If you don't want your skin to fall off your hands, then wearing workshop gloves while fettling with your bike is a good idea. And these Black Mamba Nitrile gloves are the best I've tried.
Black Mamba's gloves have two meaningful benefits over most of the other workshop gloves I've used. The first is that they're extremely hardy. The patented Nitrex polymer they're made from makes them extremely stretchy (as shown in this video) and that, coupled with the fact that they're pretty thick as disposable gloves go, means you can go after tasks like scrubbing down your cassette without worrying too much about the gloves falling to bits when they catch on the sprockets.
The other major benefit is that they have a textured surface, which makes grabbing things and making fine adjustments a lot easier. There are very few jobs that you'd need to do on your bike that you can't easily do while wearing these gloves, and knowing you won't have to take them off for fiddly tasks makes you more likely to don them in the first place.
We have the XL gloves here, which are fine for my spade-like hands, except for the fact that the fingers are a touch short. Because they're stretchy it's not really a problem, but it seems the gloves get wider more quickly than they get longer as you go up the sizes. Probably best to buy a bag of eight gloves before you commit to a big box, to make sure you get the right size.
I'm used to putting some disposable gloves on and then throwing them away at the end of a bike-tweaking session. With these Black Mamba gloves you can give them a wipe and leave them on the side for next time, and they'll last a good few workouts before they finally succumb.
They're not left-right specific, so when one rips you can just grab another from the box. Given that you can get 100 gloves for £17 including postage, 34p a pair seems like excellent value for keeping your skin away from the various aggressive compounds associated with bike maintenance.
Excellent workshop gloves that are hardy and easy to work in
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Black Mamba Nitrile Workshop Gloves
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Black Mamba says: "Black Mamba Gloves are designed and manufactured for industrial applications where standard disposable gloves are unable to provide the resilience and performance demanded by the toughest of jobs. Black Mamba gloves work as hard as you do.
"Your hands are your business's most valuable assets; ensure that you protect them using the industry's leading disposable glove that offers three times the puncture resistance and superior chemical resistance over Latex and Vinyl disposable gloves.
"Black Mamba's Grip Rite textured surface has a secure and tactile grip whilst providing sensitivity for delicate, precise tasks.
"Black Mamba's unique compound and manufacturing process means that they are the leading disposable nitrile gloves on the market."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Manufactured from Black Mamba's patented Nitrex® formulation
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well: excellent hard wearing workshop gloves.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Durable, easy to work in.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fingers a bit short in XL.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.