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  1. #1
    Junior Member errantlinguist's Avatar
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    The ultimate winter glove thread

    Winter is coming, and I intend on getting the warmest cycling gloves which have been made by man (well, actually, it's been here for a while, but today was the first day of winter where my hands hurt while cycling).
    To say I'm tired of my hands hurting would be an understatement; What are the absolute warmest gloves you know of which are intended for cycling, or at least work well for cycling? I'd like to see both five-fingered and lobster-glove answers: I'd prefer a five-fingered option so I can wear it for stuff other than biking, but if they simply don't do cold like -20C/0F I might have to go for the dorkier option.

    If biking gloves just don't do cold like this, I'd also appreciate some tips for other options, e.g. are skiing gloves better for cycling, or mountaineering gloves?

    For further details: Where I live, it doesn't actually reach -20C at all regularly (I think there was one day in two years which was that cold) but my hands are always ridiculously cold and they hurt like Hell even at 5C/40F.
    Last edited by errantlinguist; 12-01-13 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Grammar

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    I don't really like super heavy duty handwear; I feel like my hands start to swim in sweat after a few miles. What works for me is layering. I start with a wool glove liner (thickness/weight depending on how cold it is) and then decide what option to put over them. I use (going from lightest to heaviest) North Face running gloves with a mitten top (lightweight but windproof), generic wool gloves, or Novara Stratos gloves. The Novara gloves are only for when it's really cold, otherwise they are overkill.

    And remember to try your top layer gloves on with the liners before buying. I ended up purchasing the men's version of the Novara gloves because the woman's was too tight with anything but the thinnest of liners.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I have four pairs of winter gloves which range from mild weather use to really cold. For cold weather I use mainly a pair of cheap ski gloves; they work well. If it gets really cold, I have a pair of pearl izumi lobster gloves. Layering is good as well; agreed that too thick is a problem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    I gave up on bike-specific gloves - they're stupid expensive and none were warm enough. Fwiw I have Renaud's syndrome which means my hands and feet are always cold. A couple years ago I started using snowmobile mittens - mine happen to be Burton but pretty sure any brand will do. Mine also have chemical handwarmer pockets which I used last year. I wear a glove liner underneath and vary the weight based on temp. I picked up these Seal Skinz this year and they're really warm (enough that I haven't used warmers) - so far this year coldest is 19F, 4F windchill. It's a process of trail and error - good luck!
    I'm slow, go around

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    My hands are always cold, no matter what gloves I use. Then again, they are cold, indoors or out. I just bought a pair of

    http://barmitts.com

    I have not yet tried them, but am hoping they will help.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    I gave up on bike-specific gloves - they're stupid expensive and none were warm enough. Fwiw I have Renaud's syndrome which means my hands and feet are always cold. A couple years ago I started using snowmobile mittens - mine happen to be Burton but pretty sure any brand will do. Mine also have chemical handwarmer pockets which I used last year. I wear a glove liner underneath and vary the weight based on temp. I picked up these Seal Skinz this year and they're really warm (enough that I haven't used warmers) - so far this year coldest is 19F, 4F windchill. It's a process of trail and error - good luck!
    Second this. Been using snowmobile gloves for a long time. The speeds that snowmobiles reach in winter make cyclists look they are standing still and the gloves actually block that wind. They also have the long cuff which is nice.

    that said, I just bought a set of bar mitts as well as I want to try those out.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Commuter Bluish Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by errantlinguist View Post
    What are the absolute warmest
    For most of my winter riding, I use cheap ski gloves under Bar Mitts. The combination works pretty well for my short (6 miles each way) commute.

    For the truly bitter cold, I have a pair of mountaineering mittens that are so incredibly warm and waterproof that I cannot imagine even attempting bicycling in weather that would be too cold for them. Outdoor Research Men's Alti Mitts:

    http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Resear...search+mittens

    They are essentially a warm mitten within a Gore-Tex outer shell mitten. Dexterity is acceptable, and I can get the mittens under the brake lever, but dexterity is certainly not great. My bikes have 7-speed IGH hubs with twist shifters, and I can operate the shifters with these, but it's certainly not super dexterity. These suckers are mega-warm and 100% waterproof. They are also probably overkill and overly expensive for most bicyclists.

    You asked for ultimate warmth, though, and these Alti's are it. This is what people use to climb Mt. Everest. Consider these the outer data point on the warmth and expense scale. If you have circulation problems and want to keep cycling in bitter cold, though, they might be worth a look. Otherwise, I'd go with ski gloves and bar mitts.

  8. #8
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wapiti View Post
    Second this. Been using snowmobile gloves for a long time. The speeds that snowmobiles reach in winter make cyclists look they are standing still and the gloves actually block that wind. They also have the long cuff which is nice.

    that said, I just bought a set of bar mitts as well as I want to try those out.
    Interested to know what you think of the bar mits. I bought some last year, have installed a couple times and then took them off. I don't like not being able to move my hands around (drop bars). Maybe I just didn't use them long enough to get used to them?
    I'm slow, go around

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    See:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-glove-thread

    These are working very well for me:
    http://www.goreapparel.com/gore-bike...eartype-gloves
    though I haven't ridden them in the temperatures you're talking about, they might be fine.

  10. #10
    Junior Member errantlinguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluish Green View Post
    For the truly bitter cold, I have a pair of mountaineering mittens that are so incredibly warm and waterproof that I cannot imagine even attempting bicycling in weather that would be too cold for them. Outdoor Research Men's Alti Mitts:

    http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Resear...search+mittens
    Thanks for the recommendation; No extreme is too extreme for me at the moment... I consider $150 a small price to pay to avoid actually crying from that "We're not quite numb yet so we'll torture you for making us sit here exposed to the wind!!! Just wait until your chain jumps off and you make us handle cold, wet steel!!!"-sensation. While researching the company, I also found that they make a five-fingered glove with the same name (http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Resear...25890&sr=1-188): has anyone got experience with this one?-- Is it anywhere near as warm as the mitt version? If not, what if I get a silk or wool liner? (BTW, which is actually warmer as a liner?-- silk or wool?)
    Last edited by errantlinguist; 12-01-13 at 12:33 PM. Reason: grammar

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    Interested to know what you think of the bar mits. I bought some last year, have installed a couple times and then took them off. I don't like not being able to move my hands around (drop bars). Maybe I just didn't use them long enough to get used to them?
    planning to install them today, will report back.

  12. #12
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    I went in a dozen of shops and tried all the gloves there at least twice included those outdoor, marmot and most common brands mitts/gloves. None fit my wide hands once layered with a thin wool baselayer (some fit with no layer though). And none was warm enough for me for canadian winter unless you have small hands that allow some layering i believe. True warm mitts act like an oven when you insert your hands. Proof that your own heat stays there. None of those marmot, outdoor etc...mitts did. And the thumb was their weak point which defeat the purpose of having the other fingers warm. They probably work well for expedition (when your hands are not grabbing anything and when the level of exhaustion is low-moderate) but not much well when riding in really cold weather i believe. I have some expedition altitude vapor barrier mitts liners that do work up to -21F/-30C but not beyond because they are too small for layering.

    My solution was to go for snowmobile mitts and gloves that were big enough for layering and DIY/modify them by adding aluminum foil to keep my radiative heat in place, since without that there weren't warm enough. I have added another leather layer on the thumb on those snowmobile gloves that already had a sticker "hot thumb". (wasn't working in real life apparently)
    My modified snowmobile gloves alone with some layers + vapor barrier can go up to -17C/0F 1hr.
    I use the modified snowmobile mitts (with aluminum foil) as bar mitts to go below that.

    The big plus of fluffy mitts like rbh, marmot, outdoor, rab (often made of primaloft, coreloft, goose down...) over leather snowmobile mitts is that they can be compressed which make it easier to change gears but i can still manage it somehow on my bike which is not guaranteed with other gear shifters.

    I also have some bar mitts that work well. The trick was to use 13mm wool felt boot liners as insulation for the pogies. (pretty effective)
    Last edited by erig007; 12-01-13 at 05:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by errantlinguist View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation; No extreme is too extreme for me at the moment... I consider $150 a small price to pay to avoid actually crying from that "We're not quite numb yet so we'll torture you for making us sit here exposed to the wind!!! Just wait until your chain jumps off and you make us handle cold, wet steel!!!"-sensation. While researching the company, I also found that they make a five-fingered glove with the same name (http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Resear...25890&sr=1-188): has anyone got experience with this one?-- Is it anywhere near as warm as the mitt version? If not, what if I get a silk or wool liner? (BTW, which is actually warmer as a liner?-- silk or wool?)
    Nothing with fingers works for me - I use mittens below 40F. Erig007 highlights the problem with gloves in that even with mittens my thumbs get cold and I often find myself pulling my thumbs out of the thumb pocket to close my hand to get them warm. If you're worried about dexterity i.e. shifting, I have a bike with brifters and one with bar ends (both drop bars) and no issues. Yes, it's harder than with gloves but not much.

    I'm a huge fan of merino wool - I think it's magical fabric. That said, I've yet to get a pair of merino glove liners that I liked. Silk is great and even better are the neoprene (Seal Skinz) gloves I mentioned earlier.
    I'm slow, go around

  14. #14
    Lug
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    Right now my winter gloves is a set of military surplus flyer's mittens, green nylon shell, leather palms, fake brown fur on back, and 100% wool liner. Mil-M-6269G to be specific. Good to at least lower 20 *F as I haven't had a chance to try them lower due to not having a skinny enough studded rear tire yet.
    Justin

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    I have a pair of winter motorcyclist gloves with gauntlet wrist. They say Olympia and Gore-tex on them. I bought one size too large and use the stretchy gloves from the local Chinamart as liners. The liners wear out and get replaced every other year.These things work as I have commuted for work about four winters with them. I used military black leather with wool liners before. This system is better for me in the damp cold of the state of Misery. These Olympias may have come from JP Cycles.
    " If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand which feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countryman " Samuel Adams, 1772

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    Lug
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    I'm a huge fan of merino wool - I think it's magical fabric. That said, I've yet to get a pair of merino glove liners that I liked. Silk is great and even better are the neoprene (Seal Skinz) gloves I mentioned earlier.[/QUOTE]

    I have found that neoprene gloves need to have an insulated cover otherwise the cold wind sucks the heat right out. Then again my neoprene gloves are for fishing not bicycling.
    Justin

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    I commuted in -12* with a mild North wind about three winters ago. I go North three miles minimum each morning.
    " If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand which feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countryman " Samuel Adams, 1772

  18. #18
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I have several pairs of gloves, all different, nothing special. This summer I bought a pair of Army Surplus wool gloves which have been pretty decent so far for temperatures into the low 30's. They stretch, so layered with a thin pair of gloves underneath cuts the wind out quite a bit which I need when it's colder than that.

    If you need something really heavy duty, look at motorcycle gauntlets. I used to have a pair of leather gauntlets with insulated padding, which I guess would be good for practically any temperature.

  19. #19
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lug View Post
    I'm a huge fan of merino wool - I think it's magical fabric. That said, I've yet to get a pair of merino glove liners that I liked. Silk is great and even better are the neoprene (Seal Skinz) gloves I mentioned earlier.
    I have found that neoprene gloves need to have an insulated cover otherwise the cold wind sucks the heat right out. Then again my neoprene gloves are for fishing not bicycling.
    Justin[/QUOTE]

    Exactly right, I only use them as liners unless it's warm. They have NO wind resistance but inside another glove they're heat factories!
    I'm slow, go around

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    I have some 3mm neoprene dive gloves that i use with 100g thinsulate long cuff liners. The long cuff liners make things easier to put the gloves on. This thinsulate solution is also warmer than with my wool liners because the wool liner add compression to the already compressing neoprene gloves which tend to restricts blood flow.
    This combo works well around freezing temperatures where the snow is wet or when it rains. I did 2 hrs rides with no problem.
    But generally speaking i don't like neoprene gloves because they rarely fit exactly my hands which i believe is the case for most people that aren't lucky enough to have exactly the length, width, circumference for each fingers and palm to fit inside those neoprene gloves. And since they stretch they get back to their shape and don't mold to my hands with time like leather gloves do and because of that they tend to restrict blood flow.
    Last edited by erig007; 12-03-13 at 11:23 AM.

  21. #21
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    I have louis garneau lobster gloves that work great. If it got any colder than 18F than I would just add thin wool liners underneath.
    "whenever I see someone biking faster than me, I assume they aren't going as far"-proscloset

  22. #22
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    I hope you don't mind if I join in here in search of winter hand-warming advice.

    I looked all around the 'net and decided that pogies looked like the way to go. I ordered some and have used them a couple times and they aren't working for me. I feel like I must be doing something wrong with them, 'cause they're supposedly good down to -15 F (these are the Dogwood Designs regular pogies), and everyone loves them. But my hands were cold in the 20s.

    How do any of you who use them and like them fill in the gap that's left at the small end that goes over the bars (the gap between the brake cables and handlebars) when they're mounted on the bike? I tried stuffing it with some washcloths, but I'm not sure that helps. I think it's where the cold is coming from. I emailed the maker, and she said that in the 20 years she's made these, no one has ever said they've had this problem, so maybe there's something really obvious I'm not getting. But I'm about ready to send them back and try a lobster glove 'cause they're just not working for me.

    I'd love advice and ideas from more experienced winter cyclists!
    Last edited by Stormdog42; 12-03-13 at 07:30 PM.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Commuter Bluish Green's Avatar
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    Stormdog, those pogies you have should be helping some. Are you using winter gloves inside them? I don't have direct experience with the brand you have, but if they function like my Bar Mitts, they cut the wind chill and allow you to use the same gloves you would normally use at a much colder temperature. In other words, if a pair of ski gloves would be okay at 35degF without Bar Mitts, they are okay at 15degF with Bar Mitts. Think of it as extending the range your normal gloves can work down another range of degrees (I'm not sure what number, but I'll throw 20 out there, for discussion). The air getting in the hole should be of minimal effect. Hopefully that is helpful. Don't give up on them, they should work well with winter gloves.

  24. #24
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    These are the ones I have: http://www.beaversports.com/?page_id=576

    In this review over here (http://wintercycletouring.com/2013/0...pogies-review/) he claims he didn't even need gloves down to -10. I wore them with some thinner gloves under them in the low 20s and my hands were way colder than when I wear a pair of heavier gloves with the thin ones as a liner.

    Maybe if I cinch down the openings for my hands, there'd be less flow-through ventilation. But I have to keep taking at least my left hand out to signal turns and lane changes. Given where the reviewer was riding, it seems like that's not much of an issue.
    Last edited by Stormdog42; 12-03-13 at 08:17 PM.

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    Southern Ontario doesn't get too cold, and I get by nicely with a pair of leather driving gloves for most of the winter. That said, I bought a pair of softshell crosspoint gloves from Showers Pass recently. They're waterproof, comfy, and have padding in all the right places. But I got a nasty surprise the first morning I wore them to work -- they're not windproof. I may as well have been wearing a loose wool mesh.

    But the same company also sells a hardshell glove, and a liner intended to go underneath. Has anybody tried that glove? If its windproof, it might be just what you want along with the liner. Otherwise, the Gore-Tex mitt mentioned above would be my choice for ultimate warmth and water resistance, or the snowmobiling mitts, although I wouldn't want to lose dexterity from the very bulky fit of those two.

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