A good set of mountain bike gloves will not only protect your hands in the event of a crash but also increase your grip at the handlebar during wet or muddy conditions. A set of gloves with a good fit should reduce the amount of pressure exerted on your hands over longer rides too.
If you’re looking for a new set of mountain bike gloves then here’s a selection that have been ridden and rated by BikeRadar’s team of expert testers.
We’ve concentrated on lightweight summer gloves for this particular test but we’ll be adding more reviews as we get them.
The best mountain bike gloves, as rated by our expert testers
- Endura Humvee Lite II
- Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0
- 100% Celium 2
- Giro Outsider
- Fox Ranger
- 7iDP Transition
- Royal Racing Race
Endura Humvee Lite II
So good: Endura’s Humvee Lites deliver plenty of feel through their synthetic leather palm, which is thin but feels more protective than others here. It helps that the accurate cut makes for a snug fit with no bunching when gripping the bar.
Thanks to the mesh backing, they don’t get overly warm, and that backing (along with the impressive fit) means they’re tight enough to stay nice and secure. Our hands never shifted in the gloves when yanking hard on the bar.
The snot wipe covers the back of the thumb. Plus, at their retail price, they’re a bargain.
No good: The finger seams feel quite prominent, but you get used to them.
- Price: £20 / $21 / AU$50
Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0
So good: If you’re after ‘barely there’ gloves, the Ace 2.0s should be at the top of the list. They’re light and breathable, but super-secure when you pull at the bar while climbing or throwing the bike around. The thin palm delivers plenty of feel from the grip and, thanks to the well-shaped cut, we didn’t suffer any bunching.
One of the neatest features is the silky-smooth, stretchy cuff, which wraps around your wrist comfortably and securely, helping to lock the glove onto your hand without it ever feeling overly tight or irritating.
No good: They’re pricy compared to most on the list, although they do last well.
- Price: £35 / $36 / AU$70
100% Celium 2
So good: With a seriously impressive, hand-hugging cut and super-secure feel, the Celium 2s feel great on the bike. Thanks to the taut, stretchy mesh upper and unobtrusive but rock-solid Velcro closure at the cuff, they don’t shift on your hands when you’re working hard on the bike and pulling at the bar.
The thin, perforated palm delivers loads of feedback from the grip and is really well-shaped so doesn’t bunch up. Pricing is reasonable too.
No good: We’d prefer less silicone print on the palm because it can get slippery in the wet. It’d be nice to get a small snot wipe on the thumb too.
- Price: £25 / $28 / AU$40
So good: The Outsiders are great for riding in warmer weather, with a secure, comfortable fit. They’re very well made and built especially tough. We loved the soft leather palm that offers a really connected feel at the bar. Strapless cuffs help keep your wrists free of restriction.
No good: The price is particularly high and the fingers were a little long for our tester.
So good: The Rangers may not be the lightest or breeziest here, but they’ll take their fair share of scuffs without flinching. That said, they don’t get too sweaty when you’re working hard.
The snot wipe on the thumb is small but handy, and we like the Velcro closure, which is secure without feeling obtrusive. Considering just how solid these are, they’re really well-priced.
No good: We’d try before buying because they’re quite big and the fingers are a little baggy. (Sizing down helps to prevent this.) We’re not fans of the thick silicone print on the thumb, index and middle fingers, which gets slippery when wet.
- Price: £22 / $25 / AU$40
So good: These are well-priced, with a super-thin, perforated palm, so you can feel every lump and bump. There’s next to no print on the palm, which we prefer because it stops it getting slippery when wet. The stretchy mesh upper keeps things breathable so there’s no worry about getting sweaty. We like the microfibre snot wipe on the thumb too.
No good: The 7iDPs’ upper isn’t the tightest across the back of the hand and we did notice some slight shifting inside the gloves at times. Occasionally, the palms also bunched a little, which needs rectifying to avoid any hand discomfort.
Royal Racing Race
So good: In terms of fit and feel, the Royals are very close to the 7iDPs, with a thin, feedback-rich, perforated palm. There’s no chance of overheating thanks to the mesh upper, which helps to keep things light and airy. Accurate shaping and a good cut make the Race gloves fit nicely and measure up true-to-size.
No good: Like on the Transitions, the mesh upper doesn’t feel as tight across the back of the hand as on other gloves here, so we did feel our hands shift inside them very slightly from time to time. They’re also a tenner more than the 7iDPs and don’t have a snot wipe.