Cycling through the winter can be rewarding, but cold hands can be painful and ruin the experience.
A good pair of cycling gloves will keep chills at bay, but what else can you do to enjoy getting out on the bike during the colder months without suffering from freezing fingertips?
We’ve drawn on our bitter(ly cold) experience to bring you our top tips to keep your fingers frost free.
Keep your core warm
When it’s really cold, your body will automatically prioritise keeping your vital organs warm so they can still function and keep you alive. If this means diverting warm blood-flow away from fingers and toes, so be it. You’ll live even if you’re missing a few digits.
Wear warm layers and remember to check the weather forecast. Take a waterproof if you’re expecting rain - you'll be surprised at how quickly a chill can set in once you get soaked!
Layer up your gloves
Adding some thin liner gloves will trap a layer of warm air. Choose a pair that features touch screen compatibility so that you'll be able to operate your phone and any other devices without completely exposing your hands to the elements.
Consider the conditions you'll be riding in when you choose your outer-layer. If you'll be riding in the dark, choose a pair with plenty of reflective elements and bright colours. If you live somewhere with particularly harsh winters, there are plenty of gloves offering excellent protection from wind and rain.
Don't restrict your circulation
Make sure clothing, and particularly gloves, aren't so tight that they're restricting your circulation. If you'll be layering up, you might want to consider buying outer layers in a larger size.
If you're commuting, make sure your backpack straps aren't cutting off blood flow to your arms, or you could even consider carrying your bags on your bike.
Remember to give those fingers a little wiggle every now and again. If it's safe to do so, you can even try a few arm circles - anything to get the blood pumping will help.
Rain can make the effects of the cold feel so much worse. Look for winter gloves with water repellency. If you're expecting a prolonged drenching, consider carrying a spare, dry pair under your jersey so it will be toasty-warm when you need it.
You might enjoy those long, leisurely rides in the summer but shorter, faster rides are great for building speed over the winter and riding harder means you'll generate more heat.
You could also consider changing your route. Long climbs can warm you up but all that heat is lost on a long descent, particularly if it's wet. If possible, stick to flatter routes on colder days.
Keep the heat sealed in
It's easier to stay warm than it is to get warm. Don those gloves before you step outside, or at least have your glove liners on if you need to do fiddly things like lock up.
If you've got toggles, zips, velcro, anything to cinch those gloves and sleeves, use them and keep the cold out!
Like what you've read?
Check out our blog on recommended winter gloves for 2022
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