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Mountain Bike Gloves vs Road Bike Gloves

Wearing proper attire during biking will give you better comfort. This article discusses mountain bike gloves and road bike gloves and their benefit when biking.

A cyclist on the mountain bike wearing gloves.

It’s a beautiful day out and you’re ready to hit the open road on your bike. But before you do, you need to make sure you have the right gloves.

Do you need mountain bike gloves or road bike gloves? What’s the difference? Let’s find out!

What Are Mountain Bike Gloves?

Mountain bike gloves and road bike gloves both have their own distinct features. Mountain bike gloves tend to be more durable, with thicker fabric and padding in the palms.

They also often have fingers that are completely covered, to protect your hands from branches and other debris you may encounter while riding.

What Are Road Bike Gloves?

A person on a bike with his thumbs up.

Road bike gloves, on the other hand, are designed to be more lightweight and breathable. They often have less padding in the palms, and the fingers may be partially or completely uncovered.

Some road bike gloves also have gel padding in the palms to reduce vibration and provide extra comfort on long rides.

So, which gloves are right for you? It depends on what type of riding you’ll be doing.

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Road Bike vs Mountain Bike

These two bikes are designed for different purposes, so it’s no surprise that the gloves are also designed differently.

Mountain bikes are built for off-road riding, on rough terrain with obstacles like roots, rocks, and mud.

Road bikes are designed for riding on pavement. They’re lighter and faster than mountain bikes, and they don’t have the same features that are designed for off-road riding.

Materials

Mountain Bike Materials

A person on a bike store with safety goggles.

Mountain bike gloves are usually made from thicker, more durable materials than road bike gloves. These materials range from leather to synthetic fabrics, and they often have reinforcements in the palms and fingers.

They often have leather palms with reinforcement in high-wear areas, to protect your hands from abrasion and provide a better grip.

Mountain bike gloves may also have water-resistant or waterproof materials to keep your hands dry in wet conditions. Water-proof materials include Gore-tex and neoprene.

Road Bike Materials

Road bike with front basket parked in a tree.

Road bike gloves are usually made from lighter, more breathable materials like Lycra or mesh.

They often have synthetic leather palms with gel padding to reduce vibration and provide extra comfort.

Like mountain bike gloves, some road bike gloves also have water-resistant or waterproof materials.

Design Features

Mountain Bike Design Features

Mountain bike gloves often have completely covered fingers to protect your hands from branches and other debris.

The thick fabric and padding in the palms protects your hands from abrasion and provides a better grip.

Mountain bike gloves also often have Velcro closures to keep them snug on your hands and prevent them from slipping off while you’re riding.

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Mountain bike gloves may also have integrated knuckle guards or other features to protect your hands from branches and other debris.

Road Bike Design Features

Road bike gloves often have partially or completely uncovered fingers to keep them lightweight and breathable.

Padding the palms reduces vibration and gives extra comfort.

Velcro closures may also be a part of the design.

Durability

Mountain bike gloves are usually more durable than road bike gloves because of the thicker materials they’re made from.

The reinforced palms and fingers can withstand more wear and tear than road bike gloves, making them ideal for off-road riding.

Road bike gloves often have less padding in the palms and less coverage on the fingers, making them more vulnerable to wear and tear.

Cost Differences

Different types of bicycle in a bike store.

Mountain bike gloves tend to be more expensive than road bike gloves because of the thicker, more durable materials they’re made from.

The general price range is $15-$100.

Road bike gloves are usually less expensive than mountain bike gloves because they’re made from lighter, more breathable materials.

The general price range is $10-$80.

Benefits of Each Type of Glove

A man on his bike with gloves and watch.

Mountain Bike Gloves

  1. The thicker materials and padding in mountain bike gloves provide more protection.
  2. The reinforced palms and fingers can withstand more wear and tear
  3. Styles may include completely covered fingers to protect your hands from branches and other debris.

Road Bike Gloves

  1. Road bike gloves are usually lighter and more breathable than mountain bike gloves.
  2. The padding on the palms reduces vibration and gives extra comfort.
  3. Partially or completely uncovered fingers keep hands lightweight and cool.
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Tech Advancements

Some mountain bike gloves and road bike gloves are made with touchscreen-compatible materials, so you can use your phone or other devices without taking your gloves off.

Certain styles also have LED lights built into the palms or fingers, which can help you be seen in low-light conditions.

How Does Touchscreen Technology Work?

A person with touchscreen gloves holding her smartphone.

The gloves have special conductive fibers woven into the fingertips of the fingers which allow you to interact with touchscreen devices.

So you can use your mobile phone, GPS device or tablet without having to take your gloves off.

LED Technology On Gloves

The LED lights are usually built into the palms or fingers of the gloves and they can help you be seen in low-light conditions. The lights come on when you press a button on the gloves.

Some models even have different settings, like flashing or solid light.

Other Considerations

When choosing mountain bike gloves or road bike gloves, consider the type of riding you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll be riding in.

Mountain bike gloves are usually more durable and offer more protection, but they can be warmer and less breathable than road bike gloves.

Road bike gloves are usually lighter and more breathable, but they offer less protection than mountain bike gloves.

Final Thoughts

A couple with their mountain bike fixing their gears.

Mountain bike gloves and road bike gloves both have their own unique features and benefits.

Which type of glove is best for you depends on the type of riding you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll be riding in.

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If you’re looking for a durable glove that offers more protection, mountain bike gloves are a good choice. For those in need of a lighter, more breathable glove, road bike gloves are a good choice.

Both gloves also have technological advancements like LED lights that are good for safety.