April 20, 2010

Nitrile Gloves - A Cycling Toolkit Necessity

About a dozen years ago, I was given a truckload of boxes of latex gloves by someone going out of the latex glove business. The gloves were very handy for many years and I gave many boxes away as I had more than I could use. I still have several boxes and they are starting to get a little bit of mold on them. More importantly, I have developed an allergy to them - itchy hands and eyes when I use them. I thought this might be the mold, but I got the same reaction at work from a fresh box of brand spanking new gloves. So no more latex gloves.

I know latex isn't the best when you are around grease and oil, but it's better than the way they used to work on bikes - no gloves at all. Check out Ole Ritter's mechanic (about 1:20 in). He didn't have options, you do. Now I am sold on gloves as I am sure the various petrochemicals are not great for you. I recently bought a box of nitrile gloves made by Park Tools - or at least branded by them. I really like these gloves:
  • They are way tougher than latex, 
  • I find I can reuse them a few times,
  • They are more resistant to solvents, oils and greases.
  • No powder,
  • No latex,
  • No allergy.
They are less than $25 for 100 pairs. Use them and be healthy.

August 27, 2011 update: Truth be told, I like the Canadian Tire version better. They are noticeably more durable which works great for cheap types like me. And easier to get (if you live anywhere in Canada). I'm sure equivalent versions exist for mechanics in other places as well.

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