Cycling gloves are absolutely essential if you spend lots of time on your bike, and for many reasons. A good pair will protect your hands from bad weather, keep them dry and cool and prevent scrapes if you fall off your bike. Choosing the right cycling gloves for you can be a bit overwhelming – there are lots of different types to choose from – especially if you’re new to the sport, so we’ve broken it down…

Our short and sweet guide will explain the different types of cycling gloves available and how to choose your cycling gloves based on where you ride and the weather conditions, as well as provide a few handy tips for finding the right size and staying warm.

Types of cycling gloves

Cycling gloves fall into two main categories: mittens or fingerless gloves and full-finger gloves. The former stops just before the first knuckle and extends to the wrist. Full-finger gloves do what they say on the tin and cover the whole hand as well as a bit of the arm.

Fingerless gloves are a good choice for the summer months – hello breeze! – and our styles are breathable, quick-drying and allow for a more natural feel of the levers and shifters of your bike. Added bonus: using your phone’s touch screen or bike’s GPS is easy, no need to take off your gloves on the move. Not all fingerless cycling gloves are created equal and the thickness of the palm padding can vary. Thinner pads are ideal for casual or short rides, whereas the thicker gel pads are designed for cyclists who favour longer distances and trickier terrain.

Full-finger gloves can either be for off-road or on-road rides, so make sure you pick the right type. Off-road full-finger gloves are very similar to fingerless gloves – apart from the obvious, in order to protect more of the hand – and have good grip on the fingers. On-road full-finger cycling gloves come in either a winter-ready thick, padded style or a more lightweight summer-appropriate design. Some cyclists feel that the winter gloves are too cumbersome, so it’s worth trying a pair on to see how they feel and considering the option of layering normal knitted gloves beneath the more lightweight cycling gloves for extra warmth but better movement.

Top tips for happy hands

  • Before you put your cycling gloves on, make sure they’re dry. Damp gloves will not only be uncomfortable but also mess with your temperature
  • Get the right size. To check your gloves fit, pop them on and pinch the tip of your middle finger. The space that isn’t filled by your finger should be no bigger than your thumbnail. This means warm air can circulate within the glove, keeping your hands toasty. Similarly, don’t make do with cycling gloves that are too tight
  • Consider a glove liner for enhanced comfort and warmth
  • Stay safe and seen on the roads at night with reflective cycling gloves