Can't Stay in a World Without (bike) Gloves.
November 27, 2012 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Winter 2012 -- Help me arrive at work, via bike, with functional hands.

I currently have these from REI, and this morning, for the first time this year, I was reminded of their inadequacy in colder weather. And when it gets down to around 25F, they are very inadequate.

So what is your latest, greatest glove for cold/wet weather biking? What works for you?

posted by Danf to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You need serious lobster gloves!
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

Get these. They do for me down to around -10F in Minnesota winters.
posted by entropone at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used to bike year-round here in Seattle, and the winters are cold and wet, and it was an hour ride to/from work. The best and most affordable solution I found was to layer glove liners with inexpensive rubber gloves.

Take the glove liners with you to the hardware store to make sure they fit inside when wearing both. This is the only truly waterproof and warm solution. Otherwise you're going to pay $$$ for fancy warm, waterproof gloves.

And if the rubber gloves get a hole? Replace them :)
posted by jpeacock at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'll elaborate on my response a bit -
Your climate will definitely affect what will work for you. Stuff that works for very cold, dry weather doesn't necessarily do particularly well in the wet.

I have found most cycling-specific gloves, including various lobster gloves, to be fairly unimpressive in weather below freezing.

Double Ragg mittens are really great, especially with a cheap gloveliner - they keep my hands very warm but obviously I don't have a whole lot of dexterity. For a singlespeed with flatbars and big brake levers, they're fine, but not so good for road shifters and brakes. That's when I use the trigger mittens I linked to, above - they're warm, you can get one-finger dexterity when you need it and then tuck it back into the mitten cavity when that finger gets cold.

For wetter weather, I've heard great things about Sealskinz gloves, but have never used them.

jpeacock's approach sounds interesting.
posted by entropone at 8:36 AM on November 27, 2012

Winter-weight motorcycle gloves, or snowmobile gloves.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:38 AM on November 27, 2012

At school in the mountains I had something like these handle bar mitt things and they were the absolute best because:

a) fancy gloves are super powered when you put them inside the mitts
b) your hands will not fall off and shatter if you forget your fancy gloves
posted by skrozidile at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2012

Seconding lobster gloves.

Keeping fingers together helps share warmth. Mine are very comfortable down to -20°C-ish (-4°F-ish). I wear them through anything, the coldest being a 'real' temperature of -32°C (-26°F) and windchill 'feels like' -40°C (-40°F).

I won't lie to you, at those lower temperatures, my hands do get cold and uncomfortable.
posted by mazola at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2012

If you want to go nuclear on this: Bar Mitts, worn in conjunction with cycling gloves.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2012

I'm a year-round biker in Madison, WI with a tendancy toward extra cold hands. Lobster gloves work ok to around 25 for me, but below that, I move to duck down mittens with thin liner gloves. The mittens are very warm and also flexible, so I still find it easy to shift and brake, and the liners mean I can pull off the mittens to lock up or tie a shoe without getting instantly numb. This strategy keeps me comfortable on a bike for 30 min well below 10 degrees.

My husband, who will undoubtably weigh in here, rides farther than I do (60 min) to work, and he swears by neoprene Bar Mitts.
posted by juliapangolin at 8:44 AM on November 27, 2012

I like lobster gloves, but they just don't seem warm enough when it gets really cold. I'm going to agree with the late trend and go for bar mitts (aka pogies) with a decent glove inside. You want a decent glove inside because the components inside are goning to be cold. I like the Craft Weather for road style handlebars.

For shifters that don't need dexterity, I just wear a pair of choppers, leather mittens.
posted by advicepig at 8:53 AM on November 27, 2012

Make sure to keep your trunk and head as warm as possible. That's where the blood from your extremities go to protect your brain and other vital organs. That's why the blood vessels in your hands and feet constrict.
posted by Elsie at 9:18 AM on November 27, 2012

Handwarmers - the chemical packet type -- are cheap and work wonderfully.
posted by ellF at 9:48 AM on November 27, 2012

They do make battery-powered hand-warming gloves and glove liners for extra warmth.
posted by erst at 10:32 AM on November 27, 2012

nthing glove liners. It's nice to have a backup pair to wear while the other is in the wash. And they will get stinky, better that they get sweaty than your gloves.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:45 AM on November 27, 2012

Try chemical hand warmers. They are the bomb (as it were).
posted by scratch at 11:38 AM on November 27, 2012

The bar mitts sound intriguing. The deciding factor may be how easily they come off and go on, since I lock my bike here and there.

I had never heard of these before, though.
posted by Danf at 11:47 AM on November 27, 2012

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