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Insulation Capabilities Are Great, Long-term Durability in Question, Avoid White
on October 17, 2011
As a year-round cyclist in Chicago, I am always seeking to improve my cold weather capabilities. Finding the right gear for my morning commute is particularly important as I don't have time to return home and change clothes. Keeping hands warm is a often the most difficult part because there is a tradeoff between insulation and dexterity. Ski gloves are generally too bulky for cycling. My Trek cycling gloves, which are somewhat oversized and very flexible, are useful down to around 35 to 40 degrees. So I purchased the Terramar Thermasilk liners to provide additional insulation without inhibiting the needed flexibility. What I have found is that they do provide a significant insulative benefit while still allowing the gloves to be flexible. So far, I have been able to ride a two mile commute in the morning at temperatures down to 28 degrees without any problems.
Apart from providing additional insulation, the liners can be briefly used alone when additional dexterity is required and when bear skin, even for a short time, would be uncomfortable. So, when I am unlocking my bicycle, I wear just the Thermasilk liners. However, these liners get very dirty, very quickly. So, avoid white if you can. Another annoyance is that they snag on common materials such as Velcro and begin to pill (i.e. form fuzz balls) very quickly. Taking the pros and cons of these liners, my verdict is they, in combination with by Trek cycling gloves, are the best solution I have found for cold weather cycling.
Provide additional insulation
Don't inhibit dexterity when being used with gloves
Allow excellent, temporary dexterity when being used alone
Gets dirty fast
Snag on common materials like Velcro
One extra garment to carry