Monday, August 25, 2008

No gloves, no loves?

A few weeks ago there was a glove/no glove discussion on the iBob list. It sort of lodged in the back of my brain since I hadn't been wearing bike gloves since the weather got warm this spring. I have for years, but somehow they just didn't feel needed. As I was getting ready to leave work today I realized that my gloves were still at the bottom of my messenger bag, so I put them on.

As I was riding home I started counting cyclists who were wearing gloves and cyclists who were not wearing gloves. I started to count when I got on to the Greenway, and counted all the way home. I counted a total of 101 cyclists, 71 of whom were not wearing gloves (in MN in January it would be 100 out of 101 wearing gloves). I was rather surprised to see such a dramatic preference for no gloves. And it wasn't just folks on more upright cruisers and hybrids either, lots of bare hands on drop barred road bikes. I'm not sure there's a point or anything to be learned here, but it was an interesting observation.

On a personal level, I found that my fingers were starting to get tingly at about mile 8 when wearing the gloves. This is a sensation I don't normally get, and I haven't changed anything about the bike setup recently so I can only imagine that it's the gloves. I may try them again tomorrow morning, especially if it's chilly like it was today. 56 degrees felt awful cold today.

What about you? Do you wear cycling gloves? Why, or why not?

Mileage since last post: 55
Previous month mileage: 473
Current month mileage: 354
Year to date mileage: 2782


Kirk said...

I do not wear gloves and tend to mock my friend who does because I think they look dorky and tend to hate the idea that almost everything we do has specific fashion or apparel that goes with it. I own broomball shoes that I bought in college, but not biking shoes. At some point I guess I got fed up with the expectation to wear certain clothes for certain endeavors, even if there is a good reason for the clothing. I'm told that bike gloves prevent the hand tingling, but I guess I'm not annoyed enough by the tingling. And it sounds like they don't always work, either. Why can't the handlebars just be more properly padded?

Apertome said...

I wear gloves, at least when riding a bike with drop bars, or going mountain biking. I sweat a lot and my hands tend to slip around without the gloves. I also find the brake hoods rather uncomfortable without the gloves.

For my commute, I don't generally wear gloves, unless it's cold. It's not far and I usually ride my commuterized old mountain bike, which is pretty comfortable without gloves.

If the gloves make your hands tingle, maybe they're too tight?

Anonymous said...

I wear gloves for anything more than a few miles. I'm a sweater, and I sweat a lot, and I use the gloves for wiping off the sweat.
If not for that reason, I would not wear them, don't need them for the padding or anything.

Of course, in the winter, I use them for the above reason(sweat management) and because it is cold and I am trying to protect my hands/fingers.

Reflector Collector said...

Road bike: only when it's too cold to go gloveless.

MTN Bike: Always. I sweat too much to be able to hang on to the grip otherwise.

KM said...

No gloves around town. Gloves on longer rides.

Unless of course you're talking about "love gloves".

Pete said...

Unless of course you're talking about "love gloves".

Oh yes, I wear one of those on every ride, mountain or road.

andrew rosenberg said...

gloves are becoming passe` since mtb grips and road bikes are sporting padded tape. cello tape made gloves a necessity

midway cyclist said...

Around town i generally only wear gloves for warmth, but (almost) always on the MTB. Of course, i crashed and got gravel in my palm a couple of weeks ago in town, so it's not a terrible idea, i just like to keep the bike-specific gear to a minimum when commuting. My bikes tend to be set up for comfort, so i don't tend to want gloves even on century rides.

Yokota Fritz said...

I've always been a die hard glove person, but this year I really haven't felt the need. Maybe it's the padded bar tape; I don't know.

There were a couple of times on longer rides in hot weather when I lost my grip from sweaty hands. And mountain biking I always wear gloves.

Tex69 said...

as of late, no gloves. the bikes i enjoy most have either cotton bar tape or cork grips, and i especially like the feel of cotton bar tape on the hands. the tape is getting a little nappy and beaten down, but i still have grown to prefer bare hands. only on the mtbike, which is a rare occurrence do i glove myself. 'course, when the weather grows cool i'll have my wool or cotton dot gloves to use, but "cycling" gloves, both short and long fingered, don't do much for me anymore.

Gentleman Scholar said...

Like a few others, no gloves on the daily commute (before December, anyway), but almost always on longer rides, and always when touring or camping. All my bikes are drop bars except the cargo bike, and the padding is less of a concern than leaving a few layers of my skin on the tires if I clean them or the pavement if I choose...poorly...on a corner or descent, fully loaded.

GolgiApparatus said...

I feel naked without I tend to do a lot of farmer-snotting while I ride (allergies and growing up as a hillbilly), so I use them for wiping away mucous...I also found that there are many different types of gloves and some do not function well with certain riding-others do...screw the fashion crap - they come in handy and come on, who cares if they are dorky - function over form!!!