Gloves Fatty Loves (Plus Two Very Helpful Glove-Related Tips)

10.5.2016 | 1:23 pm

A 100 Miles of Nowhere Registration Update from Fatty: I’m really excited to be raising money for Camp Kesem, one of my favorite charities — they provide free, weeklong camps for kids affected by a parent’s cancer. My twins have been every year since Susan passed away and it’s the highlight of their summer. 

If you haven’t registered yet, please do. Just click here for details, and then click here to register

In addition to all profits being donated to Camp Kesem, your $39.95 gets you an awesome event t-shirt, in your choice of colors — like this red one (which is the color The Hammer and I chose):

Red mockup

And it also gets you an awesome race plate, like this one:

AA121938 ED08 4384 9C9B AFC40112F2AD

Yes, 5150 is the number everyone gets this year. It seems fitting.

Of course, I’ve been curious how many people have signed up, and what color t-shirts they’ve chosen. So far (and I’m going to be honest and admit disappointment here) 163 people have registered. Here’s a colorful pie chart to illustrate how many people have chosen specific t-shirt colors. In this chart, each color represents the color of a t-shirt. The number represents the number of t-shirts chosen with that color. The pie represents the fact that I like pie.

Screenshot 2016 10 05 11 35 39

I find it interesting that white is almost entirely shut out.

Also interesting: the percentages of men and women who have signed up:

Screenshot 2016 10 05 11 44 11 

What does this mean? Maybe one or both of the following:

  • More men than women read my blog
  • More men than women can identify with the idea of  riding around in circles or otherwise expending a lot of effort without getting anywhere
Regardless of your gender, please: sign up. Camp Kesem makes a big difference in kids’ lives, and I’ve gone out of my way to make this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere affordable. 

Gloves Fatty Loves

Gloves get short shrift in cycling, even though they’re one of your three riding contact points (feet, butt, hands). Maybe that’s because when gloves are bad, they’re less obviously bad than shoes or shorts. Like, if your shoes don’t fit right, that can be ride-ending. If your shorts or saddle or chamois are no good, you can wind up so sore that you’ll be off the bike (and everything else) for days.

But if your gloves don’t fit, you just take them off for the rest of the ride, or deal with the mild discomfort for a couple hours.

The thing is, though, while bad gloves won’t necessarily ruin a ride, a good pair of gloves can really improve all your rides. 

I’ve ridden with a lot of gloves, and have settled on three pair that take care of practically everything for me.

Hey, maybe you’ll like them, too.

But first, here’s some actual practical and useful glove tips I’ve gathered over they years.

A Quick Tip About Using Your Phone With Long-Fingered Gloves

I have mentioned before that all my gloves are long-fingered gloves. Indeed, it’s possible I have gone on about this fact at great length and with more intensity than perhaps I actually needed to. I’m not going to re-litigate that issue, but it’s probably worth mentiong this fact for those of you who might wonder why all the gloves I love are long-fingered. I just don’t own a pair of fingerless gloves. 

But how do you work your phone with long-fingered gloves?”  I hear you ask. Well, here’s a little tip, which I revealed in a recent episode of The Paceline (listen to it!) but will recount here: 

If you lick the tip of a gloved finger, you can then use that finger with your touch screen phone. 

It’s true. Try it. Sure, it leaves your phone screen a saliva-smeared mess, but people are a lot less likely to borrow it that way.

Another Tip for Keeping Your Gloves Together in the Wash

Most gloves have a velcro closure strap. That’s a nice thing, but it can cause problems. Specifically, when you throw your gloves in the wash, the velcro grabs on to some other clothing item (usually the inside of a jersey, in my experience). It then disappears, effectively hidden by attachment to something else. 

I don’t even know how many times The Hammer, The Monster, and I have temporarily had gloves get orphaned this way.

But then I figured out this clever trick: keep gloves together — and off of everything else — by velcroing them together.

Like this:

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Now the gloves stay with each other, instead of attaching themselves to stuff they have no business being attached to.

Our glove orphanage rate has gone way down since we’ve adopted (ha!) this technique.

Bonus Tip: You can attach gloves together like this to keep them together when stored in a drawer, in your luggage for traveling, or whereever else you move and store them. It’s a lot less easy to lose a pair of attached gloves than a single glove.  

OK, now on to the gloves I love.

Specialized Ridge

These are the gloves I love and wear more often than any other glove. I go through, in general, about two pairs per season, just due to constant use.

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The padding is perfect for short rides, long rides, and general road and mountain bike use.

And the latest iteration of these gloves is their best yet. The back material is substantial, but wicks perfectly. The grip is padded exactly the right amount and in the right places. The velcro straps are easy to grab and peel off.

They’re comfortable for about 80% of the range of weather I’m willing to ride in, from about 50F on up.

I put them on and don’t ever think about them again for the rest of the ride, which is exactly how much you should have to think about a glove.

Specialized LoDown Gloves

When I ride a singlespeed, I use my upper body a lot. I stand for about 90% of my climbing, which means I’m putting a lot of energy through my core into my arms, which eventually translates into rowing my handlebars.

That’s a lot of effort going through my hands. And to be honest, padding in my gloves just gets in the way, folding and pinching in uncomfortable places on my palms.

I’ve learned that a good set of unpadded gloves is really nice to have for my SS riding.

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And the Specialized LoDown are definitely a good set of unpadded gloves. They just pull on (elastic wrist instead of velcro closure) and stay on, fitting like the Ridge, but without any padding (and with a bit thicker, heavier of a backing material.  


I don’t really know if singlespeeding was the intended purpose for these gloves, but for me, they’re just right for this kind of riding. 

Plus, they’re cheap, costing closer to $20 for a pair than the $40 or so you can expect to pay for most gloves.

Giro Pivot

I don’t ride a lot in the serious cold. When it gets ugly out, I prefer to just head down in the basement and do a TrainerRoad session. 

But for coldish rides, the Giro Pivot is just wonderful

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For one thing, they are warm, thanks to the fact that they do an incredible job of keeping the precip out. They’re well insulated, but not so thick and heavy-feeling that you can’t feel your brakes or shifter triggers. I can even still reach a hand into a jersey pocket with these on, grab a gel, open and eat it, and put it back in the jersey — all without taking these gloves off.

Giro’s done a remarkable job with these gloves of striking a balance between making their gloves warm enough, without making them too bulky to ride with.

I don’t claim to have a lock on knowledge of best gloves in the market, and I’m curious about what other riders use and love. So if you’ve found a kind of glove you think is great — whether in general or for a specific kind of riding or time of year — let me know in the comments.


  1. Comment by Ken G | 10.5.2016 | 2:08 pm

    I’ve taken a liking to Handup Gloves. Minimal padding, good fit, don’t have to lick it for smartphone use… :-)

  2. Comment by Windy | 10.5.2016 | 2:28 pm

    GORE with WindStopper membrane. Not cheap but better than anything else I ever tried. I never use gloves in the summer though…

    The Hammer has a pair of these and loves them. Fun Fact: I owned a pair of these first, she took them over and eventually wore them out. So I bought her a replacement pair for Christmas. – FC

  3. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 10.5.2016 | 2:30 pm

    A day late… Just signed up for 100MoN. Probably will do some insanely long row on my Concept 2 ergometer. I’m training for the CRASH-B races next February. Crazier, and way harder, than any bike trainer.

  4. Comment by Jacob | 10.5.2016 | 2:53 pm

    Gripgrab gloves. I prefer their padded versions in both short and long versions. I also have used up several of their different winter gloves.

    And know for a 100MON distance conversion question: I recall somebody once mentioned a gravel/forest bed distance conversion factor. Could somebody please remind me of the factor?

    I think for gravel, you should automatically assume it becomes 100KMoN (kilometers of nowhere). – FC

  5. Comment by miles archer | 10.5.2016 | 4:56 pm

    You can wash gloves in the washer machine? I think I’ll try that. I usually just wear disgusting salt encrusted gloves until they fall apart.

    I’m still thinking if I’m crazy enough to do 10KMoN in a swimming pool.

    Yep, I wash and dry them along with regular clothes. No special treatment. For the first five minutes they feel like they’ve shrunk, then they’re back to normal. – FC

  6. Comment by Steve Salas-Santa Cruz | 10.5.2016 | 5:33 pm

    Wow, CRASH-Bs. That’s some hardcore erg work. Mark, are you thinking something truly nuts like a 100km piece?

  7. Comment by Christina | 10.5.2016 | 6:09 pm

    I like to think I played a small part in that piece of cherry pie. Long live the lanterne rouge contingent!

    I’m also wondering if the blue won because it’s the first image we all saw in the post.

    I wear a pair of Canari from Sierra Trading Post, which means they were cheap. I like them, but what I really need is some that have bug repellent properties for early season mountain biking.

    I wondered the same thing about blue. So for this post, I put up red to see what happens! – FC

  8. Comment by Eric Burgeson | 10.5.2016 | 8:03 pm

    I wear gloves when I ride my bike, to emulate fatty, Whee
    I never fail to slip them on, before I mount my steed
    before I mount my steed

    my gloves are super extra large, my hands to fill them, fail
    to make me tough and look real buff, i filled the space with nails
    I filled the space with nails

    just like my gloves, my shoes are big, likewise are my bibs
    The hardware guys, they think I’m out of my mind, yes I’ve lost my mibs
    yes, I’ve lost my mibs

    but now, evertything fits you see, my competition pales
    for when i ride, they can see, I’ve filled the space with nails
    I’ve filled the space with nails

    (to the tune of gilligan’s island)

  9. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 10.5.2016 | 8:16 pm

    @Steve Salas; At least a marathon, 42195 meters, which is about 3 hours. 100K meters is 8+ hours. Mega-ouch!

    But that’s the point, right? Suffer for a great cause.

  10. Comment by SusanT | 10.5.2016 | 8:23 pm

    I’ve just signed up for my first 100MoN. And I’ve talked my husband into joining me. He’s a cyclist; I’m not. But we’re learning to sail, so we’re going to sail 100 MoN. This is going to take awhile. Maybe all year until we sign up for the next 100 MoN! I’m so happy to support such a great cause.

  11. Comment by Brian Ogilvie | 10.5.2016 | 8:59 pm

    I just signed up again, even though I’m one 100MON behind on what I owe…some day I’ll catch up!

    And I opted for the white shirt – because most of the time my cycling event shirts are what I wear when I run, and for running from spring to fall, white shirts are ideal. When I’m cycling, I wear jerseys.

  12. Comment by Tom in Albany | 10.6.2016 | 5:23 am

    I’ve got a Specialized glove. Can’t remember what kind. It does have a rubber-coated tip for triggershifts that also works well on cell phones – without the licking! They look kinda like the ridge. They’re a couple of years old now. I wear some cheap, short-fingered gloves. Brand unknown.

  13. Comment by Ferde | 10.6.2016 | 7:25 am

    I wouldn’t be licking any of those gloves if I were you. Just saying…

  14. Comment by Craig in Michigan | 10.6.2016 | 7:29 am

    The 5150 “race” plate sold me! I think I’ll do it on a fat bike for added insanity.

  15. Comment by Kate | 10.6.2016 | 7:42 am

    I’m in (still with blue because it’s my favorite color) for 100MON. Even though my bike is my main love, I’m planning a 100,000 steps of nowhere because a) I’ve been chasing that number all summer and b) it’s not as weather-dependent as the 100 MON mountain bike plan that I never followed through on last year.

  16. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 10.6.2016 | 7:50 am

    @Jacob, last year, I managed 40 miles of CX course inspection and racing over a 2-day weekend. I then invoked the commonly understood and just-made-up-on-the-spot 2.5x pavement to dirt multiplier.

  17. Comment by Jimmy | 10.6.2016 | 8:01 am

    Fox Dirtpaw for both mtn bike and road. I wish gloves would last like they use too, a pair use to last for 2 years now I go through 2 pairs in a year..the quality is definitely lower now.

  18. Comment by Michael | 10.6.2016 | 9:53 am

    Did you know that Lizard Skins makes cycling gloves? I didn’t until I stumbled upon them. The ones I love are discontinued (of course), but the current Aramus Classic looks very similar. They are breathable, minimally padded, and the leather is luxurious.

  19. Comment by Jimbo/Rumpled | 10.6.2016 | 10:04 am

    Another tip for glove washing – use those mesh bags that are for lingerie and other delicate things. I do this for my socks as well. Keeps them together and stops gloves from velcroing themselves to other clothes. I use one bag for gloves and one for socks and skullcap.
    Also makes it easy to grab them out of the drier and put them in my cycling bag for the next ride. (Until you show up at a ride with your wife’s bra instead of gloves)

    I also wear only full fingered gloves due to the nature of my work. I work in a medical lab and cuts on hands could be bad.

    Fatty, don’t think I’ve heard why it is that you wear only full fingered.

  20. Comment by Kara | 10.6.2016 | 10:30 am

    Longtime reader and non-cyclist here. Just signed up for 100 MON for the first time. Here’s to a marathon on my treadmill! Thanks Fatty for all you do to give back & get others involved!

    Thank you Kara! A marathon on a treadmill is a VERY difficult thing (I’ve never done a full marathon on a treadmill, but do remember failing to do one). Please be sure to get photos and send in your race report! – FC

  21. Comment by Jared13 | 10.6.2016 | 11:33 am

    I went with the “None more Black” option. Thought about blue (favorite color) but had to go with the black.

    Like Ken G I’ve been using the Handup Gloves and really like them. Easy to slip on, they stay in place, and have zero padding. I have set of Giros (I think) that have the windbreaker things that slip over your fingers. I use those when it’s below 40-45. I also have snowboarding gloves that I use when it’s really cold but after 20 minutes or so I usually switch to the Giros.

    Good to hear on the conversion, I’m thinking about riding a singletrack trail that’s a mile loop for the 100 MoN.

  22. Comment by Tom in Albany | 10.6.2016 | 1:02 pm

    @Jimbo – go up to the article and click the words. It’s a link.

  23. Comment by Cheap Bikes | 10.6.2016 | 2:06 pm

    Thanks, I’ll have to check out the Giro Pivots for cold weather riding. And I totally agree about the Specialized LoDown gloves. Good gloves for a good price. Cheap is good! :-)

  24. Comment by JessF | 10.6.2016 | 7:13 pm

    Registered! Blue, though I was going to go grey until the last minute. I love my shirt from last year. I would have gotten white if it was long sleeved. I’m a big believer in long sleeves to avoid sunburn, but that only works for light colors.

    I was mulling over in my head where I would bike (will be visiting family in Nebraska the actual weekend, and can’t take that many hours out of the visit, no matter how appropriate I feel it would be to label NE as nowhere), and realized that after Death Ride training this spring and summer, I consider loops of Mt Diablo totally reasonable. I’ve done 3x Mt Diablo, but I happen to know that BART to the summit twice would be a perfect 100kmoN. Or I can do loops from the Junction to the Summit, if I’m feeling like I need to push myself beyond previous training.

    I had been remarking how insane Jill Homer’s Montebello laps were last year, but I just realized if I do Junction to Summit, it’ll be about the same effort. More if I manage to pedal the Wall every lap.

  25. Comment by Corrine | 10.6.2016 | 11:34 pm

    I wonder if less people have signed up due to how late the ride is this year. For half the country, it could be snowing by November. I know I will have to deal with -20F to 20F although I do live in a sort of extreme place in Fairbanks, AK. I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to keep my feet warm enough for that long of a ride. We will see! And I hope more women sign up. I was shocked to see how many fewer women than men have signed up. Come on ladies, we can do this!

  26. Comment by chickenbocks | 10.7.2016 | 8:21 am

    Female, this will be my second 100 MoN, and I chose the red T-shirt. Woot Woot!

    I’m in lesser shape than the last time I did it, but on the upside, EVERYTHING. It’s good to be alive and able and enjoy the day. I haven’t done anything epic in a long time and I miss the epic part of my athletic identity. Camp Kesem is an amazing thing and I wish it had been around when I was in your kids’ place; instead, my brother, sister and I were ‘alone on the island.’ Love of my fellow human being. Love of my road bike, Zippy, who has been missing me. Eating anything I want afterwards with zero guilt. Honestly, what’s not to look forward to???

    Ride on, ya’ll! Sincerely, chickenbocks

  27. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 10.7.2016 | 9:56 am

    In, YELLOW! Okay, BostonCarlos, when exactly are we doing this thing? Can’t conflict with CX. Needs to be good weather. Oh, wait, I’ve got a GREAT idea, will email you …

  28. Comment by MinnesotaZeke | 10.31.2016 | 1:00 pm

    Where did you source the number plates? Just got mine in the mail and it is way nicer/better than the ones I have gotten for the free gravel race I put on in the spring. I don’t need crazy custom stuff, but I like the material for easy reading at checkpoints…


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