In Search of Perfect Winter Cycling Gloves

I have a pile of winter cycling gloves in my garage.  I’m pretty sure most of my cycling friends have the same sort of glove collection.

Winter cycling gloves become an important topic of discussion every year when temperatures drop and the winter rain arrives.  Last week my friend, Jeff, starting talking about yet another new glove that is supposed to keep your hands warm in temperatures down to 32 degrees.  From his early experience, he’s rating them effective down to 42 degrees. There’s always hope that the new styles will have some kind of magic warmth built into them.

Today we swung by Western Bike Works to pick up some new tires and I caught Megan looking at, you guessed it, new winter gloves.  Stop. No. Put them down!  Here are some winter cycling gloves with the cold, rainy Oregon winter seal of approval.

What’s on Our Hands Now

Sugoi Firewall XT Winter Cycling Glove:  I love these.  They are super easy to get off and on, are windproof, work well even when soaking wet from rain, and have a nice soft nose wipe. Highly recommended.

Gore Countdown Gloves: Last winter we tried out Gore Countdown gloves and have been impressed enough to recommend them to several friends. Not bulky, windproof, quick to dry.

Pearl Izumi P.R.O Barrier WXB: Waterproof, fleece-lined, reflective elements, nose wipe.

A Couple of Tips

  • Look for windproof fabric like Windstopper
  • Leave little bit of breathing room.  You should be able to move your fingers around so air circulates.  Too tight and your fingers turn into little ice sticks.

If It’s Really Cold Try Hand Warmers

Hot HandsA couple of years ago, after finishing up rides with fingers cold enough to snap like twigs, we tried putting hand warmers in our gloves.

While not perfect, they certainly help keep your hands warmer than any glove I’ve found, especially if  you’re going to be out riding for longer than a couple of hours.  The hand warmers last an incredibly long time — up to ten hours.  They also help keep your gloves dry by generating a constant source of heat.

The Benefits

  • Hands keep so much warmer than any glove can provide – what other benefit do you possibly need?

The Drawbacks

  • They can get really hot – hot enough to hurt sometimes
  • They can bunch up and make gloves uncomfortable
  • Hands can get dry and chaffed