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The Cold hands due to cold/wind question had a number of good recommendations, including using gloves with Windstopper branded material. My ski gloves are worn out so I purchased this silk weight Windstopper pair of gloves (WARMER - not WARMEST or WARM) last week to see if it could measure up to ski gloves.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VN86J6

They did not even come close. Commuting between 17-25 MPH on an electric bike in pedal assist mode (high cadence, low effort) at 50 degrees or so for 20 minutes, my hands are cold, and do feel the wind a little. My 10 year old thick ski gloves are much warmer. The upside of this pair of Windstopper gloves is that my fingers are fully mobile, as compared with my thick ski gloves which reduced finger dexterity to the point where it reduced reaction time for shifting and ringing the bell.

This morning I tried using regular bike gloves worn under the Windstoppers, and that at least kept my palms warm, but fingers were still cold.

What is the best way to use Windstopper-based gloves. Do they require liners to be effective?. If so, which brands/models are appropriate for which temperatures?

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Those are the same Windstopper gloves that I have and my experience is the opposite. I stay quite warm. I've never ridden an electric bike, I wonder if you are not generating heat. –  Glenn Gervais Mar 7 '12 at 21:24
    
You're right to wonder about that. I'm using pedal assist mode so I do pedal, but not that hard. High cadence but not having to exert much effort. By the end of my 20 minute ride I am warm in all other parts of my body but not sweating. When it is a bit warmer (above 55 degrees), the gloves have been fine. I edited the question to indicate that I'm pedaling. –  Joe Golton Mar 7 '12 at 21:30
    
I don't know that this is an appropriate forum for seeking advice about riding an electric bicycle. Maybe you could try a motorcycle or scooter forum. –  user973810 Mar 7 '12 at 21:43
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@user973810 7 questions are tagged with electric-bike. With this particular question, I'm using pedal assist mode. It's the equivalent of riding a regular bike down a 2% grade, pedaling at a high cadence with only a little effort. It's not zero effort like a motorcycle or electric scooter. I'm a regular bike rider but I started using an electric bike a year ago only because I've had some recurring leg injuries. Pedaling easily at a high cadence allows me to continue to do a bike commute, as opposed to buying a 2nd car for our household. –  Joe Golton Mar 7 '12 at 21:57
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@user973810 If you want to debate whether electric assist bikes are on topic, start a meta post. –  freiheit Mar 8 '12 at 1:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

They'll never provide as much insulation as ski gloves, on their own - they're not designed to.

They're intended to block the wind (so minimising the convection heat loss due to high airflow) but still allow you to breathe (which implies you still get the heat loss due to evaporation).

A wicking/insulating liner underneath will add some straight insulation too; if it isn't wicking or fairly open weave you'll lose breathability, but on the other hand an open-weave glove the wind would otherwise cut right through will actually be useful with these over the top.

For comparison, I sometimes wear a windproof shirt for running, usually in the winter: if I wear it over a singlet and it sits against bare skin on my arms, it doesn't add much (or any) warmth. If I wear it over a baselayer, it adds lots, while still being lighter than an equivalent softshell and more breathable than a hardshell.


tl;dr - use a thin, breathable insulating liner. Wool will probably work well.

Oh, and pay attention to the cuffs and your sleeves: any part of your arm not covered, even if it doesn't feel cold itself, will be losing heat that should be reaching your hands.

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+1 for cuff insulation. Very true. –  heltonbiker Mar 8 '12 at 2:56

I commute (cycle) for 60 minutes each way.

I wear summer (thin and fingerless) cycling gloves in temperatures down to about 40F (5C).

At 50F (10C) I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and short pants, as well.

I'm totally relying on the extra heat I generate (from exercise) to stay warm.

You must adjust your clothing to match, not only the outside temperature, but the amount of work you're doing (i.e. the amount of heat you're generating).

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This answer makes perfect thermoregulatory sense. –  heltonbiker Mar 8 '12 at 2:55

It seems as though you have a different tolerance for cold than the "average" rider. This can be caused by a lot of different things. For example, I frequently notice the difference between myself and others since most of the state is very warm (Phoenix, Tucson, etc, where 75f is coat weather), while I am acclimated in an area where 60f is a nice day.

As a result, I would suggest adjusting your gear choices a bit to the colder side. While a "warmer" glove might be fine for an "average rider", you might be freezing even with a "warmest" glove choice. For example, I have a pair of Gore Bike Wear gloves (Should be the same Gore Windstopper Nylon), but have fairly thick insulation in addition. I wear these when the temperature gets below 30f, and above 10f, with no problems, but they may be perfect for you, even in your warmer weather.

If even warmer gloves don't suit your needs, you might want to look at non-glove hand warmers. I have a pair of Bar Mitts which I use in conjunction with my other glove choices. At about 10f, I go to my summer gloves inside the bar mitts; 0f to my mid-level gloves; -10f back to the Bike Wear gloves.

Hope something in there helps.

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