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MTB gloves – maximum grip on the trail

As opposed to gloves for riding on a city or road bike, MTB gloves have to cope with extra demands. These gloves have to offer greater impact and crash protection as well as grip on the bars. With our buyer's guide about mountain bike gloves, we would like to help you find the right pair of gloves.

Our range includes a big choice of mountain bike gloves for summer and winter, women and men, in all standard sizes, colours and price ranges by renowned manufacturers such as ROSE, Roeckl, FOX, GORE WEAR, 100%, Chiba, GripGrab, Mavic, Ziener and many more. You are sure to find the right model here!

Foam or gel or no padding at all

Especially during mountain biking, vibrations and shocks caused by uneven trails will reach your hands despite a suspension fork on your bike. The permanent stress can lead to premature fatigue of your hands. To ensure best comfort and fun riding on particularly rough trails, too, you can go for gloves with padding on the palm. You can choose between MTB gloves with either foam or gel pads:

  • Foam padding: A foam padding absorbs shocks and vibrations effectively. Thanks to its memory function, the foam always returns to its original shape.
  • Gel pads: A gel padding on the palm offers even better shock absorption. It will help you protect your hands in a particularly efficient way from trails shocks and vibrations.
  • Without padding: Many mountain bikers use gloves without padding on the palm. These gloves promise better handlebar contact and grip.

Which material would you like?

As opposed to gloves that are used for touring or road cycling, gloves for mountain biking should be first and foremost: robust. As a rule, manufacturers make use of more tear-proof materials such as CORDURA, as they want the gloves to offer protection from thorns and branches from trailside vegetation.

The palm, too, should be made from a robust, slip-resistant technical material so that the gloves offer sufficient grip on the bars, yet do not wear out prematurely due to contact with the handlebar or dirt.

Some manufacturers give their MTB gloves double fabric layers in particularly stressed areas, or a padding between thumb and index for additional protection of your hands.

Moreover, it is important that your cycling gloves are ideally adapted to the season in order to ensure ventilation in summer and prevent cold hands in winter. Please read further below what you should pay attention to when buying MTB gloves for summer or winter.

MTB gloves for speedy trails

If you love downhill rides with your bike or if you wish extra protection on the trail, mountain bike gloves with protectors are worth considering for you. The idea of equipping gloves with protectors stems from motocross sports – now it becomes increasingly popular with MTB fans as well. In order to offer better protection during a crash, these gloves come with shock-absorbing protectors, that often run along the knuckles. The ideal protection from abrasions, branches, thorns and bruises.

MTB gloves for summer

For summer we recommend especially lightweight gloves to guarantee good ventilation. There are two versions to choose from:

  • Short finger gloves: For one thing, mountain bikers can go for short finger cycling gloves with light uppers such as mesh or a tan-through fabric. This ensures ideal breathability and constant ventilation.
  • Full finger gloves: If you need more grip, you should go for full finger gloves. Thanks to a slip-resistant material on the palm and often also silicone prints on the fingers, these cycling gloves ensure perfect hold on the bars and, what’s more, better grip on brake levers and gear shifters as well. Especially when using them in summer, you should make sure the gloves are made from a lightweight, breathable upper material. Airy, lightweight mesh material on the back of the hand is particularly recommendable.

MTB gloves for winter

In winter your gloves should primarily be warm. To protect you from cold in low temperatures, a warming thermal material, softshell fabric or gloves with a windproof membrane can be sufficient. However, if you do not want to stay at home in bad weather either, you should go for gloves with a wind- and waterproof membrane. These are the differences between glove types:

  • Thermal gloves: For cool days, winter gloves made from thermal materials such as fleece are ideal. This fabric protects you from cold and keeps your hands warm. These gloves are, however, only wind- and water-repellent, which means that moisture and cold can get through the material after a while. For winter tours on the trail, thermal winter gloves are therefore only suited if the temperatures do not drop further and the weather stays dry.
  • Softshell gloves: Softshell is a material that stands out for its windproof and water-repellent properties. In this way, winter cycling gloves made from softshell protect you well from cold, light rain and spray. Moreover, softshell is highly elastic and breathable and thus comfortable as well.
  • Cycling gloves with windproof membrane: A windproof membrane, such as the popular GORE WINDSTOPPER, is a thin plastic layer integrated in the material to prevent wind from getting through to your hands. The membrane comes with multiple, microscopically small perforations that let water vapour escape to the outside. This preserves the breathability of the material. In addition, a windproof membrane is always water-resistant as well and thus also protects from spray. Ideal for tours with cold wind!
  • Winter cycling gloves with wind- and waterproof membrane: If you wish to keep on riding in unsettled weather as well, your winter gloves should have a wind- and waterproof membrane such as GORE-TEX or EUROTEX. As opposed to a windproof membrane, the microscopic perforations in the plastic layer are so small they won’t let any water droplets enter the fabric. In this way, you are ideally protected from cold wind and rain. At the same time, water vapour can get through to the outside so that dry and warm comfort is guaranteed.

More interesting features of MTB gloves:

  • Touchscreen compatible: It won’t be enough for a finger scan on your smartphone, yet the integrated fibres on thumb and fingers of many long finger MTB gloves allow you to use a touchscreen without having to take off the gloves. Perfect for choosing a song or using an app with it! Whether a pair of gloves is compatible with a touchscreen is mentioned in the respective product text.
  • Slip-resistant silicone prints: The fine prints on palm and fingers offer even better hold on the bars and on the levers – in wet conditions, too.

With these helpful tips, you should easily find the perfect pair of MTB gloves for protection and maximum grip on the bars. If you have questions or need more advice, please feel free to contact our experts anytime. Our range includes a big choice of mountain bike gloves for summer and winter, women and men, in all standard sizes, colours and price ranges by renowned manufacturers such as ROSE, Roeckl, FOX, GORE WEAR, 100%, Chiba, GripGrab, Mavic, Ziener and many more. You are sure to find the right model here!