It's probably not the first thing that comes to mind when purchasing a new bike but road cycling gloves are one of the most recommended accessories alongside a helmet and cycling shoes to consider buying.
In winter they help keep your hands warm and in summer that can be equally as helpful in cooling your hands down. Heat aside, they can also protect your hands from calluses from intensive riding. They can also in the event of a crash protect your wrists too.
Today we'll be looking at my top cycling gloves picks available in Australia.
Best Road Cycling Gloves
1. KUTOOK Full Finger Cycling Gloves
Suitable for men and women cyclists, the KUTOOK full finger cycling gloves have several significant features to recommend them.
Made from Lycra (24%), Nylon (24%), Neoprene (36%) and Synthetic Leather the gloves are extremely comfortable, feel great and look good as well. They are very gentle on the skin, even when hot.
When cycling our hands continuously grip the handlebar causing the ulna nerve (a nerve which extends from neck and travels down through the shoulder and arm to the wrist and fingers) to stretch and become numb and sore, even quite painful.
The stretching of this nerve can cause ‘entrapment’ at various sites along its length. The KUTOOK gloves aim to prevent or at least minimize the risk of this, or easing the symptoms, by incorporating a gel buffer for the nerve at the rear of the palm area to reduce the stretching.
Another key feature of the gloves is their ability to remove slippage of the bare hand on the handlebar of the bike. The gloves also have perforations to increase ventilation, and the palms are styled from mesh for extra breathability.
Gloves also protect your hands from being hurt, cut or abraded should you fall from your bike by having six gel pads around the palm for superior anti-shock performance. This is especially important given that the tendency is to use your hands as protection when falling.
The index fingertip of the gloves is styled to allow you to use the touchpad on your phone while wearing the glove. The joint areas of the gloves are designed to split for maximum finger movement.
The Velcro strap at the wrist is adjustable for a perfect fit for every user.
2. ZOOKKI Cycling Gloves
From ZOOKKI comes these beautiful to admire unisex cycling gloves for all seasons.
They are made from a combination cloth incorporating a mix of mesh (single and triple-layer), microfiber leather, and lycra for both durability and a great fit. The gloves are tailored in three dimensions using a high degree of elasticity, moisture-wicking and breathability.
The index finger of the glove is specially designed to allow use of the touchpad on your smart device without removing your glove.
The fabric and silicone gel pads used in the palm of the gloves thickens them to be skip-proof and extremely hard-wearing, and to absorb shock and reduce numbness on a long ride. The gloves are extremely durable – off-road biking particularly can be pretty tough on gloves with falls and grabbing on to passing trees etc.
The gloves are secured at the wrist with an adjustable Velcro strap, also long-wearing.
Terry cloth on the thumbs helps to wipe away the distraction of dripping sweat on the face and in the eyes.
The outer side of the gloves has reflective piping for visibility and safety on the road.
The gloves come in a range of sizes to provide a good fit for every rider.
They can be gently hand washed according to the supplied instructions.
3. INBIKE Core Full Finger Road Bike Gloves
With all the features you want in a pair of cycling gloves, the INBIKE full finger gloves are available in some great colours, a range of sizes (do go up a size, however) and an excellent price.
With breathable Lycra mesh and gel padding on the back of the hand, they provide great moisture and sweat reduction.
The palm fabric is superfine but also solid and hard-wearing for long life. It has a 5mm gel pad for shock absorption and reduction of numbness and riding discomfort. The pad surface has an anti-slip coating as well.
The thumb and index fingertips are designed in a way that allows you to use the touchpad of your smart device whilst wearing the glove.
The gloves are secured at the wrist by a sturdy Velcro strap which won’t slip around and have a reflective logo on them for visibility and safety at night.
The INBIKE gloves are a nice tight 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 cycling gloves at a very low price.
4. Kutook Cycling Gloves
Made for men from a combination of durable nylon ottoman, neoprene and microfibre these are both very comfortable to wear and highly wear-resistant.
They are designed with both comfort and protection in mind.
The palms are fitted with a thickened pad for protection in falls or when grabbing out for trees off-road. The area between the thumb and index finger is also thickened for protection.
Instead of a Velcro fastener, these gloves are secured with a hook and loop fastener which is easily adjusted to fit snugly at the wrist with no material sticking out from the hand.
The fingertips of the index and middle fingers are coated with a non-slip gel to allow you to use the touchpad of your smart devices whilst wearing the glove.
The index finger is also covered with terry cloth for easily wiping sweat off the face when riding.
The fit of the gloves includes some detail under the knuckles which increases their flexibility when moving your fingers.
The gloves are quite stylish in design with stitching details, fluro logo and other details for increased visibility at night.
The gloves are available in four different sizes (go up a size if in doubt) and two different colours (black and fluro green).
These gloves are on the more expensive end of the scale but reviews are pretty positive so the price is probably justified.
5. Cevapro Cycle Gloves
These half-finger cycling gloves for men and women are designed for comfort, protection, and durability.
They’re made from a mix of highly elastic Lycra and knitted mesh fabrics with low-profile soft terry cloth on the thumb for wiping off sweat and rain.
The mesh fabric is used on the palm and back of the hands for optimal breath-ability and comfort to avoid the hands overheating during long rides and in hot weather.
The palms also have non-slip silicone gel pads for shock absorption and protection in falls. The padding helps to reduce numbness and fatigue which occurs on long rides.
These pads also prolong the life of the gloves as the palms are where they wear the most. The back of the gloves is also padded for added protection.
The gloves are secured with a Velcro fastener at the wrist. Two loops on each glove make them easy to remove given that they don’t have the fingertips to help.
The gloves come in four sizes (they do run small so go up a size) and just the one colour, black.
These are a good quality glove and meet the design goals of comfort and protection. The price represents value for money.
Road Cycling Gloves Buyers Guide
When it comes to choosing the best road cycling gloves, do you really know what to look for?
While some might choose the best brand or the one that looks the nicest, there's a range of different factors you should consider when buying.
The most important consideration when buying road gloves is to check for the correct sizing so your gloves fit properly.
Gloves that fit too small are often too tight and can cause chaffing and discomfort. Initially the discomfort might be bareable but during a long distance ride, it can become annoying when they dig into your fingers.
If gloves are too big they will feel lose and it will be difficult to grip the handlebars adequately and will cause discomfort when going uphill as your hands dig into the handlebars.
You should ensure you check the size chart for road cycling gloves but also check the reviews and see what others are saying. European brands tend to run smaller than United States or Australian retailers so you might need to order a size up.
Cycling glove fitment should be determined by measuring the circumference of your hand at the widest point beneath the knuckles.
Well fitted gloves should fit like a snug glove.
You should consider what type of padding your gloves will have as some have benefits and disadvantages over others. Most gloves either come with padding of Foam, EVA or Gel. But you're probably wondering what the padding does?
Padding offers a reduction in road vibrations and helps to alleviate pressure when riding over bumpy or uneven roads. But you don't want to have too much padding or your gloves with feel lose and as discussed above this is not a good thing!
If you like to feel your grip on the handlebars then you should buy gloves with no padding whatsoever. It's entirely up to you and your route for the day.
Until recently this wouldn't have been an issue but some modern day road cycling gloves offer finger tips that can operate a smartphone while riding.
Personally I'm against the idea of checking my phone when I ride (too many cage drivers not looking properly) but if you like you can find some gloves that offers touchscreen friendly material on the index fingers to control the phone.
You need what season you'll be using the gloves as some offer insulation which may be too hot in summer. Usually you get two types of insulation, down insultation and synthetic insulation.
If you're looking for summer road cycling gloves then you should consider synthetic insulation as it's not as warm and they dry faster when wet.
If you're looking for winter road cycling gloves then down insulation is definitely a warmer option and less breathable, just make sure they don't get wet!
If in doubt, get synthetic insulation in my opinion.
The last factor to consider when buying road cycling gloves is the difference in price between various brands and models. Some are cheap $20 and others can be expensive and upwards of $200.
But why the big difference in price? Most of the time it's the brand name but more commonly is the difference in materials used. High quality gloves often cost more and as you move up to the more expensive models you'll find better quality stitching and materials are being used.
However better isn't always best but you generally get what you pay for.