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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 09-25-05, 07:58 AM   #1
Lieren
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Glove recommendations for very cold hands

Disclaimer: I've already read through the glove threads I could find on the forum, but need more specific suggestions!

My hands get cold very easily - they start to go numb at about 60 degrees (incidentally, the same temperature at which the rest of me starts to overheat - I am that person in gloves and a tank top). I'd like to figure out a layering system which will get me through the winter. I start wearing glove liners at about 60 degrees, and add fleecy gloves around 45-50 degrees. After that, though, I need some help.

Anybody else have very cold hands? Any suggestions? Help, please!
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Old 09-25-05, 09:38 AM   #2
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I use polyproplene liners. Perhaps you could use small chemical heating packs inside your gloves if you need to be out for a long time.
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Old 09-25-05, 12:33 PM   #3
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I just got these Gore Windstopper Gloves, seem to be working so far for moi.

I use these when the temps have gone below 55 degrees F



Here is an ad from Performance: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=1141#
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Old 09-25-05, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkafire
I just got these Gore Windstopper Gloves, seem to be working so far for moi.

I use these when the temps have gone below 55 degrees F



Here is an ad from Performance: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=1141#
I wear convertible glove mittens with thinner fleece gloves underneath. Any mitten is always going to be warmer than a glove. The convertible glove gives the possiblity for using your digits if you need them.
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Old 09-25-05, 04:33 PM   #5
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Have you thought of the two-fingered "lobster gloves"? Because two fingers are in each "finger" you don't get so cold, yet you can still brake and switch gears, albeit a little clumsily.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1141
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Old 09-25-05, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudicca
Have you thought of the two-fingered "lobster gloves"? Because two fingers are in each "finger" you don't get so cold, yet you can still brake and switch gears, albeit a little clumsily.
I have thought about those, but wanted to hear an endorsement from someone who has used them before dropping 50 bucks on gloves!

Ziemas - I'm reluctant to use the chemical warmers while biking, b/c my fingers get numb in just a few minutes, at relatively high temperatures (air-conditioned stores make my fingers numb!), and b/c most of my rides are relatively short (commuting, errands). They just seem wasteful in those cases, although I do plan to use them for any longer rides I do this winter.
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Old 09-25-05, 06:14 PM   #7
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First of all, if your hands start to go numb at 60 degrees, the problem isn't that you need gloves, the problem is something to do with your circulation. Go see a Dr!!

Second, do your hands go numb from COLD ... or from an incorrect bicycle setup where you are putting too much weight on your hands and cutting off the circulation? My hands go numbish on some long rides with one of my bicycles, but that has nothing to do with cold.

Third, you say you overheat at 60 degrees, but your hands go numb. Have you tried letting go of the handlebars (one hand at a time) and swinging your arms around, windmill-style. No, I'm not kidding. When I ride in sub-freezing temps my hands are often cold for the first 15 minutes out there. If I swing my arms around though, the blood pumps into my hands and they are fine after that.

Fourth, if your hands really are cold, whatever you do, don't use tight gloves. That will make the situation worse. Get something fairly loose. In temperatures that are actually cold (60 degrees is NOT cold) I use ski gloves which I pick up at my local department store fairly inexpensively.
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Old 09-25-05, 08:27 PM   #8
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My wife has the same problems with her hands getting cold at 50/60 temps and colder. Her fingers start to get white at the tips and in a 5 minute span they are white to the palm. She has seen a doctor and he prescribed Nifedipine XL 5mg per day, which is a widely used blood thinner. Her hands don't get cold anymore. She has been using them for maybe 6 years and it works great. She doesn't use them in summer. The doctor said it is from smoking and also very tiny veins in her fingers. When using any blood thinner drinking alcohol can make you drunk quick and also thins the blood too much.
Talk to your doctor and see if this makes sense to him/her.
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Old 09-26-05, 05:54 AM   #9
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Hey guys, thanks for the concern! But it's nothing to worry about - my hands go numb from something called raynaud's phenomenon, which is not worth going to the doctor over (just one of those physiological quirks, the treatment is to warm your hands). It's not an uncommon problem, esp. among women. Last winter I'd get to work and run my hands under hot water for a few minutes; this winter I want to layer better!
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Old 09-26-05, 08:09 AM   #10
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Whatever gloves you get, store them on a heat register so that they're toasty warm when you put them on.
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Old 09-26-05, 09:37 AM   #11
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Polartek Powerstretch as your first layer
Then a windproof layer over that.
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Old 09-26-05, 09:46 AM   #12
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Hi,
ski gloves or mountaineering gloves. Pick a pair that feels comfy and has enough movement to change gears.
Go to a mountain shop and look for these, or something like them.
These are killer...
http://www.orgear.com/home/style/hom.../descent/73170
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Old 09-26-05, 11:01 AM   #13
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The only gloves I have found that work are mtn climbing gloves, Black Diamond. They have a ton of models, usual range is $50 - $120. But if you want warmth and flexibility, they deliver.
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Old 09-26-05, 12:37 PM   #14
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I find if I start off with a thin inner glove and a thick outer shell, I can usually removed the outer shell and stash it about 15 min into the ride, and my hands will stay warm with pretty thin gloves on. This is mostly a woods-riding mountain biking trick though. If you're out in the wind, I doubt this will work.
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Old 09-26-05, 01:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieren
Hey guys, thanks for the concern! But it's nothing to worry about - my hands go numb from something called raynaud's phenomenon, which is not worth going to the doctor over (just one of those physiological quirks, the treatment is to warm your hands). It's not an uncommon problem, esp. among women. Last winter I'd get to work and run my hands under hot water for a few minutes; this winter I want to layer better!
I thought it might be something like that ... but aren't there medications or something which can be prescribed to reduce the symptoms? Have you been to a Dr to have it checked?

However, just remember that whatever you get in the way of gloves should be somewhat loose fitting so that there is some air circulation inside the glove, and should be windproof.
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Old 09-26-05, 05:59 PM   #16
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Count me as another vote for "lobster claw" mitts. (my wife thinks they're freaky & disturbing looking though) I was using a very nice pair of ski gloves with liners. Lost them, then replaced them with lobster claws with thin fleece liners. They kept my hands warm even on my coldest ride (-39c). In temps -25 and colder my finger tips would start to feel quite cold in the first 5-10 minutes, then as rode, my circulation improved & my fingers warmed up (after another 5 to 10 minutes).

I do notice that my hands get colder when I'm not as active... generally, If I'm getting cold, I push a little harder & soon warm up.
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Old 09-26-05, 08:01 PM   #17
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I have a cold hand problem, too. What helps me is spreading a layer of vaseline on my hands before I put gloves on. If I'm outside for a long time, I use vaseline, silk glove liners, gloves--it works pretty well.
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Old 09-27-05, 04:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by whatever6304
I have a cold hand problem, too. What helps me is spreading a layer of vaseline on my hands before I put gloves on.
Funny, I use vaseline on my face on really cold days (not, obviously, when I have to be presentable), but never thought of it for my hands... Doesn't the vaseline make the lining layer hopelessly sticky?
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Old 09-27-05, 10:21 PM   #19
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I find it okay & not too sticky if I really work it in. That gets my hands really warmed up before getting started, too. Some other posters have talked about adding warming cream but I've never tried that.
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Old 09-27-05, 10:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever6304
I have a cold hand problem, too. What helps me is spreading a layer of vaseline on my hands before I put gloves on. If I'm outside for a long time, I use vaseline, silk glove liners, gloves--it works pretty well.
My hands often feel like icicles. I am ready to try anything!
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Old 09-28-05, 12:36 AM   #21
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while i think my case is not as extreme i experience something similar. e.g. if i go running at 50 degress i will overheat and sweat like crazy but still wear gloves as otherwise my fingers will go partly numb and turn white. my girlfriend is a doctor and has been saying i probably have this "raynaud" condition (i guess i'll have to read about it). just last weekend i did a ride in the 50s or so any my hands were completely white for over 2 hours after the ride (i had been "comfortable" during the ride whereas my girlfriend found it cold but then was fine afterwards when my hands were numb)

anyhow, for me in winter keeping my hands warm is a big deal!! the problem is that i also produce LOTS of heat in general but then if it gets just a little colder or the wind picks up, my hands freeze. or if i take off my gloves to fix a tire then no matter how fast i ride and how high my pulse goes my hands stay frozen and numb!

my solution is to have a VARIETY of gloves and layering options. for hard-core winter biking (sub-zero) i usually wear a poly-liner + a windproof-fleece type glove. with these i have great dexterity. then i also have a 2nd pair of thicker liners AND a pair of mittens.

wearing liners also has the advantage that if i need to take off the big gloves (e.g. to take off my jacket or to do some mechanical bike fix) i still have the liners so my skin is not directly exposed to the cold.

then if it is a little warmer i still bring multiple pairs of gloves but just a little less thick/warm (i have some windproof fleece gloves that are pretty warm so that i usually cannot wear them as i sweat too much) --- 2 weekends ago it was rainy/cold here and i rode in the mountains. my first descent was ok with my normal downhill gloves (protective leather but not insulating). then on the 2nd climb i sweated a lot and took a 10-minute break at the top and it rained lightly and i got really chilled. my hands were cold so i put on the windproof gloves. then 10 minutes later they were still frozen so i put on the fleece gloves and i could hardly hold the handlebar for the descent (i rode the next uphill with the fleece gloves and my jacket on and then near the top took breaks soas to slowly cool off and evaporate the sweat) (at the beginning of the tour i felt like an idiot packing the huge winter gloves but then i was SO glad that i had!!)

--> anyhow, my recommendation is 2 different thickness liners to choose from + 2-3 outers to choose from so that you can select the appropriate mix/match for a ride (and for longer rides i bring a spare of extra-warm for emergency) as well as have something to change-out if it gets wet (and the liners dry faster than without).

for me the #1 factor is windproofness. #2 is insulation where you can still feel the bar and shift. i have some old snowboard lobster gloves (inner liner fleece gloves with outer where the 1st and 2nd fingers and 3rd/4th are together) which i use for the majority of my winter commuting (they are durable and have a removable liner so they dry in less than a day even if completely soaked through) although they are still not as warm as my mittens and the windproof fleece gloves i have are almost as warm -- i generally don't use the lobster gloves for winter trail riding as they are very bulky so take too much room in my backpack if i take them off.
(in total for winter biking and snowboarding i have over 15 different gloves/liners/mittens for keeping warm and amayzingly i use almost all of them!)

(never tried the vaseline but it sounds messy)
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Old 10-09-05, 03:22 PM   #22
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Basketball gave me many jammed knuckles, now I have cold weather circulation problems with my hands. I am still in shorts when its 45 but my hands are freezing. I do the liner and glove thing (you wouldn't believe my collection of various thickness gloves) and sometimes I add the chemical hand warmer. Sure wish someone would make electric bicycle gloves or maybe some kind of hand fairing that clips on your handlebars.
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Old 10-09-05, 07:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudicca
Have you thought of the two-fingered "lobster gloves"? Because two fingers are in each "finger" you don't get so cold, yet you can still brake and switch gears, albeit a little clumsily.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1141
I use these and find they work well for me. My fingers can still get cold on really cold days though.
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Old 10-10-05, 08:05 AM   #24
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Cold hands were my achilles heel with winter cylcing, no matter what I tried, my hands still got cold.

Last year I finally found a pair that did the trick, a gore tex brand on sale from Nashbar. They got me though everything from soaking rain to below zero F.

I tried everything else: PI lobster claws with and without fleece, smart wool or those PI liner gloves. I had a very poor experience with lobster claws.

I tried North Face mountaineering mitts with above luners. Once the liners got wet they got cold and that was it for the day.

Another glove I used with success on short commutes was a cheap brand bought at a discount store. You never know.
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Old 10-10-05, 03:37 PM   #25
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I have some inexpensive lobster claw gloves from Nashbar. They are wind proof but only have a thin lining. These are good for me well below freezing. They have lots of room for additional gloves like a fleece or polyproplene inside. I add a thin liner for temps below 20. You could probably use a Polartec Powerstretch glove inside a lobster glove to keep your hands toasty in pretty extreme temps.
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