When it comes to bike gear, there are many upgrades you can make: tyres, grips, stem, group set, etc. These are easy to justify, but sometimes, the smaller purchases are those that make the most significant impact on your overall trail riding experience.
Mountain bike (MTB) gloves are one of these. The best mountain bike gloves protect your hands at all times and increase your grip on the handlebar. However, there are so many options available that getting a pair requires a bit of research.
How much padding is adequate? Which is better between a full-finger or half-finger glove? These are two common questions people may have. Do not worry, as this article has already done most of the work for you. Take a look at the best mountain bike gloves you can get.
The Best Gloves for Mountain Biking
100% Brisker Mountain Bike Gloves
These are the best mountain bike gloves you can get for cold weather. Their insulated soft-shell top provides enough insulation to keep your hands warm in damp, cold temperatures while letting you maintain better control of your bike.
Its neoprene cuff gives it a minimalistic look while offering remarkable comfort and durability. Moreover, the adjustable thermoplastic rubber wrist closure ensures your gloves fit properly.
The silicone palm pattern increases your grip in wet conditions, and its integrated tech thread makes these gloves touchscreen compatible. Those who enjoy riding in winter can’t go wrong with the 100% Brisker mountain bike glove.
Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0
The Troy Lee Designs Ace glove has a well-researched lightweight slip-on design that uses a single-layer perforated palm. The thin palm and silicone print fingertips provide excellent grip and don’t bunch up. These mountain bike gloves are light and breathable while being considerably secure.
One notable characteristic is its compression cuff. It wraps around your wrist with remarkable ease without being too tight or irritating. The thumb and index finger of these gloves are conductive, so it’s touchscreen compatible. The Troy Lee Designs Ace price is a little higher than others on the list, but they’re a safe, durable choice.
Giro DND Mountain Bike Gloves
The Giro Down n’ Dirty Glove focuses on the essentials of mountain riding: fit, durability, and control. Although it sounds like an Enduro name, it’s an excellent lightweight trail glove.
It has 2mm EVA crash pads that add plenty of protection without making it unwieldy or unnecessarily hot and reinforced fingertips that maintain them in tip-top condition after many falls.
Moreover, the Super Fit AX synthetic leather palm lasts longer than your traditional fabric while eliminating excess material and bunching.
Its upper part also has good breathability and offers four-way stretch, significantly improving comfort. These mountain biking gloves are an excellent option for trail riders and dirt jumpers alike for a modest price.
Dakine Cross-X Gloves
The Dakine Cross-X is hard to beat. Its silicone grip on the fingers and palm lets you maintain a tight grasp on the bars, while the moisture-wicking shell can keep your hands dry and ready to ride.
Mountain bike riders can get the most out of these gloves. They are pretty durable, so you might not see wear and tear even after months of use. Its thermoplastic polyurethane and neoprene knuckle protection keeps you safe in overgrown trails, and so does the extra palm padding against abrasion.
These gloves also feature Polygiene odour-control technology. This chemical solution prevents smells from permeating the glove, keeping your hands fresh. If you’re looking for a durable option that supports aggressive trail riding, the Dakine Cross-X gloves might be ideal.
POC Resistance Pro DH Glove
The POC Resistance is technically a downhill glove, but many trail riders fancy it for its lack of bulk. These bike gloves don’t have huge plastic guards, but it does have the impact-absorbing VPD padding on the back of the hand and over the thumb. Regardless, it still offers plenty of dexterity.
Although this glove has decent ventilation, they still run warm occasionally. The velcro closure is a preference of several riders with small wrists, as some of them have a hard time getting an elastic one that offers sufficient grip. In addition, these bike gloves provide a terry cloth nose wipe and touchscreen compatible thumb.
TRUCK ZRP Biking Glove
The ZRP mountain bike glove is the latest model of TRUCK. It has ergonomically positioned pads that absorb hard hits and vibrations of rowdy rides alongside extra protection should you lose the bars.
This glove has the same leather palm as the previous model that feels like a second skin. Its top material is soft and breathable, and the leather gives it superb durability. The ZRP gloves use velcro and feature conductive thread on the thumb, giving it touchscreen compatibility.
You can’t go wrong with this glove. After all, every TRUCK product is top-quality and has competitive prices.
ROCKBROS Mountain Bike Gloves
If you’re looking for superior protection for your hands, the ROCKBROS gloves are the best option you have. Its high-quality back of the hand rubber protection safeguards your hands well during crashes or when branches hit you on the road.
Additionally, these mountain bike gloves have a thick 6mm gel padding that offers excellent shock absorption and makes riding more relaxing. Their lycra fabric and venting holes also make them considerably breathable even when riding in hot weather.
In cases where that isn’t enough, the gloves’ light mesh cloth between fingers have a sweat absorbing feature.
Finally, it has a towel cloth for sweat on the thumb and is touchscreen compatible. Overall, these are the best mountain bike gloves if you’re looking to protect your hands.
DHaRCO Bike Gloves
These pair of gloves take a minimalistic approach in their design while covering all the essentials. Its durable yet soft synthetic leather palm and the breathable nylon upper hand offers some protection but not much compared to bulkier gloves. Nonetheless, it keeps your hands cool in the summer.
These mountain biking gloves reduce friction points thanks to their leather curves around the fingers, and they’re touchscreen compatible as well.
If you’re looking for a glove that features a minimalistic design but offers enough protection, DHaRCO has a suitable pair. Unfortunately, they don’t have much padding on the palm.
Tanluhu Cycling Gloves
Tanluhu has what are probably the best mountain bike gloves for summer. They use a lycra material that’s not only soft and durable but also considerably breathable. You can further adjust their tension with the sticky adjustable buckle, so the shape of your hand doesn’t matter.
Other features are thick palm padding for protection, black anti-slip gel silicon for superior grip, and a honeycomb-like structure that’s significantly wear-resistant.
Taking off this pair of fingerless gloves is incredibly easy due to the presence of pull tabs. Unless you’re strictly looking for winter gloves, the Tanluhu gloves are one of the best options you have if you don’t worry too much about protection.
Pearl iZUMi Elite Gel Gloves
These full-finger gloves have an Ax Suede palm that feels like genuine leather but provides a four-way stretch and ease-of-care that’s only possible with synthetic leather. As a result, you have a glove with excellent fit and significant durability.
The Pearl iZUMi gloves’ 3D-shaped gel pads offer substantial comfort and eliminate bulk, providing excellent bar feel and grip. It has a hook and loop closure that makes it easy to fit correctly, and its index finger and thumb are touchscreen compatible.
In addition, these gloves have great insulation. If you like to take cold rides, there aren’t many options better than the Pearl iZUMi Elite Gel Gloves.
Hestra Long Sr.
Those who ski or snowboard probably have heard of Hestra. They’re one of the best brands out there in that category. The gloves’ Clarino material and palm silicone print provide superior grip and control of your ride. Moreover, it allows for a tight fit as it has minimal palm and seam padding, giving you a better bar feel.
The breathable mesh back keeps your hands fresh and dry during trail rides, and the neoprene cuff and velcro closure ensure they stay firm as you’re cycling. It also has a convenient wool terry nose wipe and touchscreen compatibility.
If you’re looking to get a pair of gloves to use all year round, the Hestra Long Sr. is a perfect choice.
The Fox Ranger Gloves offer remarkable performance and quality at a more approachable price. They also provide a versatile fit and plenty of comfort with a sleek design.
It has a stretchable polyester composition with a velcro wrist strap that provides a snug fit for many hand shapes and sizes. Moreover, the silicone strips on several fingertips offer a better grip for shift and brake levers.
These Fox gloves don’t have any excess material and are one of the most well-made products at their price tag. The only downside is that the convergence of the seams at the fingertips can be a little bit irritating against the skin.
Choosing the Best Mountain Bike Gloves
Size and Fit
Like with any other piece of clothing, the size and fit of a glove vary by brand. Regardless, most follow the same measurement guidelines: the length of your middle finger to the base of your hand and the circumference around your palm at the widest point below your knuckles.
Apart from that, it’s up to you whether you prefer a snug or loose fitting glove.
Protection and Padding
The primary purpose of the gloves to keep you safe, so finding a balance between protection and padding is essential. However, the way you ride and your region’s weather may also influence it.
For example, lightweight mesh gloves offer significant breathability and some abrasion resistance, but they don’t protect too much against impacts.
Meanwhile, gloves with knuckle and upper hand padding hold out well but often run hot, leaving you with sweaty palms. Once again, it comes down to personal preference.
Elastic wristbands should keep a well-fitting glove where it needs to be. However, some riders prefer gloves with a velcro wrist closure. There isn’t much difference, but velcro is slightly more functional during winter as it prevents the chilly air from sneaking through the cuff, keeping your hands warm.
Most riders wouldn’t recommend fingerless gloves. They’re adequate for road cycling but lack the protection necessary should you fall while mountain biking.
This list only recommends a single one, and it’s because it’s the best of its kind. Even then, you would only be able to use it during summer. If you want to protect your hands, then it would be ideal to use full-finger gloves.
Although it’s more of an afterthought, a glove with a nose wipe can be helpful. Brands usually put them on the thumb and make them out of terry cloth or fleece. The former is the more popular option because it’s softer on the skin.
Are MTB Gloves Necessary?
Although you don’t strictly require MTB gloves, they keep you significantly safer as they protect you from accidents and the occasional branch. They also offer other features such as better control over your bike, which may, in turn, prevent you from crashing in the first place.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot that goes into picking the best mountain bike gloves. What works for you may be less than ideal for another. It would be best to ask yourself a couple of questions. What’s your riding style? Are you a casual rider, or do you enjoy downhill riding? How is the climate in your zone?
Depending on how you answer these questions, the best option can become apparent. Some gloves only work for warm weather, while others excel in both. Regardless, this list covers the best choices in most scenarios.