Do your hands go numb when you’re riding a bike for a long time? Or do you get a tingling sensation in your fingers when you’re cycling? Some good cycling gloves with gel in the palms—like these two models from Pearl iZumi—can make a big difference.
There are a few reasons people get symptoms of their hands falling asleep or feeling numb when they ride. If the wrist is bent too far down or to one side instead of straight, that can pinch a nerve. Adjusting the seat back a little can help, as can riding a hybrid (more upright) bike instead of a road bike where you’re crouched over.
After that though, the shocks and bumps radiating through your bike can make a difference and these gloves can help with that. They’re stretchy and feel like a second skin, but on the palm of your hand they give you shock absorbers that help keep the vibrations off your hand and wrist. They also absorb some of the shock when you go over bumps. I’ve been trying out a men’s version (Select Gel FF) and my wife has been riding with me using the Elite Gel-Vent version.
My wife’s hands get numb almost every time she rides and she probably needs someone to watch her and regularly check the hand positions. But meanwhile, she liked these Peal iZumi fingerless cycling gloves and they seemed to help. The shock absorbent gel pads are in five places and they relieved pressure on the all-important Ulnar and Median nerves. They conformed to her hand well, were soft and comfy on the inside, and wicked moisture easily.
Her only beef was the difficulty of getting them off. The “Easy-off glove removal tab” doesn’t seem to help much. Unless you pull them off inside-out, it take a bit of effort to remove them.
I’m not usually a cycling glove wearer when I’m peddling around my home town, but I have wished I had some when I’ve been on a long multi-day jaunt where I’m going 30 miles a day or more. I took these Select Gel FF gloves out on a few rides of a couple hours this past month to see if they were worth packing on future trips.
I don’t suffer too badly from tingling fingers and the like usually, but these did make a noticeable difference anyway. I didn’t feel a trace of numbness and they definitely absorbed some of the shock waves I usually feel from breaks in the pavement. Unlike with the fingerless ones, I found these easy to pop on and off and even in the summer heat my hands didn’t get sweaty. I’m looking at doing a week-long biking trip in Europe next spring, so these are making the cut for the packing list. Besides the gel properties, my hands will be a little warmer in the breeze.