Preview: Winter Gear from Planet Bike

A week or so ago, the good folks at Planet Bike sent us some courtesy samples of winter gear to test out. I could just see the marketing people at PB: “man, this guy Jack is going to be facing his first midwestern winter in over 30 years…he’s the perfect candidate to try out some of our winter products. Poor sonofabitch doesn’t know WHAT he’s gotten himself into!!”

First up is the Borealis winter glove system:


From PB’s website:

-Windproof back panel and forchettes
-Removable liner for quick dry time
-Ultra-soft Fleece thumb and index finger
-Reflective piping for night visibility
-Water resistant, reinforced Serino palm
-3-in-1 design allows flexible temperature range by using liners, outer shells only, or outer shells with liners
-Neoprene cuff/pull tab with hook and loop closure

Next up, the Blitzen shoe covers:


-Windproof fabric with microfleece lining
-Neoprene front panel for added warmth around the toe box
-Durable bottom with open design for a variety of pedal platforms and cleats
-Full Velcro back closure for greater adjustability and sizing
-Toe box retention strap keeps front of cover in place
-Reflective side logos

We’ll be putting these goodies through their paces over the next couple months…it’s already gotten quite chilly here, with low temps in the 20s and highs of only the mid-50s. Having lived in Florida for the past two decades, I was woefully underprepared for truly cold-weather riding, so these Planet Bike items will hopefully keep me toasty as I test them out. Stay tuned for reviews — I am hoping to try these items out in the snow, if possible.


  1. Iron_Man November 8, 2011 5:53 am 

    I just bought those gloves, but so as not to act as spoiler I’ll refrain from giving my thoughts (unless you all say go), other than to say that I’m really satisfied with them. I’m curious to see if my temperature range in them, being a Michigan native and riding through sub zero Midwestern winters, are going to be slightly different then Jack’s, having just left Florida. My cold tolerance may be slightly higher than his.

  2. Ghost Rider November 8, 2011 6:10 am 

    Ha! My cold tolerance is laughable from a midwesterners’s perspective. Plus, I am not physically designed for cold weather…not much in the way of natural padding, if you know what I mean.

  3. Iron_Man November 8, 2011 6:45 am 

    Yeah, I know what you mean…unfortunately.

  4. Zombinate November 8, 2011 8:38 am 

    As a fellow midwesterner (currently in Minneapolis), who spend a stint in Anchorage, let me tell you something. If you get the clothing part figured out, this is the best time of year to ride.
    Cool, Dry, and you can always add a layer if you are cold (though most people overreact and overdress). I’d much rather have 28 degrees and need to layer over 95 degrees.
    Anyway, I’ll be curious what you think of these. I use a similar shaped “partial lobster” glove, but mine looks to be heavier insulated. I’d be curious to hear where your bottom temperature is with these.

  5. Elizabeth November 8, 2011 9:23 am 

    I continue to experiment with gloves/mitts. For the past several winters, I’ve used mittens from REI for the coldest days! But the bike handling is compromised and it’s not nice to have bike handling compromised when there is also snow and ice on the roadways. The lobsters I tried years ago failed me miserably… maybe I should give ’em a go again… have they improved over time?

  6. Bikejax November 8, 2011 9:57 am 

    Ha Ha, your cold!! Hey Jack, it’s in the 70’s here today. There is no way I would even consider riding with your temps. Stay warm and ride safe my friend.

  7. Ghost Rider November 9, 2011 8:48 am 

    @Bikejax — I am going to send you a box of snowballs when the time comes. Thanks for the kind words…this should be, ahem, “interesting” riding in such weather.

    @E — I’ve ridden in mittens before. For me, the handling wasn’t such a big deal as I rode a singlespeed on the really cold days, so all I had to manipulate was the brake levers. That bike is super-stable at speed, so I could, in theory, ride no-handed for my entire commute if I wanted to.

    I guess it’s yet another justification of having an entire fleet of commutable bikes to choose from!

  8. JohnnyK November 10, 2011 6:19 am 

    Are the shoe covers waterproof or water resistant like the gloves?

  9. Elizabeth November 10, 2011 10:40 am 

    I need a bigger fleet of commutable bikes!!!

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