Thursday, February 4

Gloves for Bicycles

Shooting Gloves - Good for Winter Cycling?
I have problems finding the right balance of warmth and flexibility in winter gloves. Ski mittens are plenty warm but awkward on the shifters and brakes - and they're horrible if one wants to take a swig from the water bottle without a formal stop. Work gloves even come in "high vis" colors, but the mesh backs leave my hands not much warmer than cycling gloves. Adding "convertible mitten/gloves" to the work gloves seem clunky and they don't stop the wind well enough on their own. The knit also seems like it won't wear well with shifting and handlebar work. It does look cute, however, to see my "high vis" work glove-covered fingertips sticking out from the knit mittens. This combo works best with the LH hand fully mittened and the RH hand in convertible mode - the better to work the shifter with.

Well, thanks to Andy, over at Carbon Trace, and his talk about his great coat from Bass Pro Shops, I decided to do a little looking of my own. Anybody use "shooting gloves" for cycling? Like shooting, a fold-back index finger would come in handy on occasion when cycling. Anyone have a theory about what insulation weight to use for cycling between about 20F and 40F? If I believe the Cabela's "Glove Guide," it'd be between 70 and 100 grams insulation. Below 20F, the Motorcycle Meter is too low for me around here anyway!

As described on the "Cabela's" website:
The sensitive tactility and amazing dexterity provided by the synthetic palms of these gloves make them a must for any hunter who demands technical performance and successful results. Hands stay toasty warm in 150-gram ArmourLoft™ insulation. Soft and comfortable brushed tricot lining. The fold-back trigger finger is great for squeezing off a shot or reloading. Water-resistant fabric repels moisture and wicks it away. ColdGear® liner cuff and adjustable wrist for a wind-tight seal. Imported.

Sizes: S-XL.
Camo patterns: Realtree® AP HD®, Mossy Oak® Treestand®.
Hmm, while I'm not a "high vis" fanatic, perhaps going from black to camo is a step in the wrong direction? On the other hand, I DO like green. Good thing I carry multiple lights...

Convertible Half Finger Mittens from REI
Warm but not Wind Resistant - and they Run Small
Before you know it, all this will be academic anyway. The days are getting noticeably longer already...


Chandra said...

I bought the PI Pittard gloves. I don't like the fact that I can't do any fine manouvres with these things on, as you pointed out. I have tried REI's mittens (fleece) while they are great for photographing (stick your fingers out to rotate the lens barrel, push some buttons on the camera body etc), they are not very good when you are riding at 10-15 mph or more. Your fingers freeze soon when it is cold out. used to have some great suggestions for these kinds of things. however, i notice that of late, some of their links are broken ones (

I use my world famous walgreens gloves for days such as today. they are okay except when it rains.

Peace :)

Tracy Wilkins said...

I use a pair of Pearl Izumi something or others down to about 40 degrees. Between 40 and 30ish, I go with

and below 30 degrees, it's my hard-core Cloudveil ski mittens.

I actually prefer the lobster mitts, but this particular pair of mittens seem loose enough that I don't lose a lot of dexterity on the shifters and brakes.

But then again....I'm not in your tropical clime!

Steve A said...

Something or other. Cyclone perhaps? How many flames? PI ratings seem unusually cryptic and my LBS doesn't have much cold weather expertise. Strange considering it never got above 60 today.

Apertome said...

Gloves are one area where I really think it's worth it to get cycling-specific ones.

I wear Specialized Deflect gloves anywhere from 50 degrees or so, down to 0. These things are amazing. They cost about $40, but they really do work for me over that entire temperature range. Specialized rates them as good down to 50 degrees, but that's nonsense. Below 10 degrees they're borderline, but my other option there are ski gloves, and they are always too warm for me.

The only real downside I've found is they don't seem to last as long as I'd like. But, I've recently decided I've been washing them too often, and that may be at least partially to blame. Also, mountain biking is a lot rougher on them than recreational road or around town rides.

My hands do get cold in these sometimes, but only at the very beginning of a ride, or after a break, or immediately after getting wet. Given a few minutes they warm right back up, somehow.

Rantwick said...

I love my high-vis work gloves, with rubberized fingers and palms and woven backs, but my fingers have beenhurting with cold below -5 C (23 F). Since I'm still finding the perfect cold weather hand wear elusive, I'm considering custom-making my own set of "pogies"...

Pogies are hoods that attach to your flat bar, covering brake levers, shifters, and shielding your hands. The ones I've seen look really beig and stupid, so that's why I may try something on my own.

Steve A said...

I sense a future "Monday" Rantwick post and I look forward to an elegant solution...

Rantwick said...

Who knows if I'll ever get around to it, but my ideas so far have had "terrible bike hack" written all over them...

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