BG gel here also. Great for hood and drop pressure areas, keeps the bar tape clean and has a soft ‘wipe’ zone for those with runny nose
However, right off the rack I find the gloves to be a bit “tight” between thumb and first finger due to the knitting of the gel pattern. I wear an XL which is appropriate but that initial fit is a bit annoying on a long ride in that particular space on my hand [think of the tugging pressure cold long sleeve gear has where thumb holes anchor the sleeve]. But after a cold wash in a fish net bag and hang dry only the problem area relaxes for me.
I've got Pearl Izumi and Ekoi. The Pearls are great, no complaints, very durable. The Ekois are fine, but the right one has a weird seam that chafes the knuckles of my right hand, so no good for long rides. It's a pretty serious design flaw.
Pearl Izumi Gel-Vent: These have a synthetic leather palm with open netting that holds 3 gel pads, and the top is a breathable fabric. I have the half-finger ones and they are holding up well except for the reflective accents which are just glued/screened on and peeling off. The thumb area is not terry cloth which makes for rough fabric wiping your nose or face. Velcro closure on the bottom under the palm. The vented netting over the pads are supposed to make these cooler, but I can't tell the difference versus other gloves.
Castelli Rosso Corsa: Super airy fabric over the entire glove with patches of synthetic (I think) leather covering the 2 gel pads in the palm. Reflective fabric is sewn into the back of the glove, good terry cloth thumb area. The palm is a combo of the featherweight fabric and leather, and I have developed a small hole in the fabric between the leather covering the padding in one glove, probably from crashing on it. No velcro, just slip-on fit. Probably my fave for a lightweight summer glove.
Giordana team gloves: A very simple half-finger glove. Top is a spandex-like material (no reflectivity) and the thumb and palm are terry cloth with some minimal padding in a swatch across the middle of the palm covered with a gripper dotted fabric. Velcro closure at the bottom of the backside. I didn't like these at first partially because of the lack of prominent padding, but over time I've grown to like them. The terrycloth palms can tend to hold a little moisture though.
Giro Monaco: Breathable Pittards leather on the palm plus a breathable fabric on the back made the long-finger version of the Monaco ridable on a 90+ degree day. The thumb area has some kinda brushed soft leather instead of terrycloth, but it is very soft so no problems so far though I'm not sure how much moisture this material absorbs. The padding is unobtrusive, slightly different pattern from the other gloves, but I think I prefer these as they pad the heel of your palm, the meaty part under your thumb, and the pads on your hands just below your fingers. The super-soft and breathable Pittards leather on the palm is much superior to any of the synthetic leathers on my other gloves. Velcro attachment on the back. No reflectivity is a downside. The Giro Zero looks like the same glove without any padding if you prefer no padding.
Knog Goatskin "Ride Hard": Full finger glove made of goatskin with no padding, just a very teeny pad of fabric material in the palm to soak up a little flopsweat. Some people say they run a size small, but I wear these in medium just like the other ones above -- I probably have longish but skinny fingers relative to most people. Velcro closure strap that goes once around the wrist fully keeps these snug. I have the full finger ones and rode them on a hot day (85 degrees) and they were surprisingly fine. The red dye will tend to bleed a bit from the gloves. These saved my hands in a fall. I like these so much I just ordered another pair in black. I tend to have cold hands, so maybe that's why I can wear these in the warm weather -- if you get really sweaty and hot hands, they may not work for you.
If you can ride with none-to-minimal padding, you could even get away with an inexpensive choice like some work gloves or fitness/weightlifting gloves from "X-Mart". They'll still protect your hands in the event of a crash/fall.
I would like to try the Rapha Grand Tour and/or the Giro Lusso/LX all-leather gloves, but I think I've way exceeded my glove budget for the forseeable future...
These are my favorites. http://www.spencocycling.com/ I ride 5-6000 mi/yr and I'm on my 2nd season with one pair. The last time I tried something else I bought Pearl Izumis. They fell apart inside of a month. I returned them to the store thinking maybe it was just one faulty pair. NOPE! The second pair did the same thing. the PIs weren't as comfy anyway.
If you like the Pearl Izumi Gel Vents, go for the Gel Vent Pro's... the Pro version has a micro-fiber thumb for wiping your nose, and the tops don't have an open dot pattern that will leave weird tan marks...
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