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-   -   What a difference keeping your wrists warm makes (https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/365378-what-difference-keeping-your-wrists-warm-makes.html)

banerjek 11-26-07 01:57 PM

What a difference keeping your wrists warm makes
 
Lately, I've been having trouble with freezing my hands when it wasn't that cold outside. Because of some unusual problems I was having that go beyond simple cold fingers, I saw a doc. She told me that I need cover my wrists and forearms better when riding because getting those too cold will cause me to freeze my fingers even if I'm wearing warm gloves.

Today, commuting conditions were nippy (24F and foggy accompanied by light headwinds) so I decided to see if the advice works. The difference was incredible. Rather than having the normal freezing finger problems, they were warm and even a bit sweaty. So, if you're having trouble freezing your fingers and your gloves should be heavy enough, you might try protecting your wrists and forearms better.

oboeguy 11-26-07 02:34 PM

Hmm, maybe I'll put arm warmers on under my long-sleeved base layer. I, believe, though, that my chilly fingers are dude to the fact that they have no meat on them. Skinny artist's fingers FTW! :D

littlewaywelt 11-26-07 03:38 PM

keeping certain areas and your core warm will keep your hands comfortable. Wrists, neck, armpits, core.
saw an interesting study where a guy wore an electric heated vest no gloves and he functionned far longer when the vest was on even though his hands were exposed as the vest tricked the body into not constricting the blood vessels in the extremities, making them cool faster.

duppie 11-27-07 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by banerjek (Post 5695139)
Lately, I've been having trouble with freezing my hands when it wasn't that cold outside. Because of some unusual problems I was having that go beyond simple cold fingers, I saw a doc. She told me that I need cover my wrists and forearms better when riding because getting those too cold will cause me to freeze my fingers even if I'm wearing warm gloves.

Today, commuting conditions were nippy (24F and foggy accompanied by light headwinds) so I decided to see if the advice works. The difference was incredible. Rather than having the normal freezing finger problems, they were warm and even a bit sweaty. So, if you're having trouble freezing your fingers and your gloves should be heavy enough, you might try protecting your wrists and forearms better.

banerjek, you care to elaborate on what you wore? arm warmers?
Duppie

modernjess 11-27-07 11:47 AM

Does anyone think this might apply to feet as well? Ankles or legs being warmer = warmer feet?

I can use all the help I can get to keep my feet warm these days.

'72 superbe 11-27-07 01:21 PM

Somewhere you can buy wrist bands that hold chemical hand warmers. I think the idea is to keep your blood warm going into your hands. I think. I put hand warmers between my glove liners and my gloves at the wrist.

Al Criner 11-27-07 01:28 PM

Machka in the Long Distance forum says keeping the pulse points in your wrists and ankles warm will help keep hands and feet warm. She uses things like sweat bands on the wrists, for example.

littlewaywelt 11-27-07 02:06 PM

The idea by using warmers or insulation at these points is to keep the blood vessels from dilating, as they are very close to the skin here.

banerjek 11-27-07 02:39 PM


Originally Posted by duppie (Post 5700228)
banerjek, you care to elaborate on what you wore? arm warmers?
Duppie

Just arm warmers and 2 long sleeve jerseys. In the past, I liked to freeze my arms as a way to regulate body temperature. However, I didn't realize that doing so made my hands freeze so bad.

I think the same logic can be used on feet as well. What I've been doing lately is dressing a little warmer and I'm pretty happy with the results.

ItsJustMe 11-27-07 02:41 PM


Originally Posted by littlewaywelt (Post 5701763)
The idea by using warmers or insulation at these points is to keep the blood vessels from dilating, as they are very close to the skin here.

Don't you mean keep them from contracting? I think you want the vessels dilated, so they'll continue to provide warmth to the hands.

RT 11-27-07 06:46 PM

This morning was 14 degrees out, but I thought I was prepared. I had a long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey, thick sweatshirt, fleece glove liners and Thermalite gloves over. My wrists were covered, but my fingers froze. I believe it was because my hands sweat, and that moisture was exposed to the wind (even what little got through the gloves), causing the freezing effect. It was absolutely no fun. For my feet I wear Gators, which work like a charm. Can anyone recommend a good heavy windproof glove that will actually keep hands warm? Freezing fingers are enough to make me give up winter commuting unless I can solve this problem.

Jesse Smith 11-27-07 08:30 PM

If the liners plus the gloves make for a tight fit, your fingers will get cold even if you're hanging out indoors. This is another reason why mittens tend to be warmer than gloves. The individual digits aren't constricted.
When riders first start learning to ride in icy or snowy conditions, or start out a ride cold, shivering and tense, they tend to keep a very right grip on the bars. This tight grip further restricts circulation.
The best hand protection has a combination of a insulation, loose fit, totally windproof, with a cuff that has a long gauntlet with cinching cords. I also find that leather becomes very cold and the cold transfers right to the hand. I'd rather have a kevlar or other sturdy fabric palm and underside to the fingers.
How you wear the gloves and shirts is also important. Shirt and coat cuffs directly cover the wrist while the glove gauntlet covers both the shirt and overcoat cuff.

Marylandnewbie 11-28-07 08:48 AM

I found over the past couple of winters that I can actually fine tune body temp by baring my wrists and or neck to cool off a little when shedding a full layer is not called for. The other thing to add or remove is your hat.

The body prioritizes areas to keep warm. Your head and torso with the brain and vital organs are high priority so the colder they are the more blood flow will be restricted to the extremities in order to save the heat for your core. The warmer you keep your core the more blood will flow out to your extremities as the body tries to regulate its temp. This is most evident with hands, but also holds true for feet. Covering your ankles well is probably not going to have as noticeable an effect on cold feet as covering your wrists. Your blood vessels simply don't run that close to the surface in your ankles -- hence why we don't check pulses or draw blood from ankles.

I have found that to keep my toes warm I really need to minimize the effects of wind as I ride. When it gets really cold I switch to some lightly insulated hiking boots which completely block the wind. If I throw in a pair of chemical toe warmers, my toes can be downright toasty.

So keep experimenting until you hit the right combinations. Its a good idea to keep track of temps and windchills at which you were comfortable and uncomfortable so that over time you will get a very good sense of what to where at what temps.

markf 11-28-07 09:13 AM

Last winter I was camping out in -10 F temps. I was really comfortable when I woke up, but as soon as I put on a fairly heavy metal wristwatch I could feel the heat being sucked out of my body. It was interesting, to say the least.

I've acquired a couple of insuating garments with extra long sleeves and thumb holes, they really seem to help keep me warmer.

reespa 11-28-07 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by markf (Post 5706681)
Last winter I was camping out in -10 F temps. I was really comfortable when I woke up, but as soon as I put on a fairly heavy metal wristwatch I could feel the heat being sucked out of my body. It was interesting, to say the least.
.


Interesting observation - I have found a similar situation. I commute in temperatures down to -10c and found that although my fingers were fine in winter gloves my thumb was often freezing and numb - I realised that my thumb was resting on the metal clamp of my shifter/brakes. I covered this with a bit of bar tape and this made a huge difference.

effigy 11-30-07 02:20 PM

I'm very appreciative of this post. I'm on my fourth pair of gloves now and they finally worked this morning--no cold fingers. The trick was the extra extension that tightens beyond the wrists. This is crucial for me because I'm tall and my jacket will not velcro around regular gloves. With these I am able to tuck the jacket (and wrist bands) into the gloves and create a complete seal. Right now I'm using a pair of Gordini Aquabloc Down Gauntlets (that seemed to be getting cold towards the end of my 30 minute ride in 32, 17MPH winds), but I've also ordered the Pearl Izumi Lobsters to see how they compare. Any other recommendations would be appreciated :) Thanks.

kraxmel 11-30-07 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by effigy (Post 5722065)
I'm very appreciative of this post. I'm on my fourth pair of gloves now and they finally worked this morning--no cold fingers. The trick was the extra extension that tightens beyond the wrists. This is crucial for me because I'm tall and my jacket will not velcro around regular gloves. With these I am able to tuck the jacket (and wrist bands) into the gloves and create a complete seal. Right now I'm using a pair of Gordini Aquabloc Down Gauntlets (that seemed to be getting cold towards the end of my 30 minute ride in 32, 17MPH winds), but I've also ordered the Pearl Izumi Lobsters to see how they compare. Any other recommendations would be appreciated :) Thanks.

I'm going to try some of the things mentioned in this thread, but I also wanted to say, I really like my PI Lobsters. I always have cold hands, but they make them down right toasting most of the time.

Torrilin 11-30-07 03:53 PM

I've been using my usual winter mittens on the bike. They're a traditional style of Norwegian mitten, knit at a looser gauge than a traditional pair would be. 100% wool, fairly long cuffs, fairly loose for a mitten. If I'm out and active, my hands can end up *too* warm and start sweating. Once temperatures reach 0 F with strong wind, that will stop, but today's 19 F meant sweaty hands. I can handle gear shifts easily, since the mittens are loose enough to give me the use of individual fingers.

If the wind and temperatures get to the point where my usual mittens don't work, I'll knit myself a second pair at a more traditional gauge. It may seem counter-intuitive, but on a traditional mitten, little tiny stitches tend to mean it's a warmer mitten. Larger stitches mean the mitten is less wind resistant.

I tend to avoid gloves in very cold temperatures. It's pretty rare for a glove to be loose enough to keep my hands warm *and* provide a real dexterity advantage over my mittens.

effigy 11-30-07 07:21 PM


Originally Posted by kraxmel (Post 5722248)
I really like my PI Lobsters.

How long are the cuffs on those?

kraxmel 11-30-07 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by effigy (Post 5723927)
How long are the cuffs on those?

The elastic band is right at my wrist and the cuff is another 2 inches past that. They have no problem covering the end of the sleeves on the jacket I wear.

vrkelley 11-30-07 09:00 PM

+1 Most jersey and jacket sleeves are too short. If you have this problem you can cut off the ankle of a worn out sock an wear it around your forearm and wrist. This worked well so I've actually attached the extension to the heavier jerseys or sweaters. The extension tends to drag down lighter weight jerseys though.


Originally Posted by effigy (Post 5722065)
The trick was the extra extension that tightens beyond the wrists. This is crucial for me because I'm tall and my jacket will not velcro around regular gloves. With these I am able to tuck the jacket (and wrist bands) into the gloves and create a complete seal.


bhchdh 12-01-07 09:53 AM

"Can anyone recommend a good heavy windproof glove that will actually keep hands warm? Freezing fingers are enough to make me give up winter commuting unless I can solve this problem."

I had apair of North Face "technical" gloves that I purchased at an outdoor sports specialty store that worked suprisingly well for me last winter. I did not ride in weather below about 30F though. As I recall they had these gloves in several different temperature ranges.

It may have been these:
http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/...dc=0C5,001,163

vrkelley 12-01-07 11:07 AM

These Kombi gloves are good to -10F at any speed. Make sure the mitten or glove you choose still allows you to brake adequately though.

I bought this mitten about 7yrs ago...still holding up...price seems to have jumped but maybe you can get it cheaper elsewhere. Notice that the mittens clip together so you don't loose one. Very handy.
http://www.snowshack.com/detail/SNW+KB%2D02035+L
http://www.snowshack.com/imagesEdp/p72443b.jpg

Machka 12-10-07 07:49 PM


Originally Posted by Al Criner (Post 5701522)
Machka in the Long Distance forum says keeping the pulse points in your wrists and ankles warm will help keep hands and feet warm. She uses things like sweat bands on the wrists, for example.

Yup! I heard it for the first time on a radio program in Winnipeg where they were talking about winter survival ... like living outside in the winter like the Inuit do. The suggestion was to wear a band of real fur around the wrists, with the fur side in. For the feet, the suggestion was to wear a wider band of fur around the ankles, fur side in.

At the time I was working for Canada Post where I was outside in the cold for hours on end, and where I had to have manual dexterity ... so I couldn't wear heavy mitts or gloves. I was freezing my fingers. When I heard that program I started layering up my wrists with other materials, and to my [happy] surprise, I could work down to about -15C with bare hands. After -15C, I needed to wear those little mini-glove you can get in Walmart for $1. It was great!! :D

I have since purchased those sweat band things which tennis players wear, and I wear them on cool-cold days, and my hands are nice and warm. :)

As for the feet, have a look at my Cold Feet article here: http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm


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