21 Oct TIPS FROM THE PRO: Gloves
I hope you enjoyed the first article about clothing and that you now have a better idea of what to pack into your suitcase. Next up we’ll talk about how to keep your hands warm. Similar to clothing, there is a lot of variety in terms of what kind of gloves different people prefer to wear. Some people need to wear thick gloves, whilst others are perfectly fine with a normal (year-round) mountain bike glove.
I personally prefer to wear my normal (year-round) mountain bike gloves, which I actually also wear when riding in the summer. In the winter, during the climbs, the normal gloves will be enough for me, because my body will start to produce heat while I’m pedalling and I don’t want to sweat too much. Once your hands are wet and you start going into the downhill sections, where you don’t pedal as much and where the wind increases as well, it is hard to keep your fingers/hands warm enough. My solution is to bring an extra pair of gloves. Depending on the temperature the spare pair should either be a set of warm winter gloves, or just a pair of normal gloves. If the sun is out, and it feels really warm, you can even take off your gloves. I usually wrap them around my grips and just hold them there during the climb! That way, the gloves will not get cold, my hands will not sweat too much and I can put them back straight back on as soon as I think I need them!
If the ride goes up and down or has more flat sections, I just use the pair which I feel comfortable with. The most important thing to remember with your gloves, is that they should be warm, water-resistant, with isolation, but most importantly breathable. My winter gloves are never the thickest ones you can buy in the stores. Friends of mine on the other hand do wear the warm ones. As mentioned before, it really depends on what you like and whether you are feeling cold or not.
What to do when you have problems keeping your hands and fingers warm enough? Simple answer; wear warm winter gloves. There are various options to choose from: some even look like a three finger glove, for extra isolation. It is important that you are able to move your fingers. Some people even add pads (which you can warm up and which stay warm for a couple of hours) in their gloves. These are also used in other winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding.
It is also important to avoid wearing something too tight. You need to be able to move, mainly of course for handling your bike and for breaking, but also for ensuring proper blood circulation. What I prefer to do is to move my arms around (swing them) so that the blood circulation gets stimulated. Your hands will benefit and it will be easier to stay warm!
-What kind of rider are you. Easy to stay warm? Then don’t use the thickest gloves!
-Bring an extra pair in your back pockets or backpack so that you can change into dry gloves.
-You don’t want to sweat too much and end up riding with wet hands/gloves.
-Keep on moving and make sure you are able to move your arms, hands and fingers!
All the best,