With the heat and humidity that come with living in Singapore, you may be wondering if it is still necessary for you to wear cycling gloves during your rides. Your cycling gloves actually serve many other purposes, they’re not just for keeping your hands warm. Cycling gloves are designed to prevent injury, give you a better grip, and keep you comfortable.
While you may feel a little weird and uncomfortable when you first put them on, you should consider wearing cycling gloves 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 defence to prevent painful cuts and grazes. Should you encounter an accident, you will be glad for your cycling gloves, the impact they absorb, and the scratches they take for the sensitive skin of your palms.
2. Firm grip
Contrary to what you might think, Singapore’s warm weather is actually one of the reasons you should be wearing cycling gloves.
When riding in warm and humid conditions, your hands can get pretty sweaty and can easily slip around the handlebars. Cycling gloves help to soak up the sweat, keeping your hands dry, allowing you to maintain a safe, tight grip on the handlebars at all times.
You will find that cycling gloves are especially useful when you are caught in the rain, as they provide the much-needed friction between your hands and the wet handlebar.
The padding on cycling gloves aids in cushioning your hands from the vibrations passed through the bike and handlebar to the hand’s 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, allowing you to enjoy longer rides.
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.
“Comfort aside, wearing cycling gloves can help to disperse the force being applied to these nerves and reduce the chance of you injuring yourself. ” – Dr Desmond Ong from Shoulder Elbow Orthopaedic Group
5. Face Wipe
Most cycling gloves in the market come with a soft towel section typically found across the thumb. This is particularly useful when you need to wipe away any pesky body fluids, such as saliva or sweat. Your friend riding behind you will thank you for wearing gloves and you won’t have to worry about sweat stinging your eyes during a ride.
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 at the base, this makes for easy removal of your gloves when needed.