7 Jan 2016

7th January 2016 Don't even get me started on cycling gloves!!

Thursday 7th 25F, -4C,  breezy, very, very dark! [@7.30am] Dusting of snow. Supposed to be a bright start but with winds increasing all day and snow tonight. I had better be out early if I'm going anywhere. Late morning ride but only for 10 hilly miles. I'd turned the A-head 'bar extension over to its normal position and it was better. Gears still misbehaving occasionally. I still haven't measured the cable clamp positions.

Friday 8th 30F, -1C, breezy, overcast. Only a little overnight snow. About 25mm or 1"?

Denmark suffers lower winter temperatures than the UK average so gloves are more important and far more irritating! I'm still looking for decent mitts and gloves! By coincidence my wife and I were just going through a big stack of gloves deciding which were charity shop worthy or simply bin fodder. The majority of even brand new looking gloves were bin fodder.  BTW I take the largest sizes in gloves and some lines are not available in an 11 or XXXXXL. Rumours that former, slight gingeriness in my beard has anything to do with Orangutans is mere gossip!

For the first few tricycling years I used supermarket quality mitts and gloves. Some £4-5 mitts were made of real bits of animal and left GripGrab for dead on longevity, grip, superb comfort and padding. They only started coming apart after several years. By then I couldn't replace them because the special offer was always short lived and I never knew which ones to buy 2 or 3 of. I still miss those mitts.  
Supermarket's so-called  "Skiing" gloves are absolutely hopeless on a trike or bike in winter. Particularly Thinsulate which I won't even bother to discuss in the same breath as Winter. I went through absolute agony on my first few tricycling winters in Denmark wearing several different supermarket skiing glove offers. Even wearing them doubled with thin liners they have the wind-proofing qualities of a worn and moth-eaten net curtain. If it says "Thinsulate" then avoid them like a dose of the plague for cycling!  

I paid a lot of money [£60 LBS retail] for Sealskinz gloves. Then was caught out with damp/sweaty hands miles from home on the very first ride. The liners pulled right out with my fingers and wouldn't go back again!  So "our hero" had to ride home with just his fingertips covered in an excruciating, screwed up bag of wet cloth. They were never repairable even using knitting needles to try and poke the fingers back in. I'll badmouth Sealskinz as lethal crap as often as I can, for as long as I can still breathe!

I bought a pair of leather mitts designed for weight lifters and they were far too stiff for cycling. I even tried soaking them and bending my hands into shape but it didn't help. They also made my hands black from the dye! I wore 'natural' leather track mitts as a cycling-mad teenager and lived in them but I haven't seen anything like them for decades.

When it's warm I use GripGrab fingerless mitts. Very little else is available in a Danish Monopoly Money LBS. They are very light, quite cool and grippy but the pads were never designed by a real cyclist. I tend to ride on the top outer bends with only my fingertips on the brake hoods on dropped bars. So I find the "pads" bridge the bars perfectly give me aching hands in no time at all and all at extra expense!

GripGrabs medium weight fingered gloves work down to [say] 45F if you are very, very lucky. I'd set it at 50F minimum if you have cold-sensitive hands. The stitching inside the fingertips will make your fingertips bleed if you change gear on the Ergos as often as I do! Overpriced crap again, but I seem to have three pairs and have them washed after every ride. They aren't bulky and look good on the trike though. [If that really matters to you.] The palm pads logos seem to wear away rather quickly. I have tried wearing them on my morning walks and find it warmer to take them off and put my hands in my jacket pockets when it is cold and windy! That should tell you quite a lot about GripGrab gloves natural warmth.

BTW: I really don't have "cold" hands and have recently worked on the trike outdoors in roaring gales for 6 hours at -3-4C. This was while wearing the thinnest "bike mechanics" cloth reinforced rubber work gloves in perfect comfort. Perhaps there's a lesson there? Wear mechanic's gloves on the trike?

GripGrab's "Polar?"full fingered "winter gloves" weren't very warm at all. The rubber coating on the palms quickly rubbed right off removing any grip where it really mattered. They are thin and light without being too baggy but then the linings came out and won't go back in. More overpriced crap, IMO, and hopeless in really cold Danish weather.  

In a moment of desperation with aching, cold hands I bought some over-sized Dintex "Heat Pad" "scooterists" gloves from a local MC shop. They were rather bulky but the only ones they had without decorative "knuckle dusters." They can be a bit sweaty if it's too warm. >45F. The second pair I bought as spares didn't have the same quality of membrane so sweat far more.
Sizing is a disaster if you go by the labels! You must try them on. I have taken to always wearing thin, cheap polyester gloves inside them as sweat absorbers. The Dintex gloves take days to dry out after being washed even lying under the wood stove! They are very bulky and stiff by cycling standards but just manageable.

Most overpriced/expensive gloves use membranes for wind-proofing. But mostly they often act like polythene bags which fills with water and wets the cloth liners.[Your own sweat!] The membranes can rupture from new leaving you with a freezing cold spot you wouldn't believe! Or ever want to know about! Longevity is usually very limited in my experience and I take care of my kit. Perhaps they aren't designed to be washed after every ride? But then how would you stop them from stinking?

I'd like glove manufacturers to send their managing-sales-hype directors out on a long bike ride in winter. With their "names" products at the temperatures they [sometimes) suggest on the ridiculously overblown, anti-theft packaging. And, not to come back again for several hours!

If anyone knows some good quality, REAL winter cycling gloves for sub freezing conditions I'd really like to hear about them.  Wink  Hey! I've suddenly got a real smiley!
Copy and paste from an overlong forum post, I didn't submit, did the trick.

A day of snow, sleet and rain. Fortunately I chose my moment and avoided the worst. The roads were very wet with thick slush and puddles in long stripes. I saw the flashing lights of a snow plough coming up behind me so dived into an uphill drive to let him pass. Then sat for five minutes while the backlog he had caused followed him like a tail. Finally I could reverse back out and carry on. Most drivers haven't a clue how much spray their vehicle chucks over cyclists or walkers. Or perhaps they do and they are either psychopaths or simply retarded. I had to keep coughing up nasty tasting phlegm so the neighbour's toxic smoke is definitely working. Only 7, breathless miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. Hi I have purchased the Bob Jackson trike you had for sale could tell me any of the history of it ?


  2. Hi Robert and congratulations on your trike purchase.

    I admit to being slightly confused when you say that I had a trike for sale. It certainly wasn't me! ;o)

    May I suggest that you join our trike forum and perhaps the Tricycle Association [TA] too?

    The on3wheels forum has hundreds of keen tricyclists.
    Some with insider knowledge on trike makers like Bob Jackson.

    The TA website has lots of detail on popular trike makers too.

    The forum is free to join and the TA has a subscription of only £10 a year which includes receiving four triking "Gazettes" [printed booklets] per year free of charge.

    Check the top right of my blog page under "My cycling links" for direct links to the forum and TA.