Cycling Gloves Are They Necessary: A Senior’s Perspective

Ah, the age-old question: to glove, or not to glove?

As an older cyclist, you may be wondering whether cycling gloves are necessary and worth investing in.

When I first started cycling a few months ago, I really didn’t see the need for cycling gloves.

I would see other riders on my bike path with gloves on and I thought to myself, “I don’t get it – what’s the point?”   “I’m not spending my hard-earned money on a pair of gloves.”

While they may not seem like a necessary piece of equipment, I have found that there are both benefits and drawbacks to wearing them while riding.

It’s important to weigh these factors before making a decision about whether or not to wear cycling gloves on your rides.  Personally, I sometimes wear gloves and other times opt out of wearing them.

In this blog post, I’ll make my case for why you need gloves, as well as why you don’t. By the end, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of when it’s appropriate to glove up—and when it’s not.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you, should you choose to make a purchase using my link. 

6 Benefits of Wearing Cycling Gloves

1.  Decreased Pressure and Impact

If you suffer from arthritis or other hand or wrist conditions, gloves can help reduce the amount of pressure and impact that is absorbed by your hands while riding.

2.  Cushion And Decreased Vibration

If you have been feeling numbness and tingling in your fingertips while riding (referred to as “Handlebar Palsy”) – the extra padding will provide cushioning for your palms to decrease vibration and protect them from shocks from bumps in the road.

3.  Increased Grip On Your Bike

The grip provided by cycling gloves also increases control over the bike, which can be particularly important on bumpy terrain or in windy conditions. 

Gloves can also stop you from losing your grip when your hands get sweaty on hotter days.  This can decrease the risk of accidents.

4.  Protection For Your Hands

Cycling gloves can help protect your hands from calluses and blisters caused by prolonged gripping of the handlebars on long rides.

5.  Keeps Hands Warm And Dry

Cycling gloves can keep your hands warm in colder weather and dry if it starts raining or snowing.

This is my number one reason why I occasionally chose to wear gloves.  The pelleting rain on your hands can be very uncomfortable – and it’s hard to grip when your hands are wet and freezing.

Cycling gloves can definately help to make your ride more pleasant in these conditions.

6.  Prevent Injury

As we age, our skin become thinner, so it is easier to get cuts or abrasions. Wearing gloves while riding can protect your hands if you happen to fall or if you get too close to overgrown bushes or trees. 

6 Drawbacks of Wearing Gloves.

While cycling gloves have many benefits for older riders, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

1.  Decrease Finger Movement

Cycling gloves can decrease finger movement and sensitivity. This can make it harder to grip the handlebars or shift gears. 

2.   Increased Sweating

They can make your hands sweat more and lead to discomfort on longer strenuous rides or in hotter weather.

3.  Added Expense

Depending on the brand and quality, cycling gloves can range from affordable to quite pricey! Some riders may feel that purchasing glove is an unnecessary expense, especially if you only cycle casually or for short distances.

4.  Require Cleaning

They require cleaning regularly to avoid build-up of bacteria or odors, which can be an inconvenient and time-consuming process.

5.  Feel And Fit Of Gloves

You may just not like the feel of gloves.  I know that I just don’t like gloves.  They restrict me when I am active.  I very rarely wear gloves even when I am off my bike.  

6.  Cause Trauma to Older Hands

Cycling gloves can cause trauma to your hands if you have thinner skin and the gloves are tighter fitting and your hands are sweaty. 

What You Should Look For In Cycling Gloves For Older Riders

It’s essential to weigh the benefits against any limitations and choose what works best for your needs and preferences.

Ultimately, the decision to wear cycling gloves depends on personal preference and comfort level during cycling activities.

If you are considering wearing cycling gloves as an older rider, it’s important to think about the specific features that may be most beneficial for you.

Look for gloves that have extra padding on the palms and fingers, as this can help reduce pressure and protect against blisters.

Some gloves are also designed with breathable fabrics to help prevent overheating and moisture buildup. 

How Should Cycling Gloves Fit?

Basically, the fit of your gloves should be – not to tight but not to lose.

 Wow! Helpful right! 

If your gloves are to tight it may be difficult to make a fist or grip your handlebars without discomfort.  If your gloves are to lose they will ball up and cause chaffing. 

So you will want to take time to measure your hand for cycling gloves. 

Start by laying your dominant hand flat on a surface, measure your palm’s circumference just below your bottom knuckles.  Be sure not to include your thumb.

IMG 0822

My hand measured 8 inches.  So according to the size chart below I would be an x-small to small.  It is suggested that if you are in between sizes – pick the bigger size.  A little to big is better than to small. 

cycling gloves sizing chart

How To Care For Your Cycling Gloves

It is important to wash your gloves regularly.  Why?

Bacteria can build up causing odor and possible skin irritations.  Also, your body oils and other elements will accumulate on the gloves and cause the fabric to breakdown. 

But don’t worry cleaning your cycling gloves is easier than you may think.

All you have to do is throw them into your washer with mild detergent in cold water.    

Because of the Velcro, you may want to consider using a small laundry bag.  This will prevent lint or other materials getting into the Velcro.   

Let the gloves air dry.  Do not put in the dryer, this can destroy or shrink your gloves. 

Alternative to Cycling Gloves

If you are looking for cushioning and decreased vibration while riding but just simply cannot wear cycling gloves for whatever the reason – there is an alternative!

You may want to consider trying handlebar tape.

It comes in many colors and you can wrap it around your handlebars once or twice for more cushioning.

It’s not difficult to wrap the handlebars but it can be a little time consuming.

Of course, this isn’t going to protect your hands from the elements or from a fall – but it will help with cushioning, gripping, and vibration from the road. 

Can You Use Weightlifting Gloves For Cycling

Well, the answer to this question is – it depends.

I personally do use my weightlifting gloves when I need them for cycling. 

However, I am no longer a big power lifter so my gloves are only used to prevent injury to my hands while using resistance bands.  I am also not a long distance rider.  My longest ride so far has only been 30 miles.  

If you use weightlifting gloves often or if you are more of a distance rider, you may not want to use weightlifting gloves for cycling.   Mainly because the padding and gripping material may be worn down from the weights and may not be as effective. 

It would probably more beneficial for you to have a separate pair of gloves – one pair for weightlifting and a pair for cycling.   

cycling gloves vs weight lifting gloves


Ultimately, it’s up to each individual cyclist whether or not they choose to wear cycling gloves every time they go out for a ride; there are pros and cons to wearing them so it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

However, it may be beneficial for beginners and those over 60 years old to invest in a good pair of padded cycling gloves if possible.  They can help protect against shocks caused by bumps in the road as well as handlebar palsy symptoms during longer rides.  Not to mention that they could be a good protector of your hands from injury.  

But whatever decision you make regarding whether or not to wear biking gloves while riding—just remember to always have fun out there!

Happy trails!

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