Which Materials Should You Use When Building Cycling Gloves?

AX® Materials has you covered when it comes to utilizing the best glove materials for cycling. 

Gloves can play a vital role in a rider’s cycling experience. In terms of safety, choosing the best materials for cycling gloves can decide the difference between a significant injury and a flawless ride. Tailoring suitable glove materials to fit cyclists’ needs will significantly enhance their outings. So whether a cyclist’s adventures take them for a leisurely ride on a sunny summer afternoon or to the rigors of a race, AX® Materials has got it covered when it comes to utilizing the best glove materials for cycling. 

What to Look For in Cycling Glove Material

Whether long, smooth stretches or undulating hills, cyclists can rack up many miles on a ride. The demands of sustained cycling focus on lower body strength, so cyclists need to keep their upper body gear light and breathable. When building cycling gloves, it’s essential to consider the attributes cyclists most value in their performance and the technology used in their construction.

4 Essential Qualities of All Good Cycling Gloves

Fiber Construction:

At the core of a good textile is the fiber. It’s the structure on which all other elements are based. The AX® Materials range consists of knit polyester suede and synthetic leather materials engineered specifically for high-performance glove applications. We use polyester, which is the workhorse of fibers, as a knit base, allowing us to consistently make thin, strong, and comfortable glove materials that feature excellent abrasion resistance and color capabilities.


How durable does the glove need to be? Can a glove be light and still withstand abrasion? AX® Materials outperform the competition in durability. By using specialty high-density yarns and combining them with synthetic fibers in a custom knitting process, the result is a powerhouse of strength, softness, and dexterity. 


On a long ride, as sweat accumulates, hands become uncomfortable and less responsive to bike control. Having the ability to wick away sweat is important. AX® Materials utilizes a fiber coating technology known as InstaChill™. When activated, InstaChill™ promptly wicks away sweat and converts the moisture into a cooling effect. Cyclists can enjoy up to a 3-degree drop in temperature just by wearing it for two minutes. This one-of-a-kind treatment can be applied to any AX® Bolt material.

Grip and Flexibility:

A cycling glove that can maintain a solid grip while supple enough to flex easily is paramount to a good ride’s stability. The better a glove can maintain its grasp, the less work is required to keep hands in position. A flexible glove is a comfortable glove! AX® Materials utilizes polyurethane and silicone chemistries in various coating and embossing processes to provide cycling gloves with a superior grip. 

shiny grey material with a silicon overlay in honeycomb shapes.
Grip Technology

Which Synthetic Material is The Best Fit For Your Cycling Glove?

Regardless of which features are chosen to build cycling gloves, you’ll want to pick synthetic materials that enhance each attribute you wish to support. Whether it’s flexibility, durability, breathability, grip-ability, superior protection, or something else, you should consider synthetic materials of the highest standard and quality. Ultimately, they will provide the best fit for a cyclist’s needs.

AX® Materials offers best-in-class synthetic materials for your cycling gloves. When it comes to cycling, brands turn to AX® Materials for ultra-breathable, strong, and comfortable materials. Our materials with sweat-wicking properties help keep hands dry, and adding an emboss treatment or InstaChill™ technology can help with grip and keep cyclists cool in hot weather.

Embossing is one of the processes we use to add texture and dimension to the AX® Materials range to increase performance. We have two types of embossing for AX® Materials: dry embossing and wet embossing. The dry embossing process uses a large roller heated to 200°C. Then, as it rolls over the material, the heat and pressure imprint a texture on the surface that becomes permanent as the material cools. The other type of embossing we offer is wet embossing.

Wet embossing is like the previous process except, as the name implies, the material still has a wet PU coating during the process. Embossing the material while wet produces a deeper texture and captures air bubbles underneath the surface material. This creates a tacky grip on the glove’s surface, making it a perfect solution for when an added grip is needed. So, when you need to add extra performance qualities to your glove (with the added bonus of its cool-looking texture), embossed AX® Materials can fit your needs.

What Materials are Typically Used for Cycling Gloves?

Some traditional materials used for cycling gloves include synthetic materials such as polyester, polyurethane, mesh, and nylon. Natural leather is also commonly used. AX® Materials provides suitable natural leather alternatives. Each material has a different function but provides benefits for cyclists that outweigh their dependence on natural leather.

  • Polyester: Most polyester knits are made with continuous filament fibers resulting in a softer and more robust material that will not shed surface fibers with excessive rubbing and wear. Some notable benefits include high dexterity, soft and pliable features, improved fit, no pilling/shedding, high abrasion, and stretch. Polyester can be made in a variety of colors.
  • Polyurethane: Both polyester and nylon bases can be coated with Polyurethane to provide a ‘grain’ surface as well as increased durability and protection from the elements. Material suppliers may customize coatings to achieve desired aesthetics or performance with other surface processes like foil patterns and printing. 
  • Mesh: Offers good airflow. The AX® Bolt series knits our revolutionary fiber technology into a variety of air mesh constructions and technical materials for next-level functionality. These textiles combine our knit polyester with air-mesh constructions and other performance treatments for back-of-hand comfort, cooling, and protection.
  • Nylon: Nylon synthetic materials are often non-woven construction, using short stable fibers. Some of these benefits include strong tear properties, low and even elongation, and limited stretch suitable for more intense handlebar gloves like motocross. Nylon has a similar softness and density to natural leather.
  • Natural leather: For the glove market, natural leather is typically made from cows, pigs, or goats. While it offers some ideal qualities for gloves, such as durability and heat resistance, the inconsistency of leather is a severe challenge for most glove brands. One animal hide may have very different performance qualities than the hide next to it. Natural leather also puts a significant strain on the environment. The tanning process alone requires vast amounts of chemicals and water.

AX® Materials offers best-in-class synthetic glove materials that are also environmentally sustainable. They offer numerous applications, and that includes cycling for any season.

folded grey material with a silicon overlay dot pattern.
AX® Suede Cinco RPET + Dot Silicon Print

AX® Recycled

The first recycled synthetic palm materials continue to offer the highest quality of dexterity, durability, and high resistance to abrasion. AX® Recycled materials come in a vast array of thicknesses, embossing, colors, and touchscreen capabilities. And just as important, they continue the AX® tradition of contributing to a cleaner and safer environment.

*All materials that include “RPET” in their title are part of our AX® Recycled range. 

AX® Suede

Marrying the perfect blend of strength and softness, our AX® Suede materials offer excellent breathability and durability.

*Applications: Core palm, high dexterity, improved grip, etc.

AX® Grain

These synthetic materials make a superb addition to cycling gloves by recreating natural leather’s natural look, texture, and durability while providing superior breathability, lightweight protection, and dexterity.

*Applications: Improved grip, leather replacement, high dexterity, etc.

AX® Connect

If you’re looking for a synthetic material that has the look and feel of AX® Suede or AX® Grain while offering a wide range of touchscreen capabilities, then AX® Connect is for you. From full palm to finger-tip and thumb applications, screen interaction just got a lot more user-friendly.

*Applications: Touchscreen compatibility, full palm or fingertip only.

AX® Bolt Textile

Knit polyester with air-mesh technology that’s enhanced with other performance capabilities to keep you cool, comfortable, and protected. 

*Applications: Back of hand, gussets, etc.

AX® Bolt 3000PSM + InstaChill

Here are some of our team’s top-notch choices for cycling materials:

AX® Suede G-Series TW Grid:

To accomplish grip and dexterity in wet and cold riding conditions, AX® G-Series TW Grid can be used on the palm. G-Series TW is a rubberized, coated version of AX® Suede that’s designed to repel water, gaining traction similar to a gecko grip regardless of the conditions. It’s ideal for gloves requiring high grip function.

AX® Suede Cinco RPET + Dot Silicon:

AX® Suede Cinco RPET + Dot Silicon has four-way stretch, superior sweat management, and high breathability/dexterity. The material includes a 36% recycled polyester base and added silicon print for improved grip. Our grip overlays provide extremely high abrasion and tear properties for uncompromising performance and control. 

AX® Suede Diez RPET:

AX® Suede Diez RPET is an ultra-soft suede and a favorite among cycling brands as a palm material. Diez RPET is durable, lightweight, and breathable, yet able to withstand tough conditions. Made with 54% recycled content, this material is the ultimate option for cycling and outdoor brands looking to increase sustainability in their supply chain without compromising on performance.  

AX® Laredo RPET:

AX® Laredo RPET is a recycled knit polyester with a grain finish. Laredo easily meets the challenge of providing lightweight and durable benefits for bike gloves with superior abrasion resistance. Combined with relentless grip potential, it’s the perfect palm choice for fearless cyclists.

Eco-Tuff RPET Connect + Emboss 

Eco-Tuff RPET has our highest range of conductivity in the AX® Materials range. Engineered with 60% recycled content and multiple emboss options to fit your needs. 

AX® Bolt K290 RPET + InstaChill™

AX® Bolt K290 RPET + Instachill offers a lightweight single-layer mesh created for comfort, cooling, and protection. Made from 100% recycled yarns, this material is an excellent option for fourchettes, gussets, flex zones, and back-of-hand applications. With our added InstaChill™ technology, it wicks away sweat while converting moisture into a cooling effect. Cyclists can enjoy up to a 3-degree drop in temperature just by wearing it for two minutes. This unique treatment can be applied to any AX® Materials textile.

GripGrab Windster 2 Windproof Winter Gloves

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one of our cycling brand partners has to say:

“We’ve been using AX® Suede materials for our high-end gloves, and we’ve been consistently impressed with their durability, functionality, and comfort. Our customers are praising the quality of our gloves, and we believe that the superior materials provided by AX® play an important role.” –Kristian Krøyer, Chief Product Officer, GripGrab 

AX® Materials is trusted by over 200 brand partners to offer the highest quality of performance materials on the market. To request a sample or learn more about how AX® Materials can enhance your products, reach out to our team of experts today!

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