Winter Cycling - Gloves for 25 deg F and up?
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09-20-06, 10:08 AM
Hi- I was wondering if anyone can recommend some cycling gloves for the winters here in North Carolina?
It doesn't get too cold here (25+) but last year I was noticing some problems with my fingers below freezing. I managed the entire winter with my summer riding gloves (half-fingers) underneath a pair of illumilight running gloves (pretty thin but breathable gloves). This worked ok because when my hands got sweaty I could take off the outer layer. But they weren't very good below 35.
The main thing I am looking for besides the warmth is for the gloves to breathe and not be too bulky (I have STI shifters). I usually have more problems with overheating so they don't have to be extremely warm..
Read the "what I wore" (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=153960) thread. Look at the "hands" entries.
In my experience you should be thinking on what you need to wear when it is below 35 degrees. At 35 degrees and above light cycling gloves usually do the trick. Or the combination you were using.
An inexpensive glove that works very well for me is to go to Walmart or Shopko and get some of the nice looking but inexpensive nylon/polyester/fleece gloves that are advertised as being waterproof. You will not feel guilty modifying them as they are only about ten USD. There is a waterproof membrane in them that makes them waterproof but not breathable. These glove are really inexpensive ski glove for kids and adults not really meant for serious recreational duty. The waterproof concept is really bogus as the gloves will only be warm for the first time you wear them. After that, they cannot dry out because they don't breath.
I buy two pairs of gloves. First I buy a glove with a well built windshell. Second, I buy a pair of good form fitting polyester fleece gloves. You might want to buy the windshell gloves one size bigger than you need if you can. This will give you more room for thicker inner gloves if needed. You cut the lining and insulation and everything out of the windshell gloves and only save the shell. Usually the ends of the fingers are sown into the lining so you have to pull hard to break the thread and pull the lining out. Then you have to cut the lining and insulation out around the cuff on the inside to save the shell. Then, you use the shell over either the fleece gloves or your regular cycling gloves.
If the fleece gloves are advertised as being waterproof then they usually have a membrane between the lining and outer material. This also must be removed or the gloves won't work right. Your gloves really need to breath well because your hands sweat quite a lot and this will chill them very fast if not vented. So all water proofing membranes must be removed. The breathable nylon shell is good enough and cuts the wind very well.
This is cheap and works really well. The gloves will get soaked with sweat on hard rides but are easy to dry out by pulling the fleece glove out of the shell and letting them dry.
09-26-06, 09:45 AM
It seems most of what the "what I wore" entries are for REALLY cold conditions that we just don't get here in North Carolina. Like, I said, I could manage with a pair of summer (half finger) gloves and a relatively thin jogging glove. I also have a pair of ski gloves but they are too hot and not very easy to use with STI shifters. What I am asking is whether there are any specific cycling gloves (with some padding and flexible) and that are very breatheable and that can go down to just below freezing-- probably not as cold as most people on the forum are used to. This is probably a late fall glove for most of you..
25 F is pretty cold for the hands. I wear the same glove combo at 25 F as I wear at 0F. I wear a lightweight poly glove with a heavy convertible fleece mitten over the top. Also, i might note that i don't use my gloves with STI shifting. I don't know what type of STI you are talking about, mountain or road?
My road bike hangs in the garage in temps like those. In fact it will probably hang in the garage for the next several months, while i continue to ride my mountain bikes. You will have to make a personal descision about what gloves to wear.
But the general principles will always apply. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Don't wear a mitten or glove that is too tight. Windproof is good as well as water proof in some situations.
I use ski gloves ... if you check around, I'm sure you can find some in various thicknesses and levels of warmth.
09-26-06, 02:42 PM
My wife bought me some windproof/breathable gloves at Kohls for $10. I actually wore them down to -5*F last year without problem. I will probably have her pick up another pair so I can let a pair dry longer after washing.
IMHO ski gloves would be way, way too hot, unless you are prone to poor circulation or something. I bought a pair of neoprene gloves before I knew better, and even in below freezing weather, I can literally pour a significant amount of sweat out of them when I get home. I'm normally not averse to sweat, but...Yuck.
Polar fleece ski gloves are good for the warmer conditions you describe. They are one layer of "fuzzy" material--not waterproof but they'll still keep you warm when damp, and they breathe well. They are flexible enough that you can change a tube while wearing them and light enough to fit in a pocket. About $15 in sporting goods stores.
10-10-06, 12:52 PM
I use a pair of Trek Anatomy Gloves with a light glove liner, works for those temps.
When Michigan enters the 0F months I strap the hand warmers to my bike. My wife made them for me last year and they are AWESOME!! I can ride in below freezing temps with fingerless gloves using these things.
10-11-06, 08:11 AM
leather work gloves. cowhide is pretty darn good, deerskin is okay, elkhide gloves are very nice. Gloves made of goatskin are even Ipod level dextrous.
big, cowhide leather work gloves with padded cycling gloves and/or liners underneath, or a form fitting set of driving/shooting gloves made of goatskin is what i'd recommend. Filson outdoor clothing company makes good gloves.
using a big set of leather work gloves gives you a modular system to layer under.
I saw a pair of gloves for bow hunting at Gander Mountain yesterday--water-repellant fleece, thin, very stretchy and dextrous, velcro wrist closure, $10. I might go back and get these for warmer days.
I wound up with heavier fleece "winter running" gloves--heavy fleece, stretchy and fairly dextrous, 3 layer construction. My hands didn't sweat at 50 deg F so they are pretty breathable. $15 marked down from $30.
I just bought a pair of Seirus (http://www.seirus.com/) All-Weather Gloves, and they've been great so far. They are pretty warm, but not excessive. They are nice and thin, so I've still got lots of dexterity. Best of all, they're water resistant. Water beads up and rolls off. I can hold my hand under a running tap, and the water glides off as if it were falling on glass.
I still have to try them in sub-freezing temps, but I think they'll be good down to -10C at least. Now all I have to do is find a jacket that performs at a similar level to my gloves (and no, Seirus doesn't make jackets...)
10-11-06, 08:03 PM
There are different manufacturers but the lobster style glove is great for riding at around 30 degrees. The design makes braking easy and your hand position on the hoods is still good.
Update: I used my Seirus gloves in 5 C weather this morning, and they worked pretty well. They effectively repelled wind and drizzle, but my hands were cool for the first 10 minutes. After that, they warmed up nicely.
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