Being properly equipped for your rides is a hugely important piece of our sport. While that goes without saying, you still can occasionally find people riding glove-free. As experienced riders ourselves, the idea of riding without mountain biking gloves leaves us scratching our heads. To us at DIRT, riding without mountain biking gloves is like riding without shoes. “Bad idea” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Beyond just looking super cool (which they do, if we may say so ourselves), mountain biking gloves are as important as any other vital piece of gear on the trail. Today, we’re going to take you through why riding with mountain biking gloves is so important.
This is generally the number one concern. Riding a mountain bike is dangerous, there’s no doubt about it. Heck -- we’d even say that’s part of the fun. A good wipeout can be a good time...provided you walk away (mostly) unscathed.
Think about the last time you fell. Whether that was off a mountain bike, a skateboard, or a surfboard. Generally, people put their hands out to brace for a fall. So, imagine this (some of you might not have to): you’re riding down a particularly rocky trail, and somehow you go over the handlebars. You put your hands out to break your fall. But wait -- there’s a bunch of rocks on the ground, and you don’t have any mountain biking gloves. Your hands go right onto these rocks, and just like that, there’s blood everywhere.
For more direct examples, try googling ‘road rash hands’. Yikes.
And if we’re being honest, small rocks are probably the least of your worries when a good wipeout comes your way. Large stones, errant pieces of glass, or sharp branches can all do a number on unprotected hands. Trust us -- we know.
Between all of that and tiny branches constantly whipping across your knuckles, mountain biking gloves seem like a real no-brainer.
Performance (aka: Blisters)
Alright, so hypothetically say you take a more ‘devil-may-care’ approach to your riding. If your hands get cut up, they get cut up. That’s fair. We respect the toughness, but not wearing mountain biking gloves can significantly impact your performance. Most often that’s going to come in the form of blisters.
While mountain bike handgrip technology has certainly come a long way, blisters can and will happen if you’re riding barehanded. As these blisters become more severe during your ride, you’re going to lose the ability to safely and strongly grip your bike.
Without a firm grip on your bike, you’re going to be looking at a much slower trail time. Nagging (or severe) blisters are going to deter you from focusing and bearing down on the trail, resulting in severely deteriorated performance. If you want to go fast (we do), you should be wearing proper mountain biking gloves.
Sweaty hands suck. That’s all there is to it. You’re constantly wiping your hands on your shirt, which -- let’s face it -- only provides a very short-term solution. Besides, then you’ve got a doubly disgusting shirt. With sweaty hands, you’ve got no grip at all on the handlebars, and so you’ve got no grip at all on your bike. Not only is that hugely annoying, but it’s also a definite safety risk.
With the proper mountain biking gloves, sweaty hands are a thing of the past. Now, you may be thinking: “If I wear gloves on my sweaty hands, won’t I just sweat more?” Well, unlike other mountain biking gloves, DIRT gloves are engineered to breathe well on the trail. DIRT gloves allow you to firmly grasp onto your handlebars via a synthetic leather palm. Grip better. Ride faster.
Protection from the Elements
If you’re properly equipped, mountain biking can (thankfully) be a year-round activity -- rain, snow, or sun. An integral part of this is your mountain biking gloves. Fingers are particularly susceptible to the perils of harsh weather conditions, making the right mountain biking gloves a crucial piece to your setup -- whether that means the hot, hot summer or an icy-cold winter.In the summer, you need mountain biking gloves that allow your hands to grip, while also breathing. Conversely, in the winter you want gloves that offer warmth, while not being too bulky. Look no further, guys and gals -- DIRT has you covered. DIRT mountain biking gloves are engineered with year-round wearability in mind. They’re light enough that they conform perfectly and naturally to your hand, while providing you with just the right amount of warmth in those colder months.