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Category Archives: Cycling Gloves

Cycling gloves for spring, summer, fall and winter riding; gloves rain and windy conditions.

Winter Cycling: How To Keep Your Hands Warm

Note: This is the fifth installment in a series of articles on winter cycling. I hope to have the entire series finished by November and then publish it as a free PDF book that you can download from this website (the working title is, “A Guide To Winter Cycling”).

One of the hardest pieces of winter gear to find is the right pair of cycling gloves. Some cyclists try to use gloves that were designed for hunting or skiing, but most of the time they are disappointed—those gloves are insulated to keep your hands warm, but they are usually not windproof and as soon as your hands start to sweat the inside of the gloves turns to ice. I own more than twenty pair of full finger cycling gloves and in this article I want to highlight my favorite gloves for fall and winter cycling. I have included the temperature range that I recommend for each of these gloves, but your personal preferences might not be the same as mine.

Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves

Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves

50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 16 Celsius): The Planet Bike Orion Gel Glove is intended to be the first full finger glove you use in the fall and the last one you use in the spring before your regular summer gloves come out. However, this temperature range will vary depending on the type of cycling you do. A commuter or mountain biker might be able to wear these gloves in slightly cooler temperatures because they are generally moving slower and the wind will not impact them as much as a roadie riding along at 25 or 30 MPH. The palm of this glove is made of terry and the body is made of a four-way stretch woven spandex—these two pieces are held together with a thin strip of woven Lycra. This glove also has a large Velcro closure, so you can either keep the glove tight or loosen it up a bit as the temperature rises. Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves retail for $26 and they come with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

Gore Bike Wear Men's Alp X III Windstopper Gloves

Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X Windstopper Gloves

40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 10 Celsius): For this temperature range I prefer the Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves. My fingers do get cold in these gloves when the temperature drops into the 30′s. However, they are highly breathable and block the wind like no other gloves I’ve ever used. They have a bit of reflective trim on the fingers, but not enough to make them stand out much in low light conditions. The Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves have a list price of around $70. I often use a very thin liner under these gloves and that allows me to use them in even cooler weather. As for sizing, these gloves run a bit tight. If you are ordering these online make sure you order them at least one size larger than normal.

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves with removable fleece liner and windproof fabric

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves

30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to 4 Celsius): The Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Glove is absolutely the best winter cycling glove I’ve ever owned! Planet Bike advertises the Borealis as being a “3-in-1″ glove. The glove itself consists of a windproof outer shell and a removable fleece liner. You can use this glove wearing just the shell, or on a mild day you could ride with just the fleece liner, or put them together to have the best winter glove on the market. This glove also has a Neoprene cuff and pull tab with a Velcro closure. The cuff on the glove is big enough that you can pull it over the ends of your jacket to keep the heat in. There is also a fair amount of reflective piping on the back of the glove so motorists can see your hand signals at night. The Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Glove retails for $42 and this has to be the best value you will find in a winter cycling glove.

Quick Tip #1: The best way to find the right size for your winter gloves is to go into a bike shop and find one that fits you hands, then buy the next size larger glove. You always want your winter gloves to have a loose fit—the air pocket between the glove and your skin provides excellent insulation. Tight gloves in winter leads to frostbite (or worse).

Quick Tip #2: Many winter cyclists, runners and skiers leave their wet gloves sitting on top of the heat register on the floor to dry out—and this is certainly a lot faster than just leaving them on a table to dry. However, forced air has a tendency to not only dry gloves, but shrink them as well. If you exercise outdoors in the winter your gloves are going to get wet inside and a thermal convection boot and glove dryer will dry your gloves out in just a few hours, but will not cause them to shrink. Thermal convection boot and glove dryer are available at most sporting goods stores and retail for around $45.

There comes a time when even the best winter cycling gloves just can’t keep your hands warm anymore. Fortunately, there are mittens that attach to the handlebars on your bike that allow you to wear lightweight gloves in even the coldest of weather while your hands stay toasty warm—and they also block the wind better than any glove can. The three best-known brands of these handlebar mittens are Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies. I own a few pairs of each of these brands and use all of them (but not at the same time).

One of the biggest mistakes people new to winter cycling make is wearing clothing that is too tight—this impedes blood circulation and ends up making your colder. Layered, loose clothing allows warm pockets of air to form around you and give an extra insulating layer (it works on the same principle as a sleeping bag). If you ride in temperatures below freezing you really need to buy one (or more) of these products—there is no reason to have cold fingers on winter rides! I usually start using these mitts when the temperature is around 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 Celsius).

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

0 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to -4 Celsius): Bar Mitts attach to your handle bars with a simple Velcro cinch and can stay on all winter long without any problem. Once installed you can put your gloved hands into the mitts and ride in some of the worst weather possible without worrying about frostbite. I ride with my “fall gloves” (gloves I use when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees) even when the temperature is in the teens. Bar Mitts give you much more control over your bike since you are wearing thinner gloves (plus you can actually find your energy bars and gels by touch). Getting out of the mitts while riding is no problem.

Bar Mitts are made of 5.5mm thick neoprene (a synthetic rubber used in wetsuits) and has nylon laminated on each side. Bar Mitts are available for both road and mountain bikes and retail for $65 a pair (with free shipping within the contiguous United States). The folks at Bar Mitts ship their products out very quickly—I’ve ordered twice from them and both times the items arrived within five days after ordering.

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes for cold weather cycling

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes

The mitts for flat bars fit most mountain bikes, commuter bikes, and Townies. They also have a style available for road bikes with drop bars—one style is for the older Shimano style (externally routed cables), and another is for Campy, SRAM, the newer Shimano style (internally routed cables). The drop bar version of Bar Mitts only protects your hands when you are riding with them on the hoods (you have no protection when you hands are on the drops or flats). Bar Mitts retail for $65 a pair and the company offers free shipping within the contiguous United States (International shipping is also available).

Hunter Orange Moose Mitts

Hunter Orange HiVis Moose Mitts

-20 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 to -9 Celsius): Moose Mitts for Flat Bars (most mountain bikes) are made of thick 1000 denier Cordura, a sturdy and abrasion resistant material, and are lined on the inside with heavy fleece. The outside is coated with a windproof and waterproof membrane—it also has a decent amount of reflective material so cars can see you better at night. On the inside of the Moose Mitts there is a small internal pocket where you can put chemical hand warmers or use them as a storage area for your energy bars. One nice feature of Moose Mitts is the Velcro closure on the bottom of the mitts that allow you to close the mitts and keep the heat in if you stop to take a photograph or “nature break.”

Moose Mitts for winter cycling with your hands on the drops, flats, or hoods

Moose Mitts For Road Bikes

Moose Mitts also come in a road bike version for drop bars and, like the MTB version, are made of thick 1000 Denier Cordura and lined on the inside with heavy fleece. They are both windproof and waterproof. These mitts are attached to your handlebars by an elastic ring that goes over the bottom of your drops, a strip of Velcro on the top, and another strip of Velcro around your cables. There is also a strip of 3M reflective tape on the top of the mitts. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts allow you to ride your road bike with you hands in any of the three standard positions (on the drops, hoods, or flats). At first glance Moose Mitts look about as aerodynamic as a bookcase. However, I’ve ridden with them into 30 MPH headwinds without any trouble. In fact, and this is a very subjective opinion, I think the Moose Mitts create less drag than you would have with a pair of lobster gloves on.

Moose Mitts are hand-made in the U.S.A., but they are only manufactured during the winter months, so if you want a pair you need to order them soon—shipping can be a little slow if everyone decides to wait until the first snowfall to order. The mountain bike standard black sells for $70. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts sells for $75. They offer free shipping in the United States (Shipping to Canada is available).

Bike Poagies, manufactured by Dogwood Designs

Bike Poagies For Mountain Bikes

-40 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to -12 Celsius): Bike Poagies are manufactured and sold by Dogwood Designs, a small business in Fairbanks, Alaska (and those folks know what cold weather is really like). Bike Poagies fit over standard straight bar bicycle handlebars and allow you to slip your gloved hands in and ride in warmth and comfort. They have a durable nylon shell on the outside, polyester insulation in the middle, and a nylon taffeta lining. There is also a lightweight internal skeleton to make sure the Poagies hold their shape.

To attach Poagies to your bike you just slide them over your handlebar and then cinch them down around the bar with the attached elastic strap. There is also a gusset where you put your hands into the Poagies that you can close to keep the cold air out. However, I leave mine open most of the time because my hands get too warm when the Poagies are sealed up too tightly. If your bike has bar ends (like the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips) these Poagies will fit over them perfectly and allow you to still use several different hand positions. Bike Poagies are roomy enough that you can store a couple of energy bars or gels in them to keep them warm (or a chemical hand warmer if needed).

Standard Bike Poagies are good down to around -15 Fahrenheit. Dogwood Designs also offers Poagies Plus which are supposed to be good down to around -40 (I’ve never had a chance to try these out for myself). Both versions of Poagies are available with an optional reflective trim if you have to share your route with either cars or snowmobiles.

Bike Poagies sell for $98, and the Poagies Plus for $150. The optional reflective trim is an additional $12. Both versions of Poagies are available in an unbelievable seventeen different colors: Red, Royal Blue, Yellow, Neon Green, Hot Pink, Safety Orange, Electric Watermelon, Purple, Gold, Forest Green, Charcoal, Light Gray, Navy, Kelly Green, Chocolate Brown, Olive Green, and All Black. The cost for shipping to U.S. addresses is around $12 ($25 to Canadian addresses). The folks at Dogwood Designs do not have a Website. However, you can email them at dogwooddesigns@gci.net for a current brochure (they will send it to you as a PDF file).

Quick Tip #3: If you store your bike in an unheated garage (like most of us do) you can quickly warm up the inside of the mitts with a handheld hair dryer before you go on your ride (it just takes about 30 seconds per mitt). I bought a cheap hair dryer for a local drug store for under $10.00.

Quick Tip #4: If it is really cold outside you can toss disposable chemical hand warmers into any of these mitts and they will do an even better job of keeping you warm.

 

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Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies

There comes a time every fall when even the best winter cycling gloves just can’t keep your hands warm anymore. Fortunately, there are mittens that attach to the handlebars on your bike that allow you to wear lightweight gloves in even the coldest of weather while your hands stay toasty warm. The three best-known brands of these handlebar mittens are Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies. I a couple of pairs of each of these brands and use all of them (but not at the same time). I usually start using these mitts when the temperature is around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hunter Orange Moose Mitts

Hunter Orange HiVis Moose Mitts

Products like Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies not only allow you to wear thinner gloves (and thus increase hand dexterity), but they also block the wind better than any glove can. Sometimes people underestimate how much their hands perspire in the winter—after a couple hours of riding the inside of your gloves become saturated with moisture and the slightest bit of wind can turn your hands into blocks of ice.

One of the biggest mistakes people new to winter cycling make is wearing clothing that is too tight—it impedes blood circulation and ends up making your colder. Layered, loose clothing allows warm pockets of air to form around you and give an additional insulating layer (it works on the same principle as a sleeping bag). All three of these products allow for a layer of warm air to form around your gloves. If you ride in temperatures below freezing you need to buy one (or more) of these products—there is no reason to have cold fingers on winter rides!

I do have two suggestions if you use any of these mitts. First, if you store your bike in an unheated garage (like most of us do) you can quickly warm up the inside of the mitts with a handheld hair dryer before you go on your ride (it just takes about 30 seconds per mitt). I bought a cheap hair dryer for a drug store for under $10.00. Second, if it is really cold outside (under ten degrees) you can toss disposable chemical hand warmers into any of these mitts and they will do an even better job of keeping you warm.

All three of these brands of mitts are well made and I highly recommend all of them to you. I hope this article will hope you choose the one best suited for your needs.

Bar Mitts

Bar Mitts attach to your handle bars with a simple Velcro cinch and can stay on all winter long without any problem. Once installed you can put your gloved hands into the mitts and ride in some of the worst weather possible without worrying about frostbite. I ride with my “fall gloves” (gloves I use when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees) even when the temperature is in the teens. Bar Mitts give you much more control over your bike since you are wearing thinner gloves (plus you can actually find your energy bars and gels by touch). Getting out of the mitts while riding is no problem.

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

Bar Mitts are made of 5.5mm thick neoprene (a synthetic rubber used in wetsuits) and has nylon laminated on each side. Bar Mitts are available for both road and mountain bikes and retail for $65 a pair (with free shipping within the contiguous United States). The folks at Bar Mitts ship their products out very quickly—I’ve ordered twice from them and both times the items arrived within five days after ordering.

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes for cold weather cycling

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes

The mitts for flat bars fit most mountain bikes, commuter bikes, and Townies. They also have a style available for road bikes with drop bars—one style is for the older Shimano style (externally routed cables), and another is for Campy, SRAM, the newer Shimano style (internally routed cables). The drop bar version of Bar Mitts only protects your hands when you are riding with them on the hoods (you have no protection when you hands are on the drops or flats).

Moose Mitts

Moose Mitts are made of thick 1000 denier Cordura, a sturdy and abrasion resistant material, and are lined on the inside with heavy fleece. The outside is coated with a windproof and waterproof membrane—it also has a decent amount of reflective material so cars can see you better at night. On the inside of the Moose Mitts there is a small internal pocket where you can put chemical hand warmers or use them as a storage area for your energy bars. One nice feature of Moose Mitts is the Velcro closure on the bottom of the mitts that allow you to close the mitts and keep the heat in if you stop to take a photograph or “nature break.”

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Hunter Orange

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Standard Version

Moose Mitts for mountain bikes are available in either standard black or with an incredibly bright fluorescent Hunter Orange Cordura that has twice as much reflective material as standard Moose Mitts. Some Fat Bike riders are fortunate enough to be able to ride on groomed snowmobile trails. The downside of groomed trails is that a snowmobile running along at 30 MPH can easily overlook a cyclist, and in a snowmobile versus bicycle crash the snowmobile will always win. These HiVis mitts can be seen a long way off, even at night, and could possible save your life.

Moose Mitts for winter cycling with your hands on the drops, flats, or hoods

Moose Mitts For Road Bikes

Moose Mitts also come in a road bike version for drop bars and, like the MTB version, are made of thick 1000 Denier Cordura and lined on the inside with heavy fleece. They are both windproof and waterproof. These mitts are attached to your handlebars by an elastic ring that goes over the bottom of your drops, a strip of Velcro on the top, and another strip of Velcro around your cables. There is also a strip of 3M reflective tape on the top of the mitts. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts allow you to ride your road bike with you hands in any of the three standard positions (on the drops, hoods, or flats).

At first glance Moose Mitts look about as aerodynamic as a bookcase. However, I’ve ridden with them into 30 MPH headwinds without any trouble. In fact, and this is a very subjective opinion, I think the Moose Mitts create less drag than you would have with a pair of lobster gloves on.

Moose Mitts are hand-made in the U.S.A., but they are only manufactured during the winter months, so if you want a pair you need to order them soon—shipping can be a little slow if everyone decides to wait until the first snowfall to order. The mountain bike Super HiVis version of Moose Mitts sells for $90, while the standard black sells for $65. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts sells for $75. They offer free shipping in the United States (Canadian orders are $22 extra for shipping).

Bike Poagies

Bike Poagies are manufactured and sold by Dogwood Designs, a small business in Fairbanks, Alaska (and those folks know what cold weather is really like). Bike Poagies fit over standard straight bicycle handlebars and allow you to slip your gloved hands in and ride in warmth and comfort. They have a durable nylon shell on the outside, polyester insulation in the middle, and a nylon taffeta lining. There is also a lightweight internal skeleton to make sure the Poagies hold their shape.

Bike Poagies, manufactured by Dogwood Designs

Bike Poagies For Mountain Bikes

To attach Poagies to your bike you just slide them over your handlebar and then cinch them down around the bar with the attached elastic strap. There is also a gusset where you put your hands into the Poagies that you can close to keep the cold air out. However, I leave mine open most of the time because my hands get too warm when the Poagies are sealed up too tightly. If your bike has bar ends (like the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips) these Poagies will fit over them perfectly and allow you to still use several different hand positions. Bike Poagies are roomy enough that you can store a couple of energy bars or gels in them to keep them warm (or a chemical hand warmer if needed).

Standard Bike Poagies are good down to around -15 Fahrenheit. Dogwood Designs also offers Poagies Plus which are supposed to be good down to around -40 (I’ve never had a chance to try these out for myself). Both versions of Poagies are available with an optional reflective trim if you have to share your route with either cars or snowmobiles.

Bike Poagies On My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

Bike Poagies On My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

Bike Poagies sell for $98, and the Poagies Plus for $150. The optional reflective trim is an additional $12. Both versions of Poagies are available in an unbelievable seventeen different colors: Red, Royal Blue, Yellow, Neon Green, Hot Pink, Safety Orange, Electric Watermelon, Purple, Gold, Forest Green, Charcoal, Light Gray, Navy, Kelly Green, Chocolate Brown, Olive Green, and All Black. The cost for shipping to U.S. addresses is around $12 ($25 to Canadian addresses).

The folks at Dogwood Designs do not have a Website. However, you can email them at dogwooddesigns@gci.net for a current brochure (they will send it to you as a PDF file).

 

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Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove

Some us of ride our bikes at night because it is fun, others do it because they have no other choice. Regardless of why you are cycling at night you want to get back home safely—and that means proper lighting and reflectors. One of the greatest pieces of safety equipment I’ve ever bought was a pair of Glo Glov Reflective Sport Gloves and I never ride at night without them.

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove for cyclists

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Gloves are lightweight gloves that have several pieces of yellow retro-reflective vinyl sewn onto the back (and a red piece on the wrist). These gloves are specially designed for outdoor sports and are great for cyclists, runners, walkers or anyone who has to exercise near road traffic—the reflective strips can easily be seen from 1/4 of a mile away. While a reflective vest and taillight will allow motorists to see you, these gloves will allow them to see you signal for turns (or for a stop if you point the red reflective strip towards the back). These gloves work so well that I’ve had several motorists pull up beside me at a stoplight and ask about them.

These gloves have a padded grip palm and you can wear them alone or over your regular cycling gloves. These lightweight (only 1.5 ounces per pair) gloves are highly breathable and made of a non-fraying fabric (80% nylon, 20% spandex). As for sizing, these gloves are advertised as “one size fits all.” Incredibly, this is one of the few times that a claim like this is actually true—the gloves should fit any size hand from Medium to XXL. I wear XL cycling gloves and the Glo Glov fits of them without any trouble (and they come off just as easy).

Glo Glovs are made in the USA and sell for $20 on the Glo Glov Website (price includes shipping). I would highly recommend this product to anyone who cycles or runs at night.

 

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Best Gloves For Winter Cycling

Judging from the search engine terms that people are using to find this blog it seems as though many folks are already looking for winter cycling gear. One of the hardest pieces of winter gear to find is the right pair of cycling gloves. Some cyclists try to use gloves that were designed for hunting or skiing, but most of the time they are disappointed—those gloves are insulated to keep your hands warm, but they are usually not windproof and as soon as your hands start to sweat they turn to ice. I own more than twenty pair of full finger cycling gloves and in this article I want to highlight my favorite gloves for fall and winter cycling. The links in this article will take you to detailed reviews I have published in the past. One note about sizing: you always want your winter gloves to have a loose fit—the air pocket between the glove and your skin provides excellent insulation.

Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves

Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves

The Planet Bike Orion Gel Glove is intended to be the first full finger glove you use in the fall and the last one you use in the spring before your regular summer gloves come out. These gloves are great for temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees. However, this temperature range will vary depending on the type of cycling you do. A commuter or mountain biker might be able to wear these gloves in slightly cooler temperatures because they are generally moving slower and the wind will not impact them as much as a roadie riding along at 25 or 30 MPH. The palm of this glove is made of terry and the body is made of a four-way stretch woven spandex—these two pieces are held together with a thin strip of woven Lycra. This glove also has a large Velcro closure, so you can either keep the glove tight or loosen it up a bit as the temperature rises. Planet Bike Orion Gel Full Finger Cycling Gloves retail for $26 and they come with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

Gore Bike Wear Men's Alp X III Windstopper Gloves

Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X Windstopper Gloves

When the temperature is in the 40′s I really like the Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves. My fingers do get cold in these gloves when the temperature drops into the 30′s. However, they are highly breathable and block the wind like no other gloves I’ve ever used. They have a bit of reflective trim on the fingers, but not enough to make them stand out much in low light conditions. The Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves have a list price of around $60. I often use a very thin liner under these gloves and that allows me to use them in even cooler weather.

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves with removable fleece liner and windproof fabric

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves (Fleece Liner In Middle)

The Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Glove is absolutely the best winter cycling glove I’ve ever owned! Planet Bike advertises the Borealis as being a “3-in-1″ glove. The glove itself consists of a windproof outer shell and a removable fleece liner. You can use this glove wearing just the shell, or on a mild day you could ride with just the fleece liner, or put them together to have the best winter glove on the market. This glove also has a Neoprene cuff and pull tab with a Velcro closure. The cuff on the glove is big enough that you can pull it over the ends of your jacket to keep the heat in. There is also a fair amount of reflective piping on the back of the glove so motorists can see your hand signals at night. The Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Glove retails for $42 and this has to be the best value you will find in a winter cycling glove.

Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Cycling Gloves

Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Cycling Gloves

If you enjoy hardcore winter cycling then you are going to love Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Cycling Gloves! These gloves are waterproof, fully insulated, comfortable and insanely well made. These gloves are so warm that I would never wear them in temperatures above 25 degrees (Fahrenheit). I’ve used these gloves on many two-hour rides (or longer) when the temperature was in the single digits and they kept me toasty warm the whole time. Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Cycling Gloves retail for around $70. Pearl Izumi has recently changed the appearance of the gloves, so if you order a pair they might not look exactly like the ones in the photograph above.

If you really enjoy winter cycling (and who doesn’t?) then you might be better off with thinner gloves used in conjunction with Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts or Bike Poagies.

 
 

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Bike Poagies By Dogwood Designs

There is no reason for a cyclist to ever suffer from cold hands during winter rides—there are so many options available I am sure you can find something to keep your hands toasty warm even in the worst of conditions. If you love long rides in harsh winter conditions you should consider getting a pair of Bike Poagies (aka, pogies).

Bike Poagies By Dogwood Designs for warm hands in winter

Bike Poagies By Dogwood Designs

Bike Poagies are manufactured and sold by Dogwood Designs, a small business located in Fairbanks, Alaska (and those folks know what cold weather is really like). Bike Poagies fit over standard straight bicycle handlebars and allow you to slip your gloved hands in and ride in warmth and comfort. They are extremely lightweight, but offer an enormous amount of insulation around your hands.

Bike Poagies have a durable nylon shell on the outside, polyester insulation in the middle, and a nylon taffeta lining. There is also a lightweight internal skeleton to make sure the Poagies hold their shape. To attach Poagies to your bike you just slide them over your handlebar and then cinch them down around the bar with the attached elastic strap. There is also a gusset where you put your hands into the Poagies that you can close to keep the cold air out. However, I leave mine open most of the time because my hands get too warm when the Poagies are sealed up too tightly. If your bike has bar ends (like the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips) these Poagies will fit over them perfectly and allow you to still use several different hand positions. Bike Poagies are roomy enough that you can store a couple of energy bars or gels in them to keep them warm (or a chemical hand warmer if needed).

Bike Poagies, manufactured by Dogwood Designs

Bike Poagies For Winter Cycling

Standard Bike Poagies are good down to around -15 Fahrenheit. Dogwood Designs also offers Poagies Plus which are supposed to be good down to around -40 (I’ve never had a chance to try these out for myself). Both versions of Poagies are available with an optional reflective trim if you have to share your route with either cars or snowmobiles.

Bike Poagies sell for $95, and the Poagies Plus sell for $148. The optional reflective trim is an additional $12. Both versions of Poagies are available in an unbelievable seventeen different colors: Red, Royal Blue, Yellow, Neon Green, Hot Pink, Safety Orange, Electric Watermelon, Purple, Gold, Forest Green, Charcoal, Light Gray, Navy, Kelly Green, Chocolate Brown, Olive Green, and All Black.

The folks at Dogwood Designs do not have a Website. However, you can email them at dogwooddesigns@gci.net for a current brochure (they will send it to you as a PDF file).

 

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Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove For Cyclists

I ride all year long and in all weather conditions, so over the years I have acquired a lot of cycling wear. Without any hesitation at all I would tell anyone that Pearl Izumi is my favorite manufacturer of cycling clothing—they are known for their high quality products. However, even a great company can sometimes let a product go to market that doesn’t live up their normally high standards. One such product is the Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove.

Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove

Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove

The Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove has many great features. The first thing that drew my attention to this full-fingered glove was the Hi-Vis Screaming Yellow color (it is also available in solid black). Since I often ride in low-light situations I always appreciate gloves that allow motorists to see my hand signals, and very few gloves are as effective at this as the Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove. This glove also has reflective elements for additional low-light visibility. The fabric on this glove provides great insulation, odor-resistance, and moisture transfer. You will also find a soft fleece wiping surface on thumb and the silicone grips on the palms are the best I’ve seen in any cycling glove.

These are thermal gloves and they do an excellent job at keeping your hands warm, even though the gloves are very lightweight. These gloves are designed for cool weather, not the heart of winter. No glove can possibly work at all temperatures, but I think these gloves are very well suited for days when the temperature is in the 40’s.

Unfortunately, one fatal flaw makes this glove a product that I could not recommend to any cyclist—there is absolutely no padding on the palms (zip, zero, nada). Normally I wear cycling products out on at least five rides before I write a product review for them. However, these gloves were so painful that after one ride I knew I would never wear them again. I took these gloves out for a 50-mile ride, but had to turn around and head home after just ten miles because my hands were so numb because of the lack of padding in the palms.

The Pearl Izumi Thermal Glove retails for $25 and is available at most bike shops. If your local bike shop does not carry this glove you can easily order it from online retailers. I believe the glove is true to size, and while I cannot recommend it for cycling, I think any runner would love them!

 

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Moose Mitts Super HiVis Standard Version In Hunter Orange

A few weeks ago I published a review of the Trails Edge Moose Mitts For Road Bikes—they are bike pogies for road bikes that will help keep your hands warm on winter rides. Today I’d like to tell you about another product from Trails Edge, the Moose Mitts Super HiVis Standard Version for mountain bikes.

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Hunter Orange

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Standard Version

Most winter cyclists are already familiar with Moose Mitts or similar products (sometimes called bar mitts, gators, or pogies). For those of your who are new to winter cycling, Moose Mitts are best described as large mittens that fit over your handlebars so you can slip your gloved hands into them and keep your hands warm. Moose Mitts are made of thick 1000 denier Cordura, a sturdy and abrasion resistant material, and are lined on the inside with heavy fleece. The outside is coated with a windproof and waterproof membrane.

On the inside of the Moose Mitts you will find a small internal pocket where you can put chemical hand warmers or use them as a storage area for your energy bars (they will stay warmer this way). One other neat feature of Moose Mitts is the Velcro closure on the bottom of the mitts that allow you to close the mitts and keep the heat in if you stop to take a photograph or “nature break.”

Hunter Orange Moose Mitts

Hunter Orange HiVis Moose Mitts

The Super HiVis Moose Mitts are made from incredibly bright flourescent Hunter Orange Cordura and they have twice as much reflective material as standard Moose Mitts. Some Fat Bike riders are fortunate enough to be able to ride on groomed snowmobile trails which makes for easier cycling. The downside of groomed trails is that a snowmobile running along at 30 MPH can easily overlook a cyclist, and in a snowmobile versus bicycle crash the snowmobile will always win. These HiVis mitts can be seen a long way off, even at night, and could possible save your life.

Moose Mitts are hand-made in the U.S.A., but they are only manufactured during the winter months, so if you want a pair you need to order them by mid-February at the latest. The Super HiVis version of Moose Mitts sells for $90. If you don’t need the HiVis version you can buy Moose Mitts in standard black for $65.

 

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Moose Mitts For Winter Cycling On Road Bikes

Those of us who enjoy winter cycling on our road bikes know that one of the hardest things to do is to find a way to keep our hands warm when the temperature outside is below freezing. When the temperature drops below 25 degrees you almost certainly have to wear heavy gloves, like the Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Gloves. Lobster gloves will keep your hands warm, but they also limit your dexterity and you have to take them off every time you try to reach into one of your pockets. A better alternative for roadies is the Drop Bar Version of Moose Mitts from Trails Edge.

Moose Mitts drop bar version for road bikes

Moose Mitts drop bar version for road bikes

Moose Mitts are best described as large mittens that fit over your handlebars so you can slip your gloved hands into the mittens and stay warm. Moose Mitts are made of thick 1000 Denier Cordura and are lined on the inside with heavy fleece. They are both windproof and waterproof. These mitts are attached to your handlebars by an elastic ring that goes over the bottom of your drops, a strip of Velcro on the top, and another strip of Velcro around your cables. There is also a strip of 3M reflective tape on the top of the mitts.

The drop bar version of Moose Mitts allow you to ride your road bike with you hands in any of the three standard positions (on the drops, hoods, or flats). I need to point out that there are some competitors to Moose Mitts and most of them limit your hand positions.

Moose Mitts for winter cycling with your hands on the drops, flats, or hoods

You can use Moose Mitts with your hands on the drops, flats, or hoods

In my experience Moose Mitts warm your hands up by about 15 to 20 degrees. If you are riding with a pair of gloves that are only good down to 35 degrees, you will probably be able to wear them with Moose Mitts all the way down to 15 or 20 degrees. I have one pair of gloves that would normally have my hands freezing at 35 degrees, but with Moose Mitts those same gloves had my hands sweating at 23 degrees.

One of the questions you are probably asking yourself is, “What about the aerodynamics?” At first glance Moose Mitts look about as aerodynamic as a bookcase. However, I’ve ridden with them into 30 MPH headwinds without any trouble at all. In fact, and this is a very subjective opinion, I think the Moose Mitts create less drag than you would have with a pair of lobster gloves on. Riding with a 30 MPH crosswind didn’t create any problems either. Because the mitts are open in the back to accommodate a variety of hand positions, a strong tailwind can cool your hands down a bit (but your hands are still much warmer than they would be otherwise).

My only criticism of Moose Mitts is the location of the 3M reflective stripe—the reflective tape is on the top of the mitts so I don’t think it does much good (unless you ride in an area with a lot of low-flying aircraft). If you ride during the day it really doesn’t make any difference where the reflective tape is at. I ride a lot at night I always try to buy products with reflective tape. However, I realize that sewing reflective tape on something like thick Cordura is probably not very easy. Mike Flack, owner of Trails Edge, told me they are working on a Super Hi-Vis version of Moose Mitts that employs additional reflective stripes and is made of a Hunter Orange color fabric.

Moose Mitts are hand-made in Michigan by the folks at Trails Edge. These mitts are only manufactured during the winter months, so if you want a pair you need to order them by mid-February at the latest. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts sells for $75 and I think they are well worth the money. Trails Edge also makes Moose Mitts for mountain bikes (or any flat bar bike) and for hiking and cross-country skiing poles as well. The flat bar version sells for $60 a pair.

 

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The North Face TNF Apex Gloves

If you ride your bike the rain you really need to buy a pair of The North Face TNF Apex Gloves. While these gloves are not cycling-specific, they will do what very few cycling gloves can, i.e., keep your hands warm and dry in the pouring rain.

The North Face TNF Apex Gloves

The North Face TNF Apex Gloves

The North Face TNF Apex Gloves are the best gloves I’ve ever owned for riding in the rain. They are highly water-resistant, breathable and windproof. The first time I rode with these glove the temperature was around 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) and the rain didn’t let up during the entire three-hour ride. I was simply amazed at how comfortable my hands were during the ride—they were warm, but they never got wet and there was no moisture build-up in the gloves when I got home.

The shell for this glove is made of TNF™ Apex ClimateBlock with DWR (durable water-repellent). The interior lining is brushed tricot. The palm has silicone grippers that are fantastic for allowing you to grip the handlebars even in a heavy downpour—I don’t know of any cycling glove that has as good a grip in the rain.

Since The North Face TNF Apex Gloves are not specifically made for cyclists they do have three slight problems. First, you will not find a strip of terry cloth on the thumb to wipe off your sweat. More importantly, they do not have any padding in the palms. However, even after several hours in the saddle with these gloves my hands did not go numb. In addition, they lack any reflective piping like you would normally see on winter cycling gloves.

These gloves are available in four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and The North Face has a sizing chart available on their Website (see link above). The gloves seem to be true to size, but I would suggest you get them in one size larger than you normally wear just to allow a little more air to circulate around your fingers.

You will probably not find The North Face TNF Apex Gloves at any bike shop, but they are available at most sporting good stores, like Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and REI. These gloves retail for around $40, but you can buy them from online merchants like Amazon.com for around $28.

 

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Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves

This past April I picked up a pair of Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves on clearance at a brick-and-mortar REI store. However, before I got a chance to use this glove Planet Bike updated it so I bought a new pair a few weeks ago for review purposes. To call this glove an “update” doesn’t do it justice. About the only thing the 2011 Borealis glove has in common with the older version is the name. The older model of this glove appeared to be OK, but the new version is absolutely the best winter cycling glove I’ve ever owned!

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves with removable fleece liner and windproof fabric

Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Gloves

The Borealis glove has a windproof back panel that works incredibly well. Some cyclists try to ride in the winter with a warm pair of gloves they bought at a sporting goods store. However, a glove that was created for a hunter walking through the woods is not designed to block the wind like a glove made for cyclists. It doesn’t matter how warm the glove is if it can’t block the wind your hands are going to freeze.

The first time I rode with these gloves was on a 29 degree day with the wind blowing at 29 MPH. Since I was on my road bike the first 15 miles of the ride was directly into the wind. If you have ever cycled on a day like that you know there are very few gloves that could keep your hands warm. The Borealis glove functioned perfectly and kept me warm the entire ride.

As you can see in the photo above, the Borealis is a lobster claw glove, i.e., both your little finger and ring finger are in the same opening. This arrangement is meant to keep your fingers warm (and it works).

Planet Bike advertises the Borealis as being a “3-in-1″ glove. The glove itself consists of a windproof outer shell and a removable fleece liner. You can use this glove wearing just the shell, or on a mild day you could ride with just the fleece liner, or put them together to have the best winter glove on the market.

Personally, I would never ride with just the fleece liner since it does not have gel padding on the palms (plus I have a lot of other cycling gloves at my disposal). I think the best thing about this glove is that on a cold day you can stop and take the outer shell off as you grab a bite to eat or adjust your bike and still keep the fleece liner on. The ability to remove the fleece liner will really make a difference in the way you cycle in the winter. When you get home from a ride you can easily pull the liner out of the glove which will allow it to quickly dry. One of the biggest problems with most other winter cycling gloves is that they take forever to dry out (unless you use a boot and glove dryer).

This glove also has a Neoprene cuff and pull tab with a Velcro closure. The cuff on the glove is big enough that you can pull it over the ends of your jacket to keep the heat in. There is also a fair amount of reflective piping on the back of the glove so motorists can see your hand signals at night.

If I could change one thing on this glove it would be the lack of gel padding in the palms. This is not going to be a problem for most people since the fleece liner does cushion your hands, but for those of us who spend a lot of time riding in the winter extra padding would be appreciated. The glove does have a reinforced Serino palm, but it lacks gel padding. This glove is water-resistant, not waterproof (unless you are trying to make snowballs it won’t make any difference).

The Planet Bike Borealis Winter Cycling Glove retails for $42 and this has to be the best value you will find in a winter cycling glove. If you choose to order this glove from an online retailer make sure you ask for the new 2011 glove with the removable liner, not the model from last winter.

When the temperature drops down to below 25 degrees I would suggest the Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Gloves, or better yet, buy a pair of Bar Mitts that fit over your handlebars so you can ride with the Borealis glove all winter long.

 

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