Why Do You Need Gloves For Mountain Biking?

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From gripping and twisting the handlebars to protecting your hands in a fall, mountain bike gloves bring riders more benefits than they might expect. 

Whether you’re a mountain biking competitor or enthusiast, hours spent out on the trails can cause some wear and tear on your body as well as your bike. In fact, injuries or strains on the hands and wrists are some of the most common amongst mountain bikers. 

Twisting and turning up trails, gripping the handlebars and catching yourself during falls can all have an impact on your hands. By choosing to wear mountain biking gloves, riders can reduce the likelihood of injury or pain and stay comfortable hour after hour. 

What are mountain biking gloves? 

Mountain biking gloves are sports gloves that are specifically designed to protect riders’ hands during their time on trails. As any mountain biker will know, hands are key to maintaining control over tricky terrain, so protecting them while riding is essential. Specialist mountain biking gloves are designed for everything the trails can throw at you, and cover every level from extreme downhill mountain biking to a more leisurely trail ride.

Specific features mountain biking gloves have to help keep riders’ hands safe and comfortable include knuckle protection, vibration absorption pads, ripstop materials and grip enhancement. These features are there to protect riders’ hands in the event of a fall, skid, or slide, and also help reduce the chances of riders’ hands becoming tired or losing grip.

What are the benefits of mountain biking gloves? 

Mountain biking gloves help riders perform at their best on trails and over rough terrain. If you’re an enthusiast who likes to spend lots of hours on the trail or a professional who’s looking to test your limits, then mountain biking gloves should be a kit list essential for a range of reasons, including: 

  • Impact protection. Falls and skids are a part of mountain biking, and being prepared with gear to help reduce the severity of impacts is critical. Your hands might be first in the firing line when you’re falling, so having gloves that help minimize the intensity of an impact is vital. Specifically designed mountain gloves will be padded on areas likely to take impacts, helping reduce the risk of injury. 

  • Vibration absorption. When you’re riding over rocks, roots and bumpy trails, vibration travels up through your handlebars and into your hands and wrists. This can cause fatigue over long periods of time, potentially contributing to long term injuries. Choosing gloves with built in padding that absorbs vibration reduces the level of fatigue and helps prevent lasting damage.

  • Improved grip. Sweat, water, and mud can all compromise your grip on the handlebars, reducing your control of the bike. Mountain bike gloves are fitted with tacky materials and pads, particularly on the fingers and thumbs, to make it easier for riders to grip in difficult conditions. They’re also often thinner than standard gloves, meaning you can feel and keep control over the handlebars more easily. 

  • Comfort. Hours on the trails mean gloves need to be comfortable. Breathable, soft and moisture-wicking materials keep hands at an ideal temperature and reduce chafing or irritation on the palms. Choose gloves that are designed to have a snug fit over the hands, are flexible and reinforced at high-wear contact points, such as the heel of the palm. 

How to find the best mountain biking gloves 

Mountain biking gloves are designed to be snug around the hand, so it’s key that you try on different options before you make your final purchase. There are some key features to look for in top-quality mountain biking gloves, including: 

  • D3O® padding
  • Ripstop and breathable materials
  • Wrist straps or cuffs for comfort and fit. 
  • Grips on the fingers, thumb and palm. 

By looking out for these features and trying on any options before you buy them, you can be sure to find mountain biking gloves that will help your hands and wrists stay comfortable and protected for many hours out on the trails.