ISO the thinnest bike gloves available for purchase
May 14, 2019 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I hate wearing gloves when I bike unless it's for warmth. If I don't wear gloves when I bike long distances, the palms of my hands get destroyed. What are the thinnest fingerless bike gloves I can get? Absolutely no padding, please--I basically want hand condoms. Willing to spend up to $80 for quality, but I don't mind frequently replacing cheap ones if they meet the criteria. Dark colors & cute are bonuses. Women's XS/S if it matters.
posted by rhiannonstone to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In case the suggestion comes up, I do have very comfortable leather bar tape, with padding underneath. My hands live on the hoods more often than not, though, and ouch.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:43 PM on May 14, 2019

I basically want hand condoms

You could try something like a fingerless glove liner. These are very thin knit fingerless gloves that are normally worn under latex or nitrile gloves to provide warmth and absorb moisture while preserving fingertip sensitivity. They can be laundered and are pretty cheap if they wear out, $25 for a dozen.
posted by jedicus at 9:06 PM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Fingerless gloves liners as above if you really don't want padding or anything snug, and just want something to wick palm sweat and wipe your nose on. Try Specialized Grail gloves if the padding on other gloves is simply too much and in the wrong place entirely. I wish there were cheaper alternatives that have the padding set up as with the Grail gloves, but not that I've found. They feel much thinner than any other bike glove I've tried. Love them and wish I had more pairs. Also, easier to wash than most bike gloves, since there's no Velcro. Tons of colors, fairly durable.
posted by asperity at 9:29 PM on May 14, 2019

Band gloves!
Drummer gloves!
posted by mochapickle at 9:41 PM on May 14, 2019

Waddya mean destroyed? Waddya mean ouch? What happens to your hands? Do they get chafed, bruised, achy, sprained, numb, chapped? Could you please elaborate?

Is your weight on the meat of your palm, or in the webbing of your thumb/index finger? Illustrated in #2 here

I alternate positions, including putting the hood between my middle and ring fingers.

Might also look at adjusting your hood positioning.
posted by at at 11:17 PM on May 14, 2019

Repositioning your hoods can make a big difference - I recently moved mine back & up by an inch or so, to make a longer, flatter area across the bar tops towards the hoods, which I've found gives me a better range of positions without over-reaching.

Also - not all hoods are alike. Was talking to a work colleague earlier this week about Shimano vs Campag - and he mentioned that his SO found her Shimano hoods uncomfortable. Whereas when she rode his bike, with Campag Ergo levers, she much preferred the fit with her hand.

More expensive than gloves obvs... but maybe worth considering.
posted by rd45 at 12:07 AM on May 15, 2019

I think the search term you're looking for is "aero cycling glove" - it'll be thin, snug, and very lightly padded (if at all). Many many companies have a version.
posted by entropone at 4:35 AM on May 15, 2019

I wear gloves whenever I ride, because you only need to get road rash on your palms once to know how much it sucks.

My issue is that I sweat a LOT in the summer months, and gloves with lots of padding just become wet sponges, which is pretty gross.

I found some gloves from high-end cycling clothing company Rapha, though, that are answering the mail for me pretty well. The model I have ("Brevet Mitts") does not appear to exist in the women's line, but it might be worth giving them a try anyway.

(The women's line includes a different lightweight glove called the Souplesse Mitts that might work for you as well.)

On my Brevets, there IS a pad in the palm, but it's very, very minimal. And Rapha has a pretty great return policy, so even though it's an online purchase your risk would be low. (Unless you're in a city with a Rapha store -- Boulder, Chicago, LA, NY, SF, Miami, Seattle, DC.)
More expensive than gloves obvs
Shifting from Shimano to Campy would be very, very, very expensive. I mean, like utterly bananas expensive. However, if the hood shape is part of the problem, you might consider looking at SRAM as an alternative. SRAM is really the #2 firm in components now; Campy pretty much only exists in the high end. (Like, my friend A. has Campy on his bike. But his bike is also a custom titanium Moots.)
posted by uberchet at 6:20 AM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Giro Zero is very light as is whatever the Craft racy one is called.
posted by advicepig at 6:55 AM on May 15, 2019

To clarify, the problem is my skin on my palms get chafed badly, worse the longer the ride and the hotter the day. There's no numbness, tingling, or other internal hand structure issues. My brake hoods are comfortable to hold and I do alternate hand position frequently, but still end up pretty chafed no matter what.

Thanks for the great specific suggestions so far!
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:25 AM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe check these out. I have different gloves from the same company. Reasonably priced and well-made.
posted by adamrice at 10:19 AM on May 15, 2019

In addition to checking the brake hoods, have you considered having a bike fit pro (this or that) check your bike for positioning of the saddle (its height and its tilt and fore and aft position), handlebar stem height, handlebar angle, handlebar stem reach (not adjustable so you'd have to buy a another stem), and the overall bike fit (the top tube might not be the correct length)?

If all else fails, a recumbent solved my hand numbness and sore neck. It's like a 20 MPH-easy chair!
posted by dlwr300 at 11:48 AM on May 15, 2019

I was just wondering if one could be allergic to the rubber on the hoods, and it sounds like that's possible.

I wonder if you could replace your hoods to be even happier.
posted by advicepig at 1:53 PM on May 15, 2019

Maybe take a look at sun gloves. Outdoor Research has a good, fingerless version.
posted by unreadyhero at 8:33 PM on May 15, 2019

I olympic lift and am used to callouses and chafing. We use Goat Tape which is really strong and super sticky and perfect for sweaty hands and athletics. A strip across your palm would do the trick for longer rides and avoid having a glove at all.
posted by vermouth at 12:42 PM on May 16, 2019

I ended up getting the Souplesse Mitts from Rapha. They arrived today and, after a short ride, seem like they'll do the trick--thin and cute, but also protective. Thanks uberchet!

I'm happy to have the cheaper suggestions of the Specialized & Giro ones as well, for when it's time for another pair and I'm not quite ready to spend so much on such little material again. :)
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

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