Top positive review
67 people found this helpful
amazing gloves when used right
on November 13, 2012
last winter was the first full winter i rode through. and, to be clear, what i mean by "ride" is that i did daily 30-40 mile loops on a road bike at about 20mph or faster (because this matters; wind chill becomes a significant factor when it's this cold and you're really moving). i usually rode until at least the freezing point. after that, i would only go out if i was sure there wouldn't be left over water on the road that would freeze and take me down. so what i'm talking about are regular daily temperatures ranging from 25-40F, coupled with wind and me moving at 20mph or faster; which is really about an actual temperature well into the teens or single digits.
for the first couple months, i SUFFERED with my hands. nothing i tried worked. i bought some super nice, very expensive softshell gloves and those only got me to about 40F. awesome dexterity-wise, but not warm enough. i tried some assos baselayer gloves under those and that only bought me another couple degrees. the guy at the LBS talked me into the Gore "fusion" gloves. which have two chambers (one for warmth, one for wind-blocking) and are a neat idea, but really didn't get me to any lower digits. i even tried those goofy-looking and very awkward to use "bar mitts" and had about the same results as with everything else: every day i was coming home with freezing hands, running them under hot water for several minutes in agony, etc.
then i finally decided i'd try a new solution: a warm layer and a wind-blocking layer. i mean, this works for my torso, why wouldn't it work for my hands? so i grabbed a pair of the wool defeet gloves for warmth (which are about $20) and a larger pair of these pearl izumi pro softshell lobster gloves to block the wind. BINGO! that did it. now i'm very very cozy out there for at least a couple of hours. i did a three hour ride in 35F with an average pace of 19+ last week and didn't even THINK about my hands. which is exactly what you want. this system got me through the rest of last winter and it's looking great so far this year.
there are some downsides to these gloves, of course. they're bulky. but they're lobster gloves and they're THICK. what do you expect? you get used to it (shifting with SRAM is easier than shimano with these, fwiw). it's better than not feeling your hands and THEN not being able to shift (been there before; not fun). and yes, the bottom velcro enclosure is a little tricky to do up. but it's secure and once they're on, you don't have to think about it. no big deal.
a couple notes on my "system" described here: 1) i was careful to have a decent air layer between the two glove sizes, so that some air movement can go on. you don't want them to be tight and constrict blood flow. the defeet gloves are tight, the lobsters are roomy. 2) the nice thing about this system is that if i flat or need some extra dexterity while stopped (to eat a bar, check my phone, change a flat, adjust my bike, etc.) i just take the lobster gloves off. i still have the wool defeet gloves on to keep me warm and those are nicely form-fitting so they're almost like wearing no gloves. and my hands won't freeze like they would had i worn a single-glove system (which would undoubtedly also be very thick gloves) and taken the gloves off for dexterity.
overall, i'm quite happy with my solution and with these gloves. hopefully someone else will find this information useful and can avoid some of the painful suffering i endured.