Winter Cycling Gloves

Due to very poor circulation in my hands, I’ve researched a lot of gloves for winter. At various times, I have tried a huge range of gloves, and combinations of gloves. When I looked around the house, I found over 19 pairs (or incomplete pairs of gloves) – and that doesn’t include the ones I’ve lost or worn out!

Top Tips for winter gloves

  • Thermal inner liner £4.99 for spring and underneath second pair.
  • Defeet Dura gloves  £14.99 for racing and cool weather are excellent.
  • For really cold weather, use inner liner + big Ski glove (i have Altura Nevis £14.99) thought there are many other good ones.
  • Hot pads, for when below 3 degrees. If below 3 degrees, I can’t really survive without putting hotpads in between thermal liner and ski gloves.


As well as looking at cycling specific gloves, you might get a good deal going into a Millets and buying general / ski gloves. These tend to be good for warmth and waterproof, but, the outer fabric tends to get worn down due to shifting of gears and using bike locks.

The real secret to being warm without sweating is to have different layers of gloves. I always wear some base level gloves which are thin, and act as a wicking layer. Wearing these under some ski gloves or Gore Bike Wear wind-proof gloves will give an extra layer of insulation. Unless you have very cold hands, this extra layer may be unnecessary. But, when it is below freezing – 2 or 3 layers can really help. I find Gore style gloves / Ski gloves can be more prone to sweating. This means your hands can start off warm, but after a long ride, the sweat dries and you start to feel quite cold. An extra pair of underlay gloves definitely helps deal with this layer of sweat. Where possible I tend to avoid wearing very heavy gloves, but will wear two layers of thin gloves, with excellent wicking properties.

Inner Liners


The first pair of gloves I always wear is a thin thermal liner glove like this highlander. It is skin tight and close fitting. On cool days, they alone are enough. But, they really come into their own as an inner liner for other bigger gloves. They really improve my Altura winter cycling gloves. When it’s really cold, I definitely need this inner liner plus something else.

If you want a slightly warmer inner liner. You could try these

Merino inner liners. – £9.99 from Amazon. Merino is a very good product for gloves. It is warm and dries quickly.

Silk Liners – I’ve tried silk liners, but they seem to tear quite easily, so they didn’t last long.

De Feet Dura Cycling Gloves


Defeet dura cycling gloves are excellent for winter racing. They are like an inner base layer, but are just a little bit thicker, and very good at keeping your hands warm. I can wear them when the temperature is 10 degrees or over.

I like them for racing in cold weather because

  • they are close fitting and aerodynamic
  • You have excellent control of gears and brakes.
  • They have excellent grip on the handlebars.
  • Comfortable.

The only downside is that my lovely white gloves are permanently stained with oil and dried banana. Not ideal colour for bike maintenance. Also, because I keep them exclusively for racing, I’ve never lost a glove – which is quite something. I lose gloves when I go into town.

Seal Skin Merino Gloves

When it is warm enough, I also like wearing Merino Wool because it is very comfortable and quite warm without being unbreathable. These SealSkin Merino gloves (at Wiggle £24) are excellent because they have excellent grip for cycling and also are long. (Keeping your wrists warm is important. On short gloves, I often add short arm-warmers to protect the wrists.


  • Warm
  • Good grip for cycling
  • good length for wrists.
  • Bit inflexible.
  • Prefer to have an inner liner next to skin in addition to these.
  • Shower proof.

See: Review of Seal Skin Winter gloves

Altura  Nevis Winter Gloves


I’ve had these for two winters, and they do a good job in very cold conditions. I often wear with inner liner. They say they are waterproof and they can keep light showers out, but like most gloves eventually get wet in heavy rain.

Altura Nevis £18 at Wiggle


Tips for Winter Gloves

  • Check the temperature when you cycle and note whether gloves are warm enough. I know which layers to wear for every temperature from -1 – 15 degrees.
  • Don’t forget on long rides, the temperature can drop in the later afternoon, it may be necessary to add / change layers.
  • For Christmas I got many unwanted pairs of socks, but these made excellent improvised arm warmers. I cut off toes and wore them as arm warmers to keep wrists warm.
  • If you really get cold hands, you can add these hot pads (I use this when less than 1 degree)
  • I have used both general and cycling specific gloves and it is worth getting the cycling specific as they have better grip and resistance to wear and tear.
  • If your hands get really cold, be wary of warming them up very quickly as you could get chilblains.


Any other Suggestions?

pj suggested:

de feet gloves underneath a pair of izumi cyclones

14 Responses to Winter Cycling Gloves

  1. Tricyklist November 3, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    I’ve ridden daily right through several Danish winters down to -15C, 5F, using a variety of under £10 Thinsulate gloves. Not nearly warm enough due to a lack of windproofing. They aren’t more than light showerproof either. I’ve bought several £40+ ‘big name’ membrane gloves more recently and none of them are good enough below -5C. Very disappointing for the very high prices! The slightest damp inside and they become very poor performers at 55F! I now have gloves for each range of low temperatures. Winter gloves for scooter riders from a motorcycle shop are proving best for really cold conditions. It hasn’t been cold enough yet to try the heat packs which came with them.

    • tejvan November 3, 2012 at 8:03 am #

      cheers Tricky. Just shows often worth looking outside of cycle outlets to get good gear for cycling

  2. Bhima Bowden November 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    I just bought some cheap Thinsulate gloves from Tesco. 5 pairs for £30. Thinsulate is the best type of fabric for cold and wet weather, but these ones are the type that are “too” warm and cause sweating.

    I don’t care though. That’s why I bought 5 pairs. Just change every 45 minutes after every climb/descent of the Cat and Fiddle and start fresh! Taking 5 pairs out on a “normal” road ride would be difficult though.

  3. jonty pritchard November 2, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    i live in one of the hottest parts of australia but for 4months
    of the year it can get down to 4 or 5 centigrade dont know fahrenheight
    conversion !! so might try those builders gloves happy trails jonty

  4. pj November 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    looks like you’ve attracted the interest of the assorted glove makers of the far east. cycling info is an influential and far-reaching blog.

    • tejvan November 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Yes. I have many loyal readers in the far east cycle clothing manufacturer circles. :)

  5. Chris October 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Interesting post, as always. Your glove collection resembles mine – I have a drawer full, combinations of inner and outer. Nothing worse than riding with cold fingers, or toes. Last winter I bought a pair of winter cycling gloves from my local Aldi store, £5.99 if I remember correctly so didn’t expect much from them at all. Turns out they’ve been the best pair of gloves I own and they’re now being used in their second winter. They have a built in liner which gives a snug fit and the outer isn’t too bulky to be awkward on the brakes and shifters, they also have luminous piping on the back for hand signaling at night. For me, they’re perfect, and I’ve not suffered from cold fingers no matter what the temps are, or how wet they get.

    Also, a friend of mine gave me a pair of CLC builders gloves to try – sounds crazy, I know. But in the wet they’re perfect, they’re made of a synthetic leather so are very supple once you’ve worn them a few times – not bulky either. I wear them if the temps are not going to drop too low, a degree or two below freezing and they let the cold in. But for general winter riding, and in the wet, they’re fine.

    I’m willing to try anything to combat cold fingers when on the bike, cycling specific or not. I’ve been fortunate and (finally) found the gloves that work best for me. So, this is the first winter in a long time that I haven’t felt the need to add to my ever expanding glove collection.

    Great post, very informative.

  6. kadeer August 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    we are making all kinds of gloves for example Cycling gloves ski gloves motorcycle gloves fashion gloves leather gloves batting gloves mitten gloves ski gloves etc if you make any gloves so contact me we use material 100%pure and perfect

  7. Amjad dar January 17, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Dear Sir,
    We are committed to produce high quality Motorbike Gloves & clothing in Leather and Textile. A professional Bike Clothing industry produce Motor Bike Apparel and Accessories as per requested for Ladies and Gents respectively. For more information regarding our styles and quality please visit our
    If you have any Question in your mind regarding our products range and Price List please don’t hesitate to contact us.
    Woven Logo / Embroider logo / Rubber Logo / Silicon Reflector Logo and Embossed Leather logo services on custom orders are available according to your style and leather / Cordura discrepancies.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks and Best regards.
    Amjad dar

  8. David January 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Received a pair of silk gloves as a Christmas present last year. These work the same way as thermal underwear, but are a lot thinner (thin enough to fit inside any of my regular gloves). I can still operate fiddly things like my MP3 player without taking off this final layer, which is a real boon when it’s well below zero.


  1. Numbness and Penguins’ Eggs, Cold Hands and Bernard Hinault at Liège-Bastogne-Liège (and other spurious comparisons) | traumfahrrad - November 29, 2012

    [...] nastiness of numb and painful fingers. I’ve never really suffered from cold hands, unlike others I know who have struggled for years to find some sort of solution to the pain and misery of icy [...]

Leave a Reply

3 + 7 =