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Buyer's guide: best fingerless summer cycling gloves and mitts

Cyclist magazine
25 May 2018

You weren’t thinking of ditching the gloves just because the weather’s warmed up, were you?

Warmer weather means you can finally do away with things like gloves when you’re on the bike, right? Well, you can pack your long-fingered, fleece-lined winter warmers away for a few months, but riding without hand protection is a bad idea.

First, your hands tend to get sweaty when you exercise in warm weather. This can lead to hands slipping from bars or fingers sliding off gears or brake levers.

Which leads us to the second reason you should always wear gloves: if you find yourself taking an unexpected tumble, your hands will be among the first things to hit the ground.

Whether you land on tarmac, gravel or a rough, muddy trail there’s a chance your palms will end up in bloody ribbons, and peppered with debris that you’ll need to pull out with tweezers and a lot of wincing.

As for the third reason, it’s obvious, isn’t it? They may not be the most expensive bit of cycling kit you ever treat yourself to, but – as this lot demonstrate – they can definitely add a dash of elan to your outfit.

Here are the best summer cycling gloves and mitts

Best all-round fingerless cycling gloves: Sportful Bodyfit Pro 

About the right price for an item you'll invariably lose one half of, Sportful’s Bodyfit Pro gloves are an easy to live with choice of summer mitt.

Unfussy to look at, their lycra back keeps things cool, while the multi-density padding is just enough to stop some road buzz but not so much as to dull your dexterity.

Dotted with little silicone grippers, these provide additional traction, which is particularly useful if the weather turns nasty.

With no velcro closure to irritate, a subtle tab on the cuff and another between the central fingers allows them to be popped on or off easily.

Apart from these devices, a sweat-wipe on the thumb is about everything else you’ll get. The result is an unfussy design that’s likely to have mass-appeal. Coming in six sizes, they also tend to fit as you’d expect.

Buy now from Wiggle from £18

The best cheap fingerless cycling gloves: Altura Airstream

These moderately priced mitts from Altura have very little to find fault with.

With a simple stretchy back, they feature an inoffensive amount of memory foam on their palms. Using a cuff under the wrist, they’re easy to pop on and off, a fact helped by sturdy yet inconspicuous loops under their fingers.

All considered they’re light and breezy, comfy on the hand, and don’t cost too much. Available in a ton of different colours, it's hard to argue why you'd need to spend more.

Buy now from Tredz for £9.99

Best hot weather fingerless cycling gloves: Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel 

Breezy racing mitts from Scottish brand Endura. With a barely-there closure under the wrist, these gloves combine ease of pulling on and removal with an otherwise very close fit.

Using a fast-wicking stretch fabric on the back, this breathability is carried over onto the palm. Here the pads themselves are made of a kind of squishy open mesh. Allowing venting on the underside too, the result is excellent comfort in hot weather from a glove that still feels pleasingly robust and well-featured.

Coming in six sizes and seven colourways, there should be something to suit all shapes and tastes.

Buy now from Tredz for £26.59

The most durable fingerless cycling gloves: GripGrab Progel 

In the search to make a good looking product, lots of companies strip away useful characteristics in the pursuit of a minimalist aesthetic. By comparison, these gloves from GripGrab are fully-featured.

With a velcro cuff and pull-tabs between the fingers, they’re easy to get on and off. Coming in a large range of sizes, you can match them to your actual glove size, rather than taking a punt on whether you’re an M or a L.

The cut is also a strong point, leaving them dexterous. The materials employed on both sides are tough, the padding in the right place, and key areas reinforced with double stitching.

They're likely to outlast many slinkier looking alternatives, and given how functional and comfy they are, you’ll be glad that they do.

Buy now from Wiggle for £35.95

Best leather fingerless cycling gloves: Giro LX Performance Mitts

Delivering old-school perforated leather styling, but with a full complement of gel pads on the underside, these gloves from Giro mix the best of retro style and modern tech.

Made of leather, they quickly form to the peculiarities of your hands. Given their natural breathability, they stay comfy on long rides despite being heavier than more modern styles. The cut also suited well, while the velcro cuff and pull tab makes getting them on and off easy enough.

Having been through a few pairs of these, we'd recommend treating them with care. If they dry out the palms can split, so pop a bit of leather care on them occasionally, and definitely don’t put them through the laundry.

Buy now from Tredz for £59.99 

The best superlight fingerless cycling glove: Santini 365 Origine short finger glove

Italian firm Santini is known for its race-orientated clobber and its 365 Origine gloves are no exception. Lithe and close-fitting, there’s no flab on these, instead they're so closely cut they cling to your hands without the need for a fastener.

The back is made half from a light stretch fabric, with mesh further towards the wrist to boost breathability. With subtle gel pads, the palms are also designed to keep you dry and, in the event of a spill, well-protected. 

A Terry thumb pad is a useful addition for dealing with brow sweat or hayfever-induced sniffles. The aforementioned fastener-less cuff is quite broad, which both looks nice and probably doesn’t hurt their aerodynamics either. Elegant looking, they’re a snug fit, so check your size carefully.

Buy now from Santini for £33

The best retro team mitts: Prendas Z Vetements Deluxe Track 

Prendas Ciclismo’s website is a great place to have a nose about if you’re after something classically stylish to swan about in.

And these hand-made Italian mitts, with their strikingly cartoon-style Vétements Z team patterned Lycra backs, certainly appeal to our inner retro nerd.

The perforated breathable palms feature ample padding for extra protection should you take a tumble.

There’s also a soft Terry wipe on the thumb to deal with unwanted moisture, while subtle loops on the fingers are useful for pulling them off. Available in a wide range of sizes, they add a touch of flair and pair well with otherwise all-black outfits.

Buy now from Prendas for £23.99

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