Padded Gravel Gloves

I’ve been doing some longer gravell rides, and my hands are getting really sore. I want to buy the most padded, short finger glove I can find. Anybody have a suggestion ?

I like the Specialized padded gloves. I also have the thicker bar tape on my bars that seems to give more shock protection.

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I like the Pearl Izumi padded gloves.


I use the specialized grail gloves for everything. Lots of gravel.


I’ve tried Giro, Specialized, and Pearl Izumi gloves. Giro and Specialized gloves are not durable enough for gravel. You’ll get holes in them within a few rides. I bought some Giro gloves for a 12 hour time trial earlier this year because I had lent out my long fingered gloves…the Giro gloves had holes in them by the end of the 12 hour time trial.

The Pearl Izumi gloves are durable enough & you can get them with gel inserts. That’s what I ride for the longer races like Dirty Kanza.

The other thing I would suggest is moderate intensity, high rep grip work. Couple times a week. Doesn’t have to be something extreme like a CoC gripper but just something that is a challenge to squeeze/close 30 or 40 times consecutively. That will make a big difference.


Interesting. My specialized grail gloves have 16874 Km on them. The only ones that keep my hands from going numb. I only have about 4000 km of gravel on them though. They are a little worn with some lose threads but no holes or anything. I’m more than happy with them.


Have you tried double wrapping your bar tape? I find that goes a long way to making things more comfortable.



As @themagicspanner mentioned, double wrapping helps. I haven’t tried the Gel padding you can buy but I hear this can aid in comfort as well.

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I can’t offer great glove options for padding, but did want to throw out there:

Don’t underestimate the impact bars and tires make. I swapped from some aluminum Easton bars with 2.5mm lizard skin tape to the Enve G-series with 3mm fizik tape and the ride changed noticeably. MUCH less vibration through the bars.

Spent 9 hours on gravel on Saturday and while my knee blew up, my hands/wrists/arms felt fine with some very minimally padded gloves (Endura Hyperion) .

For me, the thick gel gloves cause more problems than they solve, the gel chunks seem to float and move in annoying ways. Running slightly larger tires at lower pressure is another good option that can improve ride without sacrificing much (or any) efficiency on the dirt/gravel…

Beyond that, using a light grip helps a lot, especially when descending. Try to let the bars be loose in your hands when you’re not on the brakes. Even just a few seconds here and there can take a lot of strain off the hands.


I have in the ballpark of 10,000 miles in the 2015 version of these gloves. I just got the new 2019 version because I finally wore through the very tips of the fingers. I could cut the ends off of the fingers and they’d look like new. I’ve used mine about 50/50 MTB and road. I did my first gravel race on Saturday and wore the new pair and had zero issues with my hands. I was on a Specialized Diverge, Easton AC 70 carbon bar, and Roubaix bar tape.

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Great thoughts.

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I have an older version of these and they are great. Still using them after 5000km but padding is starting to lose its shape, and I’ve a set of full finger too which are on their last legs. But my technique has also improved and I rarely get hand issues now. (might also be because I target my core a lot more than I used to during my strength training)

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Heard good things about this bar wrap from others, haven’t used my self.

That is great! I’m glad you were able to get some good use out of them! Your experience is WAY different than my experience with specialized gloves. I loved the look. I loved the fit. The durability just wasn’t there. It wasn’t that stitching ripped out or anything…just holes in the palm.

I’m not a hater of the Specialized gloves. Just saying that if you’re riding gravel…buy two pair of them to get you through the year. That’s been my experience.

Also a grail glove user, over 3 years on 2 pairs now. Otherwise I go gloveless. Dont find the gloves provide that much additional dampening. I use fizik endurance wrap which is synthetic rubber much denser than cork. Id take a look at silca’s new bar tape that was specifically engineered with dampening in mind. Josh and co seem to be doing great things for marginal improvements on the little things that matter

On that subject, I just put the Nastro Fiore bar tape on my bike for a long ride I was doing. From a details perspective Silca got pretty much everything correct here. Bar plugs aren’t too heavy but they have compression that you can vary by turning a screw. The little bit of tape that goes behind the shift levers is actually designed to go behind the shift levers and, honestly, they should maybe win some sort of award just for doing this. The tape they provide to secure the end of the bar tape to the handlebars is the best I’ve ever used. So all the little details were just great.

But I’m used to double wrapping my bars & after the Nastro was on it just seemed super firm and insubstantial. It’s not. Or, maybe it is, but it’s enough to do the job. I don’t understand how it works. As soon as I put my hands on it I thought it was a mistake but it wasn’t. Or maybe after many thousands of gravel miles my hands are just so tough that I don’t need a lot of padding on my bar. Anyhow, 200 miles of gravel that was characterized by ‘brutal climb, sketchy descent’ repeated all day & my hands/wrists feel fine.

So it’s expensive but maybe it’s worth trying.

This suggestion is much more than a pair of gloves or bar tape mods… but I have used the Redshift ShockStop Stem since their Kickstarter. It is an amazing addition to a gravel bike, IMHO.

It’s well worth the cost and additional weight. I have also sold many through our shop and never had anyone come back saying it wasn’t worth the change. Some people question “suspension” parts like this, but for what it is and what it offers, I can’t see any real negatives.


Get one of these to save your hands…

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If Redshift had not done such a good job with the aesthetic design of the ShockStop they might have done themselves some favors! It’s so ‘stealth’ on the bike I don’t think people realize how commonly they are used. Lots of folks ride a ShockStop.


I agree that is is quite “hidden” and one of the things that I love. A friend had no idea it moved. He just thought it used some weird combo of back pinch bolts and an internal cam for clamping :stuck_out_tongue:

They also kind of disappear under the rider in use too. It is something people notice and play with initially. But once you get over the new/wow factor, it just sits there and does it’s job without drawing attention to itself.

I have it mounted on a 2015 Trek Boone Disc, and it perfectly matches the comfort I get from the IsoSpeed rear end. Before that, I had more issues with discomfort and numbness via the vibration. That is the real key to it’s success.

It may help a bit on the big hits, but you will still feel those anyway. It’s magic is taking all those little micro vibrations and either canceling them out all together, or severely minimizing them. That is where I think the largest gain in comfort is had and why it works so well in a gravel application.

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