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Thread: Cold fingers...

  1. #1
    My cup runneth over
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    Cold fingers...

    Not that we haven't had more than a few threads on winter clothing... It might be interesting to some who, like me, have struggled to find solutions.

    Really struggled with cold fingers and toes over the years (probably not getting better with age either). This thread is about fingers. I have tried the following
    Ski gloves - probably 4 - 5 pairs, liners etc
    Lobster mitts/gloves
    Leather mittens with liners
    Bar Mitts
    Home made pogies....

    None of the first four worked, even combinations thereof. Last week Tuesday night as the temp was dropping I had the Bar Mitts on the handlebars, chem warmers, liner gloves and my latest and greatest winter gloves. I figured that with the chem packets, surely this will work. No go. 30 minutes in and I am in real pain and any pleasure in riding is gone. Short cut off the mountain - miserable.

    Fast forward a couple of days and I checked out the heavy duty pogies at a couple of snowmobile Denver stores and was disappointed in their thickness and layering. I was tempted but for $42, pass. My wife suggested we check out some material options at the 'Saver' store and find material for some home mades. We picked up a ratty down jacket and went home.

    Saturday evening we cut the sleeves off (above the shoulder) both the down jacket and an old windbreaker. The down jacket sleeves were triple layered, one layer with feathers. The wind breaker was a liner and the outside material. Wifey and I sowed the down jacket sleeves closed and pulled them through the wind breaker sleeve to make multi-layered (two sleeves each) pogies. I threaded them onto my FatBack and cinched the sleeve end closed over the handlebar and off I went today (Sunday), slightly warmer today too.

    Unbelievable. I did two hours on Green Mountain and had very comfortable hands. In fact I wore my finger-less summer gloves the whole time. I hate the cumbersomeness of thick gloves on the handlebars and figured exposing the fingers into the protected area of the pogie covered handlebars would allow the body warmth to heat up the 'pocket'. Totally worked for me (brake levers were still pretty cold for some reason though). Worked so well I took the wife shopping.

    I took a picture on GM and they look as ugly as they sound above - haha. Pretty severe inversion keeping smog to the point that you can't even see downtown - ugh.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cold fingers...-1-img_1567.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Cold fingers...

    You're giving up some trade secrets here. Great work.
    2009 Stumpjumper Comp HT.
    An old Trek 820 ST.

  3. #3
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    scar gave away detailed plans a few posts back.
    BarMittsBra!
    Followed his plans & ain't had cold fingers ever since! (Quite a step up from the JuggzTM)
    Les grimpées, je les déteste!

  4. #4
    Light freak
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    Nice job on the homegrown bar mitts rmac

    Yes, the ticket seems to be a wind breaking material for the outside and then an insulating material for the inside. I agree that the brake levers still transfer alot of cold to the fingers. I have heard of rubber dipping the levers or using these Lizard Skins brake covers. I have not tried either to confirm.

    I just broke out my BarMittsBrah's this weekend, now if I can just put my skirt away and get out and ride

    BarMittsBrah's, they are the Shitzah!!


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  5. #5
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    I keep a pair of liners between my base layer and mid-layer. When the cold creeps into my mits, I switch the liners. Toasty warm and no need for those nasty hand warmers (ever had one break?).

    I did a three-hour road ride on Wednesday and had no issues with cold fingers. Toes are another thing, but I have my ways around that, too.

  6. #6
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    Awesome, I do get the urge to do this on my bike every winter.... I might break down soon.

  7. #7
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    terrific idea glad it works for you
    Keep The Rubber Side Down

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    when all else fails....

    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  9. #9
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    Do those hothands work at altitude? I (stupidly) bought a box of grabber 2 hands warmers and I guess they use oxygen to activate. They don't get past luke warm up here at 10K.

    I've also heard that using surgeons gloves under regular gloves works wonder - at least for snowmobile/dirt bike use.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Do those hothands work at altitude? I (stupidly) bought a box of grabber 2 hands warmers and I guess they use oxygen to activate. They don't get past luke warm up here at 10K.
    I think there is still *some* O2 up there. Take them out of the wrapper and mush them around in the air for a bit before you tuck them away in a glove. Maybe that'll help.
    If not, I can take the extras off your hands...
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  11. #11
    My cup runneth over
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    when all else fails....

    Tried and failed for me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    I've also heard that using surgeons gloves under regular gloves works wonder - at least for snowmobile/dirt bike use.
    Yes, that's my back-up plan (which I need to put in my camelbak again--I haven't restocked the new one yet). Not only are they very warm, wind proof and water proof, they can also come in handy for trailside medical emergencies.

    One of the most important things to remember about cold fingers on rides it that you must stop about 10 minutes into the ride (about the time you get warmed up) and let your warm blood return to your fingers and toes, instead of just riding on and having your blood go to your energy demanding lungs and legs. If you stop to let the flow re-distribute, you will be warm in a "cooler" glove. If you keep going, you're never going to get warm.

  13. #13
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    Cold fingers...

    For cold rides I've been using Pearl Izumi's WxB Pro gloves. They're stupidly expensive but my hands have been the most comfortable they've ever been.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    I think there is still *some* O2 up there. Take them out of the wrapper and mush them around in the air for a bit before you tuck them away in a glove. Maybe that'll help.
    If not, I can take the extras off your hands...
    I've tried mushing them around, but they never get above room temp (they are supposed to get to 160, no?). I *thought* I read some hand warmers don't use 02...

    Anyway, if you want to make the trek up to park county, they're yours. I just counted 20 pairs.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  15. #15
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    BTW if anyone is looking for cold weather gear, Eddie Bauer has 40% off EVERYTHING. Sale ends in an hour or so...
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    I've tried mushing them around, but they never get above room temp (they are supposed to get to 160, no?). I *thought* I read some hand warmers don't use 02...

    Anyway, if you want to make the trek up to park county, they're yours. I just counted 20 pairs.
    Zippo makes handwarmers that use lighter fuel and a catalyst.

    And you're right, disposable warmers utilize the oxidation of Fe and the exothermic reaction thereof to produce heat. (1)(2)

    However, the amount of packaging waste and cost over time from disposable hand warmers is, for me, encouragement enough to get better gloves or deal with cold fingers.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Zippo makes handwarmers that use lighter fuel and a catalyst.

    And you're right, disposable warmers utilize the oxidation of Fe and the exothermic reaction thereof to produce heat. (1)(2)

    However, the amount of packaging waste and cost over time from disposable hand warmers is, for me, encouragement enough to get better gloves or deal with cold fingers.
    Thanks, I will check the zippo's out. I only need them for emergency use, but the wife has terrible circulation in her hands and feet.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Do those hothands work at altitude? I (stupidly) bought a box of grabber 2 hands warmers and I guess they use oxygen to activate. They don't get past luke warm up here at 10K.

    I've also heard that using surgeons gloves under regular gloves works wonder - at least for snowmobile/dirt bike use.
    You must have had a bad set, I have used them up towards 12k and never had any issues. Surgeon gloves act as a vapor barrier, which helps keep your hands at high humidity, stops evaporative cooling, keeps gloves dry. VP socks are also good to keep your feet warm in really cold temps.

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