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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 07-01-12, 05:59 PM   #1
CGinOhio
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No Gloves?

Thoughts on going glove free?

I've always used minimally padded gloves, but on a recent multi week tour I tired of them. Gloves have never been a problem at home where I have multiple pairs I can launder frequently. But touring, I either had to deal with washing them in sinks and needing a day or so to dry, or had my hands smelling funky after removing them during our frequent stops for food, site seeing, etc. The gloves also became hopelessly waterlogged in a lengthy storm we rode through and I had more control without them. So I've been riding sans gloves a couple weeks without undue problems. With the recent heat wave its also been nice not to be wearing sweat soaked gloves for hours. Maybe gloves provide minimal protection in a crash, and they do provide some cushioning if those who are sensitive. But I'm not sure that explains why it seems everyone from the local bike club to the tour peloton wear gloves. Am I missing something? And wonder if other tandem captains go glove free?
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Old 07-01-12, 06:07 PM   #2
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I have ridden a couple of times without gloves and did not like the way my hands felt on the hoods, they got sweaty and slick.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:31 PM   #3
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Thoughts on going glove free? ...
Gloves free is fine as long as you don't fall down. Roadrash on the palms of your hands is one of the absolute worste places to get it.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:31 PM   #4
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I never really cared for the feel of gloves, but I still have some scars on the heel of my palm from the ride many years ago when our tandem suddenly lost its fork and front wheel. So I have started wearing gloves on most rides for their protective value but still don't consider them to be at all essential.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:46 PM   #5
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Don't wear 'em... other than in the winter for warmth.

Stopped wearing them around 1995 for a variety of reasons.

Going without the gloves makes me mind and protect my front wheel while riding, as there will be a price to pay if we ever do go down on the road bike. Off-road, no worries... been there and done that without gloves; you get dirty hands.

Moisture management comes from from using Cinelli cork or fizik Mirco-tech pseudo-suede bar tape.

FWIW, Debbie still wears gloves.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:51 PM   #6
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Gloves free is fine as long as you don't fall down. Roadrash on the palms of your hands is one of the absolute worste places to get it.
I agree. Hands have more sensitivity than most parts of the body. Even a small amount of lost skin from a slow speed crash is very painful and the flexibility of the joints makes healing difficult.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:05 PM   #7
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... Off-road, no worries... been there and done that without gloves; you get dirty hands. ...
Obviously you're not going fast enough. Seriously, that surprises me a bit. Especially with your motorcycling background. I've had some nasty roadrash over the years. The worste from bicycling crashes not motorcycle crashes as some might guess. There are a couple parts of my body that I've become real protective of and my hands are one of them.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:30 PM   #8
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Obviously you're not going fast enough. Seriously, that surprises me a bit.
Off-road tandem crashes tend to throw you off to the side, even when the front wheel washes out so your side, forearms, backside, etc. take the brunt of most crashes.

Getting back to road bikes & gloves, they have saved the palms of my hands at least six times over the years, the last time being 1995. All of the crashes happened on single bikes where I piled into riders who clipped wheels or otherwise got wadded-up. In the last instance back in '95 during a Sunday morning training ride, I had a rider in front of me stand up in unexpectedly in a paceline on a slight rise, putting his rear wheel into my front wheel in a nano-second. I have a chainring scar from the 9 puncture wounds on my rear quarter panel that I received when a friend riding behind me tried to bunny hop the carnage and came up short and my left shin still doesn't tan quite as darkly as the rest of my leg. Sadly, my friend broke his collar bone when he also failed to stick the landing on the bunny hop.

Let's just say that I opted out of the single bike club scene after that; juice wasn't worth the squeeze.

Again, I'm ever mindful that I don't have gloves and mind my front wheel far more diligently than I did pre-95 and accept the added risk. I also don't take a lot of risks when riding in general, and especially on the tandem & triplet.

Frankly, my biggest concern when riding a bicycle -- as well as a motorcycle -- isn't flesh wounds; it's 5,000 lb vehicles with distracted drivers. Gloves ain't gonna do much good. In fact, last time I was hit on a motorcycle I had to go and find my left hand glove... it got pulled off when I got thrown off the bike as I had the clutch pinned at the point of impact. This was a road glove, not the armored gloves I'd typically wear on the track or trail back it the day.

Like I said, it's a risk...

I ride bicycles and motorcycles and eat red meat: I'm used to accepting risks. Hell, I've been shot with a .22 while cycling; how you gonna manage that risk other than carrying on the bike and shooting back...

Last edited by TandemGeek; 07-01-12 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:09 PM   #9
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...I ride bicycles and motorcycles and eat red meat: I'm used to accepting risks. Hell, I've been shot with a .22 while cycling; how you gonna manage that risk other than carrying on the bike and shooting back...

I hear you, you'll get no judgment from me just a little curiosity. Especially because of your motorcycling background. I've only had one run in on the motorcycle with a car (actually it was a motorhome). That's one nice thing about rural living. The vast majority of my crashes have been solo affairs with most of those on the race track. I've seen some pretty wild things happen to peoples protective gear over the years. Just look what happened to Simoncelli last year. Yep, it's just a risk that you are comfortable with or aren't.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:19 PM   #10
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Normally wear gloves riding tandem or single.
One exception was about 20 years ago when I did a double century on my single.
Took of gloves at end of the ride and skin on my hand came off with it. Unknowingly had developed a blister.
Next year when I repeated the double century. Rode for 3 months prior to yhe event sans gloves to toughen up my palms.
Went without gloves for the first 100 miles; put on the gloves for the second 100 miles. No issues.
BTW finally met my goal of doing that double in 12 hours even.
Have had some significant crashes in my decades of riding but never have scraped/hurt my hands.
Bit of luck, and experience?!
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 07-01-12, 09:08 PM   #11
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What I have seen is that each person crashes differently. If you are the kind of person that crashes on your hands, then you land on your hands in most crashes. If you are the kind that crashes on your elbows, then you land on your elbows most of the time. Not every single crash, but most of them. Somehow in that frozen moment between being on the bike and impacting the ground, people land the same way most of the time. So, if you're the kind that never lands on your hands, it might not matter if you wear gloves. In my case, I don't land flush on my palms, but I do hit the outside of the heel of my hand, so gloves are important.
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Old 07-01-12, 09:34 PM   #12
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The terrycloth on the back of some gloves is sure nice for wiping the sweat off my face in hot weather and the snot off my nose in cold.
Brent
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Old 07-02-12, 02:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post

Off-road tandem crashes tend to throw you off to the side, even when the front wheel washes out so your side, forearms, backside, etc. take the brunt of most crashes.

Frankly, my biggest concern when riding a bicycle -- as well as a motorcycle -- isn't flesh wounds; it's 5,000 lb vehicles with distracted drivers. Gloves ain't gonna do much good.

Like I said, it's a risk...

I ride bicycles and motorcycles and eat red meat: I'm used to accepting risks. Hell, I've been shot with a .22 while cycling; how you gonna manage that risk other than carrying on the bike and shooting back...

Agree with all points.
As for getting shot, I'm guessing you were MTBing past a backwoods still that was making moonshine.

FWIW, my stoker is full fingered MX gloves 100% of the time, both road and off-road. I always wear MX gloves off-road, and only wear gloves on-road when it's cold. While never been shot, we have sometimes wondered just how close some bullets came.

On my single MTB, I nearly run over paintballers locally and at Tsali I almost used a hunter for a berm since he was laying in the trail all Rambo'd up. His eyes got very big seeing that front wheel coming at him at speed.

PK
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Old 07-02-12, 06:09 AM   #14
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No gloves, no pace lines, no centuries, don't plan to crash Other than for warmth I never use gloves, also use a flat bar not drops, maybe that makes a difference.
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Old 07-02-12, 06:19 AM   #15
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No gloves, no pace lines, no centuries, don't plan to crash Other than for warmth I never use gloves, also use a flat bar not drops, maybe that makes a difference.
Flat bar also, with bar ends. Not very race oriented look but runs fine.

PK
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Old 07-02-12, 08:00 AM   #16
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While I would prefer no gloves, we do wear gloves all the time including full finger for my off-road events. I just don't want to go through the healing process after tearing half the flesh off the palm of my hands when things go badly.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:17 AM   #17
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3 reasons I wear gloves:

1) crashes,

2) wiping debris from tires,

3) sweat /snot control.
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Old 07-02-12, 11:00 AM   #18
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Thanks for the responses!

When touring I deal with sweat and snot management by keeping a handkerchief in the handlebar bag side pocket for easy access. Regarding hand protection, I've dumped the mountain bike a few times and landed on everything except my hands, lol. I've fortunately never taken a fall on pavement, at least since I was a teenager. In college, while doing wheelies on a brick paved road, I looped my motocross bike and went sliding spread eagle down the road, superman style. I was wearing cheap, thin leather driving gloves and a t-shirt and blue jeans (and a helmet). I was only doing 15 - 20 mph, but the gloves and jeans shredded. No skin left on the palms of my hands or knees. The skinned palms definitely not something I want to repeat. And no, alcohol wasn't involved. I was trying to impress a girl .

I think for touring and non competitive riding I'll continue without gloves. I'll consider using them on the faster club rides.
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Old 07-02-12, 01:12 PM   #19
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I do triathlon without gloves, as do most others. I sometimes wear them on the tri bike when training.

IMHO the main reason for gloves is to keep your hands from being peeled to the bone if you have an accident.
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Old 07-02-12, 02:30 PM   #20
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I'm not in the habit of wearing gloves but the prospect of going down on my palms makes me want to get some and start a new habit. Like a helmet, I'd rather wear the protection and not need it instead of the other way around.
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Old 07-02-12, 04:21 PM   #21
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Gloves are pretty much optional in warm weather on recumbent bikes but I have found that my hot sweaty hands don't slip and slide on the grips as much if they are gloved.
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Old 07-02-12, 07:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
Don't wear 'em... other than in the winter for warmth.

Stopped wearing them around 1995 for a variety of reasons.

Going without the gloves makes me mind and protect my front wheel while riding, as there will be a price to pay if we ever do go down on the road bike. Off-road, no worries... been there and done that without gloves; you get dirty hands.

Moisture management comes from from using Cinelli cork or fizik Mirco-tech pseudo-suede bar tape.

FWIW, Debbie still wears gloves.
We've only ridden once without gloves. On the day of Irish theme at GTR, we forgot our gloves back at the hotel. (And Dar had green gloves to boot.)
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