The Chainlink

I am a newbie to commuting on my bike. My husband and I used to commute to work together but with a change in our schedules (thanks a lot CPS) I found myself without a car.Rather than take a bus and a train, I dusted off my bike and started riding to school. I've battled the rain, the horrible winds from Sandy but my biggest challenge so far has been the cold. Last Monday my hands were so cold it was painful. I have nylon liners and lobster claw gloves but they did nothing to prevent my hands from turning into frozen claws. Can anyone recommend gloves? I need to buy something this weekend as I've heard Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be chilly. (I've never been such an avid weather watcher!)


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Julie, if you were responding to me, thank you.  I bought a lifetime supply at Costco early this year and have not used them once so I have plenty! In fact, I can help out anyone who might need them. ;-)

Ok. So I ordered reusable hand warmers (didn't even know those existed), bought some Smart wool liners like someone suggested and am going to use disposable hand warmers on Tuesday and Wednesday and shove them up in the fingers like Lawrence said. Thanks everyone for your advice! I should have joined this forum months ago when I first started to ride. I'm fairly certain all my friends and co-workers with cars are tired of hearing my rode stories!


On a side note, I also joined Charity Miles. So now when it's freezing cold and I'm asking myself why in the world I am getting on my bike, I have an extra motivation!

Some advice on what NOT to get for degrees under 20:

Honestly I wore them at around 20 degrees with smart wool liners and they were ok, my finger tips got a little cold but not too bad.  But today, at 0 degrees with windchill, my finger tips were in Physical pain after about a mile.  I guess its a bit of misuse on my part because these are meant for more wet riding than cold riding.  Guess I'll save them for the next snow day...whenever that happens again.  

This what I wear, bought them on sale at my LBS for the same price.  The liners are windproof so they work to about 20, the waterproof shell makes my hands sweat at anything above 10.  I had them both on this morn and my hands were toasty the whole way.


Oops looks like they are not for online sale.  But I stand behind the subzero's

I have cold hands in general, so this is big for me. On really cold days, I use these 20-something-year-old patagonia ski mittens - maybe they still make them? - with serious, thick fleece liners, and my hands are fine riding downtown (8 miles). I love them too because the top layer is windproof and snowproof, but also long enough to cover my wrists. When it's in the high teens-20s, they are too hot and my hands sweat (eew), so I use my tech gloves inside the outside layer and that is perfect, too.

I highly recommend full-on mittens for those with cold hands. 

I have been experimenting with Bar Mitts this season, and I have to say that I am really impressed!

I rode today (10.2 mile commute, 4 degrees, -8 with windchill) wearing latex gloves and Pearl Izumi Softshell gloves (relatively lightweight) and BarMitts...and my hands were quite warm. I am usually one who get's cold hands very easily, and have gone through a lot of different configurations.


anyone who is interested, I am actually teaching a Cold Weather Cycling Class tonight at REI in Lincoln Park:


Feel free to come!



I avoid glove liners personally and opt for slightly more roomy lobster claws (I like Giro's 100 Proof which incidentally come with liners). I think this lets there be a pocket of warm air inside. My feet are always colder with tight shoes or doubled-up socks; same idea.

There was a Bar Mitts booth at the bike swap at Harper College on Saturday. They were selling the road drops version for $45, not sure about the flat bar version. Maybe they will also be at the UIC swap in March. Too late for this winter, but maybe a good opportunity to prepare for next season.   

Hurray for warm gloves and good advice. My hands have stayed toasty all week. 

Outdoor Research Meteor Mitts are water/wind proof and have a pouch on the fleece mittens where you can put a handwarmer. 

Temperature sensitivity varies greatly.  Ive frozen fingers and toes in the past and now I have a hard time keeping them warm.  I rely on chemical warmers to get me through winters.

h' 1.0 said:

Certainly some good info in those old threads... but I'm baffled a bit by the OP.

I have mid-priced lobster gloves that came with liners, and I haven't had to use the liners once this year, and have had no trouble with cold hands.

Can I ask what brand of gloves? Is there a chance they were chosen a size too small to allow for finger movement within the gloves?

I recently got some education on hand warmers from a scientifically inclined fellow rider.  The hand warmers react to oxygen.  If you put them in a sealed plastic bag after your morning commute they will not burn out during the day when you don't need them.  You will have a usable hand warmer for the commute home. I tried this and lo and behold he was right! Hand warmers usually last 8-10 hours. However, if you work that long the bag method will keep your warmers warming and  your fingers toasty for the return commute.  I currently see these for a buck a piece.

I bought a box of 40 from Costco for about $20 a couple years ago. I don't think Costco has them now and I am finally running out.  

edit- I see them cheaper at Target. You can get them at WalMart but I don't shop there.


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