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Old 12-02-10, 03:04 PM   #1
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Anyone using Park Tool's Mechanics Gloves (Nitrile)? What do you think of them?

I've been thinking about using some of Park Tool's mechanics gloves since my fingers get all dried out after working on bikes for a couple days, probably from the degreasers (and esp. when cleaning cassettes), then they split-bleed (ugly and painful).

So, I saw an add for the Park Tool mechanics gloves (blue of course) and thought they may solve my problem, but can you still pick up a ferrule or a thin flat washer while wearing these gloves?

That is, can you do pretty much everything regarding working on a bike while wearing them?

I'd be interested in hearing from any of you who have tried them. Or, is there something similar on the market that works better?

Here's a link: http://www.parktool.com/product/nitr...chanics-gloves

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Old 12-02-10, 03:08 PM   #2
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Just go to Harbor Freight or similar and buy a box of nitrile gloves. That's what I do. Its not like Parks makes gloves.
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Old 12-02-10, 03:10 PM   #3
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I assume they are the same basic glove I buy at Walmart in the first aid section but would guess the Park ones are a lot more expensive. The Park ones do seem to come up higher on the wrist than the ones I use if that matters. You do loose some dexterity and feel. A lot depends on what you are doing. I use them for dirty jobs which tend to require a bit less dexterity. Another option is to coat your hands before starting with liberal amounts of hand cream. It fills in the cracks and pores of your skin so the grease and gunk can't get in. Much easier to wash up when you are done.
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Old 12-02-10, 03:13 PM   #4
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I have used nitrile gloves at work for dirty jobs for a few years, and they work pretty well for me. I do not use them all the time, because they make my hands sweat quite a bit, and turn 'pruney'. They are the only way to go for greasy or inky jobs, though. I have had no problem picking up small objects, as I have large hands, and the XL size stretches pretty tight on me, so there are no loose folds of glove.
I just bought a couple boxes from Gempler's, as I am getting ready to retire, and decided to get some to use for bike work. They were on sale, so basically half price. I get one box of XL and one of XXL, to see if the larger ones might work better. They have sizes from S-XXL.
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Old 12-02-10, 03:20 PM   #5
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Walmart has a pack of 30 nitrile gloves for $4.44 here, and they're blue. They also have smaller packs. Last year the same pack sold for $3.00. One size fits all (well sort of).
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Old 12-02-10, 08:59 PM   #6
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Industrial safety supply companies sell them by the box. You can also get a thicker grade that will resist tearing and puncturing a bit better. Or if you don't mind the clumsiness the thin gloves with light mechanics work glove over top to protect the nitrile is really the way to go.

I got the same thing from working with the lacquer like model airplane dope one time. I was covering and finishing a box load of models and ended up with dry cracked and bleeding skin. The doc asked what I'd been doing differently lately and it turned out that I had solvent induced eczema. It's not that uncommon at all and needs to be taken care of or your hands will get even MORE sensitive to contact until you reach a point where they break out at a mere whiff of the stuff.

Since you're obviously sensitive to solvents you'll also want to step up the ventilation in the area. If possible set up a sort of fume hood area where you do most of your solvent or citrus degreaser cleaning where the air is drawm past you, over the solvent and then outside to help avoid breathing the fumes.
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Old 12-02-10, 09:13 PM   #7
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I buy vinyl gloves in a box of 100 from Home Depot.
They are cheaper than latex or nitrile, and work just fine for mechanical work.
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Old 12-02-10, 09:55 PM   #8
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I use the vinyl ones myself. They're cheaper than nitrile, but not as groovy looking. They are quite durable and tactile. Whichever way you go, find ones that fit well. If they're too loose, you can't grab small parts; if they're too tight you may as well rubber band your fingers together. I can't wear the "one size fit's most". I have to get a true large or X-large. That makes it harder to find unless I order them. All brands are basically the same. Find the least expensive.

You should wear some sort of glove when you're working with degreasers. You're right on about that being a reason for your dry hands.
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Old 12-02-10, 10:01 PM   #9
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We use those gloves in the shop on a daily basis. They are not too thick that you can't do proper work in them. For example you can easily overhaul an ergo, repack a hub or pickup ferrules if you need to.

They are great.
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Old 12-03-10, 09:12 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies everyone! And thanks for the insight on "solvent induced eczema" BCrider. That sure sounds like what I have. Most of my solvent use is outside, so ventilation is excellent (thankfully). And thanks to CAcycling for the hand lotion tip. I tried it last night and it seemed to work, at least somewhat.

I put in an order for some of the Park gloves from my local friendly wholesale distributor (I'm a bike industry guy, that's one small perk) and will try them out. I ordered the medium size since I'm a medium guy (54cm bike, size 43 shoes and med. normal cycling gloves), so hopefully that will work, but thanks for the sizing notes eddubal.

When the Park gloves are gone I'll have my wife pick up some for me at Walmart (I don't go there!), or possibly try one of the other sources mentioned. Wholesale on the Park gloves comes out to just under .17 each, so not too bad.

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Old 12-03-10, 09:50 AM   #11
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I use the Park nitrile gloves, or whatever J&B, QBP , etc have on sale. the brand doesn't matter- they all pretty much have the same lifespan and fit. Medical supply and Police/security supply stores have a wider range of thicker gloves that are used to prevent sharps from penetrating, but I think they are a little overkill and you lose some dexterity.
TIG welding gloves are actually quite useful too. they are thin enough for working on bikes when you don't need a tremendous amount of dexterity, where nitrile gloves will get shredded.
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Old 12-03-10, 11:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
...my fingers get all dried out after working on bikes for a couple days, probably from the degreasers (and esp. when cleaning cassettes), then they split-bleed (ugly and painful)...
Consider what you are using to clean you hands also. Soaps like Dawn will strip the natural oils from your skin. I used to wash my hands multiple times an hour and had the same problem using an industrial manual dish-washing soap. Changing to a milder soap and applying a PABA free lotion afterward improved the condition. My hands get a different kind of dirty now and need a hand cleaner like Fast Orange.

Nitrile is not impervious to many solvents; it will offer temporary protection, but exposure for more than a few moments and using agitating movements will wear the glove through easily. For solvents like Acetone, an 8Mil thick glove won't tolerate prolonged exposure.

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...ordered the medium size since I'm a medium guy ... Wholesale on the Park gloves comes out to just under .17 each, so not too bad...
I'm a medium guy, but need an XL glove. Comfort and how quickly you can get the glove off are sizing considerations, plus whether the cuff is snug or floppy depending on use. A fairly inexpensive glove ($11/100) that offers consistent sizing and moderate durability is RoadMaster from AutoZone. I've used a couple thousand Nitrile (and many thousand Latex) and have found differences between brands, and had varying degrees of personal skin sensitivity to the products.
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Old 12-03-10, 12:39 PM   #13
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I like the Park nitrile gloves, but I'm sure any similar gloves would do the trick. I always wear them when I'm getting into something really messy, like a drivetrain that is getting a trip to the solvent tank, and they work wonders. The extra cuff on the Park gloves is worth it to keep from getting solvent in the gloves while working with the parts cleaner.

I'm a Med kind of person and prefer the L Park gloves. We stick with Park only because they're cheap enough wholesale when we're doing a bike parts order. They are thinner gloves and I've had success picking washers up off a flat surface with them, but tear pretty easily--I can't seem to hook up a SRAM Powerlink without getting glove caught and torn.
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Old 12-03-10, 12:41 PM   #14
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Does Park sell lab coats also?
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Old 12-03-10, 01:02 PM   #15
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Does Park sell lab coats also?
No, but they do sell a terrific Pizza cutter.
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Old 12-03-10, 02:15 PM   #16
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I buy vinyl gloves in a box of 100 from Home Depot.
They are cheaper than latex or nitrile, and work just fine for mechanical work.
The problem I've found with vinyl gloves is that they dissolve in mineral spirits (as do latex as well). The nitrile ones don't. And nitrile gloves are stretchier so I can get a tighter fit, meaning better dexterity and "feel."
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Old 12-03-10, 02:52 PM   #17
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I always wear them when I'm getting into something really messy, like a drivetrain that is getting a trip to the solvent tank, and they work wonders.
Yes mconlonx,

That is where I have the dried-up-cracking/bleeding fingers issue most often, i.e. cleaning cassettes, chains and chainrings.

Thanks for all the input from everyone on this question!

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Old 12-03-10, 09:22 PM   #18
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I used to get a lot of eczema and I found that using a good moisturizing soap really, really cut down on the problems I had. Mine was more due to sweat and dirt getting under my welding gloves at work, but I also found some chemicals irritated my skin as well, but when I picked up some olive oil soap and started using that, I found I rarely get any cracking anymore and only occasionally do I get scaly skin and stuff.

The bar I use is this one but I suspect that there are many companies making similar soap... anything that moisturizes would likely be helpful.

I've also tried some skin protector type creams and they seem to work well enough, but they seem to be vasoline in more expensive packages.
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Old 12-04-10, 06:21 AM   #19
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I not only work on my own bikes, but I also work on my classic cars, and I never use gloves. Do the hands get dirty? Of course, but that's why they make GoJo hand cleaner, it works great. I don't like the feel of gloves when working and the thin little nitrile gloves will rip fast anyways. I do wear surgical type gloves when I'm using solvents only because I don't think solvents are a good thing to get on skin.
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Old 12-04-10, 06:38 AM   #20
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You can get them at just about any Auto Parts Store.....
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Old 12-04-10, 11:51 AM   #21
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Been using this stuff for 25+ years because I'm flat-out allergic to soap:

www.sebamedusa.com

It's not based on soapy lipids, and it's not exactly sodium laureth sulphate either. Don't ask me to explain what it's made of further, as I'm not a chemist.

Sold in Europe all over, but in the USA only online.

Sebamed is a great all-purpose hand/face/body cleaner, doesn't dry out skin much, yet it's still strong enough to get fairly large amounts of bikey-greasy crap off my hands.

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Old 12-04-10, 11:56 AM   #22
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I find they ripe like a cheap condom. I just wash hands often. I might look into the TIG welding gloves, but I imagine the gloves will get pretty dirty after heavy use.
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Old 12-04-10, 01:07 PM   #23
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The problem I've found with vinyl gloves is that they dissolve in mineral spirits (as do latex as well). The nitrile ones don't. And nitrile gloves are stretchier so I can get a tighter fit, meaning better dexterity and "feel."
Surprised to hear that vinyl gloves dissolve in mineral spirits. I use mineral spirits exclusively in cleaning my chains, and I just bought some vinyl gloves from Home Depot yesterday. I better return them.

Or, are they really not that bad? It takes me all of 10minutes to clean my chain, thanks to Sheldon Brown's coke bottle method.
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Old 12-04-10, 01:34 PM   #24
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Surprised to hear that vinyl gloves dissolve in mineral spirits. I use mineral spirits exclusively in cleaning my chains, and I just bought some vinyl gloves from Home Depot yesterday. I better return them.

Or, are they really not that bad? It takes me all of 10minutes to clean my chain, thanks to Sheldon Brown's coke bottle method.
I can't ever remember having a pair of surgical gloves dissolve in solvent.

I don't use Sheldon Browns approach anymore, in fact I'm no longer going to remove my chains for cleaning like that! Yep you heard me right. Instead I'm only going to use a chain cleaning machine from Finish Line, because I've come to a conclusion we're doing more harm soaking our chains in a way that drives oil out of the deep recesses of the chain that we cannot get back good enough like the manufacture did originally, and in the process of deep cleaning and stripping that lube out we drive contaminates into those areas. I read about this on a web site about a year ago and decided to try it out. Doing that along with using Chain L lube I'll see what happens, so far the chains haven't vaporized.
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Old 12-04-10, 03:25 PM   #25
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Did Park list it as a shop-quality bike specific Mechanics Nitrile gloves?
If so you better get it! Heard that it provides one with the feeling of a full on team mechanic liken to Team Saxo Bank or Radioshack.
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