I'm tired of playing games with less-than-the best gloves. My PI Amfibs stop working at about 10F, even with a high-quality liner. I want gloves that will last me an hour in -5F weather. We don't have many days like that, but I'm ready to pay to avoid frostbite.
Does anyone have any experience with the higher-end Mountain Hardwear or Outdoor Research gloves? Specifically, the Alti, Vario, Couloir, or Arete from Outdoor Research or the Annapurna, Exposure, or Ascent
from Mountain Hardwear.
That depends on the gloves. I have ridden in the 20s and about the only thing that wasn't cold was my hands.
That isn't very cold. And if you were dressed correctly you wouldn't have been cold anywhere.
Mittens are the way to go when it gets real cold. I rode 20 miles in -10 F windchills last year and had a thin pair of poly pro gloves on with a nice thick pair of Thinsulate convertible mittens over the top. The convertible, means that you can pull the mit part back to expose your fingers in the even you need themm for something.
I picked mine up at Walmart for $14
Remember that air and insulation around your digits is what you are after. Same applies to feet. You don't want anything tight. I wear oversized shoes for that very reason. I fill the void area with air and insulating, wicking material, like wool.
I found my Mountain Hardwear gloves with leather palms on the side of the road. These gloves are amazing. They are made from a wind stopper fabric. I ride everyday in the winter. -30 is no problem for these gloves as long as you have wind stopper liners. I usually carry 3 pairs of gloves: thin pair (wind stopper), med pair (Mountain Hardwear), big thick pair 180's (emergency pair). the system works very well
the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
I don't know about all those models of gloves, but general rules of thumb for warm handschue in artic cold conditions:
modularity. removable liners extremely desirable. The ability to custom layer underneath the shells is a big bonus. Swapping a couple pair wool gloves/liners under a shell when one set get soaked.
Mitts warmest for sure, but awkward. Trigger finger mitts let you tuck index finger into main finger box for greater warmth in extreme conditions.
In general decreasing levels of warmth, mittens designed for alpine expeditions will be warmest, then gloves designed for alpine expeditions , then many downhill ski gloves, then general mountain outdoor gloves, then ice climbing gloves, then cross country ski gloves, then biking gloves.
look for box cut fingers. big, square finger boxes. leather or other natural palm/reinforcer, nothing manmade works as well as a nice perwanger smooth out or some supple goatskin.
If I were to buy a pair of Mountain Hardwear gloves to bike in from this winter's linup, I'd probably pick the Snowpro. I don't know how warm they are. The OR gloves the Alti and the Supercouloir look hella warm. OR has always made excellent cold weather handschue.
For any artic activity, wearing a thin liner glove underneath your primary mitt/glove system keeps your fingers from freezing when you have to do fine tasks like dialing a phone or unwrapping sticks of butter to gnaw on.
Definitely get good gloves, but consider adding pogies to your handlebars if your hands are sensitive to cold. I added pogies this fall and absolutely love them. They're an additional layer of protection without adding bulk to your glove and perhaps reducing dexterity. Mine are made for ATVs but work well on my handlebars. I got them at Amazon for $17.99 (with free shipping since I ordered another item that got my order over $25).
I have learned that what you read on the thermometer and what you experience out there going 15-20 mph are starkly different. Wind is the killer, whether the air is still, or even if you have a tailwind, you're still 'against the wind.' This morning it was 30 F, but wind chill was 21 F, and I suspect that riding home was more like 15 F. I bought these and am extremely happy with the results. Same as the pogies, but made of neoprene.
Outdoor Research Alti Mitts work really well for keeping warm but you lose some feel shifting. Not enough to say, "These don't work," because they do.
Moose Mitts look good to me, not having tried them. Epic Designs pogies look fantastic for cold sensitive hands in cold temps.
When you go low, you have to experiment. If you have the bucks, your hands are cold-sensitive, and you have time to wait before winter sets in, I'd try Epic Designs, even though that's not what I have.
i used the mountain hardwear gloves twoheads referenced above all of last winter with a liner of course. and even with liners, my fingers were numb when temps dropped below 10 degrees. But only for he first 15 minutes... then once I got blood flowing and what not, I was okay.
I'm using those gloves again this year... but through 1 year of use, the seams split in some spots. Which will be an issue as the temps drop. but not yet though... worked just fine for my commute this morning (w/o liners) @ ~30 degrees