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Thread: Freezing hands

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    Freezing hands

    Hi, I am riding throughout the winter and my only issue so far is keeping my hands warm. I was thinking of switching to mittens. I ride a fixie ,don't need to shift, so mittens would work fine instead of gloves. Any suggestions as to what kind to get that works would be great from anyone, or anyone else who has had trouble keeping their hands warm.

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    Tawp Dawg GriddleCakes's Avatar
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    If you don't need dexterity, then mittens are the way to go. I've been wearing these, between 20F and -10F, and then with thin liner gloves down to -20F. They allow you to use your fingers if you need to work on the bike, but they are overly warm above 20F, however you can flip back the mitten part do dump heat. Also, my cold tolerance is set pretty high (half of my working life has been spent outside in the Arctic, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean in the winter [seismic oil exploration], and outdoors high in the Sierras in the winter [ski patrol]), so what is overly warm for me is probably nice and cozy for most peeps.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    How about some of these inexpensive pogies. They keep your hands and wrists out of the airflow, not to mention snow or rain. Very simple to install and remove, too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kwik-Tek-Scoot...3262202&sr=1-2


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    Agree with GriddleCakes. I worked outside on a forklift in subzero temps for three winters until I hit on the combination of those mittens and a set of wool inserts. Thinsulate Ultra is the warmest and you should be able to find both the mitens and gloves at your Fleet Farm store (or local equivilant.)

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    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have mittens designed for snowmobiling, wind and waterproof, they work well in my world
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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Windproof will get you there. Thick mittens that let wind squeeze through will chill your hands normally, and if your hands perspire like mine do after enough physical exertion, the wind will make them feel like frozen hell.

    My hands are pretty good down to a lot colder than I'd expect with gloves that are hardly insulated but good at blocking wind. My snowboard gloves are too warm, ironically (at least at temps above 20F or so).

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    I use Olympic brand Goretex gauntlet gloves designed for cold weather motorcycling. I got one size over mine and use synthetic liners. They have allowed me to commute in sub zero conditions with a fierce headwind. That, in the state of Misery with quite a healthy humidity level. I am always comfortable and still have some dexterity. On arrival at work I can take the gauntlets off to unlock and chain my bike to the stands. I think the gauntlet gloves were about $30.00. Search J&P cycles and other retailers to see what is available. I hope you find the right combination. I find after two hand surgeries and some age my hands are sensitive to the cold but Missouri hasn't proven to be difficult to winter bike in. Just be sure to have traction for the ice and frozen Mousse of snow.
    Last edited by Blues Frog; 12-25-10 at 02:15 PM.

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    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedforever View Post
    Hi, I am riding throughout the winter and my only issue so far is keeping my hands warm. I was thinking of switching to mittens. I ride a fixie ,don't need to shift, so mittens would work fine instead of gloves. Any suggestions as to what kind to get that works would be great from anyone, or anyone else who has had trouble keeping their hands warm.
    I use cheap wool mittens. A pair of glove liners underneath for extra warmth if the mittens are not enough, or if it is really cold, a pair of mitten shells by Outdoor Research goes over the wool mittens to keep wind and water out.

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    I agree. I use mittens with drops and bar ends, and never have a problem with dexterity. I use a pair of waterproof/windproof shell mittens and keep them on on until my hands are warm enough, then once I work up some heat, I can shed them with just liners.

    If your hands are hard to keep warm like mine are, then layer. I use a liner, fleece, and shell mitten (Three pars total) when the weather drops below freezing.

    Take Griddlecake's advice with a grain of salt. Blood is thinner in Alaska. I grew up in the south and start wearing full-fingered gloves when the temperature drops below 60. If you consistently have cold fingers, don't be afraid to bulk up. My hands are the only problem area I have. I have worn shorts and mittens before.

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    I wear these http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/60315?from=SR&feat=sr when it gets really cold. Personally, I find leather gloves keep me warmer and prevent wind drafts better than some of the synthetics. I wear leather ski gloves until it gets below 20 or so.

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    ^^^ Leather is surprisingly good in cold weather. I've been at the ***** range and tried liners under leather gloves, but it turned out that the combination was restricting circulation enough to keep my hands from warming up. So, I got rid of the liners and just used leathers (these have Thinsulate, too), and they were warm enough. Durable as heck, too.

    I should try them on the bike sometime.

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    Both my mule commuter and fg are drop bar. Gordini Gore-Tex gloves w/wool liners when needed for the commuter. Got a set of Marmot ski mittens w/insert liner for the fg and if anything I've got to keep from overheating. Agree W/mechBgon on the Pogies, too. Will be relocating to Chicago next year and plan on investing in a set of those. Also, a Psloar mask/balaclava combo, but that's a whole other thread...

    Btw, got everthing at www.campmor.com during the off season and on closeout.

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    I had a set of leather mittens with wool liners which were good down to -20F. I can't believe I lost track of them. They had a trigger finger, which I never used

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    agree with the snowmobile gloves comments

    I used to commute on a motorcycle, now I ride a bike. I started wearing my motorcycle gloves (Tour Master - Mens Cold-Tex Gloves) and with a thin woolen insert, they are toasty with ample dexterity for cycling. I road this morning (@ 28F), my hands were really comfortable.

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    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    What is winter for you fixedforever? It's a big difference in winter if you are from Alaska or Florida. Truthfully, I don't know how those Floridians do it, what with cold being 55F and such ;-).
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    LOL Exile. Funny you should mention Florida. I recently moved to north west Ohio from Florida, and this is my first real winter in over 20 years. I am actually enjoying winter cycling, and am holding up pretty well against the cold. It is in the 20's mostly here this winter. I am sure I have to bundle up more than most of you until my body gets used to this climate. I am going to go with down filled ski mittens with leather palms.I found a pair on line I am going to order. My hands are the only problem. They don't just get cold...they freeze! I noticed the winter cycling forum and have been reading it as well. Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

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    Senior Member spiker's Avatar
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    I'm still lookin' for a combo to keep my xxxxl hands warm down into the 20's & lower. Weird thing is I can go for an hour+ run at those temps in a pair of cheap cotton, way undersized gardening gloves that were a throw-in with a grinder just fine.

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    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    I just picked up a pair of snowmobiling gloves; maybe they're snowboarding. Whatever... they have thinsulate, have a fleece inner liner, and go four inches past my wrist, so they prevent wind from entering up my arm from the elastic wrist of my jacket. They were only five bucks at a local clearance store.
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    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    You might want to message scoatw. He is from Ohio (i'm not sure if it was Cleveland or Columbus) and would be a good source of information. As you are aware Northern Ohio will get the lake effect snow compared to Central Ohio.

    I have a pair of Marmot ski gloves I picked up from a discount store for $15. They are good for temperatures around 15-30F.
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    Oh thanks exile, I may just message scoatw. I am going to go with 600 goose down water/wind proof ski mittens with leather grips. If that does not work I may try the pogies. I can NOT chance damaging my hands with frostbite! That is my lively hood! I am an oil painter. I am very close to lake Erie so we do get some lake affect snow. I did take care of that and got treaded tires. I can only get 27 inch on my winter bike. It is an old road bike fixie conversion. I will make my own studs to deal with ice. They don't make studded tires for 27 inch..oops off topic... It is a cold winter here so far with temps only in the twenties F and single digit wind chill. This transplanted Floridian has to pack on the layers up here in Ohio I am loving winter riding!

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    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

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    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Also check out the winter forums. They have a sticky that talks about clothing and layering and in what temperature. SixtyFiver also has a sticky talking about how to make your own studded tires. Being a Canadian he knows a thing or two about winters You will gain a lot of knowledge by browsing that section.

    Also the gloves you mention sound fine for the conditions and temperatures you will deal with. Even adding a glove liner can help if you don't find it warm enough.
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    Thanks exile. I actually have been reading the winter cycling forum and the clothing thread sticky. Luckily I am a cycling veteran pretty much and already knew what to get to stay warm. They have vastly improved in some ways with technology, but wool and silk can not be beat in combination with new wind /water proof materials. I have noticed almost all need mittens for temps below the 30's, and all have different "cold spots" they need deal with. Me obviously my hands. Temp went to 30 today and my wind stopper gloves with liners worked fine. I will need those mittens soon I am sure! It won't stay this warm here long. Too funny... I am calling 30 warm and I am from Florida.
    Oh, and thanks about the hand warmers dehed. I have tried them but they don't work so well with gloves. My palms were toasty and my fingers were froze. I am sure they will be great with mittens if I need them. I always have them with me in case my hands get to the danger point. When that happens I place them in my coat pockets and either stop for a bit to put my hands into the pockets, or I alternate hands in each pocket while riding. In mittens they would be perfect to keep fingers from freezing in single digit temps and below.
    Last edited by fixedforever; 12-30-10 at 05:42 AM.

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    Here are the mittens I just ordered. I also ordered silk liners in case I may need them in addition to the mittens on sub zero or below days and nights.

    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___79876

    thanks again

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