The Gel Ranger Gel is the padded glove in the Fox Ranger MTB glove range. It offers a great quality glove, with a little extra padding for those riders who feel the vibrations or get numb hands a little too often. In this Fox Ranger Gel gloves review, we will look into the pros and cons and whether the glove is the right fit for you!
A mountain bike glove is a pretty simple piece of clothing, but there is a huge range of options available for different kinds of riders. It helps to know what style of glove is right for you and what makes a good glove in general.
What Makes a Good Mountain Bike Glove?
A good mtb glove is not necessarily the most expensive glove, nor is it the fanciest looking glove. Instead, a good mountain bike glove serves two purposes:
- Keeps your hands comfortable while riding
- It keeps your hands protected when you come off
For this, we look at a few things.
Fit and Comfort
You don’t want there to be pinch points or any rubbing. Get gloves that fit both your palm and your fingers! Try curling your hand into a ‘c’ shape, like how you would grip the handlebars. If the gloves create a heap of excess material on the palm, they will likely rub while riding. Find a pair of gloves that don’t have this extra material.
Having a bit of grip on the gloves helps with control of the bars. If your hands aren’t sliding all over the show while riding, then you won’t need to clench the bars so hard. This then means you can relax, and there won’t be as much tension in your upper body while riding.
There are two styles of gloves, long finger gloves and short finger gloves (also known as fingerless gloves). Short finger gloves won’t help with the grip of the bars or breaks, and they won’t keep your fingers protected if you come off or sweep past a low-hanging branch. Essentially, stay away from short finger gloves for mountain biking!
Having a bit of padding helps some riders feel a bit more comfortable on the mountain bike. A lot of vibrations get transferred to your hands while on the trails, so the padding absorbs a bit of this. It also works the other way, distributing your weight across the bars so you don’t have pressure points on your hands while your grip the bars.
More on the role of padding will be described below.
The Role of Padding
Padding is placed strategically on mountain bike gloves to distribute the pressure across the bars. There are two nerves that get compressed when mountain biking, which causes a tingly feeling in your hands, or hand numbness. Neither are a great feeling when shredding down the hill, trying to keep control of your bike!
One nerve is compressed when you have your hands bent back. The other runs down the pinky side of the palm and is compressed when you apply direct pressure on this nerve. Padding assists with preventing hand numbness by reducing the pressure on these nerves.
Keep an eye out for padding on the outside (pinky side) of the palm and base of the thumb if hand numbness is an issue for you.
Any other padding will simply reduce vibrations felt through the bars, making the ride a little more comfortable.
Fox Ranger Gel Gloves Review
- Gel Pads
- High Quality and highly durable
- Touch Screen compatible
- Silicon grips on the fingertips
- Palm an odd fit
Comfort and Fit
The Fox Ranger Gel glove has a very versatile fit. It seems to fit a range of hands, from long slender fingers to short stumpy hands. The sizes range from small to XXL, so there is generally a size for everyone. Additionally, there are the women’s specific sizes to cater for the smaller hands, but the gloves themselves do not differ in any way.
The Fox Ranger series is known for lasting an eternity, and I have no reason to believe the Fox Ranger Gel will not be the same! The only aspect I believe could be improved is the silicone grips on the fingertips, which tend to become detached over time. While this isn’t an issue specific to Fox, nor just the Ranger series, it is something to be aware of.
The Gel Pads on the Ranger sit directly below the fingers, on the base of the palm on the pinky side and on the thumb side. As mentioned previously, the padding on the bottom of the palm alleviates pressure on the nerves which therefore stops hand numbness and discomfort felt while riding.
The padding at the top of the palm (at the base of the fingers) is placed to reduce vibrations felt from the handlebars. I am not a fan of this extra padding, as I find it causes the glove to bunch a little when gripping the bars. Other riders find that it detracts from the ‘feel of the bars’ or causes the material to pinch their skin.
Overall, padding is a bit of a trade-off between a nice minimalist feel and having a glove that stops your hand from going numb!
The Fox Ranger Gel has a reasonable amount of grip. The synthetic leather palms and silicone grippers provide plenty of grip on both the handlebars and brake levers to keep you in control of the bike.
Breathability and Ventilation
The coolest little detail on the Fox Ranger Gel Glove is the pieces of ultra-thin material between the fingers. This light and breathable mesh allow the fingers to breathe without making the glove vulnerable to tearing in a crash (as you don’t usually catch the insides of your fingers on the ground!).
The 4-way stretch material on the top of the palm allows for great ventilation while riding. The synthetic leather palm is moisture absorbing, so your palms won’t get sweaty- even on long, arduous climbs!
The Fox Ranger Gel has a velcro closure system. The velcro is situated on the inside (thumb side) under the wrist (palm side). While I tend to find velcro closure systems annoying (they come undone at very inconvenient times), the placement of the Ranger Gel velcro means you will rarely find the velcro coming undone on its own accord.
Additionally, the velcro is a higher quality velcro that doesn’t seem to wear out quite as quickly as some other cheaper gloves.
The Fox Ranger Gel is touch screen compatible. And when I say compatible, it really is! I have had a 100% success rate with the touch screen feature, and it is not an awkward over-swiping to make it work either. This feature is overestimated in a glove until you get a pair that only works every now and again!
The other handy feature is the microfibre thumb. This handy piece of the material allows you to comfortably wipe away the sweat and snot in times of need!
The Fox Ranger Gel Glove is a high-quality, long-lasting, comfortable glove. If you are looking for a padded glove, the Fox Ranger Gel is going to be one of your best options. It is simplistic, yet the details mean you have a very comfortable ride every time!