Buyers Guide to the Best Mountain Bike Gloves

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I hate gloves. Which makes me the ideal tester for them. For a glove to stand a chance of being worn by me for more than one ride it needs to be a good one.

Gloveless idiots

I actually prefer to ride without gloves. Yes, I am one of those people. During the nominal British Summer Time period, I ride bareback. Well, barehanded. I just prefer the more direct feel. And yes, it’s deeply unwise from a safety/injury point of view. I usually endure at least one painful iodine-tastic palm-injury clean-up a year.

I do wear gloves sometimes though. When the brambles and nettles are in full speight, I wear some Fox Bomber LT gloves (see below) to help protect my fingers and knuckles. When the temperatures get a bit too chilly, I pull on a pair of 100% Brisker gloves. I don’t often go ‘deeper’ than that. If the conditions are really bad, I pack a spare pair of Briskers. And I have been known to pack a pair of ‘trigger’ 1-and-3 finger split mitts for certain epic adventures (Dakine Fillmores).

best mountain bike gloves

Normal folk

Thankfully, for the purpose of this guide, there are numerous more-normal people who work at Singletrack who do wear gloves on every ride all year round. And they’ve put forth their suggestions for what they think are the best mountain bike gloves currently available.

Having said that, there is a general consensus amongst a lot of us here that – outside of winter – you can pretty much go for any mountain bike glove from a reputable brand. A lot of folks’ simply buy in bulk whenever they see a half-decent looking gloves in a half-decent sale. Lightweight/thin/summer gloves simply do not seem to last very long. You have a pair for a year and then something fails on them. Usually the stitching gives up on one of the fingers/thumbs.

(Having to keep buying new gloves, or ‘repairing’ them with insulation tape etc, was probably one of the main reasons I went down the gloveless route!)

best mountain bike gloves guide

What to look out for (besides good sales)

But whilst it’s almost as simple as ‘buy whatever decent brand’s gloves are in the sales’, there are a handful (ha!) of small pointers we can give as to what to look out for.

Get padding from your grips, not your gloves. Thin palms FTW. The new generation of fake leather/suede fabric palm gloves are excellent for both fit and feel.

Avoid simple pull-on grips with no adjustment on summer/lightweight gloves. Velcro wrist closures all the way. Pull-on gloves always lead to baggy palms, shifting contact points and thus vague handling.

Things that are nice but can be lived without: nose wipe panels, phone screen fingertips.

Above all though, once you find a brand that makes a glove that fit your hand like a… er, glove. Stick with ’em.

Best Mountain Bike Gloves

100% Brisker

100% Brisker

Price: £29.99

In a nutshell: pretty much standard issue for the UK Mountain Biker. Thin palm for feel. Insulated back for battling the cold. Loads of colours. Can ALWAYS be found in a sale somewhere.

fox best mountain bike gloves guide
Fox Bomber LT CE

Fox Bomber LT CE

Price: £44.99

You that period of a few weeks every year where the brambles and nettles go bananas and every ride ends with you having knackered knuckles? These just-armoured-enough gloves are great for that/then.

oakley best mountain bike gloves guide
Oakley Drop In MTB

Oakley Drop In MTB

Price: £35.00

Now then, the Fox Bomber LT CE gloves can be hard to find. So we’re listing these Drop In MTB gloves from Oakley as the next best option for bramble battling. Bonus point for the retro 90s aesthetics too.

poc best mountain bike gloves guide
POC Resistance Adjustable

POC Resistance Adjustable

Price: £50.00

What’s good about these? There’d better be something compelling about them – look at the price tag! They cost pretty much twice as much as non-winter gloves!! Thing is, they last at least twice as long. Super well made items.

giro best mountain bike gloves guide
Giro Xnetic H2O

Giro Xnetic H2O

Price: £54.99

Whilst the aesthetic may scream roadie (and so what?), there’s no denying that ostensibly simple gloves like these deep cuff pull-on jobbers from Giro make a great option for wet conditions. They can be a bit of a wrestle to get on/off, but whilst riding they’re lovely.

try lee best mountain bike gloves guide
Troy Lee Designs Air

Troy Lee Designs Air

Price: £30.00

I think it may technically be Actual Law at this point to include a Troy Lee Designs product in any ‘Best MTB Glove’ guide. Joking aside, TLD do still make exceptionally nice riding gloves in their typically… well, Troy Lee style.

Fox Ranger Fire

Fox Ranger Fire

Price: £34.99

When you don’t want to go ‘full roadie’ (“never go full roadie” – Kirk Lazarus) with the Giro Xnetic H2O gloves mentioned above, these chill-battling Ranger Fire gauntlets from Fox are a sound choice. You don’t have to get the orange ones (but you should).

Dexshell Thermfit Neo

Dexshell Thermfit Neo

Price: £35.00

Hannah’s review summary: “These are a useful addition to my wet weather riding gear. They’re not warm enough to stave off extreme cold conditions, but the merino inner adds a reasonable degree of warmth without being too sweaty. Make the most of the long cuffs and conductive fingers to keep the gloves on and the damp out, and I think some other part of your body will be complaining about the conditions before your hands give you grief.”

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  • This topic has 15 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by AJT.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Buyers Guide to the Best Mountain Bike Gloves
  • robertajobb
    Full Member

    Padding / gel in the glove for me, every time.

    Means they transfer to the road and gravel bike too, and have more padding on my palms where inevitably I do hit the floor like a sack o’ ‘taters.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Giro DND. “the” best glove I’ve found. Better even than TLD XC and can be found for under £20 a pair if you hunt around.

    jobro
    Free Member

    +1 for Giro DND. I tend to have a few pairs in rotation and they have lasted quite a few years for me, although in fairness I’m gloveless for much of the year.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I hate gloves. Which makes me the ideal tester for them

    Next issue of the mag expect guest bike tester Jeremy Clarkson – ‘I hate bikes. Which makes me the ideal tester for them’

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    What an odd review. I was hoping, at last, to find some wise words on the slim range of waterproof gloves available to get us through this winter…

    But no, the usual “slightly warm but not very” and maybe a couple with some waterproofing claim but we don’t actually comment on that in the review .

    Why, what’s the point?

    As you say in your first sentence, the review as it stands is pointles. It’s January, it’s been pissing it down for months. Why not put the hours in and search out some half decent waterproof gloves and do a review on them. Tell us which ones are actually waterproof and which aren’t. Tell us which ones have those fuckstupid wide cuffs that are designed to go over a jacket sleeve. Ideal for ice climbing and next to useless for mtbing.

    Rather than telling us what we’ll need for brambles when they arrive in 6 months time.

    Radioman
    Full Member

    What I find strange in many videos is how there seems to be a trend amongst pro-bikers not to wear gloves at all. Obviously their skills are brilliant and they don’t crash much but when they do it must be terrible especially with rocky trails.
    The human hand with all its nerve endings and functions isn’t a good thing to damage.

    b33k34
    Full Member

    I’ve had/got loads of summer gloves. Tend to wear out the finger and thumb fiddling with adjusters or valves. Stitching fails on fingers and at wrist closure. Thin/mesh fabrics tear on brambles.

    Endura MT500 mk2 looked are good but they rubbed (on my pair) between the thumb and first finger (so I’ve only worn them on the road and commute bikes since. Good tough fabric and a bit of neoprene across the knuckles. (all the Endura gloves I’ve had over the years have been good and lasted well)

    What I’d *really* like is a hot weather glove with some thorn resistance down the outside of the third and fourth finger (glove armour is always across the knuckles). Haven’t found that yet…

    Padding / gel in the glove for me, every time.

    the longer I’ve been riding the less padding I’ve had in my gloves, both on and off road.

    fahzure
    Full Member

    Work gloves are invariably more durable than the fancy hand socks that MTB companies try to sell you. You can get quality impact protection with D3O, even for about 25 quid.

     

    oldfart
    Full Member

    I’m impressed with Endura Primaloft for this time of year and for Summer gloving it’s TLD when Merlin had them for £13 👍

    StirlingCrispin
    Full Member

    Wot thegeneralist says.

    I rave about Rab Infinium gloves.

    Windstopper fabric so kill wind-chill. Not waterproof but they don’t need to be. Wet hands dry out in them. In heavy rain, ring them out and just keep riding. Damp hands but warm hands.

    Current pair are a couple of years old but I only ride 3-4x a week and use them for dog walks, utility cycling.
    #comfy

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    Above all though, once you find a brand that makes a glove that fit your hand like a… er, glove. Stick with ’em.

    I’ll not even look at a glove if it doesn’t have a piece of leather or similar over the end of the finger from the nail to the finger tip. I always used to push the finger ends through even on gloves that fitted or were too big. The only one shown in that test wasn’t commented on, was the Dakine with wrap around finger ends.

    Personally, I’ll find POC on sale and buy a couple of pairs.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Radioman
    Full Member

    What I find strange in many videos is how there seems to be a trend amongst pro-bikers not to wear gloves at all. Obviously their skills are brilliant and they don’t crash much but when they do it must be terrible especially with rocky trails.

    Pros will usually have pretty good crash reflexes, ie, not sticking their hands out or at least not just smashing them into the ground, lots of patting out, rolling out etc. Can’t remember who it was, maybe Ben Deakin, that had as part of his training routine getting judo thrown all over the place to practice his landings.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Gloveless riders must have a different sweat reflex (or whatever you’d call it) to me – or use some kind of rubber-free grip that doesn’t result in moisture between palm and grip?? In hot weather my hands feel far less sweaty in gloves cos they absorb it. Whenever I ride without gloves it just feels horrible!
    Find ION or Troy Lee best. Fox were ok, but split without much use.

    chrisyork
    Full Member

    100% brisker? They’re garbage I find, they do the hydromatic’s which are far better! Fully waterproof, windproof and very warm. If you want toasty hands in the winter these are a must! Once brisker’s get wet you’ve had it…

    ajt123
    Free Member

    I looked at this and thought “no thanks” to any of them.

    Endura singletracks are a good warm weather glove – not too pricey, no fuss. Their MT500 gloves are comfy but wear out at a rate of knots.

    I’m currently on Endura D30s, they are so so, sticky bits on the fingers and palm coming off quickly. I got them because they were in the shop in my size.

    I used to like the old Fox digits too, but more recent refreshes aren’t as good. Dirtpaws next time.

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