Biking gloves are often disregarded as an important article of protective gear, many believe just a helmet is enough, for full body protection you should be looking for the best mountain bike gloves.
Their padded insides, gripping material and fingerless tips are features which separate mountain bike gloves from ordinary protective gloves.
These beneficial characteristics make sure the rider has protection on his hands in the case of a fall, and a firm grip on the handlebars.
These top 5 options are not too thin, nor thick, are made of quality material and will make your mountain biking experience that much safer and more comfortable.
The Best Mountain Bike Gloves
1. FIRELION Mountain Bike Gloves
Designed for mountain bike riding but also suitable for road cycling, BMX, exercise bikes etc, these full-finger gloves from Firelion are supremely breathable for absolute comfort in all weather.
They are a snug fit without being too tight, allowing full movement of the hand and fingers.
The fingertips are designed so that you can use the touchpad of your smart devices without removing the glove. The tip of the thumbs is covered with soft terry cloth for easy wiping away sweat or rainwater from your face.
The palms of the gloves are well padded with a silicone gel foam to relieve pressure on the ulnar nerve (which extends from neck and travels down through the shoulder and arm to the wrist and fingers), helping to reduce numbness, stiffness and hand fatigue from road vibration.
The gel padding also provides anti-slip and shock absorption both while you cycle over rugged terrain and if you fall. As well as having gel padding the palms of the gloves are made from a soft reinforced Micromatrix synthetic leather which is both supple for movement and durable.
The material used in the gloves is a complex mix of nylon (65%), polyurethane (14%), elastane (9%), chloroprene, spandex, and polyester.
The mix provides comfort, strength, stretch, movement, durability, weather-resistance, shock-absorbency and durability.
Adjustable straps at the wrist can not only ensure a good fit for your hand but also provide stability and support for your wrists.
The gloves come in four sizes.
2. KUTOOK Mountain Bike Gloves
The principal reasons for wearing cycling gloves are for protection in case of a fall, reduction of hand fatigue, warmth, and slip reduction.
These full-finger gloves from Kutook are designed primarily for mountain bike riders but can, in reality, be used by any cyclists.
The gloves provide excellent protection with the use of six pieces of premium silicone gel padding at the critical areas of the palms where the ulnar nerve (which extends from neck and travels down through the shoulder and arm to the wrist and fingers) is stretched by the grip on the handlebar and can become extremely sore and the hand very numb and/or painful.
The padded buffer at that critical rear palm area is extremely effective at reducing this situation. The padding also protects the hands from injury in a fall, when we tend to break our fall with our hands.
The gloves are made from a mix of Lycra (28%), Nylon (24%), Neoprene (12&), and Synthetic (36%). This mix is very breathable and flexible, providing warmth and wind protection when needed but also great ventilation to avoid sweat build-up and overheating.
The back of the gloves is also padded with a mesh material to reduce sweat build-up. The gloves protect from slippage on the handlebar.
The fingers are split at the joints for even more movement of the hand.
To make life easier the gloves’ index fingertips also allow you to use the touchpad of your smart devices without taking them off.
The gloves are secured at the wrist with an adjustable hook and loop for easy and unobtrusive fastening and have a rubber logo on the back.
3. Arltb 3 Size Bike Gloves
Coming in three cool colours and three sizes these full finger mountain bike gloves from ARLTB are a great budget buy.
Although designed for bike riding they are equally applicable for use in many other outdoor sports and activities such as gym, running, fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, etc.
With excellent palm pad protection via foam inserts, the gloves provide a reduction of friction between the rider's hand and the handlebar thereby easing the effect of the vibration and bumpiness from the road surface. The glove also removes the slippage of the hand from sweat build-up on the palm and fingers.
Made from a quality microfibre the gloves are highly breathable, providing a soft and lightweight protection for the hands and keeping them cool and dry for however long your ride lasts.
They also keep your hands from getting too cold in the cooler months. The terry cloth cover on the thumb tips are an easy way to quickly wipe away sweat or rainwater from your eyes and face.
The gloves allow you to use the touchpad screen of your smart devices whilst wearing them.
These gloves are not as comprehensively described online as their competitors but their reviews are pretty favourable, and that’s what counts at the end of the day!
4. Seibertron Dirtpaw Gloves
These unisex full finger mountain bike gloves from Seibertron are suitable for a range of other cycling and motorsports.
The design goals for these gloves are protection, comfort, the versatility of use and cost.
In terms of protection, the back of the gloves has the company's logo and other graphics injected in rubber on them and also on the knuckles to provide a point of interest as well as some padding in the event of a fall or an accident.
The comfort factor is met by the use of Lycra in the finger gusset for movement of the fingers, lightweight padding in the palm, silicone grips on all fingers and a hook & loop closure at the wrists.
Versatility of use? Well, the gloves are a generic make with enough features to make them suitable for pretty well any sport, whether that be cycling, dirt biking, fishing, rowing, climbing, BMX – any sport where falls and crashes may occur.
And the cost, they are certainly a competitive price.
The gloves come in a range of sizes for both youth and adult.
Just to find some additional information on these gloves we turned to some reviews and found out that they are, with exceptions, a popular brand with customers finding them to have a good grip, good protection ‘where it matters’, somewhat breathable, very comfortable, good airflow, and so on.
It must be said that these may not be overly protective gloves – other brands may be more effective in that area, and these don’t claim to be – but they may be a good choice if you don’t encounter dangerous situations when riding.
5. INBIKE MTB Gloves
From INBIKE these full finger mountain bike/BMX/ATV gloves are an excellent choice for riding enthusiasts and other devotees of sports where hand protection in falls and crashes is important.
The palms are a microfibre gel-padded fabric which is not only protective but also supportive, anti-slip and wear-resistant. The mesh inserts on the back of the gloves give great ventilation and comfort with optimal moisture-wicking.
The thumbs have terry cloth covers for wiping the sweat and rainwater off your face, and you can use your smart device touchpads with two fingers of the glove without the need to remove it.
The gloves will also greatly reduce handlebar and road vibration fatigue, numbness and even pain that cyclists know so well.
The gloves are secured at the wrist by an adjustable hook and loop fastener.
The logo stripe across the back and various other colour swatches along the gloves will fluoresce at night for added visibility.
The gloves come in three colours and five sizes for men and women.
The INBIKE gloves are a nice fit which allows you full hand and finger movement without bunching up. The extensive use of mesh keeps your hands at a comfortable temperature in all weather conditions, although perhaps not warm enough if you cycle in extremely cold temperatures.
Overall, a very comfortable pair of mountain and other cycling gloves at a very low price.
How To Choose Best Mountain Bike Gloves?
When it's time to choose the pair of mountain bike gloves for you, there's a few different factors you should consider:
Size and Fit: You'll want to ensure they fit properly. If they don't, they won't give you much protection at all, which defeats the point of using them.
Be sure to measure your hand and wrist correctly and compare them to the manufacturers specification on the product page. This will ensure they fit correctly.
Level of Protection: Some brands offer basic protection, while others offer military grade protection. If you're going to be riding over rough terrain then you'll want to ensure you get a pair that offers silicone or foam pads within the palms.
They'll act as a shock absorber and you'll notice the strength they offer against vibrations.
Comfort: You'll want to ensure the gloves are comfortable and offer a soft breathable fabric which will be beneficial should your hands start to sweat, especially in the summer months.
Uncomfortable gloves will be distracting and you'll only end up getting frustrated at constantly adjusting them.
Style: There's many different styles available when buying mountain bike gloves. If you've bought a style before and you're enjoying it, then you probably should buy the same style again. If you're a mountain biker beginner then choosing a style you like, will make you more likely to wear them.
There's a wide range of colours available, black is often a good idea as they'll get dirty and white's and colours are more difficult to wash.
Types of Mountain Bike Gloves
There's two main types of mountain bike glove styles that you'll see mentioned. These include fingerless and fully enclosed. Each have their own pros and cons.
Fingerless gloves don't cover the entire hand, instead your fingers and thumbs are exposed from the knuckle. These type of gloves are perfect for more experienced riders or where the conditions allow such as warmer weather or more general riding, where protection might not be required.
The fingerless gloves offer no protection for your fingers, which could be easily broken should you come off when going down a mountain trail. If you're going to be doing downhill mountain biking, these probably aren't the right gloves for you.
These gloves are also not used in colder climates or winter as your fingers will be chilly.
Fully Enclosed Gloves
The most popular type of mountain gloves, they help to protect your entire hand including your knuckles, fingers and thumbs. It's a good choice for beginners and those who want all round protection, warmth and better grip.
Most fully enclosed gloves come with good shock protection as well as better ventilation to stop your hands sweating. They usually offer pads on your palms to help with vibrations.
Best Mountain Bike Gloves FAQ
Q: How do I care for my mountain bike gloves?
A: The best way to care for your gloves is to read the label and check the washing advice for each brand. Some gloves can be put inside a wash bag and washed like normal clothes, while others may require a hand wash using hot water and sun or air drying. Avoid drying machines with extreme heat as these can cause your gloves to shrink.
Q: How do you get the best fit?
A: It's really easy to measure your hands for a pair of mountain bike gloves. Simply grab a tape measure and then wrap the tape around your palm below your knuckles and thumb. You can then use this measurement tool to find out your size. European sizes tend to be smaller than Australian so it can sometimes be worthwhile going up a size if you're between sizes.
Be smart, protect your hands and use mountain bike gloves are every opportunity. You don't know when you'll come off, and for intense riding you can protect your hands from getting damaged too.
There's hundreds of brands claiming to offer the best mountain bike gloves in Australia. Today we've shown you five of the best, but there's plenty of other models out there to choose from. Do your own research and choose wisely.