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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Handlebar shifters & winter gloves

    The new "Exhale" gloves are working out okay so far, although they haven't had a extreme temperature test quite yet, but I've discovered another annoying thing. I've got handlebar shifters, which in general I really love, but I've found that it's very difficult to work them with these new gloves. I often give up and take the glove off temporarily to shift, then put it back on. This interrupts my pace, distracts my attention from the road, and of course makes my hand colder.

    Some of my other gloves work okay. I'm not sure whether it has more to do with the outer surface of these new ones being smoother (they don't appear to be that smooth), or the inside being bulkier, thus harder to squeeze with, or maybe some of each.

    Anyone else have this problem? Would it help to affix some some kind of grippy material on the glove where it contacts the shifter, and if so, where would I buy such a thing? Or maybe put it on the shifter itself? It is already textured rubber, but maybe it's gradually become worn smoother in the last 3 years of use.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    What type of shifters are we talking about?
    I could imagine that trigger shifters or road brifters require more dexterity than is possible with gloves but grip shifters, barcons, down tube shifters and thumb shifters should be no problem.
    Personally I don't shift. Fixed all the way.
    Craig

  3. #3
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I don't know what kind of shifters you have, but have you tried to shift them by pushing or pulling from another point?

    It's hard to explain, when I have my mittens on I pull on the back of one of the levers that is not really made to work that way. It may not work on your bike depending on how your shifters work. There are a few different types.

    This is a pretty common problem, there may be more than one way to get this to work. If the gloves are very stiff, you may find that over time they will wear in and fold in the direction you need to get a good shift. Like a baseball glove. Try storing them folded the way they need to bend to shift when not using them.

    I know a guy that uses shooting mittens where he can take out his fingers when needed.

    Worst case scenario, you could try a grip shift bike, and switch to grip shift shifters if you like that. (Twist the grip to shift). Probably too expensive to bother.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Banned.
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    Sounds like more of an issue with the gloves than the shifters. I have used all sorts of glove combinations, including mittens with my rapid fire shifters. There has never been a problem shifting.

  5. #5
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    It's a grip shift, I guess, from the description. (This is the first bike I've bought as an adult, since having a 10-speed with levers on the frame as a teen, so I don't know all the different types there are.) The bike is a Diamondback Crestview, and the specs say they are "Shimano REVO RapidRise 8-spd".

    It's definitely a friction problem, not a dexterity problem. Just squeeze and twist, could easily be done in mittens as long as they have enough grip. I've noticed that the gloves that work well have an external seam running between the thumb and first finger, whereas the ones that don't, don't. Maybe I could build one up with duct tape or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  6. #6
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Twist shifters + mittens = teh suk.

    Sorry, just had to get that juvenile comment out. Anyway, I think you are right, it does sound like a friction problem. I would wrap the shifter itself with something to make it grippier, like a rubber or cork tape. No need to ruin gloves when you can adapt a $20 shifter to your needs. Perhaps you could try shifting less? I realized that I was only shifting once or twice on my entire commute, and eventually converted my bike to a single speed for ~$50. Then I picked up a used mtn single-speed for winter which is working out very well. Without shifters, I just have to worry about brakes, which are easy to use with mittens. You don't have to go all the way, but maybe choose a gear that you can ride in all the time. Sometimes you will have to pedal very quickly, other times it will be a real grunt. One thing's for sure, you will be a stronger cyclist in the long run.
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  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Does the bike shift easily without mittens? Cleaning and lubing the cables may make it easier to turn the shifter. It may even be time to replace the cables if it does not shift nicely without the mittens.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    It's a grip shift, I guess, from the description. (This is the first bike I've bought as an adult, since having a 10-speed with levers on the frame as a teen, so I don't know all the different types there are.) The bike is a Diamondback Crestview, and the specs say they are "Shimano REVO RapidRise 8-spd".

    It's definitely a friction problem, not a dexterity problem. Just squeeze and twist, could easily be done in mittens as long as they have enough grip. I've noticed that the gloves that work well have an external seam running between the thumb and first finger, whereas the ones that don't, don't. Maybe I could build one up with duct tape or something.
    Either your gloves are providing very little grip in which case I would be worried about slipping off the handlebars or your shifters are too difficult to shift.
    If its the gloves look for something with a leather palm or atleast a rubber gripper pattern on the palm.
    If its the shifter then you may need to clean an lube the derailer, check the cable for kinks and perhaps replace the shift cable. It shouldn't take alot of effort to shift.
    Craig

  9. #9
    blarg
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    http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/c...l.cfm?ID=20864 check this out, these are what i have, they are reliable in the cold, and easy to shift cos both up and down are both underneath the bars. If you have the cash, go for some Shimano deore ones. gear changes are really quick and fast.

    Or you could try to get some thin glove liners and wear two pairs of thin gloves, that may solve your problem.

    hope that was usefull...

    Jam

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