Gloves for cold weather cycling have to meet a variety of requirements. Along with providing the normally expected vibration protection, they have to block the wind, and keep your hands warm and dry. They must do this and not interfere with shifting and braking. The right pair of gloves can make big difference in how comfortable you feel when riding in the cold. You will typically find three weights of cool and cold weather cycling gloves. How cold you ride will determine what works best for you.
Protecting Your Hands in Cold Weather Riding
First and lightest are shell gloves, intended for cool morning rides (50 degrees and up). The DeFeet Dura Gloves are perfect example in this category. Pulled on over your summer gloves, they protect the fingers, give good dexterity, and can easy be stashed for the day once the temperature warms up.
For those days just around freezing and above, insulated gloves are best. Wear these when you expect to wear gloves the entire ride, or are riding in coolest part of the day, like morning bicycle commuting in Indianapolis. Louis Garneau Gel EX-Z are typical of this class combining laminated fleece for good dexterity, a padded gel palm and a long snug cuff to meet the end of your jacket. The Descente Woombat use a breathable, windproof fabric called TriComp, and feature a retraceable mitten cover for additional protection.
Technical thermal mittens are the best protection in extreme cold (below freezing) riding. The Pearl Izumi AmFib Lobster Glove is one of the most popular of this class. Pearl Izumi AmFib fabric (also available in regular gloves) is wind resistance and breathable, and the split finger design gives good dexterity for the controls of both road and off-road bikes. When riding this cold, you may want breathable liner gloves as well, like the Smart Wool Liner Glove. Liners can also protect your hands if you have to change a flat in the cold!
Of course, your individual tolerance for cold will make a difference in what works for you. And if you don’t keep your core warm, the best gloves in the world will not be able to protect your hands. Gloves and mittens are just part of the winter cycling clothing selection available at Bicycle Garage Indy.