Cycling Gloves to Go For (and to Stay Away From!)

(And What Bike Gloves Actually Do For You)

Bike Gloves Review

Why Wear Bike Gloves?

Anticipation at the starting line
P_Wei/E+/Getty Images

Below are reviews of a half-dozen different pairs of bike gloves. But first, one has to ask: what’s the point of cycling gloves at all? Somebody asked me that recently in that tone of voice that implied bike gloves are one of those accessories that are more about image than substance. I mean, c’mon. Do you really need gloves for riding a bike?

Actually, many cyclists find that gloves are an important part of their gear and wouldn’t be found on the bike without them. Here's a chance for you to take a look at the seven main functions that bike gloves perform.

Pearl Izumi Lobster Gloves

Pearl Izumi Lobster Gloves
Pearl Izumi Lobster Gloves.
The Pearl Izumi Lobster Glove is all about warmth. The “lobster” design is a cross between mittens and gloves, and really helps keep hands toasty on cold days. From our tester: "I thought the glove would feel much stranger when I first put it on, but to my surprise, I got used to the design quickly. The index and middle fingers go to one side, while the ring and pinky fingers go to another. Inside the glove are individual finger slots, so you don’t feel like you’re doing the Vulcan salute. Don’t expect to ride in these gloves in temperatures above freezing. I did and instantly regretted it. My hands got overheated." Buy from Amazon »

Louis Garneau XR Air Gel Bike Gloves

Louis Garneau Air Gel XR bike gloves
Palm view.

Louis Garneau has done a nice job with these XR Air Gel Bike Gloves. The suggested $29.99 list price means that you're getting a solid pair of gloves without breaking the bank. Smartly designed with lots of features, these gloves will help improve your comfort on longer rides. Buy from Amazon »

Dakine White Knuckle Glove

Dakine White Knuckle mountain bike gloves
Dakine White Knuckle mountain bike gloves.

The DAKINE White Knuckle Gloves are perfect for cool-weather biking. They are comfortable, and add just the right amount of warmth and wind protection when the temperature starts dropping. (Related article: Tips for staying warm in cool weather riding). DAKINE builds the White Knuckle Gloves tough, and they have a cool moto-style look. Buy from Amazon »

Louis Garneau Fusion 3-in-1 bike gloves

Louis Garneau Fusion 3/1 Gloves
Louis Garneau Fusion 3/1 Gloves. (c) Louis Garneau
The Fusion 3-in-1 bike gloves by Louis Garneau are intended for riders who aren't afraid of the elements. An tight-fitting inner glove coupled with a bulkier thermal outer glove provides warmth and protection for your hands when the mercury drops but you're still riding.

Cure for Stinky Bike Gloves

Bike gloves
Bike gloves airing out on a handlebar. David Fiedler

Last couple times I've been out, my bike gloves have ended up soaked. Mud, rain, sweat -- the gloves have marinated in a noxious brew of all three to the point that they really began to stink. And it's not just then, but even afterward a few days, when you put the gloves back on. A little dampness and the smell comes again. But what to do about this? Here's are some simple tricks to help beat down the stink in your bike gloves.

Ventilator Gloves by Dakine

Dakine Ventilator mountain biking glove
Dakine Ventilator mountain biking glove.
The DAKINE Ventilator gloves are some well built, well ventilated full fingered gloves intended for generally for mountain biking, but which are certainly functional for all types of riding. If there is a knock on this glove, some people may think the DAKINE Ventilator gloves are a little short on padding. In our tester's experience, however, they provide all the protection a cyclist really needs, and the low-profile pads help with grip and handlebar feel. Buy from Amazon »