Have you ever been there when your hands are so cold that your riding experience is nothing short of miserable? If so, fear not as you are certainly not alone! Cold hands aren’t just about comfort, although that does play a major part, they are also about safety. Who can shift through gears, brake, and grip the bars with hands that just won’t respond? Thankfully knowing how to keep your hands warm while cycling can help you avoid this.
Our hands get so cold while cycling as they are one of our extremities. As our body is cold, our hands constrict and try and divert blood to our core to keep it warm. The result? Hands that are blooming freezing! Let’s have a look at how you can avoid your ride falling victim to the misery caused by cold hands in winter.
COMPARE THE BEST CYCLING GLOVES & MITTS
A good pair of cycling gloves are essential for protecting your hands from the elements when out on the road. A good pair of road cycling gloves will provide water and wind resistance, at the same time as being able to cushion the shock of the road through your handlebars.
We've highlighted some of the best gloves for keeping the wind and rain away so you can better enjoy the ride.
Start as you mean to go on
If you start your ride with cold hands, one thing is for sure: they’re not going to get any warmer! You need to do all that you can to ensure that you are starting your ride with hands that are as warm as possible. Simple steps such as leaving your gloves on a radiator or blasting them with some warm air can certainly help.
You also need to be thinking about your head. We’ve all heard it before, and it may be open to debate, but we lose a great deal of body heat from our heads. Invest in a quality hat beneath your helmet so that you can keep your head and ears warm. Your hands will be thanking you later.
Be prepared – carry a spare pair of gloves
The last thing that you’re going to want on a cold day is wet gloves. The moment that happens, the coldness intensifies and it gets to the stage where it’s bitter and painful. Being an all-weather cyclist means thinking ahead and investing in a pair of the best road cycling winter gloves.
Once you have your premium pair of winter gloves, try to make carrying a spare pair of slightly cheaper gloves part of your routine. When it comes to switching your gloves, you can benefit even more by giving them a heat blast from public hand dryers, preferably at a friendly pub or cafe following the infamous coffee or pint stop.
Not too tight
It’s tempting to go for super tight gloves. There is something a little comforting when they’re snug against your hands. When we’re wearing other clothing that’s tight, it seems to make sense that our gloves should be too.
The truth though is that by wearing tight gloves, we’re causing ourselves more issues. The tightness restricts the blood flow and leads to even colder hands.
Eat, drink, and be merry
We all know that our bodies need fuel and drink for fuel. What we sometimes don’t realise is that they play an important part in keeping us warm too. If you run out of fuel, you’ll quickly run out of energy, and if you allow yourself to become dehydrated you’ll soon feel your hands are even colder.
As we lack fluids, our blood begins to thicken. This means that it doesn’t circulate as well as it should. The first parts of our body to suffer are our extremities: our hands and feet. Keep eating and drinking to keep those hands warm.