protection without breaking the bank. These cost-effective gloves may not have all the features of their high-end counterparts, but they still offer a good balance of quality and affordability.

Considering grip, breathability, and padding is vital when choosing budget-friendly gloves. Budget-friendly gloves are generally constructed from synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, and spandex, providing a comfortable and affordable option for riders.

To keep your budget-friendly gloves in top shape, wash them in cold water and air dry them after a quick nose wipe.

Key Features to Consider When Choosing Bike Gloves

A pair of lightweight gloves with well placed padding for extra comfort and control

Bike gloves offer both comfort and increased control while cycling, making them an essential accessory for riders of all levels. When selecting the perfect pair of bike gloves, it’s important to consider factors like fit, materials, and padding.

This section will explore the key features to bear in mind when choosing bike gloves, covering aspects like fit and size, materials and breathability, and padding and grip. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect gloves to suit your riding style and preferences.

Fit and sizing

Selecting bike gloves with a proper fit is essential, as ill-fitting gloves could hinder your bike control. Try on bike gloves before purchasing them is essential to ensure they fit correctly and provide the necessary comfort and protection.

When selecting bike gloves, make sure they fit snugly but not too tightly, allowing for adequate flexibility and movement. Aero gloves are designed more closely to the shape of the hand than regular gloves. They usually feature some elasticity in the wrist and knuckles area for enhanced comfort.

Materials and breathability

The materials used in bike gloves play a significant role in their overall comfort and breathability. Synthetic materials like:

  • Polyester
  • Acrylic
  • Fleece
  • Polypropylene
  • Synthetic leather

are commonly used in bike gloves, offering excellent breathability and facilitating air circulation to keep your hands cool and dry.

The lightweight and flexible nature of synthetic materials provides comfort and ensures a secure fit, with some gloves also featuring materials like nylon, neoprene, and Primaloft for added protection in adverse weather conditions.

Padding and grip

The padding and grip in bike gloves serve essential functions in enhancing your cycling experience. The padding in cycling mitts isolates your hands from the handlebar, reducing fatigue and improving control. When evaluating if padding in cycling gloves is beneficial, it’s crucial to try the gloves on and determine if the padding is advantageous or simply adds bulk.

Not all cycling gloves have minimal padding, so it’s vital to consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting a pair of gloves. The thin yet effective pads at the heel and top of the Altura Endurance cycling gloves are an example of how padding can be designed to provide comfort without adding unnecessary bulk.

Summer vs. Winter Bike Gloves

Summer and winter bike gloves differ significantly in their design and functionality. Summer gloves, like fingerless mitts, have considerably less insulation than winter gloves, preventing excessive perspiration. On the other hand, winter gloves are designed to keep hands warm and dry in cold temperatures, utilizing materials like Thinsulate or Primaloft for insulation and neoprene or Gore-Tex for waterproofing.

This section will contrast summer and winter bike gloves, emphasizing their design and functionality differences. We’ll also discuss the benefits of wearing each type of glove, ensuring you have the necessary information to choose the right gloves for your riding conditions.

Summer bike gloves

Summer bike gloves, like fingerless mitts, offer enhanced grip, cushioning, and sweat absorption, making them perfect for warm-weather rides. They’re typically constructed with Lycra and mesh on the back of the hand and a more resilient material, such as microfiber or synthetic suede, on the palm.

The mesh backing on summer cycling gloves facilitates heat dissipation and temperature regulation, while the absorbent wipe on the thumb area allows for convenient sweat removal from the face. These features make summer bike gloves an essential accessory for comfortable and enjoyable warm-weather rides.

Winter bike gloves

Winter bike gloves are designed to provide warmth and dryness in colder climates. They’re usually crafted with:

  • Thicker materials
  • Insulation capabilities using materials like Thinsulate or Primaloft
  • Waterproofing capabilities using materials like neoprene or Gore-Tex

Winter gloves also offer wind protection, with features such as windproof fabric or liners to keep hands warm and dry in windy conditions. These gloves are perfect for cyclists looking to maintain their hand warmth and comfort during colder rides, making them an essential accessory for winter cycling.

Fingerless Mitts vs. Full-Finger Gloves

Close-up of men's hands in fingerless and full-fingered cycling gloves

Fingerless mitts and full-finger gloves each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, catering to different rider preferences and needs. Fingerless mitts are suitable for warmer climates and open-road riding, offering a cooler feel and less interference with the use of controls. On the other hand, full-finger gloves provide increased protection and insulation, making them an optimal choice for colder climates and off-road riding.

This section will offer a comprehensive comparison of fingerless mitts and full-finger gloves, delving into the respective pros and cons of each type. This information will help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect pair of gloves for your riding needs.

Benefits of fingerless mitts

Fingerless mitts, also known as fingerless gloves, offer greater dexterity and cooler hands during summer cycling excursions, making them a popular choice for warm-weather riders. The open fingers allow for enhanced control of the bike, as cyclists can easily grip and shift gears without needing to remove their hands from the handlebars.

If you ride with your phone mounted to your handlebars, it will be easier to use your phone with fingerless gloves. Keep your phone mounted to your bike and fully charged on your ride so you can track your ride or use any other features of your phone.

The increased airflow around the hands provided by fingerless mitts helps to keep them cool and comfortable during summer rides. If you’re looking for gloves that allow for better control and cooler hands during warm-weather rides, fingerless mitts are an excellent option.

Advantages of full-finger gloves

Full-finger gloves, on the other hand, offer several benefits such as enhanced protection and warmth during colder rides. These gloves cover the entire hand and wrist, helping to guard against cuts, scrapes, and other injuries while cycling.

In addition to their protective qualities, full-finger gloves provide warmth in cold weather. They’re designed to cover the entire hand and wrist, maintaining hand warmth and comfort during colder rides. If you’re looking for gloves that offer increased protection and insulation, full-finger gloves are the perfect choice.

Bike Gloves for Different Riding Styles

Various bike gloves are available for different riding styles, such as:

  • Street
  • Race
  • Dirt
  • ADV
  • Touring
  • Mitts (short finger or fingerless)
  • Full finger gloves

Each type of glove offers its own set of advantages, catering to specific rider preferences and requirements.

In this section, we will examine suitable bike gloves for different cycling disciplines, such as road cycling, mountain biking, and gravel riding. By understanding the differences between these gloves and their unique features, you’ll be better equipped to choose the perfect gloves for your riding style.

Road cycling gloves

Road cycling gloves are designed to offer comfort and protection for the hands while on the bike. They typically feature:

  • Velcro fasteners on the wrists
  • Nose and sweat wipes
  • Reflective detailing
  • Gel inserts for comfort and vibration absorption
  • Palm grip for enhanced grip on the handlebars
  • Hand protection
  • Breathable fabric on the back for ventilation

Some of the top road cycling gloves include:

  • Aero cycling mitts, which are characterized by their lightweight construction and fabrics that offer a lower drag coefficient than bare skin
  • Bike gloves usually consist of minimal cushioning and highly elastic material, with no buckles to act as windbreakers
  • They have a cuff that reaches past the wrist

Mountain biking gloves

Mountain biking gloves are designed with the following features in mind:

  • Durability
  • Protection
  • Shock absorption
  • Touchscreen compatibility
  • Silicone textured grips
  • Comfort
  • Breathability
  • Waterproofing

These gloves, as well as other gloves, are typically constructed from a variety of materials.

Common materials used in mountain biking gloves include synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, and spandex, as well as leather and other natural materials. The protection and shock absorption provided by these gloves reduce fatigue and improve grip, making them an essential accessory for off-road cycling.

Gravel riding gloves

Gravel riding gloves are designed with the following features:

  • Long finger style for enhanced protection
  • Lightweight and slim fit for improved grip and control
  • Padding for improved comfort and vibration reduction
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking materials
  • Durable construction

These features ensure comfort, versatility, and vibration dampening while riding.

Some highly recommended gravel riding gloves include the Giro Bravo Gel, the Pearl Izumi Select Escape, and the Fox Ranger Gel. These gloves offer a great balance of comfort, protection, and durability, making them perfect for gravel riding enthusiasts.

Proper Care and Maintenance of Bike Gloves

Taking proper care of your bike gloves is essential for ensuring their longevity and performance. Washing, drying, and storing your gloves correctly can help maintain their shape and integrity, preventing damage and wear over time.

This section will offer advice on washing, drying, and storing your bike gloves to maximize your investment value. With proper care and maintenance, your gloves will continue to provide comfort and protection throughout their lifespan.

Washing instructions

To clean your bike gloves, hand-washing is the recommended approach. Utilize a mild detergent and warm water, ensuring that the gloves are adequately rinsed before drying. It’s important to secure any straps or fasteners before washing to prevent damage to the gloves.

While machine washing is also an option for cleaning bike gloves, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the tag or website to prevent damage and ensure optimal care.

Drying and storage

To properly dry your bike gloves, it’s recommended to air-dry them away from direct sunlight. Using a dryer is not advised, as it can potentially cause damage to the material.

When storing your gloves, keep them in a cool, dry location that is not exposed to direct sunlight, ensuring they maintain their shape and performance.


In conclusion, choosing the right bike gloves for your specific riding style and needs is essential for comfort, protection, and performance. With the comprehensive information provided in this guide, you’re now well-equipped to select the perfect pair of gloves for road and gravel riding. So gear up, hit the trails, and enjoy the enhanced grip, comfort, and control that the right bike gloves can provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of gloves is best for bike riding?

For bike riding, fingerless gloves or mitts offer the right amount of protection while keeping hands cool and providing good dexterity. They also feature padding around the contact points of your palm and fingers to isolate them from the bar.

Many cyclists prioritize warmth and waterproofing when it comes to full-length gloves.

Should you wear gloves when cycling?

Wearing gloves while cycling adds friction and strengthens your grip, especially in warmer weather when moisture from sweat can affect your grip on the handlebars.

Therefore, it is recommended to wear gloves when cycling.

Are bike gloves better with or without fingers?

It depends on your needs and preferences - fingerless gloves offer more breathability, allowing for use of all fingers and greater feeling of the brakes and shifters; full-finger gloves provide more grip and protection.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works best for you.

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