The Chainlink

HELP! Expert suggestions needed for cold hands/fingers!

Hi Chainlink,

So I'm grappling (again) with the cold winter days and I need a solution to my abnormally cold hands. I think it's Renauld's disease but the bottom line is my hands will get numb/cold in about 15 minutes riding in any temps below 30.

Any specific techniques, products, etc??

I broke down and have spent $$$ on the OR Alti mitts (used for Antarctic expeditions!) and I sure hope that does the trick.

Note: I have been using a 3-layer glove system: wool liner, windstopper, outer waterproof she'll trigger finger. But it's not working!

Also, I refuse to spend $ on hot hand packets for the next 4 months.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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So I needed enough data points to conclude on this - but I have to say I'm VERY impressed with the OR Alti Mitts' peformance. 

Despite below 0 temps, head winds, etc. the OR mitts did as promised. And again I have abnormally cold hands to begin with. The $120 I spent really did make a difference in my daily winter commute. I'm no longer fearing frostbite!

I still use a glove liner with the OR mitts and when it's REALLY cold (i.e., < 0 F) I will put a couple hothands warmers in there and it does quite nicely.

Thanks to all who came with suggestions in terms of keeping your core warm etc. I've also invested in some wool base layers - I highly recommend these as a budget-friendly choice: Kenyon Polartec base layers for men/women & made in USA!

Ride safe & stay warm everybody,

Ski mittens! Your naked fingers need to share their warmth. Mittens don't do what they are supposed to do if your naked fingers cannot touch each other. If you need a liner underneath, use mitten style liners and not glove style liners. I use Columbia brand ski mittens (found on sale) and they keep me warm even in polar vortex conditions.

I went to the surplus store on Lincoln and got 2 pairs of polypropylene glove liners, I use those with the fleece liners and shells from my PB Borealis glove and have little trouble until the end of my 30 minute commute home with the windchill in the -teens.

I still got really cold finger tips on my thumb, index, and middle finger because the gloves I have leave those digits loose, but it wasn't too bad.

My below 20 degree solution is a pair of Carhartt Systems Mittens (from STP), coupled with a pair of Fox River Ragwool Mittens.

Honestly a great, no cold hands combination that also dries fast at the office for the ride home. Over 20 but below 40 I've been using the Carhartts with a thin smartwool liner glove. 

The theme of keeping the core protected and warm is correct.

If not already said, protecting your whole face, nose, neck, head, and eyes from windchill will also matter.  Ditto the feet.  I like wearing a down vest inside or a down jacket inside (or heavy wool). A windstop layer can help.  Columbia Winter hiking boots; and especially a thin wool balacava under a North Face Windstopper cap with a drawstring for it; finally a neophrece face mask that also covers my nose.

Lastly I include a helmet cover for blocking wind; not the rain gear type as it is not thick enough to help warm.

Tossing out one other idea which requires no clothing changes... I find sometimes that I'm hunkered down and tense across my shoulders and upper arms. This is especially true if I'm struggling into a headwind. It helps to consciously relax a bit. While it's a secondary effect, I'm sure it doesn't help blood flow to your hands.

Since I discovered Bar Mitts ( my hands are never cold.  Most of the time I use a light weight full fingered cycling glove.  On real cold days (< 10 degrees F) I upgrade to a heavier glove.

I wish I had a way to keep my feet as warm as my hands!

Mittens work for me.

Latex gloves, inside of mechanics/work gloves from home improvement store. $10 solution that works to 10degF for me. If below 10degF I add another insulation layer, like $1 cotton gloves. This solution has worked well for me at -10degF. I'm even able to fix flats with the dexterity. May not work for some of you, but latex base layer can supplement any other solution - if you can handle the wetness.

I have DIY foot covers over my toe clips. I also supplement with plastic bags on my feet when it gets really cold. Similar strategy as the latex gloves in my post above. $0 solutions to supplementing your current setup. Give it a try.

CITGO Cycling said:

Since I discovered Bar Mitts ( my hands are never cold.  Most of the time I use a light weight full fingered cycling glove.  On real cold days (< 10 degrees F) I upgrade to a heavier glove.

I wish I had a way to keep my feet as warm as my hands!



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