When summer is in full swing, the roads and highways are full of bikers on vacation, attending rallies or just cruising the countryside.
While taking advantage of the great weather is what summer riding is all about -- it can be a challenge to keep cool wearing full gear in in hot weather.
But with a little research, you can find summer gloves that keep hands protected AND cool. Here are the options.
Wear Summer Riding Gloves for Safety and Control
There are basically two key reasons to keep your gloves on, regardless of the heat.
Motorcycle gloves add dexterity and control.
Sweaty palms and fingers can slip from the controls and put you in a tough spot. The right gloves absorb sweat, resulting in better grip and helping you control your ride.
Hands are usually the first thing to make contact with the pavement In an accident.
Your first instinct will be to throw your hands out in front of you for protection. Gloves help to protect your fingers, palms and wrists, and prevent scratches, cuts and scrapes -- and sometimes more serious injuries.
Don't think it'll ever happen? Either did this expert rider ... but last month, she was very thankful she had her gear on (read more)...
Summer Glove Guide
Use this guide to choose the best summer motorcycle gloves for you.
1. Fingerless, Short Cuff, or Long
Fingerless gloves are a popular summer choice. They protect your knuckles, palm and back of your hand, and provide cooling air flow. Half finger styles come in hard knuckle, gel palm, leather and mesh options ... with extra features like padded palms for comfort, and pull tabs to get them on and off easily.
Mesh short cuff gloves are another great option for summer riders. With today’s fabrics and vents, you can stay very cool, and still get full-fingered protection. Look for premium features like flexible hard knuckles, neoprene and other sweat-wicking fabrics, and palm-side leather or clarino for grip.
If you are into racing or ride aggressively, a longer or or heavier leather gauntlet style helps to protect your wrist area (scaphoid) --even in the summer. With good venting, you can have this added scaphoid protection without feeling uncomfortable.
2. Comfort Features & "Must - Haves"
Here are some other popular added features to consider:
Touch Screen Fingertips: a handy feature (no pun intended) for easy use of iphones and GPS.
Gel palms: great for riders who need relief from hand numbness or other hand and arm pain due to riding
Skid pads, extra padding, and seam reinforcement to add protection to parts of the hand that are especially vulnerable in the event of an unplanned get off.
Hard Knuckles: great protection for the occasional rock, pebble, stray cigarette butt or bug that might hit your hands.
3. Fabric: Leather, Mesh, or a Combination
No matter which style you choose, if your motorcycle gloves are well perforated and vented for air flow, you should be cool and comfortable.
Leather gloves are great for strength and durability ... but leather can be pretty warm in summer's heat. If you are partial to leather, look for uninsulated leather styles with perforations, for airflow.
Mesh or other lightweight fabric is a more typical summer choice -- it lets air through, helps sweat evaporate, and -- when designed with safety features like hard knuckles and strategic padding -- can be protective. Or, look for the best of both worlds ... a "combination" of leather on the grip side, with cooling fabric inserts in between fingers and elsewhere.
Here's what a rider says about weaing mesh riding gloves in New Mexico's 90-100 degree heat:
" ...After wearing out two sets of "400" gel gloves over the last 15 years, I decided to try these perforated 402s. Quality is great, the gel prevents vibration and the ventilation by riding wind through the perforation makes for even more comfort in 90-100F summer in New Mexico. I'll buy again after I wear these out! ... " -- C.A., New Mexico 6/22/14
Gee, thanks, C.A.! If they keep you cool and comfortable in a N.M. summer, we've done our job:)
Here are a few other tips to stay cool on summer rides:
SUMMER RIDING TIPS:
- Keep hydrated, inside and out. Stock your saddlebags with extra water bottles.
- Add a wet cloth on your neck or wet bandana under your helmet for extra cooling.
- Pack chapstick for lips exposed to the air.
- Use those helmet vents!
- And of course protect your noggin--wear your helmet.
- Use sunscreen for those areas of skin exposed to rays of the sun.
- Wear summer gloves featuring cooling vents and mesh/sweat-wicking materials.
Ride safe, be cool and don’t skimp on protection. Invest in quality gear, for the long haul.