Have you ever wondered how much of biking gear is truly practical and what is just for show? I am learning that most of it has a basis in real perceived need, either for comfort or for safety. The items may be boldly decorated, but the foundational features are useful.
Even the art can have some value. I wear a bike shirt that says “Biker Chick” because it gives me that humorous emotional edge to get on the bike with a positive attitude. I need this because that’s how my bike crash a few years ago affected me. Others may crash over and over and shrug it off, but not me.
Some equipment is too small to make decoration worth while. Like bicycle gloves. However, they still manage to add the cool factor, so I wondered if there was any advantage.
I probably own more gloves than the average person. With a troubled history of eczema and related skin breakdown, I have some sort of glove for nearly every activity. Sometimes, I have variations for sub-activities and specific pairs of gloves in multiple rooms of the house.
I have worn rubber gloves for cleaning or being a nurse; stretchy cotton gloves to keep oil on my hands for therapy; leather gloves for weight lifting or shoveling or driving; silicone coated gloves for gardening (I might own 10 different types of gardening gloves); polar fleece gloves for running. I have several options for winter needs. With all of these gloves, how could I need a special bicycle glove?
These are the features I found combined in a bicycle glove that I didn’t find in any other glove:
- cushions/pads on the palm area, which means less numbing of the fingers (for other concerns about numb body parts while riding click here)
- breathable fabric over the whole back hand of the glove
- open fingers, down to the second knuckle, giving me a secure feeling when operating the brakes and getting a drink
- form fitting without any pressure from seams, which is very important when the hands are almost always bent around the bike handles
I had previously used either the weight lifting gloves, knit garden gloves, or my husband’s (one size too big) old cycling gloves. None of those fit me nearly as well as I wanted for riding the bike. In fact, these new gloves increased my riding comfort so that I felt like riding more than 30 minutes! I have been riding 60 – 120 minutes for a couple of years, so I have given these other options a good try. But now, I have my bike gloves. I think I have earned them.