Palm Protectors Good gloves protect your palms in case of a fall, and can prevent the numbness and nerve damage that can occur on longer rides (some models are specially designed to address specific needs, such as added comfort or extra protection, etc.). Gloves also improve your grip on the handlebars and offer some shielding from sunburn. Additionally, many gloves feature terry cloth panels for wiping sweat off your face. For off-road riding, full-finger models help protect your hands from brush, limbs and poisonous plants.
Fit Matters When selecting gloves pay attention to fit. If they're a little snug when you try them on, get a roomier pair because that snugness can translate into tightness that may cut off circulation to your fingers and cause numbness. What happens is that, as you ride, your hands may swell up a bit and make the gloves tighter than they were. Also, when laundered, gloves often shrink slightly, adding to the problem.
Find What Works Finding a pair of gloves that you really like may take a little trial and error. The amount of padding you get varies depending on the model. Some people like more cush, some less. For example, if you ride with a flat handlebar and have comfortable grips, you may not need as much padding in the gloves as someone resting his digits on harder grips.
Sometimes the padding isn't in the right place for your hands and how you grip the handlebars. So, you might have to try a few pairs to find the one that feels best when you're riding.
Test The Fit When you try on gloves, spread your fingers to see how the mitts move with your hand. Make a fist to feel how snug the fit becomes. Check the wrist strap to see if it can be fastened without overlapping or becoming too tight. Be sure to grip some bars in our store that are similar to what you have on your bike, too, so you can a feel how the gloves perform when riding. Watch for pressure points between each digit, especially the thumb and index finger. A glove that doesn't fit your hand shape can become painful on a ride.
Take, Don't Tear, Them Off You probably already know that the easiest way to remove cycling gloves is pulling them inside out. Do this gently, however, because if you just yank away, you may tear some of the stitching and damage the gloves.
Gloves Can Protect Your Bike, Too Finally, here's a neat way gloves can protect you if you use a roof rack to carry your bike and park your car in a garage. The risk is forgetting about the bike on top and smashing it to bits when you return home and cruise into the garage. Don't laugh, this mistake is all too common and easy to make. And, it doesn't just wreck the bike; it can mess up the car roof and rack, too, adding astronomically to the repair costs. A great trick is placing your garage-door remote inside one of your gloves. When you return home and reach for the opener, seeing the glove should remind you that the bike's on top.