Last Updated on October 31, 2023
Mountain biking is fun. No doubt about that! But you also need to think about safety if you want to make the most out of this sport. The most common way to ensure a safe ride is to wear a helmet. But what many people fail to consider is wearing gloves.
Some might think that it’s too warm to wear when you’re sweating. Or maybe they think it’s unnecessary. Well, that’s where they got it wrong!
Mountain bike gloves are essential because they protect your hands from getting scratched or being wounded if you fall from your bike. Note that the first body parts that contact the ground are your hands and knees. This is why you must wear knee pads, and, most importantly, gloves.
If you wear gloves, you also prevent your hands from slipping off from your grips, thus making your ride safer even if you go through rough trails.
But it’s confusing to choose which mountain bike gloves to get, knowing that there’s a truckload of them in the market.
That’s what this article is about because here, we’ll show you the best mountain bike gloves to make your ride safer and more comfortable and help you go faster on the trails.
Giro DND Gloves
Giro is a top brand when it comes to mountain bike gear, with their Giro DND dominating the gloves market. These padded gloves are ideal for enduro and trail riders who have sweaty hands and who want maximum protection on their hands, thanks to its full coverage.
It is made from 4-way breathable mesh that’s stretchable to create a more comfortable fit. It also has reinforced fingertips that can absorb impact if you fall. It even has EVA crash pads that are 2 mm thick to provide extra cushion upon impact.
This provides additional knuckle protection, ideal for winter cycling or mtb gloves. Its material is also very light, which makes this one of the most comfortable gloves, as well as being a very versatile glove.
Unlike most mountain bike gloves, these stand out due to their Super Fit design, made possible by its AX Suede synthetic leather palm. These get rid of bunching and weird grip. It’s also easy to wear because it has a pull-on closure made from clarino synthetic.
- It is very comfortable to wear because of its breathable fabric.
- It provides great protection as there are no holes or openings that expose the skin.
- It’s not the best-looking glove product because of its very simple design. The other colorways also look too fancy.
- It feels too warm if you wear it for a long time.
G-Form Sorata 2 Mountain Bike Gloves
The Sorata 2 gloves from G-Form provide outstanding protection and comfort for mountain biking. They feature body-mapped SmartFlex pads on the knuckles and fingers to absorb impact without compromising flexibility. These CE-certified pads meet level 1 armor standards to protect against injuries from falls or collisions.
A seamless synthetic suede palm combined with perforated ventilation keeps hands cool and dry on long rides. Mesh panels on the back of the glove enhance airflow to the skin. The materials are also treated with an anti-microbial solution to prevent odors.
A slim fit allows for an unrestricted range of motion so riders can maintain full control of their brakes and gears. Thumb and forefinger tips are touchscreen compatible as well. Reflective hits on the gloves increase low-light visibility for safety.
- Provide excellent impact protection from falls or collisions on trails
- Breathable materials and mesh panels keep hands cool and comfortable
- Fingertips are touchscreen-compatible for operating devices
- Reflective accents increase visibility for low-light riding safety
- More expensive than basic gloves without protective features
- Sizing runs small; you may need to order up from standard size
- Not fully waterproof for extended use in heavy rain
- Limited color/style options compared to some other brands
- Less warm insulation compared to winter-specific gloves
Troy Lee Designs Air
Troy Lee Design is best known for its stylish mountain bike gears with striking designs and looks. That includes their mountain bike gloves line, specifically, the Troy Lee Designs Air.
The company claims these are heavily researched, meticulously designed, and tested before mass production. This makes it a great choice if you want to have breathable mountain bike gloves, light, or if you want to look fantastic and in trend.
It features a single-layer palm structure with mapped laser holes for maximum breathability. This is further supported by the micro-mesh material that improves ventilation and makes your hands feel cooler when worn.
You’ll also find sonic-welded TPRs for added support and a silicone screen print on the tip of the pointer fingers. This provides grip and prevents slipping when you use the brake. There are also 31 design options to choose from.
- This is one of the best-looking mountain bike gloves in the market. You also have a lot of design options to choose from.
- It is very breathable on your hands because it has a lot of holes and ventilation. The fabric is also thin.
- It’s not the most durable glove because of its thin fabric material.
- The price is also a bit high for its quality.
100% is another top brand when it comes to mountain bike gear. Take, for example, the 100% Brisker, their flagship glove line with a low-profile design.
It’s the best choice for riding in cold weather because of its thick fabric material and fully enclosed design. These winter gloves provide excellent insulation capabilities that prevent moisture from forming on your hands.
The Brisker features an adjustable TPR wrist enclosure that easily hooks up and ensures a proper fit. The top hand also has a lightly insulated soft shell that warms your hands in cold conditions.
Its interior material is also made from microfiber that wicks out water. And the best thing about it is you can use your phone even if you’re wearing this, thanks to the integrated tech thread fabric.
- It provides great protection against impacts because of the thick fabric and padding.
- You’ll have a better hold on your grips because it’s not slippery.
- This is best used in cold temperatures. These winter gloves are too warm to wear in warm climates.
- The design options don’t look very nice.
Dakine Cross is a top pick for mountain bikers who want maximum protection from their gloves. This one comes with thick padding and fabric material that protects your hands from hard crashes and impacts.
Its palm is made from AX Suede Deuce material that works great with silicone-coated fingers. This delivers a very secure grip and an accurate brake feel. This has premium foam paddings inside as well that dissipates vibrations when you ride through rough trails.
But what makes this one of the best products in the market are the neoprene knuckles that protect your hands from bruises if you crash or hit something. The back area is made from a four-way stretch polyester that improves breathability and flexibility.
- It gives you a very firm grip on your bars even if it has thick palm padding.
- The knuckle protection and thick padding protect the back and front of your hands and palm against hard crashes and falls.
- The designs are a bit off as they’re not that stylish. They’re more on the rugged side.
- Your hands will sweat a lot if you wear this for a long time.
Troy Lee Designs Ace
Troy Lee Designs doesn’t run out of design ideas regarding mountain biking gears, as you can see with the Troy Lee Designs Ace. This is one of the best mountain bike gloves because of its simplicity and functionality.
It has a pull-on closure system that makes it easy to wear and remove, much like the other products. The material is made from 50% synthetic leather, with the remaining being elastane, polyester, and polyurethane. This material inclusion includes the middle fingers, of course.
You must also slip it into your hands to wear it, making it very convenient. This is an excellent choice if you want a low-profile glove that works well for enduro, downhill, and even cross-country riding, making this one of the best MTB gloves.
And it’s very light as it only weighs 1 ounce, which is why it always gets a star rating. There are eight design options, with the colorways ranging from black, blue, yellow, red, and gray.
- It is very lightweight, giving you a good feel of the bars. This improves maneuverability while making your hands feel comfortable.
- The fabric is thin and breathable. Cool air can easily reach your backhands and fingers.
- It’s not that durable because it lacks added fingers paddings and thickness.
- The price is also a bit too much. That isn’t surprising, though, because Troy Lee Designs make it.
Fox Racing Ranger
Fox is another contender to the top mountain bike gear products. Many even consider this a direct contender to Troy Lee Designs’ domination in the niche.
Introducing the Fox Racing Ranger gloves, which is one of the brand’s three glove lines and is undoubtedly one of the best MTB gloves in this list. This focuses both on breathability and protection, while the other two focus on each area. This makes it an excellent choice if you don’t want to compromise safety and comfort. It features a hook-and-loop velcro wrist closure for better fit and grip, like the Fox Ranger Fire. These features make this one of the best mountain bike gloves today.
The Fox Ranger Fire also has gel inside to add rider protection and comfort. You can even use your phone while wearing this one because its fingertips, including the middle fingers, have touchscreen compatibility.
The material is moisture-wicking and absorbs dampness. A customer will also find conductive threads at the thumb and index finger. The Fox Ranger gloves weigh a decent 2.4 ounces thanks to their thin palm material for an ideal handlebar grip similar to DND gloves and Hestra gloves that are a bit tight, especially on the middle finger.
There are nine design options to choose from and four size options to make sure the glove fits for trail riding. You can order these on Amazon or directly from the Fox Racing website.
- It is one of the best-looking gloves in the market that looks great on any mountain bike outfit.
- The coverage is one of the best benefits you can get. It is pretty nice as it leaves no areas exposed.
- The fabric feels a bit weird, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- It’s not made for very rugged usage.
Then there is the Dakine Syncline, which gets a huge amount of star ratings from users and expert testers, and is a top pick when it comes to all-mountain gloves that provide full finger coverage and a comfortable fit that helps improve bike maneuverability.
Dakine is known for its youthful branding, and that’s what makes the Syncline gloves the best mountain bike gloves if you are considering if you want to look unique.
It features gel palm padding and moisture-wicking fabric material that keeps hands dry. The fingertips of these finger gloves also have silicone that maintains easy control when braking and shifting.
There are six designs to choose from, each having its own color. These come in camo, black, red, grayish blue, light blue, and brown, in a variety of size options. This is available on Amazon, or you can order it directly from their site. Just make sure you have your account. All these are available in a super lightweight glove design.
You can even use this as a winter mountain bike glove for winter riding thanks to its wet weather and velcro closure features. This will also keep your fingers warm because it’s specially designed for cold-weather riding, making this an ideal winter glove. Many even consider this one of the best winter gloves with velcro closure.
- It provides maximum bar feel. Your hands won’t slip.
- The padding gives you added protection and security without compromising control.
- The designs are decent, but they’re too simple and minimalist.
- It will feel very warm especially in hot weather conditions.
POC Essential Mesh
The POC Essential Mesh is another mountain bike glove you might consider. POC is known for its minimalistic and classy-looking gears that match any clothing, including the Essential Mesh.
The pairs of gloves are the best buy if you want to focus on comfort and control on your rides. Hence, it’s got a ton of star ratings from customers. This is made possible thanks to its mesh fabric at the back area, as well as a ventilated palm that improves airflow.
There are also silicone prints on the palms that provide excellent grip and help you control your bike as your speed increases.
There is even a terry cloth nose wipe that makes these mountain bike gloves more functional. There are five design options and various size choices a customer can choose from.
These come in uranium black, azurite blue, basalt blue, pink, and gray. These mtb gloves are downright stylish, which is why they get a lot of star ratings. You can even use these finger gloves as winter mountain bike gloves. What’s more is that this is also a minimalist glove because of its low-profile design that’s ideal for wet conditions, wind protection, and weather protection. It gives just enough insulation to keep cold hands on silicone grippers warm.
- It is one of the most breathable gloves out there, even with thick padding.
- The designs all look stylish and elegant.
- It is not very durable as it can easily get scratched.
- It also leaves behind a bad odor, especially if you have sweaty hands or if it got soaked in mud.
To test and evaluate this year’s top mountain bike gloves, we put over a dozen pairs to the rigors of trail and endurance rides over the past six months. Gloves were tested across a variety of terrains and conditions, including:
- Trail riding – Gloves were worn for multiple short-to-medium weekly trail rides on rocky, rooty singletrack in temperatures ranging from 50-80°F. This assessed grip, feel protection, and breathability.
- Endurance rides – Longer 2-4 hour rides were undertaken on varied terrain, including fire roads, smooth trails, and occasional paved sections in temperatures from 60-95°F. This tested all-day comfort, ventilation, and durability.
- Wet weather – Several rides were conducted in light rain or with wet hands to evaluate water resistance and drying times.
- Cold weather – Early morning and evening fall ride around 45-60°F put insulation and warmth to the test.
Performance metrics included grip on the brakes and shifters, padding over bumps, ventilation, durability of materials after multiple washes, and flexibility of fingers throughout lengthy rides. Customer feedback and manufacturer specs/warranties were also considered. Top performers were put through additional real-world testing to determine our highest recommendations.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Mountain Bike Gloves
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing mountain bike gloves:
- Protection – Look for padding on palms and knuckles to protect against bumps and falls. Some offer sliders for additional impact protection.
- Fit – Gloves need to have a snug fit but not restrictive. Try them on and test finger flexibility. Full-finger usually allows better fit.
- Breathability – For warm weather, summer gloves with ventilation holes or mesh backs keep hands cool and dry. Fully waterproof isn’t always the best.
- Grip – Materials like suede or silicone enhance control of brakes/grips in various conditions like wet/dry.
- Weather suitability – Consider insulation, water resistance, and taped seams for cold/wet rides versus mesh for heat. For instance, cold weather gloves focus on retaining body heat through thick insulation, windproofing and waterproofing suitable for severe winter conditions.
- Closure type – Velcro straps or clips provide adjustable security better than elastic alone.
- Full-finger gloves versus fingerless gloves – Full-finger gloves offer more coverage, insulation, and protection while fingerless (also known as minimalist gloves) prioritize ventilation, feel, and dexterity at the expense of some protection and warmth.
- Price – Consider your budget and balance features, performance, and durability for cost.
- Size range – Most brands offer multiple sizes, but try before buying if possible.
- Abrasion resistance – Look for reinforced palms/fingers where contact points are.
The best overall mountain bike gloves are:
The only way to know the best mountain biking gloves is to know your riding style and preferences.
Choose what you want to prioritize. Will it be design, comfort, or protection? Once you’re done choosing, you can then proceed in knowing your right riding style, and size, and in weighing out the price. These are the questions you need to know before buying one and making a review of it after your bargain.
Remember, those expensive ones don’t necessarily mean top quality. Sometimes, it’s all about branding. Gloves are also a fashion statement in mountain biking, so you want to consider that as well.
Just choose any of the best mountain bike gloves mentioned in this list and weigh things out depending on your personal choice. When you do, you’ll have the best mountain bike gloves in no time.