Keep those digits toasty and you're in a for a much more enjoyable winter.
When the mercury dips below freezing, it's your extremities that feel it first. As noted in our look at winter boots, it seems that people tend to suffer either cold hands or cold feet, and less often both. However that works, getting your mitts warm while still maintaining some dexterity for shifting, braking and handling certainly makes those long winter rides way more fun.
45NRTH makes two gloves, plus what has become the standard for bar covers in the fat bike world. The Sturmfist 4 and Sturmfist 5 are solid options, and if you're one of those folks with a tendency toward warmer hands, the 5 is a perfect choice. The 5 stands for the amount of finger holes, and the glove is less bulky but still as warm as mittens or 'lobster' gloves. The glove is officially rated 15-32 degrees, but we've found that everyone is a bit different.
If you do have trouble keeping your hands warm, the Sturmfirst 4 might be the better way to go. With the pointer and middle finger free, the ring and pinky stick together for warmth, although they are separated in the included merino wool glove liner, which adds still another layer of warmth. We recommend getting a size bigger than you might think, which gives the liner a bit more wiggle room inside the glove itself, and makes it easier to remove the outer glove but keep the liner on to zip things, grab stuff, and pick up water bottles or change pages on your Wahoo Elemnt. This is the glove for riders who really would rather not rely on the bigger bar covers, like the Cobrafist, but still don't want to worry about cold hands.
But for many, adding the Cobrafist makes life so much better. It doesn't matter how cold, the Cobrafist will keep your hands as warm as possible. In milder weather, like just below freezing, many riders can head out with just a light mountain bike glove or no glove at all, making it easy to shift and use your phone or bike computer, as well as take those all-important Instagram photos.
With the temperatures looking chilly in the coming weeks, and the holidays just over the next hill, it's a great time to dial in your gloves and enjoy this winter out on the trails.