Best Bike Gloves for Long Rides – All You Need to Know

If you enjoy getting outdoors for a bit of fresh air on a long bike ride, you may often find your hands get fairly tired and sore. This can be for two reasons; the first being compression of the nerves in your hands and wrist, and the second being due to constant vibrations felt through the bars. This review will look at the best bike gloves for long rides to overcome this and ensure you have a comfortable ride no matter the length!

Firstly, in order to make a good decision about which gloves are going to suit your needs, there are a few things to understand about gloves. 

What Makes a Good Glove?

Here is a brief summary of what the best bike glove for long rides needs to consist of:

  1. Fit and Comfort

You want a glove that doesn’t pinch or rub any skin. The way to check if a glove fits correctly, curl your hand into a ‘c’ shape, and check how much excess material there is. If the material is folding over quite significantly, this material is likely to cause pinching and rubbing while riding. 

Right fit of MTB Glove
The ‘C’ shape to check how much excess material bunches at the palm.
  1. Grip

Having bits of grip, such as silicone grippers on the fingers and palm, helps with keeping a hold of the bars and brake levers. Gripping too hard with your hands can create pressure on the nerves, creating great discomfort while riding. Having extra grip reduces the need to physically grip too hard. 

  1. Padded vs. Non-Padded

Padded gloves help reduce pressure on the nerves in your hands and reduce vibrations felt through the bars. This helps a fair bit on long rides, where extended time on the bike can cause severe hand numbness and tired hands from vibrations. 

  1. Length of the glove

If you are looking for mountain bike gloves, we do NOT recommend having fingerless gloves (half-fingered gloves). This is due to the lack of protection for the mountain biker if they do happen to come off or pass by a low-hanging branch. 

For a road cyclist, having fingerless gloves is far more common. This is because it allows a bit more ventilation through the glove and a better ‘feel for the bars’. In addition, the chances of crashing are a bit lower, so road cyclists tend to just take the risk for the sake of a bit more comfort. 

Does Padding Actually Help?

For some riders, padding is uncomfortable and gets in the way of the ‘feel of the bars.’ For other riders, it can make the difference between riding 100 km or going home at 15 km due to discomfort. 

Padding works in two ways. The most obvious is that it reduces the vibrations felt through the bars. The padding on the palm of the glove absorbs the majority of the minor jolts and bumps as you ride along a trail or the road, making the ride much more comfortable.

The second way it works is to reduce the likelihood of hand numbness occurring. Hand numbness occurs due to the compression of nerves. Two nerves are affected by biking; the ulnar nerve that passes down the pinky side of your hand and the median nerve that passes closer to the thumb side of your hand.

As you bend your wrist back, you cause the ulnar nerve to compress, and the pressure caused by having your hand on the bar causes the median nerve to compress. Having padding reduces the pressure on these nerves, so having padding in the right places helps in reducing hand numbness. 

Best Bike Gloves for Long Rides

We have split this section into short-fingered (fingerless) gloves and full finger gloves, as full finger gloves are essential for mountain bikers but optional for road cyclists. This will help you easily find the best bike gloves for long rides that suit you!

Best Full-Finger Gloves for Long Rides

Full finger gloves not only give you more protection of the fingers (helpful in a crash, sunburn, or an altercation with a long hanging branch), they also help you grip the bars and brake levers. This means you don’t physically grip the bars so hard, reducing the pressure on your hands, resulting in a more comfortable ride!

Each of these options are great as a mountain bike glove or a road cycling glove!

Fox Ranger Gel Glove

Fox Racing Ranger Glove
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • A great amount of padding
  • Mesh material between the fingers allows great ventilation
  • Comfortable fit
  • Touch Screen compatible

Cons

  • Nothing significant!

The Fox Ranger glove is a classic amongst mountain bikers. It is durable, comfortable and looks good. The new Gel version of the Ranger is also exceptionally comfortable. The padding on the base of the palm helps to keep you on your bike for longer rides.

Fox Ranger Glove Fit
The Fox Ranger can take you to come cool places!

Silicone grip on the fingers assists with keeping control of the bars and brake levers, even in long rainy rides. Conductive threads on the thumb, index and middle fingers allow you to use your phone without taking your gloves off. This is super handy to answer a phone call on the go, send a quick text, or take a photo without having to mess around with taking gloves on and off.

While the Fox Ranger is well established as a mtb glove, there is no reason why it wouldn’t be suitable for a road cyclist too! The glove is certainly one of the best bike gloves for long rides.

Giro Bravo LF Glove

Giro Bravo Gel LF Gloves
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Lots of padding!
  • Great Grip
  • Plenty of color choices
  • Touch Screen compatible

Cons

  • Velcro Strap placed on the top of the wrist can come undone while riding

The Giro Bravo LF (Long Finger) glove is a well-designed ergonomic glove. With padding on the base of either side of the palm, and padding below the fingers that folds, the Bravo allows for maximum comfort while riding. 

My only niggle with the Bravo LF is the positioning of the velcro strap on the top of the wrist. This part of the wrist bends and moves a fair amount while climbing and descending, and I find that the strap seems to come undone reasonably often, especially as the glove (and hence the velcro) gets a bit older. This is super annoying as you go to drop into a trail!

While the Bravo LF doesn’t have any silicone grippers anywhere on the glove, it is still a super grippy glove. The faux leather palm absorbs any moisture from the palm, and maintains excellent grip of the handlebars at all times!

Endura Hummvee Plus II

Endura Hummvee Plus Cycling Gloves II
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Neoprene Knuckle Protection Panel
  • Terry cloth nose wipe
  • Touch Screen compatible

Cons

  • Not the most durable

The padding is spaced out all over the palm, reducing the pressure right the way across the palm. The gel padding is relatively minimal compared to bulkier gloves such as the Giro Bravo LF, so it is great for someone wanting an in-between level of padding. 

The glove is light and ventilated, with breathable mesh on the top of the hand and ax suede material on the palm. This assists with grip as well as absorption of any moisture, as does the silicone grips on the fingers.

The downside of these gloves is that they often won’t last much longer than a season of a lot of use. The stitching between the fingers has been reported to come undone quite frequently. But if you don’t wear gloves for every ride, they will more than do the trick for the infrequent user.

The Endura Hummvee is excellent for either a mountain biker or road cyclist who wants just a little extra gel padding on the palm and a glove that looks very cool!

Best Short-Finger Gloves for Long Rides

While we don’t recommend short-fingered gloves for mountain bikers, some riders do prefer to ride with short-fingered gloves! Hence these options are great for road cyclists and provide a couple more, less expensive options for mountain bikers.

Pearl Izumi Select Glove

PEARL iZUMi Select Glove
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Thick Padding
  • Durable
  • Great pull tabs to get the glove on and off
  • Sweat wipe on the thumb

Cons

  • Won’t keep your fingers protected

The Pearl Izumi select has a LOT of padding. The Gel padding essentially covers the majority of the palm. The pads are split into five strategically placed components that give it flexibility and reduce the pressure on the parts of the hand that may cause hand numbness.

The synthetic leather palm absorbs sweat, allowing you to have a better grip on the bars. The hook and loop closure system- a velcro strap- is placed on the outer side of the wrist so you can get the right fit. The velcro strap also allows larger hands to get the glove on and off easily enough.

The Pearl Izumi is one of the best bike gloves for long rides if you are looking for short fingered gloves.

Giro Strade Massa/Dure SuperGel Glove

Giro Strade Dure SG Gloves
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Thin but effective padding
  • Womens specific version available
  • Absorbs sweat well
  • Great for long rides!

Cons

  • Won’t keep your fingers protected
  • Size runs a bit large

The Giro Strade Dure is a well-designed short finger glove that offers substantial shock absorption in a small amount of padding. The Strada Massa is the women’s specific design, essentially the same as the Strade Dure with a different sizing range. 

Giro claims that the Strade Dure (and Massa) can absorb shocks 30% better than your standard gel padding. They also claim that the way they have distributed the padding will distribute the pressure three times better than any other glove. And while I cannot confirm this, I can say that the glove is incredibly comfortable, and despite not having the thickest amount of padding out, it certainly punches well above its weight!

One thing to keep an eye out for is the sizing. If you are between sizes, go down a size, as the excess material when you put your hand in the ‘C’ shape (see ‘What makes a good glove’ at the top of this article) can irritate the skin between the padding.

Giro Bravo Glove

Giro Bravo Short Finger Gloves
Check Latest Price On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Durable

Cons

  • Won’t keep your fingers protected
  • Three-piece palm construction can leave marks on your hand

The Giro Bravo is a great value-for-money cycling glove. On long rides, you want a well-wearing, breathable glove that absorbs the shocks and vibrations with ease- and this is just what the Bravo glove does.

The padded palm is constructed using Giro’s three-piece palm construction, which gives you an optimized fit that prevents bunching. In my experience, however, the seams in the palm can cause pressure issues on your hand while riding. While the padding should prevent this, sometimes it can leave indents for up to a couple of hours. 

Otherwise, the ax suede palm provides a good grip, and the top of the fingerless glove allows plenty of air through the breathable material. The velcro closure means you can get the glove on and off easily without stretching the material at all. 

In all, a great glove at a great price if you find the three-piece palm works for you!

Final Thoughts

Hand fatigue is not a fun experience and can take away from the enjoyment of a ride. Having a little extra padding can mean you won’t get numb hands. Having one of the best bike gloves for long rides will help with this, so now it is simply a decision as to which is best for you!

For mountain bikers (as stated several times), long finger gloves are the way to go! No matter the temperature, it is so worthwhile having protection over the fingers and a little more assistance in grabbing the brakes. 

For road cyclists, short finger gloves are much cheaper and often have a bit more padding than long finger gloves. In saying this, having long finger gloves can help prevent sunburn, and often the brake fingers have silicone grips which means your fingers won’t slip off the brakes any time soon!

My pick would be the Fox Ranger Gel glove, as it excels in everything I need for a glove. The touch screen capability is faultless, the glove is comfortable and durable, and the padding is kept nice and simple. The ranger is just a good all-around glove!

If you are looking for winter gloves, see here