From the Monday Mailbox:
I have noticed you wear full fingered cycling gloves, even in the summer. Any recommendations for a lightweight option?Ah yes. I love full finger cycling gloves. Even at the height of the summer heat, usually I prefer them to the more typical fingerless variety. The extra digital coverage gives me better traction on the controls than do sweaty fingers. It also keeps my hands from getting sunburnt and bitten by insects. Finally, long finger gloves protect my hands from getting scratched up when I ride (and then stop to wander about) in the woods.
And while I know I'm not the only one who likes to wear full finger cycling gloves year round, those of us who do are clearly in the minority - as there aren't a great many options on offer that are suitable for the warmer months. The few that are tend to be designed for mountain biking, which means they are usually bulky with padding and abbrasion-resistance features. But what about a plain lightweight roadcycling glove - identical to the fingerless type in every way, except - well, for the fingerless part?
The product I've encountered that comes closest to fitting that description are these Mavic Altium gloves, released a couple of years back. Designed specifically for road cycling, they are wonderfully lightweight. With their lightly padded palms and the tops made entirely out of mesh, these are in fact nearly perfect - save for a lack of that lovely terrycloth nose-wiping feature some of us so enjoy. Unfortunately, this model disappeared from the shelves almost as soon as it appeared, and my attempts to find out from Mavic whether it will return have been unsuccessful. If you are motivated enough though, I am sure you can still find leftover stock. And the closest in Mavic's current offerings seems to be the Stratos glove. While designed for mountain biking and therefore beefier in construction, it has the same hot weather-specific features as did the Altium.
My alternative is the Giro DND glove (stands for "down 'n dirty"). Described as a "simple, durable glove for everyday cycling," the DND (or La DND for the women's-specific design) is more or less exactly that. While not endowed with super-lightweight mesh properties, it is not bulky and provides reasonable ventilation for summer heat and humidity. As you can see, it also comes with a generous terrycloth patch. After a 2+ year run, the Giro DND is still in production and seems to be quite popular, with new colour schemes being added all the time - so its continued availability can probably be relied on. Another possibility from Giro to consider is the more technical Bravo glove (Tessa for women), designed for riding on dirt in warm weather.
On cooler days that aren't cool enough to warrant cold weather accessories, I also like the ShowersPass Crosspoint Liner Gloves. Extremely lightweight, stretchy and moisture-wicking, they are designed with grippy palms, convenient touch-screen fingertips, and another feature I love - elongated wrists, preventing gaps between sleeve (or arm warmer/cooler) and glove. Considering this Oregon-based brand specialises in rain gear, would it be perverse to wish they made a white, meshy, UV-resistant version of these for hot summer days? Then again, given the weather in Portland these days, perhaps a model named HeatWavesPass would not be uncalled for? In the meantime, if you're looking for serious UV protection from a cycling-specific glove, the Endura FS260 Pro-Lite Long Finger Gloves could be an effective option.
Other full finger summer gloves which I have not tried personally, but have heard good things about, include the Race face Khyber Gloves (MTB-specific, but said to be very light), the DHB Lightweight Long Finger Road Gloves, and the Bontrager Evoke Gloves. If you've tried these or others you would recommend, please feel free to share your impressions.