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« Building Bridges | Main | Ask me if I care anymore »
Monday
May302011

Cheap Gloves: They work for me

I used to pay $35 or more for a pair of cycling gloves, the ones with the fancy gel padding.

A habit I have is if I run over a patch of broken glass, which is quite often on my local bike path; I run the palm of my gloved hand over the front and rear tire.

I do this as I am riding, it only takes seconds, and it will brush away any glass my tire has picked up before it has time to work its way into the tread and cause a flat. The only problem is my nice expensive gloves end up ripped to shreds, usually within a few months.

A little over a year ago when my gloves needed replacing I bought a cheap pair from Wal-Mart for about $5.00. I figured if I was going to wear them out that quickly I would use something that was less expensive to replace.

Well guess what? These cheap gloves lasted longer than the expensive ones; almost a year. I recently bought my second pair.

They don’t have the extra padding on the palm, but I really don’t need it.

The little bit of cushioning my handlebar tape provides I find is enough.

I imagine the palm is not real leather, but it looks and feels like it. The gloves have a mesh back with a Velcro fastening, and a nice feature is a fleecy material on the back of the thumb, which is handy for wiping the sweat from the front edge of my helmet, before it has time to drip all over my glasses.

The other thing is dressing my tires as I have described makes the right glove really dirty. I throw them in the washing machine at least once a week, and let them air-dry over night.

If like me you can live without the fancy padding on your gloves, the next time your gloves need replacing, you will only be risking five bucks if you try a pair of these Bell brand, Wal-Mart cycling gloves.

I’m all for buying quality gear, but in this case cheap and does the job works for me. 
 

                         

Reader Comments (12)

I have been buying fingerless gloves at Menards lately. They are about $4, neoprene & leather, and have the padding and everything! a great deal!

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterswell

really miss the old mesh backed/chamy fronted mits with the snap botton fastening, from the 60s/70s.Very cool. I have some Louis Garneau look-a-likes bought a few years ago for about $12 i recall.

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJW

Thanks, Dave. My winter gloves are $5 specials from Home Depot, some kind of neoprene/spandex gardening gloves in all black that look fine and are currently on their third year of brutal Florida winter riding. I've never done that glass wipe thing you mention. I first heard about it at Mike Varley's site. Sounded cool but I nearly lost a finger and almost went into a gator-ditch the first time I gave it a try. Could you expand on the subject?

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Joe Comstock

I ride with a guy called Mickey. We call him Mickey the tyre wiper. Mickey wipes his tyres about every 30 seconds. He didn't get any flats last winter but he made a lot of people nervous because his hands were off the handlebars most of the time. I never wipe my tyres and I didn't get any flats last winter. Mickey really chewed up his gloves. My gloves look great. Another friend tried to wipe her front tyre and broke her finger. Takes practice. I'm an old school kind of guy (and an ex pat Brit as you can tell by my spelling) but this is one ritual I don't follow.

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrich west

Many times I don't even wear gloves while road cycling, only mtn biking, but I know what you mean about wiping the tires off sometimes on the odd occasion with glass on the road. I like quality bikes and parts as well but last year I decided to "test" a $10 chain from Walmart. I think it was Bell brand and for multi-speed bikes (not 9 or 10 spd, not sure about 8 spd). They were made in Taiwan so I figured they were probably ok and made along side other brands of chains. These chains were put on my single speed mtn bike (old trek 8000 alum. frame) and single speed road bike (bianchi san jose steel frame) and have been good so far. They were easy to install with standard chain tool and seem fine. I have ridden the chains hard and they have not skipped a beat. Cheers.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeff simmons

I second the request for explaination on tire wiping. I have some old (70's) tire savers that I installed lately. Yes they are a bit noisy but I am not comfortable with the idea of wiping with my glove in heavy traffic. I have gone through a number of sew ups in the last year and would like to find a way to minimize the loss without switching to clinchers.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersjx426

i still have and am still using a pair of gloves for more than 15 years. They are real leather on palm side. The velcro strapons are wearing out. I am even surprised I still have them even tho i lost them few times but they were returned.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterh

Brushing my tires off with the palm of my hand is something I have done for many years. (Since the 1950s.) No you don’t do it in heavy traffic, or if there are other riders in close proximity. I steer with my left hand in the center of the bars near the stem, the reach back with my right hand to the rear wheel.

On my old school bike I place my hand in the space between the seat stays and seat tube; keeping my hand close to the rear brake bridge. You do not want to jam your hand between the wheel and seat tube.

On a modern style compact bike, there may not enough room in this spot, so you will have to reach back behind the rear brake, and you may not be able to place the palm of your hand flat on the tire, but rather use the side edge of your hand.

You do not need to press hard, just let your gloved hand brush the tire lightly for about 2 or 3 seconds. The front tire is easy, just reach forward and rest your hand lightly on top of the tire ahead of the front brake.

If you have never tried this before I suggest you practice stationary leaning against a wall. Then take it to a a bike path, a parking lot, or at least a deserted stretch of road. Only do it with smooth road tires, not knobbly or MTB tires.
Dave

May 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

I clean my tires without even remembering. But I used my fingers in a back and forth brushing action. I tried the palms once and got my hand sucked between the seat tube and the rear wheel. Back to fingertips after that. No finger injuries in 30 years. I got in the habit when all I rode was tubulars. I still use the old Pearl Izumi Leather Pittard gloves from back in the day (20 years or so ago). Bought a bunch cuz marketing always screws things up with new stuff.

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarge

Good post Dave :weight training mitts and some sailing gloves Ive seen make for cheaper and more durable kit . so I wonder why on every page of Cycling Weekly (our UK road mag) features single and groups of riders without gloves. And I mean EVERY page.
I guess its some kind of fashion thing but palms and pavement dont mix
cheers jim

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJim Reilly

Do you not use flint catchers then, Dave? I use mitts without additional padding like you because the tape is so much more padded than the old cloth tape from when I was racing. But, I find the flint catchers better than trying to reach down to the moving tyres.

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

I used to pay $30+ for name brand gloves featuring the latest ergonomic designs, bio-mechanical research, etc. One day I bought a relatively cheap $7 pair on ebay. They had the essentials for me-padding and a terry cloth wipe on the back of the thumb and forefinger. These lasted me at least three times as long as any other pair I've had. They felt good on the first ride, and still felt great a year later. It felt good to buy another three pair all for the same cost as a single pair of the big names. Gloves, more so than most any other piece of cycling gear, are something you can take a shot at on the cheap without risking much.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse Smith

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