I got a new bike last week and decided I was going to ride it every other day to work. My commute is about 22 miles, so I was tired of driving. If you’ve been reading the blogs lately, you’ll remember that on my previous trip to work on Monday I practically froze my extremities off. Good news! I purchased some booties and gloves that kept me warm! Here’s what I got and how it worked.
I’ve been riding long enough to know that if you can control how much wind hits your body, you can control your warmth. I knew that while cycling, my body creates enough heat to keep itself warm if I can
keep the wind chill from penetrating. So for the booties, I went with the Castelli Pioggia booty. It’s not flashy and doesn’t have seams everywhere, which I like, and the top is covered with a polyurethane layer that is supposed to keep the wind out. They aren’t bulky, but do have a fleece underside. These turned out to be the perfect booties for me. I love that they’re svelte and wrap tightly around the shoe, and the polyurethane covered top does everything it’s designed to. It completely isolated my foot from the wind. Thus my toes were happy and my feet stayed warm. I had previously been using toe warmers but for low 30˚ weather, those just
don’t cut it. The Castelli Pioggio did however. I’m super happy with my purchase. If I had to complain it would be that I can’t adjust my shoe tension for when my foot swells after I’ve been on the bike for awhile, but I knew that when I bought them, so no surprise there. They do what I want them to.
Castelli makes quality products and I like their styles so I stuck with them for the gloves also. I went with the Castelli Diluvio glove. This glove is made entirely of 2mm thick neoprene. It doesn’t sound like much, but this glove made lofty claims about water and wind proofing. I tried it on and it was the least bulky of the extreme cold weather gloves, and once again the graphics are on the understated side so I bought them and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised by how well these kept my hands warm. However, if it’s really cold out there, I’m not sure anything will ever replace a set of mittens. There’s something about isolating your fingers that just doesn’t work as well as keeping them together. That being said, my hands did stay warm and my fingers stayed comfortable enough – I wouldn’t say they were hot, but they were much warmer than on my previous ride when I had to stop for 10 minutes just to let my fingers thaw. I never had to stop this ride, though I found it necessary to flex my fingers at times to keep the blood flowing. I realize this sounds much worse than it really is. If you asked me would I recommend these gloves to anyone riding in cold weather, I would in an instant. These are the warmest gloves I’ve ever worn. I just happen to be riding at 30˚ with a wind chill that brings it down to 15˚. I’m asking a lot from a glove that separates the fingers and is still thin enough to be able to shift. Another great feature of these gloves is that they’re black and they’re neoprene so when the sun comes
out, they soak it up and transfer all that heat right to your finggies. My ride with these gloves was dominated by fog, until the last 20 minute stretch at which point the gloves got so warm when I took them off I had sweat in the center of my palms. I may not have had a single complaint if my ride were sunny the whole way. This is a great very cold weather glove.
Next time I’ll have something to say about my bike, but I think I’ll go ride it again first!