Excellent workshop gloves that are hardy and easy to work in

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.

> Buy these online here

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.

> For more workshop kit and equipment, lubes and more, check out our reviews here

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

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

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

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

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 and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.


hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

I buy commercially available nitrile gloves for our workshop at £4.80 for box of 100

seem to work just fine...

DavidC [164 posts] 3 years ago

It's hard to know how dirty black nitrile gloves are, and I find this can lead to a mess inadvertently being transfered around. Typical blue or purple ones are my preference.

Gkam84 [9123 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

The only time I find myself wearing gloves anymore is when working with Dot fluid.

They aren't worth bothing with if you have a decent handwash.

Gkam84 [9123 posts] 3 years ago

The only time I find myself wearing gloves anymore is when working with Dot fluid.

They aren't worth bothing with if you have a decent handwash.

LarryDavidJr [392 posts] 3 years ago

I did get some of these to try a while back, as grease and soap from washing triggers off eczma on my hands if it happens too often.  So I put a pair on the first time I had to do some lengthy maintenance but, unfortunatley, because the gloves don't breathe, I found my hands getting incredibly sweaty very quickly, and of course it didn't evaporate, and this triggered off the eczma almost immediatley (it might have been a reaction to the gloves themselves I suppose, but I don't have problems with other gloves like washing up gloves).

I still keep a pair in the pack to put on if I have to change a tube or something, they're ok in short stints.  For longer jobs I'm thinking something like the park mechanics glove might be a better investment:


hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 3 years ago


if you work as a commerical service mechanic your hands are regularly exposed to road dirt, oils and greases.

it really doesn't take too long to develop contact dermatisis, which is irreversible and can only be controlled using steroid creams as well as preventing contact with any irritants in the future.

skin conditions are also often exacebbated by regular exposure to soap whilst hand washing, which for a busy mechanic could be dozens of times a day

in the many workshops I have managed, I have insisted that all mechanics wear nitrile gloves whilst doing anything remotely dirty - probably the only time we don't wear gloves  is when building bikes from boxes as there is minimal contact with any contaminants


the way I have always looked at this, is its not worth ruining your hands over someone else's dirty bike! 

Redvee [421 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

I've bought cheap nitrile gloves in the past and found them to rip/tear far too easy. I now only buy GL8902 gloves. These are a little more expensive per box, around £6 but I've not ripped one yet and not found them too sweaty when wearing them for long periods either.

alexb [197 posts] 3 years ago

I use nitrile gloves at work. They're really designed to keep you and chemicals safely separated. They're not designed for any demanding physical tasks and you will find that oil and dirt will penetrate the glove and get onto your skin.

Even very tough nitrile gloves are relatively easily torn.

If you want a great pair of cheap, washable and reusable gloves for tough tasks which also isolate you from dirt and grease, then these are excellent: http://www.screwfix.com/p/keep-safe-pu-palm-gloves-black-large/8612f

Similar gloves can be found in Wilcos as well.

I carry a pair on the bike all the time now since if I have a puncture, these allow me to change the tube and keep oil off my hands and my "best" gloves.