Fingerless vs Full Finger cycling gloves (Which to choose?)

Cycling gloves have become more popular among cyclists in recent years and there are two main types: fingerless and full finger gloves. And the main question is what is the difference between these two types, which one is better and when should one be used over the other?  

Fingerless gloves are usually better for open roads and the warmer weather cause they are lightweight and have breathable material. While full finger gloves are more for the cooler weather and for off-road because they are made of a much stronger material that fully covers the hends.

You need to know there are no exact rules as to when you should wear cycling gloves or in which weather condition, but I will tell you my thoughts on it from personal experiences with multiple rides that I have taken whit both kinds of gloves.

The main difference between Half and Full finger gloves?

The difference between half and full finger gloves is that full-finger gloves are better at protecting hands from falling off the bike, they are a lot warmer and they are much easier to take off. While half-finger gloves have better ventilation and are generally cheaper.

With fingerless gloves, air can get into the finger hols and that way prevents your hands from sweating which can be quite nice especially in the summertime. On this type of gloves, you have the upper part of the fingers available and you can do a lot of other things more easily.

For example, you can control your brakes and your handlebars much strongly, and for me when I break it feels much more secure than it feels whit full-finger gloves. But that’s just my personal preference. Also, one more thing that I love about these gloves is that I can easily use my phone on a ride, for example to check a map, or if I need to send some quick messages.

It’s a no-brainer to wear full-finger gloves in cold weather, rain, and snow since they are made to be waterproof and cozy so you don’t have to worry. They are also good in the summertime but for the heat, I prefer using fingerless ones.

The price of fingerless gloves tends to be cheaper most of the time, but that may not always be the case. It depends on the quality and brand of it. I personally use FOX gloves, they are the most comfortable gloves I have tried and I love that my hands don’t sweat at all in them.

Which gloves to choose for each type of cycling?

The general rule is that half-finger gloves are for warm weather and that full-finger gloves are for cold weather. But there is more to it than just that. Each type is good for different situations, but I will tell you the conclusion that I came to during my rides further on.

Which gloves to choose for road cycling?

For road cycling, fingerless gloves are the best choice (link to the gloves I’m currently using). Because they are often a little bit more padded than the full-finger gloves. This is especially important when riders tend to cycle for a few hours without moving their hands from one place. 

In other words, if you have more padding, your chances of getting hard numbness in your hands are much lower. Also, road cyclists tend to go a lot faster than other cyclists and therefore sweat a lot more, so that’s another reason why fingerless gloves would be the best choice for them. 

Which gloves to choose for bicycle touring?

The choice of gloves during a bike tour varies a lot. One thing that is most important is the region or area in which you cycle. For example, I cycle in a country where the weather varies a lot. In one moment it will be completely sunny but in a matter of seconds, it changes to the hard rain and storm. That’s why full-finger gloves suit me the most.

But if you live in a country where it’s sunny almost every day. Then half-finger gloves would be the best option. Or vice versa, if you live in a cold region where it’s raining and snowing all the time. Full finger gloves would be the best choice.

Which gloves to choose for mountain biking?

If you do mountain biking, the best option are full-finger gloves. They will offer you much better protection if necessary which is especially important if you are riding on rocky terrain. Also, if you are riding on completely wet ground they can protect you from all the mud and dust in the air, while at the same time keeping your hands warm.

For mountain biking, I think that full-finger gloves are a no-brainer (link to the full-finger gloves I’m currently using).

Which gloves to choose for bikepacking?

I definitely recommend the full-finger gloves for bikepacking. Bikepackers normally go far away from the city and main roads, usually in the woods. Where can be a little bit cooler than in open ground without shelter. Also, there are lots of little rocks and dust flowing in the air, and they will surely provide much more protection than fingerless gloves.

Which gloves to choose for commuting?

The best gloves for commuting usually depends on the weather condition. If it’s cold and rainy outside full finger gloves will be the best option. And if the weather is quite warm and sunny, fingerless gloves would be a better option.

On the other hand, if the rides are shorter than 20-30 minutes it doesn’t matter that much which gloves you are going to wear. Or will you even wear them at all.

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