The Two Most Useful Gloves for Winter Riding

The way I got the nickname Robot was from riding to work on the coldest winter days. My incredulous officemates would ask, “Don’t you get cold?” to which my brother, who worked with me at the time, would respond, “Robots don’t feel cold.” It is entirely possible that he meant I was emotional dead inside, and so what he meant was not a compliment on my toughness but a comment on my general coldness as a human person.

All of that aside, it’s true that I’ve logged a lot of miles in temperatures that other people have thought not compatible with cycling. And of course, in cold weather one of your first concerns is your hands. They’re right out in front, with the wind and sometimes rain or snow pummeling them, so if you don’t have a reasonable strategy for keeping them warm and dry, you’re not going to make it very far.

So here are two gloves that I use all winter long. They’re effective, versatile, and good value for the money, and both are made by Craft Sport. It bears saying that no one is paying me to talk about these gloves or this company. I don’t even know anyone who works there. These recommendations are my own, based on what I actually wear in my daily riding.

The first glove I want to talk about is the Craft Hybrid Weather. This is the glove you put on when the mercury drops below 55F (10C), basically the point where you put on gloves for warmth, rather than just hand protection. The Hybrid Weather is both a glove and a mitten. The glove is a simple, straight-forward, full-fingered liner-weight layer made of double-ply polyester blends. The palm is lined with rubber grip, and the thumb is extra-thick to give it that little bit of additional warmth, since it lives outside the mitten. The mitten cover, which tucks into a pocket on the back of the glove when not in use, is windproof.

What I love about this glove/mitten (glitten?) is its versatility and adaptability. You can wear it as a light glove. It’s a good light glove. But then with the mitten cover pulled over, it gives you a much deeper temperature range. I often start in mitten mode, and as I warm up, I tuck the cover away. I’d wear this down to about 40F, lower if I was running or hiking, instead of riding. Riding ups the ante, because of the increased wind chill on your hands.

The Hybrid Weather is tightly stitched, and as with all Craft products, it’s durable as hell. I have been abusing my current pair of these for quite a while. There are some other nice details too. They have a small tab on the inside of the wrist to make it easier to pull them on, especially when you’re in mitten mode. Also, the mitten cover comes in a high-vis reflective fabric that is waterproof.

This is really the only glove I need for any of the stuff I do in that temperature range, what I’ll call the warmish end of cold.

The next glove I want to highlight is the Craft Siberian 2.0. This one picks up where the Hybrid Weather leaves off. So I’m putting it on when the temps are under 40F (4C), and it takes me down to the high 20s (-2C). Man, do I love this glove.

This pair is four seasons old.

I had a pair of the original Siberian (not the 2.0), and I wore it for a lot of seasons. I soaked it with sweat. I coated it with mud and ice. It’s hard to articulate how much I put that first pair through, but I kept washing and drying and putting it on over and over, until it fell it apart. When the day finally came when I realized it was no longer structurally sound enough to do what I needed it to do (I think I even sewed a few of the finger seams back together after one particularly gnarly crash rent them asunder), I immediately ordered a pair of the 2.0s, which are my go-to winter glove now, when it’s proper cold, and not just hinting at it.

The Siberian is a wind and waterproof, fleece-lined do it all glove. It has a printed rubber grip pattern in the palm. The gap between thumb and forefinger is gussetted for greater durability. The long cuff also tightens with a Velcro tab. It is also available in a lobster claw format, but I don’t care for that. I’m a full-fingered guy, myself.

The only sad bit about the Siberian is that there is actually a temperature at which it is no longer warm enough. And here’s the bad news. I can’t recommend any particular glove for those frigid temperatures. As cyclists, we need some level of manual dexterity to be able to shift gears and pull brake levers. The temp where the Siberian stops being effective is also the temp where gloves that are warm enough are too bulky to work well for cyclists.

If you know of a glove that works well when it’s that cold email me. I’ll get it and review it.

In my mind, these two gloves the Hybrid Weather and Siberian 2.0 are necessary equipment. You might have other gloves (I do), but these are the first two you need. Everything else is just for variety.

Here’s the best news yet. The Hybrid Weather retails for $39.99, and the Siberian 2.0 is $64.99, which makes them not only supremely useful, but also among the most affordable in their categories.

Join the conversation
  1. jlaudolff says

    I haven’t used them, but people seem to like bar mitts for serious cold. I claim it really does not get that cold out here in western WA. I like lobster gloves myself, below 40F. I have some waterproof sealskins that are good in the rain below 35F, otherwise I use some from PI.

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      @J – I’ve had those PI lobster gloves, and I just can’t brake and shift the way I want to with them on. They’re warm though. Great for driveway shoveling and dog walking.

  2. tcfrog says

    I use bar mitts on my fat bike and they work great – I can wear gloves which normally would only be good to around 30 to temps into the teens. I just got a pair of bar mitts for my gravel bike but we just got 5″ of snow so I haven’t tried them out yet. I have also had a lot of success with using xc ski gloves instead of biking gloves – better insulation without losing dexterity.

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      @TC – I’m with you on the ski gloves tip. About to invest in a pair of Hestra full-fingered gloves. Will report back.

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