Warmer weather means you can finally do away with things like gloves when you’re on the bike, right? Well, you can pack your long-fingered, fleece-lined winter warmers away for a few months, but riding without hand protection is a bad idea.
First, your hands tend to get sweaty when you exercise in warm weather. This can lead to hands slipping from bars or fingers sliding off of gears or brake levers.
Which leads us to the second reason you should always wear gloves: if you find yourself taking an unexpected tumble, your hands will be among the first things to hit the ground.
Whether you land on tarmac, gravel or a rough, muddy trail there’s a chance your palms will end up in bloody ribbons, and peppered with debris that you’ll need to pull out with tweezers and a lot of wincing.
As for the third reason, it’s obvious, isn’t it? They may not be the most expensive bit of cycling kit you ever treat yourself to, but – as this lot demonstrate – they can definitely add a dash of elan to your outfit.
Stolen Goat Hyper Velocity cycling gloves
Made from a mix of polyester and cotton, these feel like a second skin when you slip your hands into them, providing a close yet extremely comfortable fit.
Padded sections on the heel of the hand and along the underside of the knuckles provide stacks of comfort and palm protection. There are pull tabs, too, under the fingers to help you peel them off with ease.
As they’re so close fitting, there’s no need for fasteners at the wrist making these as aero as they are indubitably handsome. Available in S-XL.
Stolen Goat does a splendid line in mitts, it has to be said.
Verdict: A sleek and simple design with good padding and palm protection. Also scores well for choice of colours. 8/10
£19.99 | stolengoat.com
Prendas Houndstooth Deluxe track mitts
Prendas Ciclismo’s website is a great place to have a nose about if you’re after something classically stylish to swan about in.
And these hand-made Italian mitts, with their strikingly Mod-ish houndstooth patterned Lycra backs, certainly appeal to our inner dandy.
The perforated breathable palms feature ample padding for extra protection should you take a tumble.
There’s also a soft Terry wipe on the thumb to deal with unwanted moisture, while subtle loops on the fingers are useful for pulling them off. And they look great with just about any cycling jersey, too. Available in S-XXL.
Verdict: We love these mainly for their retro Mod styling but they also score well in the performance and fit stakes. 7.5/10
£22.50 | prendas.co.uk
Giro Bravo Gel Road cycling mitt
It may not look like it, but there’s a lot going on with these mitts. Firstly, the palm features gel padding across the heel of the hand, which will add comfort to your ride as well as protection in the event of a fall.
The palms themselves are then made up from three faux leather panels which offer improved dexterity and good breathability.
The back meanwhile, is made from a 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, breathable nylon mesh. There are also wee tabs on the fingers to help make pulling them off that little bit easier, as well as a Velcro fastener to make sure they stay in place.
Available in XXS-XL, in black, blue, red, yellow or black/white.
Verdict: Despite the fairly simple looks, these are a feature-packed pair of mitts with good looks to match. 8/10
£24.99 | zyrofisher.co.uk
Lusso Summer Gloves
With backs made from a mix of polyester and Lycra, these sit on your hand like they’ve been spray painted on.
The 4-way stretch fabric, however, affords bundles of flexibility and comfort, so there’s no danger of losing circulation in your digits.
The soft, suede palm has a quality feel, and offers plenty of grip and breathability. There is foam padding, too, strategically placed to offer further protection against road buzz through your handlebars or the road surface in the case of you coming a cropper.
Tabs at the wrists help with getting them on and off. Available in sizes XS – XXL and in a range of quite dazzling colours and designs.
Verdict: With a design reminiscent of 60s Op Art, these are a truly stylish pair of mitts that are also comfortable.to wear. 7.5/10
£22.50 | lusso.bike
Kalf Men’s Mitt
These ooze style and quality. The palm is made from fine goat leather, perforated for better breathability and foam padded across the heel of the hand and across the underside of the knuckles.
They offer plenty of grip, too. The backs and fingers, meanwhile, are made from highly flexible Lycra.
Fastening is taken care of by a Velcro cuff, while the distinctive Kalf chevron on the backs of the hands add a smidge of reflectivity – useful for making sure hand signals are seen when the street lights come on.
A suede sweat panel on the thumb, plus finger and wrist tabs to help pull them off complete the package. Available in XS-XL
Verdict: We loved Kalf’s winter gloves we tried recently, and their summer mitts are just as good. 8.5/10
£24.99 | evanscycles.com
Santini Giada Race Mitt
Italian firm Santini is known for its race-orientated clobber and its Giada glove is no exception. Lithe and close fitting, there’s no flab on these, which are so closely cut they cling to your hands without the need for a fastener.
The back is made from a fabric that the Bergamo-based company calls ‘Lycra Sprinter’, while the perforated suede palm is designed to keep your palms dry and, in the event of a spill, well protected.
A Terry thumb pad is a useful addition for dealing with brow sweat or hay fever-induced sniffles. Available in S-XL, in aqua, orange or violet, these will add a touch of Italian panache to your riding.
Verdict: Classic elegance, as you’d expect from the Italians – as well as a very snug fit, so check your size carefully. 7.5/10
£23 | zyrofisher.co.uk