Gloves for Cold Ultra Endurance Riding

@michelleihowe is going to be doing some long and very cold rides.

Anyone have recommendations for gloves for riding in cold temps? 20 - 50 degrees, roughly, and probably very long hours.

She once had Specialized Element 3.0 “Lobster” Gloves. I have the 2.0 model and love them. Her 3.0’s got stolen during a 20-hr MTB event at the tail end of last winter. :frowning:

Doesn’t look like they are sold anymore. (She wore size large in that glove).

Scroll down, to see the full offering. Pogies for drop bars or flats, and gloves. They have all sorts of things to keep riders warm.

Pearl Izumi still makes the lobsters.


Start with Pogies then look at mountaineering gloves, way better than cycling gloves in the cold.

I’ve used pogies with just a thin liner down to -17C. That’s for arctic fat bike racing of 12-20hrs.

Other things: add extra bar tape for insulation and also cover any metal around the contact points - things like brake levers can be covered with foam tubing. Carbon fibre bars conduct heat less well than aluminium or titanium.


Two existing topics worth a look:


@Dr_Alex_Harrison I’m sure you are going to get a lot of very good recs for gloves. I probably can’t give you better advice than that.

I will, however, offer you a bit of advice that I think nobody else will be able to: glue a layer of rubber over all the metal parts on the shifter/brake levers. The hands are out on the leading edge of a bike…they hit the wind first…the shift levers hit the wind first…any exposed metal surface on those levers acts as a HUGE heat sink that conducts heat from the hands into the lever and then dumps that heat out into the atmosphere.

Increasing the thermal resistivity of the levers (or any thermally conductive surface the hands make contact with) is going to make a big difference over the course of a long ride.

This has long been a tip I’ve used during cold 12hr events. So while the guy from Alaska was suffering from hypothermia in the truck & the 1st place rider was waiting at the top of the descent because he couldn’t hold the handlebars well enough to descend…I could keep riding comfortably with only a pair of LG ergo air thinsulate gloves.


Yup, one of the hacks on my fat tire bike (used mainly in the winter) is that I cut an old road tube open and then wrapped the brake levers to insulate them.

Even a layer or three of electrical tape on those contact surfaces can help with insulation more than direct metal or plastic contact. It’s a very useful option, in addition to proper gloves and pogies are hard to beat as well.

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Hmmm…check out the brain on mcneese.

In terms of thermal advantage & aerodynamic penalty it’s the best option. Pogues are warmer but there is some aerodynamic penalty. On the other hand (pun intended) it’s hard to ride after your fingers turn black and fall off so first be warm, I guess.


LOL, I need to do a “Chad’s Bike Hacks” series to cover this and some other stuff I have come up with over the years :stuck_out_tongue:

I have used the pogies on my MTB far more than the drop bar ones. But nothing beats them for actual comfort and ability to use a normal weight glove for better grip and shifting feel. You hit on the negatives for them on road, but they work so well that I am willing to take the penalty considering I’m not usually aiming for max performance if I am riding in crap conditions like that. My comfort far outweighs those other concerns :wink:


If it’s really cold (well below freezing), pogies are the only real solution I’ve found.
For “normal” cold, I have been really pleased with the Dissent133 layered system.

4 gloves (2 liners, 2 shells). I also sometimes (often) wear my HandUp gloves under the windproof (unlined) shell at or around 40F. Layered gloves work like other layers - you get to take them off when you warm up!


Plus one on the layered approach when it gets cold (below 32f/0c). An outer wind or waterproof layer with an appropriate inner layer. Makes for a warmer combo than a single with more dexterity and flexibility if the temps change.
Assos, PI and even shimano made outer lobster shell that i usually just wear normal long finger gloves on the inside unless it gets really cold

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This is a timely thread, winter is about to return here. Hands are easy for me but my feet! Oh my feet. I have slightly wider feet and there not really many options in the dedicated winter cycling shoes segment. Heated socks and so with regular cycling shoes (in wide and with overshoes) are not really practical for longer (ultra) rides. And riding fast on the road makes everything even worse with wind chill.


I use wool socks, neoprene gatortips (inside the shoe) and a neoprene shoe cover. If it’s super cold I’ll throw toe warmers in the shoes but that’s a last resort…seems kinda wasteful. Anyhow, just throwing some stuff out there in case there is something you find useful. You’re probably doing or have tried all that.


See my post two above yours :wink:

One other thing - add extra layers on your arms, like arm warmers even if you are wearing full arm length thermals, you need to keep the blood warm before it even gets to your hands.


@bobw I regret that I didn’t give your post the mention it deserves. I hope you understand this is a reflection on my reading comprehension and not my opinion on the quality of your post.


PI lobster mitts for 20-40 degrees. Layer of summer gloves under them if it gets colder.

I have some winter windproof handske gloves that I love for 40-50 degrees.

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@Brennus no worries.

Generally the hands (and feet) are the last things to consider in a clothing system, if you do everything else right they are actually quite easy to deal with. Try and keep your extremities at a constant temperature and use the clothing on your trunk to adjust your overall temperature/feeling.

For your trunk wear snug, but not tight, layers next to the skin that will wick moisture away from your skin. Mid-layers should also allow this moisture to escape. A zipped windproof outer layer will allow you to vent heat as necessary. Don’t wear too much but that means having something warm to throw on as soon as you stop - something like a lightweight down or synthetic jacket.

A buff around your neck will help keep rising heat in, you can also pull this over your mouth to prevent cold air from entering your lungs. Goes without saying to wear some sort of head covering.

As mentioned earlier, add extra layers to your arms. Arm warmers are ideal, old ones that have lost their stretch will still work as the material will “stick” to your base layer.

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The lobsters :lobster: are the best!

I live in Maine and according to Strava my coldest ride in 2021 was 8* Fahrenheit

My suggestion is to go to a place like tractor supply and buy some cheap work gloves.

Laying like all winter clothing is your friend.

Many years ago I was in Breckinridge for a work event….did not factor the altitude into my clothing choices that I brought to ride in. We left for an early AM ride and my hands were frozen solid. Miserable….even though it was summer.

At one point, I saw a pair of old oil stained leather work gloves on the ground….hallelujah. They were completely gross to put on, but they had my hands warm within minutes.

I’m surprised not to see bar mitts as a suggestion here (or maybe there is and I missed it). I find them to work great, even in absurd conditions. You can then use whatever gloves necessary to tailor to the temperature in question, using some of the options above.