“Singapore is so hot! Should I still wear cycling gloves?”
You might feel weird and uncomfortable when you first put them on. But you should consider wearing them on every ride. Here are 5 reasons why:
When we are riding on open roads, whether you like it or not, there will always be a risk of getting into an accident. Nobody starts a ride planning to crash, but accidents do happen and you need to be prepared for it.
Quite often when you crash, it is your reflex reaction to stick your hands out to break the fall. Gloves can act as a useful first layer of defense to prevent painful cuts and grazes.
2. Firm grip
When riding in warm and humid conditions, your hands can get pretty sweaty and can easily slip around the handlebars. Gloves help to soak up the sweat, keeping your hands dry and allow you to maintain a safe grip on the handlebars at all times. Gloves are especially useful when you are caught in the rain.
The padding on gloves aids in cushioning your hands from the vibrations passed through the bike and handlebar to the main contact points.
When riding, you are placing pressure on your ulnar and median nerves. By entrapping them, you will start to feel numbness, tingling or even pain in your fingers. This will affect your grip strength and how well you control the bike. Therefore, wearing gloves will help to dampen the vibrations, eliminating hand discomfort.
4. Injury prevention
Cyclists are prone to suffer from handlebar palsy. It is an injury is caused due to prolonged compression of a nerve in your wrist.
The pain can be severe and if you are not careful, you might risk suffering from nerve damage too. Therefore, wearing gloves can help to disperse the force being applied to these nerves and reduce the chance of you injuring yourself.
Most of the gloves in the market have a soft towel section typically found across the thumb. That’s for you to wipe off any snot, saliva, or sweat. Your friend riding behind you will thank you for wearing gloves.
So how do I choose a pair of cycling gloves?
There are many different types of cycling gloves for different weather conditions, but here we are talking about hot weather gloves for summer rides.
Choosing the correct pair of gloves is critical to enjoying a comfortable ride.
#1 Design. There are 2 types of gloves; full and half finger. Full finger gloves are suitable for mountain bikers as it can protect your hands from thorns, and half finger gloves are suitable for road cyclists because of their breathability and they allow you to feel your brake levers.
#2 Fit. Make sure you choose the right size for you. Too big and the gel padding might not fit your hand comfortably. Loose-fitting gloves might also give rise to abrasions. Conversely, if the glove is too tight, holding the bar will intensify the pressure on the ulnar nerve, giving you more discomfort. Focus on the webbing between your pointer finger and thumb. This will give you an indication of fit.
#3 Padding. You can choose between a foam or gel padding. Foam padding allows for better connection to the bike’s handlebar. Gel, on the other hand, is thicker and heavier but provides greater protection from intense surface vibration. Choose a foam padding if you are riding on the road and gel padding if you are riding on the trails.
#4 Material. Majority of gloves are made up of synthetic leather on the palms and spandex on the top. Opt for breathable and flexible materials for effective sweat absorption and easy mobility.
Additional tip: Look for gloves with tabs like the picture above to allow you to remove your gloves easily.
Author: Esther Koh
Cycling is her drug and therapy.
She is a certified Nutritionist (BSc Nutrition, University of Leeds) and loves both road cycling and mountain biking. She hopes that more females in Singapore will discover the joy and simple pleasure of riding a bike.