Touch screen compatible mountain bike gloves?
I offer this blog post and opinion regarding touch screen compatible mountain bike gloves as a glove designer after thoroughly testing lots of different "touch screen compatible" materials, both on the bike and in my design studio.
I tested my own prototypes which used the best touch silicone and touch leather. I also purchased the gloves of other manufacturers that use their various advances in materials, which also included conductive thread.
None work as advertised and certainly they all worked far worse than that miracle of evolution, human skin. I wanted so badly and worked so hard at trying to make touch-screen-compatible work, but I just could not get past the reality that taking your gloves off works so much better than any material on the finger tips of your gloves. Only under one circumstance was it actually advantageous: when I was riding on stable, smooth pavement and my phone rang. I wanted to simply see who was calling AND answer it right away without stopping and getting off my bike. That required me to pull the phone out of my jersey's rear pocket, swipe the screen-lock on my iPhone and press answer.
As for typing anything for a text message or an email or general manipulation of the screen, taking my gloves off worked just so much better. I simply do not understand why someone would handicap themselves so badly when using their phone.
Another issue that is never talked about in regards to touch screen compatible effectiveness is how the touch screen material and end-of-finger design construction on your index finger and thumb compromise the fit and dexterity of your gloves -the primary purpose of mountain bike gloves-.
Alas, my company has discovered a new material that works great on smart phone screens AND provides uncompromised grip and dexterity. The only issue for now is it's durability. We are testing it this summer and we'll let you know. But, being totally honest, it still will not work anywhere near as good as taking your gloves off. To that end, I increased the width of the opening of our gloves to make them as easy as possible to take off.
But, there is one miracle glove design for touch screen compatibility: