Cycling is an activity liked by many of us because it is not only conducive to good health but also enjoyable. People of different age groups start cycling for a variety of reasons. Some cycle to keep themselves in good shape, while others as part of their aerobic exercises to improve health, and some for the purpose of recreation and sports. Whatever the reason is, there are some requirements of cycling, that is – bike clothing, cycling shoes, a helmet, gloves, a waterproof jacket, a backpack, pumps, spares and tools, eyewear, and you can add up to the list.
How do mountain bike gloves protect your hand?
In this article, the focus will specifically be on how mountain bike gloves can protect your hands. When it comes to mountain biking, the gloves are not the first thing that comes to mind, but it is an essential that every biker wants to have it in their cycling gears. There are a lot of reasons why a mountain biker should wear gloves, but I will try to talk about the important ones in detail. They are the following:
It is a well-known fact that mountain bikers are susceptible to falls while riding. Of course, no one wants to have a crash but accidents do happen regardless of how cautious you are. Imagine you hit a rock or have a crash, the very first thing you would do, as a natural reaction, is using your hands to hold something, to catch yourself. While doing so, you are likely to hurt your hands in the shape of getting cuts, scrapes, or abrasions. Also, sliding across the paving or rocks can tear up the palms. The gloves are an absolute life-saver in such situations. They save your hands from skidding across gravel and dirt, and also protecting them from high-speed brushes against trees and plants along the trail. In short, the gloves protect the hands in an event of a crash and ensure the safety of hands when the biker is going at high speed through whipping trees branches.
Enhanced Grip and Control
Sweat is something that we don’t like but the palms can get sweaty, especially if the weather is warm and humid while riding. When the palms are sweaty, the biker can easily lose his grip and has less control on the handlebars, which increases the likelihood of an accident to occur. When the palms are sweaty, the biker is likely to have their hands slipped off the handlebars and make an avoidable mistake. Moreover, sweaty palms make it somewhat difficult to change shifts. Sweaty palms are also irritating. The gloves soak up the sweat, keep the hands dry and thereby help in improving the grip which in turns enhances the biker’s grip and control, ensuring protection against accidents.
Mountain biking is not easy. It requires a strenuous effort. If you have ever ridden a mountain bike for a couple of hours, you must have realized that it can be very hard on hands. Since mountain biking is all about riding in rough terrain – biking up and down, hitting bumps and taking small drops. It does take a toll on the body, and it doesn’t take long for blisters to develop. The hands feel beat up after a ride. The bike gloves make your ride enjoyable by keeping your hands comfortable, and also, protect your skin from developing blisters. Having no fear of such small injuries, you are set to ride your bike freely.
In cold weather conditions, one can’t ride a bike without the hands being properly covered up. The biker wants to keep his hands warm in order to work the brakes and gear shifter like normal. There are gloves specifically designed for cool weathers that are well insulated and padded that not only keep the hands warm but also offer dexterity on the bike, making it easier for the biker to ride more freely. For summer, the gloves are designed to keep the hands cool and offer good grip. Fingerless gloves are also an option for summer for those who have a problem with full gloves.
Absorption of Shocks
Mountain biking is an activity full of shocks. Unlike road cycling, riding trails are very rough. The biker has to go uphill and downhill, braking and jumping bumps, which means there will be a lot of shocks. Imagine when you are riding a man-made or natural trail and you hit a bump or a rock, which causes harsh land landings, the shocks produced are transferred to your body. Later on, you have achy hands and shoulders due to the direct absorption of the impact. The gloves serve a very useful function of absorbing shocks. The bike gloves have padding and built-in gel that absorbs most of the impact of the shock before it gets into the body and saves you from potential hands and shoulder aches.
Reducing Vibration and Friction
The gloves also dampen the vibration coming out of handlebars that causes hands/fingers numbness or discomfort. Also, they reduce the constant friction between your hands and the handlebars which could otherwise cause blisters.
In conclusion, biking gloves are an important part of the biker’s gear because they serve several important functions. A biker with mountain biking experience wouldn’t ride the bike without them as they ensure good grip and protection. The gloves are durable enough to withstand any impacts encountered while riding. Without the gloves, the biker is at more risks of accidents. Since mountain biking is about riding dirt trails, the hands’ discomfort/numbness caused while riding is greatly eliminated by gloves. Thus, if you plan on a mountain bike, you shouldn’t forget adding the protective gloves to your gear.