Gloves or no gloves? Are your gloves causing hand numbness?

Gloves or no gloves? Are your gloves causing hand numbness?

I’ve always struggled with gloves and I know I’m not alone. The problem with so many gloves is that they come in only a few sizes and our hands have even more specific sizing and fit restrictions than our feet.

What does this mean for gloves on the bike? Simply that for many people, gloves can cause as many problems as they solve at times.

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  1. hurricaneheli79 on August 3, 2019 at 1:40 am

    I have 2 pairs of the short finger kind. They fit good, but stretched out a little. I wear them on EVERY RIDE & under my normal gloves when I wear those too. I have wipedout with them on & before I got a set I have too. 9/10 times your hands will make 1st contact. You can wipeout anytime anywhere for a # of reasons. I will not ride without them ever. Short or long ride they are on.

  2. Sean Colwell on August 3, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Always wear gloves but sometimes I will remove the straps completely to minimize hand numbness.

  3. Einhander49 on August 3, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Gloves are for pure vanity except for winter gloves. I find fingerless gloves always pull between my fingers regardless of fit which create soreness and poor blood circulation. Gloveless is the only life for me.

  4. tfk3160 on August 3, 2019 at 1:48 am

    I have the short finger style of the glove shown at 3:20 into the video and have found that this much padding actually causes numbness after about an hour. I have another pair that has very little padding in the palm and they don’t cause any numbness at all. I bought gloves in the first place because my older bike has a smaller diameter tubing on the handlebar and caused some pain (not numbness) after a while. I purchased a new bike that has larger diameter tubing on the handlebar and it feels better on longer rides because it causes less pressure in the hand. I’m now only inclined to wear a glove in the summer so that if I crash and put my hand down the pavement won’t tear up my palm quite as much but other than that I have no need to wear them at all.

  5. Chris Capoccia on August 3, 2019 at 1:49 am

    bad gloves might cause numbness, but crashing without gloves may lead to permanent loss of hand function

  6. rcs2003 on August 3, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Also important reason to wear gloves: my palms are sweating and sliding off the grips. Thats why i always use gloves.

  7. Jeff Heck on August 3, 2019 at 1:55 am

    I found not wearing gloves in summer helps as I sweat a lot.

  8. Thomas Whitmore on August 3, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I find that all flat bar bikes give me hand problems. My PT recommended riding drop bar bikes only so my hands were not rotated top up as they would be on flat bars. Works for me. Apparently shoulder/wrist alignment can cause these problems, too. I do ride Specialized " grail" gloves and these or no padding gloves work best for me. I ride gravel so have some padding on my bars, too.

  9. Sam Liedtke on August 3, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I just got into a wreck today, I would’ve been fine if I’d been wearing gloves, but I wasn’t, and I tore up my hands pretty bad. I think numb hands is a small price to pay

  10. Alican Gül on August 3, 2019 at 2:06 am

    MTB = Long gloves
    Road = Half finger or no gloves

  11. Vegas Cycling Freak on August 3, 2019 at 2:08 am

    I’ve found that the more padding there is in a glove the more my hands will give me problems with occasional numbness.

  12. Peter Mead on August 3, 2019 at 2:09 am

    The t in often is not pronounced.

  13. Siclmn Cyclerider on August 3, 2019 at 2:10 am

    You just took 12 minutes to say that gloves that don’t fit can cause numbness so find some that do.
    The only gloves that I can ever wear are summer long finger gloves. They are so thin that they don’t bind me in the joints.

  14. John Rodgers on August 3, 2019 at 2:11 am

    I prefer not wearing gloves. I double wrap top of bars to the breaks for cushion. I am afraid of falling and hurting my hands though. Yes it’s not frequent, but I wear a helmet all the time. Same logic.

  15. macmurfy2jka on August 3, 2019 at 2:11 am

    I wear gloves on EVERY ride. They have saved my hands on a number of occasions. As they are often the first thing to hit the ground, they are therefore the most likely do be injured. I rank gloves up there with helmet and shoes as the most important for serious injury prevention in crashes.

  16. J B on August 3, 2019 at 2:12 am

    I always wear gloves on rides, mainly in case I fall, having heard that if landing with bare palms out your skin can be peeled back off your palms

    Well, on a short ride to the shops I was doored last week, and I can confirm the damage to the palms is extensive, requiring stitches and probably could have been avoided by wearing gloves

    I also have a broken wrist, and ironically the best ‘bandage’ I have to immobilise it is… my bike glove

    I will be wearing them on all rides going forward, not just long ones

    And the soft patch on the side is great for wiping a runny nose

  17. ALTON MOSSIAH.::II on August 3, 2019 at 2:13 am


  18. Jeff Paul on August 3, 2019 at 2:18 am

    I find that when I wear padded gloves, I grip the bars harder because my hands are smaller so it’s more difficult to grab the bars securely yet loosely. Good video.

  19. Wayne Proud on August 3, 2019 at 2:18 am

    i don’t wear gloves because of skin conditions, but i get so many comments. everyone worrys about falling off and the gloves protecting your hands. i would rather have clean healthly skin than a horrible skin condition. reality, you rarely fall off. (caveat, yes wear when in get very cold)

  20. Tiago Charneca on August 3, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Hi, great work on your videos. Love them. I do have a question. For a person that is 1,75cm of height, which size of toptube would you recommend for a more endurance style of riding? Thanks.

  21. James Coyne on August 3, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Wouldn’t even think of riding without gloves. If you go down, and we all go down at some point, your hands go out. It’s a natural reflex. I want to protect my palms from abrasion – nothing worse than torn up palms, where gripping then becomes a huge problem. And 2nd, grip, especially when my hands sweat or my bars or grips become wet from the drip of sweating or from rain and fog. Without gloves, my hands are constantly slipping around on the bars/grips, which is unsafe and distracting. With gloves, no slippage. It’s easy to find a pair of well-fitting gloves. Easier still is to adapt, which is one of man’s greatest attributes. Get some good-fitting gloves and after a few miles you’ll get used to them to the point where you won’t even know that you’re wearing them.

  22. Michael E Herndon on August 3, 2019 at 2:24 am

    best place i have ever found to get gloves is A new company but great prices and good customer service.

  23. aWildTomAppeared on August 3, 2019 at 2:26 am

    I have fallen off my bike multiple times at 0mph (with flats and no gloves) and cut my hands open, now I attach my gloves to my bike so I don’t forget them

  24. Tamas Goltl on August 3, 2019 at 2:26 am

    my comment is not about numbness but I sweat a lot everywhere so I need to use gloves even they are perfectly fit or not unfortunately otherwise my hands are slippery. – anyway these videos are just great so thanx for them! 🙂

  25. Drd on August 3, 2019 at 2:27 am

    I’ve got large hands (8 3/4" total, 5" palm length, 4" palm width) and have tried lots of different makes, sizes and designs of gloves, but have found that padding over the ulnar area becomes very uncomfortable on just about every glove I’ve tried.

    When I saw specialized’s grail gloves, the principle made sense (at least to me) and I got a pair, and it’s made a BIG difference.

    They’re not perfect, the full finger ones pad fits better in my palm than the short finger versions, but don’t fit my finger lengths great, and I find that they work better on the road bike, but they’re a shed load better than anything else I’ve tried.

    I do tend to splay my wrists out on my mountain bike though, the bars sitting diagonally across my palm to the ulnar pad, so position might be why I still have some issues on my mountain bike…

  26. Chantal Coolsma on August 3, 2019 at 2:27 am

    I do ultra distance cycling and use gloves with extra padding for comfort. However after rides above 250km, I feel numbness in the pink.

    This weekend someone showed me a flat handlebar with gel padding underneath the bar tape. He wasn’t wearing an gloves, he told me, and never had any problems with numbness.

    I wonder if that is just the gel padding or also the flat handlebars. Or a combination?

  27. taurus20077 on August 3, 2019 at 2:28 am

    I always wear gloves whether it’s summer (short fingers) or winter (long fingers). I had the same G gloves, in red, (we will not name names here) but they didn’t last too long…

  28. Jessica Perkins on August 3, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Thank you! This may explain why I experienced more numbness in my hands on my recent ride. I wore gloves for the first time, thinking they would eliminate numbness that I usually experience. Never thought about gloves contributing more numbness. Usually it’s just my right, but this time it was both hands. Now, I know why! Back to gloveless.

  29. Sean Colwell on August 3, 2019 at 2:29 am

    It can be a combination. I also get numbness from gripping the bars too hard. Also I like to remove the wrist straps on some brands. It can be a pain to find a decent pair of gloves.

  30. Hans 68 on August 3, 2019 at 2:29 am

    another great vid, where have you been all my life👍

  31. Eliseo Borrero on August 3, 2019 at 2:36 am

    I wear gloves all the time for cycling, maybe my hands were made to wear gloves 🙂 But I see your point. That’s why I recommend buying gloves at the bike shop, not online, and make sure you spend time wearing them and feeling them right there. Don’t think they will stretch or shrink, they should feel good new. I found out that the Bontrager fit me perfectly, but different brands feel different. However I have been at a store for half an hour trying different gloves and I don’t find the ones that feel good. In that case I just leave without the gloves. Just like the bike it’s about the fit. Thanks.

  32. Kathy Bayham on August 3, 2019 at 2:36 am

    The anatomy information is incredibly helpful. It explains why gloves feel OK when trying them on, but changes once pressure is applied when riding. Thank you!

  33. fastk9dadTV on August 3, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Due to the reasons you explained I find that unpadded gloves are the only ones I can wear when I want some protection on my hands, but most of the time I go without.