Nobody likes to stay indoors for months on end, and well you certainly shouldn't suffer the bitter cold with improper use of winter clothing or the layering system. Beginning with the extremity in our level of expertise, the hands. Our windproof gloves technology feature enough protection without the extra bulk of a ski glove. Read up on Gravel Bike and winter riding expert, Matt Surch's tips for riding in comfort during the next few months.
Take it away Matt...
Everyone is different, so you’ll need what you need. Bar mitts are an option that makes the whole system pretty simple. You can use not-so-heavy gloves inside, and maintain full dexterity. However, many, myself included, get anxious when thinking about fat biking with bar mitts, and not being able to get hands free fast enough when about to crash. I’m told this isn’t really a problem.
HOT TIP: You might be able to ride comfortably with less hand protection than you think. Try starting out your ride with lobster or mitt shells over the gloves you want to ride in. After about 15 minutes of pedaling, check in to see if your hands are toasty. If so, pull the shells off, and continue on. If your hands are cool, stop for a minute to ‘the whip.’ This move mimics double poling of XC skiing, but with a really accentuated flick of the hands at the 6-o’clock position. This forces blood into the ends of the fingers, and ‘supercharges’ the circulation of blood. Generally, after charging the hands, they stay warm for the balance of the ride, unless the gloves used are totally inadequate and/or intensity drops off.
Around freezing, insulated gloves with wind-stopping fabric on the back of the hand work well once your circulation gets going. The lightest option I’ve successfully used in this temp range is Handske’s Windproof gloves, which have just the right density of insulation on the palms to feel really direct, and wind doesn’t get through their backs.
Some use chemical warmers within their gloves or mitts. I don’t see the need for them, personally, but again, everyone is different. If you can get the right coverage, and supercharge your hands, you might be able to spare the expense and garbage.
HOT TIP: For many reasons, taking extra gloves along is a great idea. This often means an extra set of liner gloves, perhaps a shell. What you want to avoid is getting these spares wet from carrying them against your body. So, two good options: 1) carry extra gloves in a zip-loc bag in a jersey or jacket pocket; 2) carry your spares in a handlebar bag, along with a hot drink!
Full-body article with more tips can be read here.
Full windproof glove collection here.
Credit: Matt Surch