As colder weather descends upon most of the country, most of us starting thinking about cold weather gear like arm and leg warmers, vests, and jackets. Sometimes we overlook one of the most important cycling garments though: the humble glove.
Having a good, and varied assortment of gloves is essential for riding from October through April in most places.
Since the temperatures can vary so much as the seasons change, it’s almost impossible to find one glove that can keep you covered from the cool morning rides of October to the frozen depths of February.
One good way to maximize your investment though is to think of your gloves as a system that can be either worn alone or combined and layered to match the conditions.
Lightweight gloves are the basis of the glove layering system. They can be worn on their own on cool, but not cold rides, or layered under thicker gloves for additional warmth.
These thin wool or synthetic gloves are primarily designed to wick away sweat and provide some thermal warmth.
BEST FOR: Cool days; layered underneath midweight and heavyweight gloves
Long fingered gloves aren’t insulated, but provide coverage for the fingers on cooler days.
BEST FOR: Cool days
The midweight glove’s primary job is to provide thermal insulation on cold days. They can be worn by themselves, or layered with a glove liner for colder days.
Softshell gloves is made from a midweight material that are wind- and water-resistant. The usually have a brushed fleece backing that provides excellent thermal insulation.
BEST FOR: Cold, wet and windy conditions
Lightly insulated gloves are usually made with a thin layer of insulating material that does an excellent job of holding in heat on colder days.
BEST FOR: Cold, calm days
Heavyweight gloves are designed to keep your hands dry, warm and protected on the coldest of days. They can be worn by themselves, or layered with glove liners or even midweight gloves on the heaviest days. It is usually advisable to buy heavyweight gloves a size larger than you normally need them.
These gloves usually feature multiple layers of insulation, windproof membranes and water-resistant finishes to protect your hands on very cold days.
BEST FOR: Very cold, windy days
These gloves are best for extremely cold days. They maximize warmth by putting your fingers closer to each other, feature heavy insulation, and have windproof and water-resistant membranes
BEST FOR: Extreme cold
The waterproof overglove is best for days when mother nature just refuses to cooperate. Layer them over mid- or heavyweight gloves to keep your hands dry and warm in the harshest conditions
BEST FOR: Extreme conditions