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Gloves off?

Old 11-08-21, 02:37 PM
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Trek1100FeltZ5
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Gloves off?

I am a casual rider at a casual pace with a tradition road bike. I ride in the drop and my palms will start to get sore after 40 or 50 miles. My local bike shop guy says the answer may be as simple as forgoing gloves, does that make sense? I'll probably try that no matter what, but was curious about what more experienced riders thought. Thanks
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Old 11-08-21, 02:42 PM
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I would think that gloves or cushioned bar tape would help, but give gloveless a try; just not sure I understand the reasoning. My gloves are leather with crochet backs and very little padding, and I rarely ride without them, just for the protection they offer in case of a spill or if I have to wipe debris from the tire while in motion.
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Old 11-08-21, 02:49 PM
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Do you change positions from hoods to drops frequently? If you only stay in one spot, then that might be part of the problem.

What's made the biggest difference for me is keeping a good bend in my elbow. Takes a lot of effort to get use to that if you've been riding with unlocked but otherwise almost straight arms. On the flip side, you might can stretch your reach out further, but then that has it's own issues too. I've gotten good results doing either.

If your bike is maybe a tad big to definitely big for you, probably the long reach to stretch out. If your bike is supposed to be the right size, then work on the elbow bend.

But for sure, try the gloves off and see. I use to ride no gloves.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:05 PM
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You are a casual rider and move at a casual pace, but you ride 40-50mi in the drops?
...just hold the hoods, ramps, and tops too from time to time and see if that helps(it will).
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Old 11-08-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I would think that gloves or cushioned bar tape would help, but give gloveless a try; just not sure I understand the reasoning. My gloves are leather with crochet backs and very little padding, and I rarely ride without them, just for the protection they offer in case of a spill or if I have to wipe debris from the tire while in motion.
I only ride with gloves in the cold and what I notice is that I unconsciously squeeze the bars harder with my hands to make up for the lack of feel of direct contact--it feels like my hands are less secure. My hands are definitely more tired after a gloved ride.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I only ride with gloves in the cold and what I notice is that I unconsciously squeeze the bars harder with my hands to make up for the lack of feel of direct contact--it feels like my hands are less secure. My hands are definitely more tired after a gloved ride.
My brother used to work in Ergonomcs and Human Factors, and he mentioned to me that gloves frequently exacerbate problems, for exactly that reason - you don't get the tactile feedback, so you grip harder.

I wear gloves no matter what temp, but I only wear unpadded ones. Every padded glove I've ever worn hurt worse than no gloves at all. Setting the bike up properly works, too. I'm currently working on getting the fit just right on a bike I recently acquired, and little things like a small adjustment in saddle angle, or saddle setback, make big differences in how much pressure is on the hands.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
My brother used to work in Ergonomcs and Human Factors, and he mentioned to me that gloves frequently exacerbate problems, for exactly that reason - you don't get the tactile feedback, so you grip harder.

I wear gloves no matter what temp, but I only wear unpadded ones. Every padded glove I've ever worn hurt worse than no gloves at all. Setting the bike up properly works, too. I'm currently working on getting the fit just right on a bike I recently acquired, and little things like a small adjustment in saddle angle, or saddle setback, make big differences in how much pressure is on the hands.

I found a lot of things that happened when I wore gloves were completely counter-intuitive. I actually got much bigger calluses wearing gloves than bare handed, and with padding, that was even worse. On a reasonably warm day, I find the only disadvantage to going bare-handed is I can't use white bar tape without it turning patchy grey after the first couple hundred miles.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I found a lot of things that happened when I wore gloves were completely counter-intuitive. I actually got much bigger calluses wearing gloves than bare handed, and with padding, that was even worse. On a reasonably warm day, I find the only disadvantage to going bare-handed is I can't use white bar tape without it turning patchy grey after the first couple hundred miles.
That's why I bought a pair of my favorite gloves (Giro ZeroCS) in white, for riding the ONE bike in my collection with white bar tape.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
That's why I bought a pair of my favorite gloves (Giro ZeroCS) in white, for riding the ONE bike in my collection with white bar tape.

I've learned to struggle through life with not-white bar tape.
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Old 11-08-21, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I've learned to struggle through life with not-white bar tape.
7 of the other 8 bikes have black. The Bianchi has Celeste, because of course it does.
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Old 11-08-21, 04:09 PM
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I rarely wear gloves during warm weather on my road bike, unless I'm racing. When I do, they are unpadded. Padded gloves seem to make my fingers go numb.
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Old 11-08-21, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
7 of the other 8 bikes have black. The Bianchi has Celeste, because of course it does.
She's such a diva.
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Old 11-08-21, 06:08 PM
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It may or may not be the gloves. Try changing hand positions periodically. Maybe every 5 or 10 minutes. Try that with and without gloves, and see what works best.

IMHO, gloves are not needed for cycling, even ultradistance. I rode Paris-Brest-Paris (1200km) in 2003 without gloves and had no problems with hand or palm soreness.
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Old 11-09-21, 05:23 AM
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I always wear gloves just* for the protection (and without them some crashes would have been much more painful), but not all gloves are made equal, and it depends on the fit as well. If the glove fits with some play it tends to create comfort problems for me, unlike the ones which are just barely big enough to put them on, and provide a very snug fit. My guess is that if the fabric can move it can bunch up abd cause pressure.

I find that with cycling clothes in general, except shoes, going for the most snug fit is the most comfortable.

*Well, and wiping snot, obviously.
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Old 11-09-21, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
It may or may not be the gloves. Try changing hand positions periodically. Maybe every 5 or 10 minutes. Try that with and without gloves, and see what works best.

IMHO, gloves are not needed for cycling, even ultradistance. I rode Paris-Brest-Paris (1200km) in 2003 without gloves and had no problems with hand or palm soreness.

I've ridden at least a couple dozen solo century rides this year, all without gloves, and I have a couple small painless calluses on each hand. When I wore gloves, the callusing was much worse.

I suspect people are very different on this, and agree that OP should try different things with and without gloves.

I also suspect that gloves wouldn't meaningfully protect my hands in a crash as I have deliberately adopted a strategy to prevent myself from stretching my hands out in front of me (I hold onto the bars). I have crashed a couple times without gloves, and I don't land with my palms hitting and sctaping the ground.
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Old 11-09-21, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Trek1100FeltZ5 View Post
I am a casual rider at a casual pace ... I ride in the drop and my palms will start to get sore after 40 or 50 miles...
These two things do not go together, as has been said previously.

Likely issues in decreasing order:
(1) Bike does not fit you and you find that the drops are more "reachable" than the hoods. Saddle may also be too far forward to compensate. Have an experienced fitter look at your posture on the bike. Post a photo of you on the bike, riding, showing your preferred hand position.
(2) Excessive weight on your hands because the resulting position is unbalanced (relates to both fit and fitness). Not enough weight being driven by the pedal force, balanced by the saddle position, and/or held up by your core.
(3) 40-50 miles is a LONG time to be in the drops for anyone, even a fit rider with a perfectly set-up road bike. Learn to vary hand positions AFTER the bike is set up to fit your body properly.
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Old 11-09-21, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Trek1100FeltZ5 View Post
I am a casual rider at a casual pace with a tradition road bike. I ride in the drop and my palms will start to get sore after 40 or 50 miles. My local bike shop guy says the answer may be as simple as forgoing gloves, does that make sense? I'll probably try that no matter what, but was curious about what more experienced riders thought. Thanks
Doesn't make sense to me, but that doesn't mean I'm right. It's easy enough to try. Give it a go and report back!
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Old 11-09-21, 07:52 AM
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I always ride with gloves (or mittens). In the summer, gloves and sun sleeves protect your hands and forearms, respectively, from excessive sun exposure. In the winter, they keep your hands from freezing. I hesitate to say warm, that may be asking a bit much.

Otto
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Old 11-09-21, 11:04 AM
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I've found that padding in gloves often causes me more problems than it solves. Kinda like padded shorts or padded saddles, the more you do it, the less padding you find you need.

I tend to pick gloves with minimal to no padding, more for the grip or abrasion resistant properties. That, and the little terry-cloth sweat-wiper patches on the thumbs.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 11-09-21 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 11-09-21, 03:41 PM
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I have a MIELE bicycle with Tange Infinity tubing that I love to ride. I was riding with a buddy and I showed him that the bike fit is so good that I could ride it whilst in the drops of the handlebar and also with my hands off the handlebar and to the side of the drops.

Core body strength is important when riding in the drops so that all your weight isn't on the handlebar thus making your hands get sore whether or not you're wearing any type of gloves. Moving your hands to different positions on the handlebar goes a long way in maintaining good circulation in t he hands. That's why dropbars are preferred by so many = many possible positions to ease discomfort.

During spring or fall rides I often wear a pair of full-fingers Danier Leather driving gloves. Those are unpadded but give a great grip on any of my handlebars.

Cheers
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Old 11-09-21, 05:19 PM
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While your shop guy may be correct it also might be the bike is too small for you or the reach too long.
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Old 11-10-21, 12:25 AM
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Another benefit of gloves is that if you crash, it has happened to all of us at least once, your palms will not turn into hamburger. I do like the cushioning gloves provide especially on gravel or bumpy roads. Bare handed would be a pain unless the bars had two or more layers of tape.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:24 AM
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handlebar-palsy

Originally Posted by Trek1100FeltZ5 View Post
...sore...
Depending on what you mean by "sore" this might help:https://korshjafarniamd.com/blog/cat...ndlebar-palsy/. If you search handlebar-palsy there is a lot out there on the subject.
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Old 11-11-21, 11:46 AM
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The problems with hand and overall pain in the upper torso and shoulders result from poor bike fit and not changing ones position frequently enough while riding. In addition to changing your position on the bike you can have the fit checked and see if the stem needs to be raised or changed out altogether to provide the proper reach for your body. I would trust at most one person in ten in a bike shop to be able to do this.

For road bikes I change my hand position continually and have my hands on the bar and then on the brake hoods and on the drops. I primarily use the drop position when going up hills and seldom on the flats. My neck suffers if I spend too much time down on the drops.

Going gloveless will only make the problem worse. On my older bikes I always changed out the handlebars for larger diameter ones like those from Cinelli and then I would wrap the bars with thin foam sheet that allowed me to control the thickness of the addition to the bar at different locations. Last step was to add handlebar tape and on the drop sections there was only the tape. This maximized the contact area for my palms on the handlebars and reduced having a pinched nerve, which can cause permanent damage.
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Old 11-11-21, 12:00 PM
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Ride with only one glove and compare results!
gm

Last edited by gringomojado; 11-11-21 at 12:22 PM.
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