How Should A Pair of Motorbike Gloves Fit?

The Ultimate Guide to Making Sure Your Motorbike Gloves Fit Just Right: How Should Motorcycle Gloves Fit?

Looking for a pair of motorbike gloves but don't know how they should fit? Whether you're new to biking or just want to get it spot on this time around, following the tips in this guide to motorcycle glove fitting will make sure your next pair of gloves fit like... a glove!

Have you ever had a pair of motorcycle gloves that just didn’t fit right? It can be frustrating, especially if you are riding your bike and the gloves prevent you from feeling the controls properly. That’s why we have this blog post: to help solve all your fitting problems for motorcycle gloves.

In this article, we won't discuss what size glove should fit a particular hand or how to measure yourself for a perfect fit, because our other post here tells you how to choose the right size glove. This post is about making sure the gloves you buy are the right shape and style for your hands.

Why your motorbike gloves need to fit correctly

It's important to wear motorcycle gloves that fit correctly for several reasons. One is safety, and the other is comfort. A pair that fits you well will prevent hand tiredness as well as injury in the event of a crash.

Safety on the bike

A well-fitting motorcycle glove will help you maintain a good grip on the handlebars. This is especially important in wet or cold weather conditions when your hands might otherwise slip off the bars.

Once you've found a pair of gloves that fit well, double-check that there's no excess material that could get caught on anything while you're riding, so they won't snag or come off your hands. Proper placement of armour is also vital, and can only be achieved by a well-fitting glove.

Comfort on your ride

A motorcycle glove that fits you well will protect your hands from wind and weather exposure while you're riding. Obviously, this adds to your comfort and means you aren't distracted by cold or wet hands on the road. In general, comfortable motorcycle gloves will help reduce fatigue so you can keep riding longer without taking a break.

Should motorbike gloves fit tightly?

Motorcycle gloves should fit snugly, but not so tight that they restrict circulation. They should fit fairly tightly to allow for a good grip on the handlebars so you have optimum control over the bike. They should also allow you to move your fingers freely, so you have as much dexterity as possible.

What too tight means for you

If they're too tight, they can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to move your fingers. Be careful with leather gloves in this regard, as they should start off a little tight but will mould to the shape of your hands.

Too tight can be too short in the fingers and thumb, or restrictive across the knuckles, both of which can lead to pins and needles, lack of circulation, and numbness.

What too loose means for you

If the gloves are too loose, they can interfere with your grip on the handlebars. Having excess material at the ends of your fingers, around your palms, or around your wrists can get in the way when you're trying to ride. Especially with shorter cuff gloves, having a loose fit can mean the gloves will come off in the event of a crash.

Motorbike gloves fit fingers differently: The range of too long and too short

The rule of thumb when it comes to finger length in a motorcycle glove is that your fingers should never be touching the end of the glove.

Your middle finger is what matters the most

Practically, the only length question you need to ask yourself is about your middle finger. To get the right fit allow 3-5mm of extra space at the end of your middle fingertip and that should mean your fingers won't push against the ends of the glove fingers. A glove that doesn't provide enough space for your finger length will lead to numbness, which is both uncomfortable and unsafe when riding.

Some bikes' design means your thumb is also important

Your second priority when it comes to finger length is the thumb. Some motorcycle brands have indicator switches that mean this factor is even more important, so check what your bike requires of your gloves in terms of thumb dexterity before you buy. On the whole, a thumb that is a little too long is not a deal breaker, and it's better to go for a thumb length that's too long than too short.

How to really test out motorbike glove fit to make the best choice

When you're trying on motorcycle gloves, open up the cuff all the way, slide your hand in all the way, adjust the cuff, and push the material between your thumb and fingers up against your skin. If it doesn't reach, the glove is too tight.

Make sure you can close your fingers around the grip of the handlebars on your bike. In store, we have handlebars for you to try out gloves on, to ensure you choose the pair that feels right in practice instead of just looking good! You should also be able to make a fist without the glove feeling too tight, but this is less important, as you won't be needing to make a fist while riding.

Just like a pair of boots or a helmet, we advise you keep a pair of gloves on for a few minutes. If they're leather they can warm up a little to your hands. Also, no matter what material they are you should always move your hands around in the way you would on the bike to make sure that all the movements you need to make on the road will be comfortable. So really move your hands and fingers around before deciding a pair fits well.

How should motorbike gloves fit at the cuff?

The cuff should fit so that you retain as much range of motion as possible, just like in the finger joints and knuckles. It's important that the cuff doesn't restrict blood flow to your hands, but that it is secure enough to keep the glove on if you crash. So really flex your hand around when trying out a pair so you can judge whether the cuff is too tight or loose.

Should I wear my glove cuffs inside or outside my jacket cuffs?

If you're wearing a short-cuffed glove, make sure the cuff is inside your jacket sleeve so it doesn't get caught on anything. If you're wearing a long-cuffed glove, you can wear it either inside or outside your jacket sleeve. Just make sure the cuff is secure so it doesn't come off while you're riding.

In general, it's best to err on the side of caution and keep your glove cuffs inside your jacket sleeves. This will help protect them from getting caught on anything and also keep them clean and dry.

What is the right way to wear glove cuffs when it rains?

When you're riding in inclement weather, your glove cuffs should be inside your jacket sleeves. This stops rainwater draining off your jacket into the open cuff of your glove. Think of it this way: waterproof gloves are waterproof in both directions. If water gets inside they fill up like a bucket!

Different brands of motorbike gloves fit differently

Different brands have a different 'pattern' when it comes to the design of their gloves. For example, Held in general has a shorter finger length compared to Rev'It! (although Held does make gloves in short and long size variations). This is generally to do with the country of origin and manufacturing. A US or UK glove will generally be wider across the palm and have shorter fingers than a European glove, which will be narrower with longer fingers. A US-made glove might also be larger in general than a UK-made glove.

So while you're thinking about the size and style of your new pair of motorcycle gloves, bear in mind that some brands will suit your hands better than others. Sometimes the ones that you think look amazing just don't fit right.

Motorcycle gloves materials: Leather vs. textile motorbike glove fit

Leather gloves are forgiving and change with heat

Leather gloves will shrink in cold weather, and stretch in heat. So, their fit will vary from season to season. They also take a while to break in. What this means to you is that when you first try on a pair, keep in mind that the gloves might feel a little too tight or stiff, and that will ease after riding in them a few times. Over time they will mould to the shape of your hands, which makes for the ultimate comfort in a glove.

Textile gloves are not forgiving

In other words, a pair of textile motorcycle gloves will never change shape. They will fit exactly the same way as when you bought them for their whole lifetime (although the material will soften a little). For a beginner rider this can influence what material glove they buy, as a textile glove is easier to get right first time around. But beware an ill-fitting textile glove: there is nothing you can do to change the fit if you don't get it right!

Women's fit gloves

In general, women's hands tend to be narrower than men's, with longer fingers. Most brands will have a specific women's range of gloves to ensure that every rider can find the right fit for them.

Even if you aren't a woman but have more slender hands, you might want to give a ladies fit glove a try. Take a look at a range of brands to find the right fit for you before you commit.

What to do next: The top things to consider when fitting motorbike gloves

  • Make sure you have full range of movement
  • Try on different brands to find the right one for your hand shape
  • Decide whether you want leather or textile gloves
  • Make sure the gloves aren't too tight or too loose
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