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Warm paws - any mitt (not Romney) fans out there?(5 posts)

Warm paws - any mitt (not Romney) fans out there?mass_biker
Dec 18, 2002 6:28 AM
You'd think after almost 15 years in New England I'd figure out how to keep my fingers warm. I am all set down to the mid/high-20s (Pearl Izumi Lobsters seem to suck the least - it only takes half a day to warm the fingers back up). But below 25 or so it is all I can do to not turn my hands into two blocks of ice.

I was wondering who out there uses true mittens - like Dachstein boiled wool mountaineering mitts or polarfleece mittens under shells for cycling? Any first hand impressions? I'm on a fixed gear for most of the coldest months so supreme finger flexibility is not the highest priority. Still having fingers when I am done with my ride is a priority though.

I welcome your thoughts.

re: Warm paws - any mitt (not Romney) fans out there?ManBehindTheCurtain
Dec 18, 2002 8:02 AM
I am a mitten person. Gloves seem to me to be some sort of fashion statement. If warmth is your intention then keep your fingers next to each other, wear mittens.

I have a pair of knit wool mittens, the type normally used in Minnesota as what we call chopper liners. I'm not sure what you call them in New England but in Minnesota choppers are a mitten combination of leather outer over wool liner, usually used for active outdoor pursuits, like pond hockey.

Choppers are not suitable for cycling as the leather outer is not flexible enough and perhaps more importantly, it has no place to wipe your nose. So I have a pair of fleece mittens which I got at REI for $18 which I use as an outer. The fleece seems to cut the wind quite well. The two mitten combination is highly flexible, very warm, and soft on the nose. I wear my Specialized Body Geometry bicycling gloves underneath for the BG ulnar nerve pad and together the system is working. My hands are warm.

I am riding a cyclocross bike with Shimano 105 STI levers and the mittens are plenty flexible to allow the finger dexterity necessary to shift using this system. The lowest temperature I have ridden in since adopting this system is 17 with a wind chill of 2 and my hands were fine. My feet got a little cold that day but my hands were fine.

I call them fleece choppers. I recommend them.
re: Warm paws - any mitt (not Romney) fans out there?sistinas
Dec 18, 2002 8:25 AM
I don't think I'd feel comfortable using mittens to ride - I'd lose too much dexterity.

I will say that I have a pair of Pearl Izumi AmFib gloves (I don't know if you have the AmFib lobsters?) and they've been fine for Boston commuting - even when the windchill puts the temperature in the single digits. One thing I do do that might keep my hands warmer is slather a bunch of lotion onto my hands before I put my gloves on to keep them moisturized and that does seem to help.
OK, I'm going to amplify a bitManBehindTheCurtain
Dec 18, 2002 8:45 AM
I also have a pair of Pearl Izumi AmFib Lobsters. No good.

The Lobsters are more glove than mitten. If you want to keep your fingers warm, keep them together. That means mittens. The Lobsters attempt to keep your fingers warm with a lot of extra insulation. Insulation equals bulk equals loss of range of motion and dexterity. My dexterity with my fleece choppers is considerably greater than with the Lobsters. The REI fleece outers have a textured palm and thumb to enhance grip. The texture does nothing to reduce flexibility, however, and I have no problems with holding the bars with half a hand while reaching for the brake levers with the other half hand. I have no problems using a single finger to locate and manipulate the inner shifting lever on the double lever brake shift combination. I have plenty of flexibility to do any and all tasks on the bicycle which I do in the summer time when I am wearing no hand covering. The fleece choppers do not restrict me in any way.

In short, no dexterity problems with this mitten combination. My comfort and dexterity are superior to what I experience when using the Lobster glove.
Layers, layers, layers.eyebob
Dec 18, 2002 10:32 AM
I use your basic heavy cotton liners underneath pair of Med. weight REI gloves and I have no problems. I too ride around in this cold weather and I've not had any problems. This combo is pissah. Same goes for my feets. two layers of socks, the Pearl izumi neoprene bootie keep them warm up until the last 20 min so of a ride.