Having come off my bike both with and without gloves, I can tell you that it is defiantly better to land on a padded glove than to scrape your hand along the bitumen with your full body weight on it. I have also found gloves help absorb some of the shock during long rides. That said I have ridden thousands of kms before I started wearing gloves, other than for warmth in winter, and so they are not essential. Apart from comfort, it comes down to risk and the type of riding you are doing. If the distances and type of riding mean the risk of coming off is relatively low, gloves are probably not needed, but if you are doing many kms on a road bike, chances are if you don't have gloves on, sooner or later you will lose some skin.
Damn....this conservation made me want to buy a pair of glove. =_=;
First time you come off at any sort of speed ie, mobile, you'll appreciate wearing gloves - that appreciation will come either from fhe gravel rash on your palms or the rips and tears on your gloves. We even wear them playing bike polo and the speeds there are quite comparable with your averagle plodder wandering off down to the library.
For the record, my polo gloves have rips and tears, my last set of road gloves had the leather padding on the palms torn to shreds after one bingle and the gloves I was wearing during my only m/c crash (off a trail bike, not the big sportster as it happens), saw the metal studs all over the palms scrubbed down.
I figure that if I crash my bike, there is a good chance the palms of my hands will be the first bit to hit the ground - A bike crash can lead to enough pain without tearing up my hands so personally I never ride without leather palmed gloves...
There should be a law! ;) JK, JK...
I had both hands like this at one stage.......with all fingers looking like finger nuber two in the pic above.
Ok if youre a chimp and can hold a teacup with your feet...
I recently competed in a mini triathlon and a Marshal at the change over asked me why I was putting my gloves on for the bike leg when it's only 9km? I said "if you've ever come off a bike you'd know why!"
Glen, I was unaware of custom laced wheels (3 forward three back for the front and crows foot for the rear). Any reason for this? Any advantages?
The 3 forward 3 back is mainly cause it looks more interesting. I've not had any problems with this pattern in the 12 months I have been commuting with it along the linear park and I'm not gentle on my bike.
According to what I read the crows foot pattern was really common in the 40's and 50's. Its use declined when machine lacing of wheels started to be used in factories and the 3X pattern is easier to machine lace. It is supposed to be as strong as 3X but a bit stiffer as 1/3 of the spokes are radial. Again I use it because I think its a nicer looking pattern.
I laced a rear wheel with crows foot on the drive side and 2X on the off side and used it for the last 12 months and its gone alright but I'm about to replace it with a full crows foot pattern using double butted spokes and that wheel should be almost indestructable.