So cycling gloves? I don't see how this can change my experience of riding bicycles.

Someone please explain what benefits I get from them. Maybe I would buy some if the benefits are good enough.

  • 13
    Saves loosing the the skin off your hands in an accident.
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 21:17
  • 2
    they can also provide a bit of vibration dampening... I absolutely hate them and have had about 20 stitches combined from three different crashes over a 25 year period.... so yes the primary reason is to protect the hands. But at less than a stitch a year I will continue to go gloveless.
    – dafew
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 21:31
  • 1
    I use them as a durable alternative to sunscreen.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 22:02
  • I mainly use them to alleviate somewhat the discomfort of gripping a handlebar for hours at a time. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 23:20
  • 1
    In summer prevents sweaty hands from slipping from handlebars, in winter keeps them warm. If you're riding trails gloves can protect your hands from scratching by trees or something like this
    – k102
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 7:09

5 Answers 5


All sorts of reasons:

  • Less damage to your hands when you fall off.
  • Vibration dampening.
  • Somewhere to wipe snot/sweat.

In practice, I use them when I am touring (long distances in the saddle - so reason 2 above), and when I am mountain-cycling competitively (reasons 1 and 3), but don't wear them when I am on my daily commute.

  • 2
    Better grip on the bars in inclement or sweaty conditions is another reason I see cited a lot. E.g. heavy rain, or just a hot day where your palms get sweaty. Less likely to lose grip on the bars.
    – SSilk
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 0:49
  • @SSilk that depends on your grips and gloves. One pair on one of my bikes doesn't grip well compared to wet hands. But every other combination I have is good
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 5:58
  • I have sweaty palms and find that I lose grip without gloves. But it depends on your palms and the types of gloves you wear. I prefer real leather.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 7:04
  • Gloves also relieve a bit of pressure placed on the palms of your hands. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 10:16
  • My last pair of gloves sacrificed themselves during a commute, when a stroller mom entered the path in front of me and I didn't get stopped before hitting the curb at the side. Low speed but still ripped the leather palm of the glove in half.
    – kdgregory
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 12:01

Additional points to Penguino's answer

  • Warmth - Even on a summer's day some light gloves help keep your fingers limber. Its scary to reach for the brakes on a downhill and find your fingers aren't reacting very fast. I have long arms, so my shirt sleeves never reach the gloves, so I wear some wrist wraps to seal the gap too.

  • Visibility - when you're signalling with your arms, it can be hard for drivers to see you. Gloves often have reflectorised strips to help show where you are indicating at night. More so if you're wearing a black top.

  • Grip as per comments. Some glove and bartape combinations work really well, some don't.

  • Sun protection - I'm a pasty computer geek, I burn on cloudy days. Gloves help protect my skin from solar damage.

  • Although you end up with ridiculous tan lines if you spend a lot of time cycling in the sun :-) Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 10:17
  • 1
    @WillVousden not if you use sun sleeves (thin material arm warmers). With long finger gloves you have total protection for hands and arms which tend to get hit the hardest.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 16:21
  • 1
    @Will - Where we live, solar UV levels are off the chart in summer - ridiculous tan lines are normal for of all us pasty computer geeks.....
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:21
  • The mid-thigh line is the worst of all - especially when it gets warm enough to go swimming...
    – Penguino
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:54
  • @Penguino pasty computer geeks, swimming ? Feels unlikely. Anyway I tend to wear full trousers over my bibs when riding, unless its an event.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 22:47
  1. Safety ( for sure )
  2. Comfort
  3. Against the weather ( cold, raining, wind ... )
  4. Face wipe
  5. Injury prevention
  6. Best grip
  • Could you expand on each one a little? Whats the difference between Safety and Injury Prevention? What is Face Wipe ? Use edit to add more words, and welcome to the site.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 22:44

Gloves are pretty handy. First of all, they offer better grip with the handlebar, without causing skin loosening or similar symptoms. Secondly, they help avoid scratches and injuries in case of fall or passing through trails with thick bushes (mtb). They are also a good piece of fabric to absorb sweat and clean your googles. Last, but not least, they might be great when theres cold/wind/rain.


So cycling gloves? I don't see how this can change my experience of riding bicycles.

Try riding in temperatures around or below zero degrees Celsius without warm gloves. Then you'll understand how gloves can totally change your experience.

However, not all gloves are warm enough. You'll have the same freezing experience with marginal gloves than you'll have with no gloves.

Someone please explain what benefits I get from them. Maybe I would buy some if the benefits are good enough.

In the winter, they prevent your fingers from freezing.

In the summer, the benefits are much less and you won't be using warm winter gloves in the summer anyway. The ability to wipe away sweat to prevent it from getting to your eyes is useful, however.

Long ago the cycling cap prevented sweat from getting to your eyes, but then somebody decided that cycling is DANGEROUS!!! and shouldn't be done without styrofoam hats that supposedly prevent head injuries. Then we're left with no cycling caps and the only mechanism from preventing sweat to getting to your eyes is regular wiping with cycling gloves.

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