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OPINION

Coldfinger: the man with the Raynaud's touch

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A small breakthrough in the search for the perfect winter glove

For many years now I have been engaged in an epic quest to find the perfect winter glove. As you can see this mission has been going on for some time…

It’s never been formally diagnosed but I’m pretty sure I have Raynaud’s syndrome. When the temperature drops, one by one my fingers turn from a healthy pink to that horrible waxy white as the bloodflow stops. When I get really cold it extends to my feet too. As an aside, if there is anything in this world less attractive than a middle-aged man’s foot rendered soggy and lifeless by a winter ride I would be very happy never to see it.

Over the years I have tried many glove options, each costing a little more than the last. I was beginning to think the only solution might be to bite the bullet and shell out a three-figure sum for a certain high-end London-based company’s winter glove solution.

But now I believe I’ve at least partly cracked it at a fraction of the cost and I feel it’s only right to share my breakthrough with the road.cc massive.

My solution is simple, cheap and merino-based: skinny liners beneath woolly gloves. For me that means Rab MeCo liners beneath DeFeet DuraGloves but I’m sure there are other options. Total cost a tad over £30; warm down to pretty much zero (which is as cold as I ever want to be out cycling in) and dexterity maintained too, which is a bonus.

My hands still get cold eventually but the crucial – and unique, in my experience – thing about this combination is that they get warm again when I put some extra effort in or I stick my hands under my armpits. With the numerous other options I’ve tried, once my hands got cold I knew they’d stay cold until I got home and went through that slow, agonizing recovery process.

Job done then! Ah, if only life were that simple. Of course this solution is no use if it’s wet. When they get soggy these gloves stay that way and even though my hands never get as cold in them as they do in some ‘waterproof’ gloves once the water’s crept in, it’s still deeply unpleasant. When I know it’s going to be cold and wet from the outset I’ve taken to using a pair of old wetsuit gloves. They’re not as comfortable and I get sweaty and then clammy in them but at least my hands stay warm-ish.

I still live in hope that one day I’ll find a way of keeping my hands toasty whatever the weather. Until then, this’ll do.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

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