Here's my history. Been winter cycling for 4 years. Have tried the following with the following results:
Pearl Izumi Lobsters WITH liners - good down to about 28-30. Just a matter of time until ice hooks after that
Heavy ski gloves - maybe better than most things. Good to a few degrees cooler than the lobsters
Heavy ski gloves with latex gloves inside - Sweaty gross hands, but this works pretty well. Just a GIANT pain if you have to do anything en route and don't want to go through multiple gloves. I can usually use them 2 or 3 times, but it's just a big messy pain.
Some misc. others that just suck. Why don't gloves seem to exist that are the cycling equivalent of the Lake cop boots? I have REALLY cold prone hands.
Does anyone have any good experiences?
That's a good point.
Using down tube shifters or bar-end shifters (instead of grip shifters, brifters, or thumbies) can also help with circulation, because you'll need to move your hands more often to shift. That, combined with simplicity and reliability, makes these types of shifters good for winter and long distance riding.
Though this is not a covering suggestion, I remember someone posting about how they move their arms in tiny circles as fast as you can, when you have to stop for a light, to help increase the blood flow to your hands. I have found that this helps a lot.
Jason - just a thought: do you smoke? Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor - your capillaries contract and reduce blood flow. I used to have miserably cold hands and feet from September through April until I quit.
If so, lay off the death sticks for about 20 minutes before & during your ride.
I used to use them when it was really cold and I had a half mile walk to the El. I'd use a pair in the morning and bring a pair to use at night. They work great and you just need to boil them before you can use them again. I have the Hot Snapz, but they were bigger than I was expecting. I may get the Wonder Warmers to tuck into the back of my gloves this winter.
My favorite gloves for walking around are thinsulate lined leather gloves. But my hands have to be warm before I put them on, otherwise they do a great job of keeping my hands cold. That's the hard part cause my hands are always cold :-(
If your hands are sweaty it means they are too warm then the cold air hits them and cools even more.
I wear Chuck Taylors wool socks, a pair of Thinsulate gloves and am fine(ish).
Has anyone had a good experience with reusable hand warmers?
We rode to Highland Park last weekend and were it not for the little single-use warmers, I would have left behind a few fingers and toes. I want to acquire a pair of reusable ones to save costs and keep more inevitable chemical trash out of landfills. HotSnapZ look like a good bet but I can't imagine how they fit into a shoe - they're big enough to take a nap on! There seem to be a few brands on the market now, so if you've found a reliable one, please let me know.
I am becoming tempted to get some heated gloves, e.g.:
Expensive, for sure, but there may be cheaper USB options out there. 12V options are a lot cheaper:
I have tiny, bony fingers that get cold easily on a bike. This will be my third winter biking. The first winter I used layers of the 99 cent acrylic gloves and fleece gloves. It was a terrible idea, and I always lost feeling in my fingers.
Last winter, I invested in Sugoi (about $30) Firewall gloves, and thus far, I'm really, really happy with them. This is going to sound strange: my fingers still get cold, but they don't lose feeling which is what matters to me. When it was colder, I'd wear a pair of work gloves over them for an extra layer, but again, I never got numb.
Granted, last winter wasn't too bad. I don't remember how cold it was when I biked, but I definitely remember running with them in 10-15 degree weather, though the wind is certainly different on a bike. Based on how I've used them so far, I have absolute faith that they'll keep circulation in my fingers on a bike down into the teens or more (with an added layer for warmth).
I have bad circulation also, I haven't had good luck with the Mits but I have used Venture heated gloves for the last 3 years and it has completely solved my hand issues. Even riding the lakefront at 15 degrees wasn't an issue, just be cautious you don't have them on too warm and cause a lot of sweat. They're around 200.00 but I found them to be worth it, considering I have a dozen pairs of gloves I tried and bar mitts too that I don't use now. We sell them at The Pony Shop in Evanston if you want to see them before purchasing.