Do I need gloves/gloves for gravel bikes? How to choose. thumbnail

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Do I need gloves/gloves for gravel bikes? How to choose.

Cycling gloves (bicycle gloves) are used by many users on road bikes and MTBs. Cycling gloves are also a useful item to have on gravel bikes.

Modified at: 2023.7.6Posted at: 2023.1.17

Role of cycling gloves

Increased grip

Cycling gloves go between the handlebar bracket and your bare hands to increase friction, thereby improving your grip.

At first you may think, “Grip strength doesn’t matter after a short ride,” but after riding 50 km or 100 km, you will feel dizzy and lose strength in your hands at the end of the ride until you get used to it.

By wearing gloves, you can alleviate this situation of losing strength in your hands.

Protection against the cold

While summer rides are not affected much by the presence or absence of gloves, winter rides are completely different. If you ride without gloves, the icy cold wind blowing from the front will quickly freeze your hands.

If your hands are frozen, not only will you not be able to shift gears, but you will also not be able to grip the brakes properly, increasing the risk of accidents.

For winter riding, it is safe to assume that you need to wear work gloves or military gloves such as those sold at the 100 yen store, even if you do not use cycling gloves.

Sweat protection

Not only on gravel bikes, but when you ride a sports bicycle, your hands sweat unexpectedly. Also, on long rides, the sweat from your head and face can soak into the bar tape.

Sweat soaking into bar tape is a source of odor and is not hygienic, so you can keep your bike clean by using gloves to absorb sweat and washing them every time you ride.

Another unexpected use for cycle gloves is when wiping sweat from your face. During a ride, it is difficult to wrap a towel around your neck (the wind might blow it away), and when you are wearing a cycle jersey, there is a limit to how much you can wipe sweat with the sleeve or hem.

In such cases, it is surprisingly convenient to be able to wipe sweat with the back of the cycling gloves.

Do I need gloves/gloves for gravel bike?

No need when riding around town.

If you use your gravel bike as a street bike, you basically do not need cycling gloves or gloves.

However, in winter, your hands will get stiff and cold even after a short ride, so it is definitely better to wear something like work gloves or even military gloves you have at home.

You can start out with military or work gloves and then take the step of purchasing cycling gloves if you think you need them.

If you are cycling or gravel riding, you must have them.

If you are cycling or riding gravel on a gravel bike, it is safe to say that gloves are a must. In this case, we recommend that you buy cycling gloves from the start, not gloves.

Especially in the case of gravel riding, you need to grip the handlebars and brackets firmly on steep bumps and hills, and your hands will get tired completely differently without gloves. Gravel is a rough terrain, and a slip of the hand on the handlebars can result in a serious accident.

Investing in gloves is not a bad option to prevent accidents.

Also, when riding in winter, it is best to have two types of gloves: half-finger gloves for summer and winter gloves with high windproof and heat-retaining performance for winter.

How to choose gloves for gravel bikes

Base your choice on half-finger cushioned gloves.

Half-finger cycling gloves can be used long into the spring and fall, so having one is extremely useful.

When choosing a pair of gloves for gravel biking, be sure to select gloves with cushioned palms. The cushioning will reduce hand fatigue caused by vibration from gravel bumps and rough roads.

Although they may be a little thicker, vibration-absorbing gloves are better for gravel biking than flimsy ones.

Color selection is also important for gravel riding.

As for design, it is a matter of taste, but if you expect to ride on rough terrain, it is best to avoid white, orange, yellow, or other flashy colors, as these colors may cause stains that cannot be washed out on gravel.

Another disadvantage of fluorescent colors such as yellow/orange is that they attract insects on gravel rides in nature, such as forest roads and animal trails. It is better to avoid them because it is hard to be attracted by insects when you are taking a short rest.

In the gravel scene, people often wear subdued colors such as black or dark brown, so it is a good idea to coordinate them with your clothing.

Spend money on winter gloves.

As you will see when you ride in winter, it is not unusual for your hands to freeze when riding on days when the temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius. If you ride gravel, you will spend more time in the shade than on open bike paths, so choose gloves that provide good winter protection.

There are many winter gloves available, but opt for gloves made of Goretex, a thin but windproof material, and you won’t go wrong.

Winter cycling gloves are quite pricey, but if you ride in winter, they are definitely worth the money!

Customization for comfort on rough roads

Gravel bikes on gravel roads, for example, are subject to more vibration and shock from the road surface than those on paved roads. Optimizing for rough roads can make riding more comfortable.

How to choose gravel bike clothing

Because of their different riding style, gravel bikes have a slightly different style than both road bikes and MTBs. This section explains how to choose slightly unique clothing.

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