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Reasons to Wear Mountain Biking Gloves

If you are new to mountain biking or cycling in general you may be wondering why do most people use gloves when riding and you want to make an informed decision on if you need to get a pair for yourself or not. Don’t worry, in this article, I will tell you what are all the reasons why you should get MTB gloves.

MTB gloves offer protection, comfort, and grip. The more skillful you become the more technical the trails that you ride become, the more you need MTB gloves. On longer rides, when riding whit no gloves, some people find their hands go numb or just get uncomfortable.

1. Climatcontroll

Mountain biker putting on gloves
Mountain biker putting on gloves

Mountain biking is so fun that you never want to stop doing it but sometimes the weather is against you. If you want to ride your MTB in all seasons then you need to keep your extremities warm and here gloves play an important role.

One of the benefits of mountain bike gloves is that they help you to ride comfortably in every climate condition (wheat, sunny, cold, and even snow). For this reason, most riders will get at least two pairs of gloves, one for winter and one for summertime.

2. Protection

As you become more skillful you will start going harder while on any trail. This means that you are more likely to fall off the bike while trying new things. When this happens, the gloves provide padding to avoid as much damage as possible.

While the gloves can only do so much when protecting your bones, they are extremely effective at protecting your hands from cuts, grazes, scrapes, and more.

Let us not forget that when you are riding with speed on forest trails your hands most likely will come into contact with tree branches and the rest of the vegetation around you resulting in cuts and scrapes if you don’t wear gloves.

3. Improved Grip

Mountain bike gloves provide grip. This is true even if you are wearing fingerless gloves, they still provide grip between your hand and the handlebars. This can become very important especially as you start to sweat on longer trails.

When you sweat, your hands start to slip off the handlebars. Now, let’s say you were approaching an obstacle and a corner. If your hands are sweating, you could lose control of the bike if your hand slips off of the handlebars.

4. Comfort

Apart from keeping sweat away from you and the handlebars, gloves add comfort. The grooves of these handlebars grips can start to dig into your skin. This can easily go from being uncomfortable to being painful.

Also, mountain bike gloves often have padding, this provides some cushioning between your hand and the handlebars. You will notice that on longer rides your hands will start to become stiff. Well, this is because there is a constant amount of pressure being enforced on your hands by the handlebars.

You might not even notice but on more technical trails you usually grip the handlebars a lot harder. Also, you press down on them a lot more than if you were on easier trails. All of this can start to hurt your hand, especially if you don’t wear mountain bike gloves.

5. Shock Absorption

When you ride on bumpy trails your hand will be forced to absorb all the shocks, this becomes more noticeable at higher speeds. Gel padded gloves will help a lot with mitigating the impact of these shocks on your hands.

On longer rides on technical trails, all these shocks will put a lot of stress on your hands even to the point of feeling pain, having a good pair of gloves in this situation will make your riding much more enjoyable, don’t overlook this aspect.

6. Mtb Gloves Will Keep Your Hands Warm on Stiff Descends

Even if you don’t ride in the cold season when you pick up speed on longer descents in the forest your hands may feel cold because the forest is colder even if it is a sunny day.

On the very warm days in the middle of summertime, this is less of a problem but when the temperature outside is less than 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) you may encounter this problem if you don’t wear gloves.

So if you want to mostly ride downhill or just want to have more enjoyable descents you should ride with MTB gloves.

7. On Longer Rides Gloves Will Protect Your Hands from Sunburn

When you ride for a long time in the sun, sunburns become a concern, to avoid them you can wear a long sleeve jersey and MTB gloves. Believe me, this can be frustrating, speaking from experience.

8. Extra Functionality

Mountain biking gloves can bring some extra utility if they are of good quality. For example, many gloves come with towel-like material around your big tump area so you can easily wipe the excess sweat from your forehead.

Even if you have a good pair of MTB glasses if you sweat a lot it can still get from your forehead into your eyes and this can lead to problems if ignored. Nothing needs to affect your vision (not even slightly) when you ride at high speed on rough terrain.

9. Can Prevent Sore Hands

Sometimes if you ride without gloves you may be forced to squish your grips harder to compensate for the lack of grip and so this can lead to an incorrect hand position on technical trails, as an effect you may end up with sore hands after the ride.

If you always have sore hands after a ride most shurley using gloves isn’t a complete fix but it will help, not all people will feel the same benefits but some will have a much better riding experience.

Some people find their hands go numb or just get uncomfortable on longer rides if they don’t have comfortable grips or padded gloves.

Final toughts

When I started my mountain biking journey I was inclined to believe that MTB gloves aren’t worth the money and are just a fuss, but I couldn’t be further from the truth!

Now even if by mistake I leave without my gloves I turn back if I am not too far away and get them, sometimes it’s fun to ride without just to have a fresh experience but I don’t do this change too often.

By now I a sure that you can make an informed decision of how you wish to ride, with gloves or gloveless.

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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.