Tips for Riding with Long Nails
As an avid female motorcyclist, I’ve experimented with riding with both long and short nails. Long nails may seem impractical for operating a motorcycle, but with the right precautions, they can be managed. Here are my top tips for safely riding with lengthy talons:
I prefer to keep my nails on the longer side for style reasons. However, extremely long nails are probably not the best idea for biking. I aim for a length that extends just past the tips of my fingers – long enough to show off a nice manicure but not so long that they obstruct gripping or operating the controls.
The key is protecting the nails from damage. I wear heavy leather motorcycle gloves that fully encase my fingernails when riding. Look for gloves with padded knuckles and fingers, reinforced palm, and wrist closure to shelter the nails from wind and debris.
Even with glove protection. I apply a thick layer of strengthening nail polish or acrylics before longer rides to reinforce my nails. I also keep my nails filed in a rounded squoval shape, avoiding sharp corners or points that are prone to cracks and breaks.
Despite precautions, inevitably a long nail may chip or snap off while riding. I carry a small nail file and clippers in my motorcycle bag for minor repairs on the go. For more significant breaks, I reshape the nail and re-apply polish or acrylic once I’m off the bike.
While riding, I take extra care shifting gears and operating the clutch lever to avoid excessive pressure on the nail tips. Adjusting the clutch and brake levers closer to the hand grips can make this easier. I also pay attention to keep my grip and pressure on the handlebars relatively light to avoid sticking a nail into the spokes – ouch!
With vigilance and adapting my techniques, I’ve found long nails and motorcycle riding can safely coexist with minimal hassle. Don’t sacrifice your preferred nail length – just take a few extra precautions and you can confidently ride in style!
Riding with Short Nails
In contrast to lengthy nails, riding with short nails poses fewer risks and limitations. Here are my experiences and tips riding with trimmed nails:
Occasionally I’ll clip my nails down to a short length for convenience or to give my nails a break. Despite liking long nails for appearance, short nails do have advantages for motorcycling.
Shorter nails are less likely to break while riding and don’t require as much maintenance. I don’t have to worry about choosing specialized gloves or protecting the nail tips. Broken or damaged nails are rarely an issue.
Short nails allow for better dexterity and sensitivity when operating the bike’s controls. I find it easier to precisely shift gears, pull in the clutch, and modulate the brakes without excess nail length getting in the way. My grip and leverage on the handlebars also improves.
To safely trim nails short for riding, I keep them neatly filed square across at the fingertip. Very short nails with ragged edges can potentially catch on gear and fabric. I use a fine nail file to gently smooth the edges.
With trimmed nails, I don’t have to alter my riding techniques much. The lack of length simply allows me to operate the bike as intended without impediment. Of course, keep the nails short but not so short as to create discomfort or sensitivity.
While I’ll never give up my lengthy nails entirely, occasionally sporting short nails for riding provides a nice change. Trimming down the length makes motorcycle operation easier and eliminates breakage issues. For female riders debating nail length, short nails are usually the most pragmatic choice for safety and functionality. But with some adaptations, you can confidently ride in your own style – long or short!