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  1. #1
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    What's the deal with no gloves?

    For the first time I am noticing multiple references (in posts about bar tape) to folks road riding without gloves. Since forever (30+ years) I have been indoctrinated that gloves are a necessary part of the cycling clothes kit even in the sweltering Houston heat. And that goes back to when gloves were really primitive - crocheted cotton backs with unpadded leather palms. It seems funny to me that now when gloves are super high tech, folks are declining to wear them. Especially considering all the functions they perform like keeping your hands from slipping when wet with perspiration, padding your palms against discomfort and nerve damage, protecting your hands in case of a fall, acting as a brow wipe, etc. Is this just a few outliers or is this a real trend?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    man...you're stretching on this one in your desire to generate "lively debate" for the sake of debate...

    ...my excuse relates to hot summer riding, and the significant accumulation of sweat from my porcine self...the added weight in the gloves has been demonstrated to reduce my uphill speeds by 0.002%....
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  3. #3
    Senior Member cxwrench's Avatar
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    I just don't like them in the spring/summer/fall. Unless it's cold i don't wear them. It IS a choice, unlike bibs...which we all know are required.
    Please don't call them "brifters", that just sounds stupid. Really.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    If 'everyone does it' then there's a portion of the population who will NOT do it just to be different.

    Of course if there isn't some change to fashion, we'd all be wearing wool jerseys and riding helmet-less.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
    man...you're stretching on this one in your desire to generate "lively debate" for the sake of debate...

    ...my excuse relates to hot summer riding, and the significant accumulation of sweat from my porcine self...the added weight in the gloves has been demonstrated to reduce my uphill speeds by 0.002%....
    And I'm stretching? Seriously I just come upon things that are new to me and the post is like wondering out loud. After all it is dark under my rock. I can't remember seeing anyone riding a road bike without gloves. Just like I never realized the popularity of bibs until you guys straightened me out on that one. Here is your chance for a repeat! Has this become really popular? I was riding the hills in Austin a couple of summers ago and forgot my gloves. I almost died on the Spicewood Springs Road descent when my hands nearly slid off the bars because of the sweat. Luckily I was wearing my special occasion brown shorts. I guess that is why so many folks like the expensive bar tapes. Seems they offer lots of tack. Just all new to me is all.

  6. #6
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    I can't stand wearing gloves so the only time I do it is when it is cold enough to use full finger gloves.

    I have been happily glove free for like 5 years now.
    "Rivendells do not rock; they jamboree."
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  7. #7
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    I only wave at other riders to verify if they're wearing gloves or not. If not, I scorn them for the rest of the ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    I can't stand wearing gloves so the only time I do it is when it is cold enough to use full finger gloves.

    I have been happily glove free for like 5 years now.
    I scorn you and your gloveless ilk.

  9. #9
    Middle-Aged Member MikeyBoyAz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    I can't stand wearing gloves so the only time I do it is when it is cold enough to use full finger gloves.

    I have been happily glove free for like 5 years now.
    @rpenmanparker (OP) I find no compelling reason to wear gloves. After crashes I find my hands are not damaged, so I can't justify that. I don't find the padding to be helpful and the tan they make is ugly. [I'm vain]
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  10. #10
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    Don't like em, but there's really nothing better to wipe the snot with so I use em.

  11. #11
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Is this just a few outliers or is this a real trend?
    There could be a variety of reasons, with free will being one of them. Their reasons for not wearing gloves are no less valid than yours, even if you do think they are funny.
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  12. #12
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    I wear full finger padded gloves all year, hot weather or cold. I need the padding and it hurts like hell to skin your fingers / hand when you fall.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    When I really want to live dangerously, I ride sans helmet/gloves/socks/chamois cream....

    But...seriously...

    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  14. #14
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    The only gloves I ever wear are full fingered ones when it's cold enough to want them. I live in a dry climate, so my hands don't really get very sweaty. I can wipe the occasional sweat from my face wit my jersey shoulder. I really hate padded gloves, and while there are unpadded ones out there, they can be hard to find.

    The only drawback I see to this really is potentially falling. That said, I often do carry my full finger gloves on long rides because I'm likely going higher up where it's cooler. That lets me wear them for the decent, where a bad fall is mostly likely to happen anyway.

    I suppose if I were to ever race again, I'd probably wear gloves for that. Otherwise, it's a risk I take for the comfort of not wearing gloves, I guess.
    Last edited by foresthill; 08-08-13 at 10:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    It seems funny to me that now when gloves are super high tech, folks are declining to wear them.
    I don't like the sweat and discomfort.

    Especially considering all the functions they perform like keeping your hands from slipping when wet with perspiration, padding your palms against discomfort and nerve damage, protecting your hands in case of a fall, acting as a brow wipe, etc. Is this just a few outliers or is this a real trend?
    I've never slipped off my handlebars, my brake hoods are a very comfortable place to be given correct fore/aft saddle location which keeps weight off my hands especially now that I've moved on to Campagnolo Ultrashift levers wih more surface area, my hands don't take much damage from crashing and that used to be rare (and I've yet to crash due to road ice in the temperate SF bay area).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
    There could be a variety of reasons, with free will being one of them. Their reasons for not wearing gloves are no less valid than yours, even if you do think they are funny.
    Hey, no criticism was intended. Really just an inquiry. When you think something is universal and then find out it's not, what's wrong with asking about it?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I don't feel like wearing gloves .... I last wore gloves in the summer in 1990 or so. Never paid much attention to what others wear.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 08-08-13 at 10:39 AM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member ttusomeone's Avatar
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    It's a personal preference thing. Personally, I wear them on hard training rides, group rides, or races (where I would be gripping the bar tighter, sweating more, or have a higher risk of crashing) but don't wear them on recovery rides. I have Lizardskin bar tape and find it plenty comfortable and tacky without gloves, but I've also crashed and put holes in my gloves so they also may help. There will be crashes where you are wearing gloves and they don't help or crashes where you aren't wearing gloves and your hands are perfectly ok.
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  19. #19
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Hey, no criticism was intended. Really just an inquiry. When you think something is universal and then find out it's not, what's wrong with asking about it?
    Nothing's universal.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    For the first time I am noticing multiple references (in posts about bar tape) to folks road riding without gloves. Since forever (30+ years) I have been indoctrinated that gloves are a necessary part of the cycling clothes kit even in the sweltering Houston heat. And that goes back to when gloves were really primitive - crocheted cotton backs with unpadded leather palms. It seems funny to me that now when gloves are super high tech, folks are declining to wear them. Especially considering all the functions they perform like keeping your hands from slipping when wet with perspiration, padding your palms against discomfort and nerve damage, protecting your hands in case of a fall, acting as a brow wipe, etc. Is this just a few outliers or is this a real trend?
    It's summer. (What's the deal with all these cyclists riding without down jackets?)

    Sure, there have been a lot of advances in gloves. And in bar tape, too. I've never slipped my hands off the bars. My cork tape is plenty comfortable, there's no nerve damage in my hands. I can wipe my brow on my sleeve when I need to. And I don't crash very often, it's been many years. I ride conservatively and safely, and don't race.

    Now if you noticed a lot of cyclists riding without pants, that would be a different story.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  21. #21
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Crashing strikes me as a funny justification for gloves - trying to break your fall by sticking out your hands isn't the best idea.

    Slippery bar tape strikes me as another poor justification - why buy the bar tape if it's not functional as-is?
    It's the spandex.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ttusomeone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    Crashing strikes me as a funny justification for gloves - trying to break your fall by sticking out your hands isn't the best idea.
    Yes, falling with your hands out is a good way to break a wrist or collarbone. Ideally you want to tuck and roll. In some crashes though it is very hard to counteract the reflex mechanism in putting you hands out to break your fall.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmc View Post
    I only wave at other riders to verify if they're wearing gloves or not. If not, I scorn them for the rest of the ride.
    I scorn them and loathe them, so I go one step further than you.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    Crashing strikes me as a funny justification for gloves - trying to break your fall by sticking out your hands isn't the best idea.

    Slippery bar tape strikes me as another poor justification - why buy the bar tape if it's not functional as-is?
    Yup. Might as well wear elbow & knee pads if crash protection is a major worry. When crashing, keep your hands on the bars and just go with it. I've seen a couple of mid-crash pictures of guys with their arms extended in front of them. What the heck were they thinking ?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Yup. Might as well wear elbow & knee pads if crash protection is a major worry. When crashing, keep your hands on the bars and just go with it. I've seen a couple of mid-crash pictures of guys with their arms extended in front of them. What the heck were they thinking ?
    I can't argue with this because I know the "no hands" approach is well established. All I can say is I have fallen a lot over the many years and always broken the fall with my hands. Never hurt my shoulder, never broke a collar bone. Never hit my head. The arms and elbows are very efficient shock absorbers and are lots closer to the ground than other body parts that would hit next. Not stopping my fall with my hands would be crazy scary. What would be the next thing to hit the ground if it is not the hands? Say more about how that is supposed to work. I have no ability to roll, and that is just a fact.
    Last edited by rpenmanparker; 08-08-13 at 11:14 AM.

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