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I have many gloves. Sometimes, gloves don’t do the trick. Ever have one of those mornings where no matter how hard you pedal, no matter how hot you get, your fingers feel like they’re about to freeze solid? Ever find yourself making a fist INSIDE the gloves to keep your digits from going numb?

When my name-brand “winter” cycling gloves weren’t cutting it, I went big, and bought an expensive pair of thick, waterproof lined alpine ski gloves from one of the sporting goods stores. When THOSE weren’t working, I was left in bewilderment. What on earth could possibly be wrong with my hands?

The answer was an $8 pair of mittens I found near the checkout aisle at the grocery store. Mittens keep all your fingers together. While they make shifting with STI/Ergo/DoubleTap a bit more difficult, trigger and grip-style shifters are just as easy to operate with mittens as they are with five-finger gloves. It might also take some time to get used to braking if you’re used to reaching up to them without using all of your fingers at once.  The warmth benefit is usually worth it if you have trouble keeping your hands warm on those cold commutes.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some of the ways I keep my feet nice and warm even when the wind chill is -20°F (-29°C).