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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 12-09-10, 08:29 AM   #1
wearyourtruth
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cycling specific vs "normal" winter gloves?

what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove? it's obvious on summer gloves... the padding, the breathable backside, the sweat/snot terry cloth part... but none of those are on a winter glove.

is there something that actually makes them more suitable for using while biking?
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Old 12-09-10, 09:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove? it's obvious on summer gloves... the padding, the breathable backside, the sweat/snot terry cloth part... but none of those are on a winter glove.

is there something that actually makes them more suitable for using while biking?
I haven't found them to be more suitable. The ones I have tried aren't padded...so why use them? They aren't particularly wind proof...so why use them? They aren't particularly roomy...so why use them? And they tend to be either over insulated or under insulated. Nor are they particularly cheap. Why use them at all?
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Old 12-09-10, 09:45 AM   #3
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I was looking at some winter gloves at a local Sports Store. They wanted $30 for them. Went across the street to WalMart and found the same type of glove, almost identical in color, and with the same thinsulate material for $12 bucks. I did a long ride with them and they worked great.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove? it's obvious on summer gloves... the padding, the breathable backside, the sweat/snot terry cloth part... but none of those are on a winter glove.

is there something that actually makes them more suitable for using while biking?
I'd still look for something breathable but windproof. My cycling gloves are fingerless and utterly useless in the cold weather. I've got a pair of leather gloves with wool lining that are comfortable and cold proof but they make my hands sweat when I cycle so I prefer not to use them over any distance. They are also thick enough that I struggle to press the small buttons on my GPS on the move.
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Old 12-09-10, 10:32 AM   #5
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I guess it depends on the bike specific winter glove? I'm a bike commuter, and I don't really do cycling specific clothing but during the summer I found some Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves on clearance for $30. Aside from modified brake friendly mitten design, they are wind & water proof, have a stretchy material over the knuckles, have reflective accents, and have a soft snot wiping patch. I've ridden in them in snow/rain, and temps down into the teens (F), not accounting for wind chill, and they've worked great so far.

Living in Buffalo, I have a ton of "normal" winter gloves (from Target ones to Berne work gloves), and none of them besides my snow boarding gloves (which cost as much as the Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves normally do anyway) have worked as well as the Pearl Izumi gloves do for biking.

I should also add, I don't know how much of the "cycling specificness" makes the pearl izumi gloves so nice, and how much of it is just that they're high quality gloves (like my boarding gloves). Though the snot patch is very useful.

Last edited by buffalo_cody; 12-09-10 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 12-09-10, 10:39 AM   #6
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what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove?
Marketing?

I personally find gloves not warm enough for winter riding. Lobster claws all the way. The cycling-specific feature on those is obvious (and quite useful).
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Old 12-09-10, 12:15 PM   #7
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For winter I like leather gloves lined with fake sheepskin, fitted loose, so they go on and off easily.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:23 PM   #8
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The location and thickness of the seams can be important. I noticed some indentations on my hands when switching between gloves.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:47 PM   #9
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Cold weather cycling gear for the most part are designed for regions that have a different definition of "cold" than I do.

I tend to have better luck with winter gear not designed for cycling specifically. Pear Izumi and Craft make some nice winter stuff though including the lobster gloves already mentioned.
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Old 12-09-10, 03:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove? it's obvious on summer gloves... the padding, the breathable backside, the sweat/snot terry cloth part... but none of those are on a winter glove.

is there something that actually makes them more suitable for using while biking?
The fact they they aren't gloves and attach to the bike providing an insulated, wind proof, pocket for your hands in a light pair of cycling specific finger gloves (which will have padding to protect nerves in your hand).

You know, bar mitts, pogies, that sort of thing.

Everything else is for people who haven't tried them yet.
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Old 12-09-10, 03:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pointyhead View Post
I was looking at some winter gloves at a local Sports Store. They wanted $30 for them. Went across the street to WalMart and found the same type of glove, almost identical in color, and with the same thinsulate material for $12 bucks. I did a long ride with them and they worked great.
Maybe the same thinsulate material. Maybe.
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Old 12-09-10, 03:34 PM   #12
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Cold weather cycling gear for the most part are designed for regions that have a different definition of "cold" than I do.

I tend to have better luck with winter gear not designed for cycling specifically. Pear Izumi and Craft make some nice winter stuff though including the lobster gloves already mentioned.
It's gotten better every year for the last 3 years for me. Cycling stuff still seems to have this 20 Fahrenheit and up mindset, but it used to be like 40 and up.

Lots of times it's little off brands that have the nice stuff. But these days I can get cycling specific:
* Upper body clothing (especially for wind breaks I prefer the cycling specific items)
* Tights, and a second wind blocking layer to up the warmth there
* Shoes (still not convinced I can get these warm enough)
* Tires with studs, at a shop down the street (although I had to wait about 4 months for QBP to get them in stock)
* Hand solutions (bar mitts)

Socks, face and head coverings I still buy products that are not cycling specific. Cycling specific winter socks are a joke. They're fall and spring socks for me.
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Old 12-09-10, 03:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
The fact they they aren't gloves and attach to the bike providing an insulated, wind proof, pocket for your hands in a light pair of cycling specific finger gloves (which will have padding to protect nerves in your hand).

You know, bar mitts, pogies, that sort of thing.

Everything else is for people who haven't tried them yet.
So what do you suggest for a guy with road bike bars and a bar-end twist shifter??

Last edited by seafoamer; 12-09-10 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 12-09-10, 04:22 PM   #14
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Marketing?
Pretty much sums it up in my experience.
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Old 12-09-10, 05:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
what makes a cycling specific glove winter glove? it's obvious on summer gloves... the padding, the breathable backside, the sweat/snot terry cloth part... but none of those are on a winter glove.
Depends on the gloves. The ones I got at REI do have the extra padding in the palm and the terry cloth in the thumb area. At under $10 they seemed like a reasonable deal. But I did add big reflective patches to the backs so my hand signals are visible at night - figured that putting my hand out while covered with all black gloves wouldn't be effective.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:26 PM   #16
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So what do you suggest for a guy with road bike bars and a bar-end twist shifter??
Down to about 10F, I use some winter (bike-specific) gloves from REI. Below that, I add a pair of mitten shells. Gloves work fine, while the mittens are hard to manipulate brakes with. I have regular bar-end shifters, so I can't really comment on twist shifters. I think any wind-proof winter glove should work well with drops, just make sure the fingers (especially the thumb) are long enough; riding on the hoods forces your fingers deep into the glove. FYI, I have no experience with lobster gloves, but I have heard good things about them; they may be a better solution for cold weather.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:41 PM   #17
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My chosen combination has been wool gloves with the convertible mitten UNDER an insulated mitten. This allows me to pull of the big mitt and use my fingers when I need. When I am all closed up my fingertips touch eachother under a few layers. Fine down to 10 F.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:38 AM   #18
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So what do you suggest for a guy with road bike bars and a bar-end twist shifter??
I found gloves worked better with my twist shifters than did mittens. The latter "squirmed" more under the force necessary to shift, but even with gloves, shifting was sometimes a challenge as things seemed to stiffen up. I eventually ditched the twist shifters with thumb shifters and won't go back.

Breathability becomes a non-issue below a certain temperature, as any moisture that makes it to the surface will freeze/frost up on the inside of the material.

Over the years, I seem to have acquired different gloves/mittens for every 10 degree range, starting at about 40 degrees. The lobster claws I have fit the 20-30 degree range, and below that, it's "generic" winter gloves/mittens down to -10. The fun factor isn't so great at that temp, so that's where I allow myself to become a wimp until it warms up. :-)
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Old 12-10-10, 10:50 AM   #19
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So what do you suggest for a guy with road bike bars and a bar-end twist shifter??
Same. It's very easy to get your hands in and out to get to the shifter.

I had bar ends and thought the same thing, but after getting bar mitts I realized they're very easy to come in and out of. And having your hand out for a couple seconds to shift doesn't get your hand all that cold.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:59 PM   #20
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All my bicycling gloves have a patch or two of softer fabric on the outside that I assume are for wiping my glasses and nose. Wiping my nose on my non-cycling gloves hurts.
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Old 12-10-10, 10:11 PM   #21
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Yeah, twist shifters can be picky about gloves. I`ve been using bar ends (very glove and mitten friendly) on my commuter for a few years now, but I remember how my hands cramped up for having to squeeze the living crap out of my twisters in order to get them to move with gloved hands. I didn`t experiment much- just lived with it. FWIW, I have very little, if any, bike-specific gear and I don`t really want any either.
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