Why you should wear hand protection

MittsSomeone recently arrived at this blog via a Google search for "Should I wear gloves while cycling in summer?"

My answer is a most definite YES.

During the warmer months I see many cyclists trundling along without hand protection. They probably think it’s too hot to don gloves, but little do they know that the purpose of wearing gloves isn’t to keep your hands warm.

You wear gloves — or the fingerless variety commonly known as "mitts" — for the following reasons:

  • to absorb sweat
  • to give you a better grip on the handlebars
  • for comfort
  • to eliminate road vibration, hand fatigue and numbness (gel ones are best for this)
  • to protect your palms should you be unlucky enough to fall off your bike (believe me, this one is oh-so important!)

I’ve just invested in a new pair of mitts — a pair of Specialized BG Gel D4W Mitts (pictured) — for this summer. I paid £24.99, which is considerably more than most other mitts on the market, but I believe you get what you pay for. I paid a similar amount for my Specialised Enduro Gloves for winter riding and found them absolutely superb and an enormous improvement on the crappy £18 Altura ones I wore the previous winter that were inflexible and did not "breathe" properly so that my hands would end up swimming in sweat. They would then take at least 12 hours to dry out properly. Erk.

So, anyway, if you’re wondering whether you should wear gloves while commuting during summer, I can’t recommend them highly enough. The ones with gel padding are particularly good if, like me, you suffer from hand numbness. And it pays to go for ones that have soft micro-suede on the thumb. Why? It’s brilliant for wiping sweat off your face when you’re sat at the traffic lights!

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