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How To Prevent Cold Hands & Feet Whilst Cycling In Winter

How To Prevent Cold Hands & Feet Whilst Cycling In Winter


– Do you seem to suffer from cold feet or cold hands in the middle of winter? – In this video we are going to show you all the hacks that we have
learned over the years to make sure your feet and hands don’t become ice blocks. – If you haven’t already done so, click subscribe to the channel and press that notification
icon so that you get notified every time
we make a new upload. (air whooshing) – Now a big reason why you
get cold hands and feet, is because your circulation, so make sure you’ve loosened up your shoes and you haven’t got too tight cuffs to make sure all that blood from your core gets down to your fingers and toes. You wiggling your toes mate? – I’m trying too. Wiggle wiggle wiggle. – Boy it’s cold! (rock music) A lot of cycling shoes out there are designed to keep your feet
cool during the summer days meaning loads, and loads, of vents. But you want to keep the warmth in, and all the cold and wet out. So to do so, you can use some tape. Tape up the vents like so, I mean it’s not that
aesthetically pleasing, but you could also take the insole out and tape out the vents on the sole too, couple that up with some over shoes, and you’ve got some nice warm feet. Perfect for the winter. Right if my tape stays on. (fastener tightens) (rock music) – There is many different
styles of glove out there as there are different sizes of hands, but making sure you have a set that work in the condition that you intend to ride is what is imperative. Now here in Europe, we
can generally speaking get away with just a nice
thick pair of winter gloves. Because, it’s not actually
all that cold here, especially in the UK. And generally speaking the
temperature doesn’t change that much on any given day. But, if you live somewhere where the weather is much more severe, or the temperatures do change, throughout the course
of the day much more, then you may need to
consider something else. So, something like a
ski lobster style glove with a bit of a claw, or liners. Wearing a fitted glove
underneath a thicker winter glove that you can then remove as
the temperature does change and it warms up throughout
the course of the day or if you get wet hands, replace them with a different liner in
the middle of your ride. (bass strums) – Unsurprisingly it’s a wet and cold day here in the UK, and if you’re like me and suffer from getting
wet and cold hands, then this hack will really help you and it’s involving some latex gloves. Pop them in your saddle bag when you’re preparing your bike or put them in your back pocket, and when this rain starts coming down, you start getting wet gloves, pop them on and it means your gloves can get wet, but your hands still stay dry. Now if you do really
have cold hands on a ride and you forget your latex gloves, then you can always pop into a gas station or petrol station, pop them on, bob’s your uncle, there you have it. Nice, warm, and dry hands. (upbeat orchestra music) – For the eagle-eyed
amongst you out there, you may have noticed that
I’m not actually wearing my lightweight summer socks today, I’ve got thermal winter socks on. These have got a wind proof and a waterproof property to
them, and these are my go-to. But, if you don’t have
access to winter socks, or you’re just in a rush and you want to throw on summer socks, doubling up on layers is
the key to keeping warm. Because you’ll trap the warm
air in between each layer. The only thing you do need to be aware of when you wear extra layers
on your feet though, is that if your shoes
are particularly snug, you may struggle to get
your foot into your shoe. In which case, it may be worth having a second set of shoes for the winter which are perhaps just
a half a size bigger. (orchestra music continues) – A traditional GCN
trick to keep your feet nice and toasty warm is to use some tin foil. Tin foil is such a good insulator, hence why it’s used in cooking. Now make sure you get a
nice big piece like so, wrap it around your foot, and this should keep all
that nice and warm heat from your feet trapped in your shoe. Do your shoe up, and
then get your overshoes if you’ve got some, and there you have it! A nice, warm, and insulated foot. Perfect for any temperature, unless it’s too cold to go out. (chuckles) (electric guitar strums) – When it comes to looking for hacks to keep warm and dry in the winter, some of the simplest
are the most effective and are certainly the most cost effective. Cling film can be picked
up cheaply at your local grocery store and
it’s very easy to use. You simply wrap your entire foot and the beauty of cling film
is, it will stick to itself so you don’t need to use too much either. Simply cover your foot completely, and your ankle if you’re
wearing an overshoe, and then cut a hole for your cleat and you’ll have a sealed,
weatherproof foot. Be warned though, your foot’s
going to get a little bit sweaty, but at least it won’t be cold. (rock music) – It’s one of those
really cold wintry days, and your gloves are
just not doing the trick keeping your hands as
warm as you’d like them. Well, I’ve got a really
good trick up my sleeve that might, just might, save
your hands from freezing. It involves one of these. Now this is a heat pad, that is designed to go on muscles for aches and pains, but you can get them from any sort of outdoor or camping shop and they come in all different sizes and they do last for a few hours and could really save your
hands from becoming ice blocks. What you can do, rip off the back, stick it over top of your
hands, pop it back in the glove, making sure your cuffs aren’t
stopping your blood flow. So keep all that good, warm, blood from flowing from your
core down to the hands and then you should feel a nice warm patch on the top of your hand and that will keep it nice and warm until you get home and sit by the fire. (exhales loudly) Alright. Oh, that feels good already. Woo! (rock music) – If all of these winter
hacks are not up to scratch then there’s only one
thing left for you to do and that’s to invest in
some heavy duty winter gear that has been designed
specifically to cope with the worst of the worst conditions. And I’m talking snow, ice, heavy rainfall, and minus temperatures. For example, these
Fizik Artica R5 booties, which I would only consider wearing in the worst of the worst conditions will keep your feet warm and dry for the majority of the worst rides. They feature reflective
linings, a sealed zip, and a fleece inner, meaning they keep your feet warm and dry in every condition you can imagine. The only problem is, you probably don’t want to
ride in those conditions. – Now we hope that all
these hacks have helped you keep your hands and feet nice and warm through those wintry rides. – If you enjoyed this video,
give it a big thumbs up, and also let us know if you
think we’ve missed anything. Drop it down in the comments below. – And for more how to
videos, click down there, because it’s getting wet and cold, and we need to get going, don’t we? – Oh we do. – Ugh.

100 comments on “How To Prevent Cold Hands & Feet Whilst Cycling In Winter

  1. What do you use to stay warm on the bike in winter? Do you have any more hacks to keep your hands and feet warm on a ride? Let us know in the comments below 👇

  2. Anyone who thinks tin foil is an insulator could be in for a nasty shock! Very useful tip if you want your shoes full of tiny bits of silver paper 🙂

  3. As a general rule, keep your core warm and your hands and feet will be warm. Will you sweat? Hell yeah but that's normal if you're core isn't sweating at all then its getting cold.There are folks with poor circulation who will still feel their hands and feet are cold, those folks need more warmer layers on their hands/feet.

  4. Excellent ideas! Thank you. Good merino wool socks are great in cold weather, and I have used the foil wrap for many years on the coldest rides. Skip the crisps bag suggested by Mat S. a few years back – too greasy!

  5. Make sure that you keep your ears and nose warm. If they get cold, your body will restrict blood flow to your extremities, ensuring cold hands and feet.

  6. Layers on the body and legs, Good shoe covers, thick commuter jacket and good quality gloves all help. Alternatively battery powered gloves and socks from Vulcan Sportswear are a nice treat 👌.

  7. Battery powered insole heaters, like Sidas. Clip the battery pack to the top of your shoe cover. Good for -20C riding, can't be beat.

  8. I have noticed that a double layer of socks can also be a bad idea if the socks are snug because there is less blood flow.

  9. Tried various ski gloves to keep my fingers warm, but is much harder to manipulate the sti levers. Any suggestions on trim and warm gloves?

  10. I keep my hands in a fist when it's negative degrees outside. (I only do this for a maximum of around 20min though, it could get dangerous otherwise.)

  11. The main problem with gloves is they leave a huge surface area through the fingers to dissipate heat. This is why mittens were invented. Back in the 70's and 80's before we had high tech materials, waxed cotton mittens were essential winter wear for motorcyclists, I'm not sure if this is relevant today for cyclists, just a thought.

  12. foil is a conductor, thats why it is used in cooking…. latex gloves will not keep hands dry but they will inhibit evaporation directly from the skin…. the foil may have the same effect of inhibiting the evaporation from the feet. Think before you speak… or ask someone who is smart.

  13. Honestly if u live in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern France, … JUST BUY WINTERSHOES! I know they don't look pro or whatever and they are an extra cost but u can use them at least 5 months a year that's just worth it!
    Also why do GCN think this is the last option, for about €200 u get awesome wintershoes that last a long time and that u can use 1/3 of the year! As there are enough shoes that are for -5 to 15° so u don't need extreme condition to use them!

  14. My advice as a former rower battling wet and cold Nothing beats neoprene/wetsuit material. I have neoprene booties(socks) and a swim cap designed for scuba in the pacific ocean. Keeps me warm at freezing temps and unlike a warm hat keeps my helmet is property on my head to protect me if i go down. I'm toasty warm and my fellow riders are miserable.

  15. 6:31 Right after hank explaining how to use warm patches on your hands opie rides in the puddles without gloves

  16. GCN, you should define “winter” because none of your suggestions would work in the winters we have with temps well below zero. Latex, foil, plastic wrap and taping holes is just bad advice. Non-compressed insulating layers (no tight fitting summer shoes) and wind-blocking outer layers is what holds the heat in.

  17. Check water- and windproof gloves sold at the good hardware stores where trade people shop. Most of those will have 1. actual EU standard EN 511:2006 (cold and water) (bonus with 388:2016, mechanical) ratings and 2. Cost 1/3 or less of cycling branded ones! See great page https://www.mechanix.com/us-en/discover/en-511-2006-testing-standards-for-winter-gloves for easy to understand how to read the rating (three numbers or 'X' if not tested)
    A 221 rating should be ok for most cyclists, if you don't spend too much time outside in nothern Finland, Sweden, Canada or Russia etc during the winter, then quality ski gloves or two-three finger ones are good options as others have mentioned.

  18. You'll have to pardon my grin when I see shoes worth more than 300, a bike probably worth over 10 thousand, and you're breaking out the cling wrap to stay warm? Trade in the carbon seat post for some heated inserts, maybe?

  19. What about your groin area on those really cold, bone chilling days? Even with thermal bibs, moisture and cold air seems to infiltrate this region. Guess it's time to give the tin foil/cling wrap a go, lol.

  20. I grew up in the upper Midwest USA.. Winter riding meant very cold temps. Did a 60 mile fum ride that started at -3 F (-20 C). Luckily when below freezing getting wet isn't the problem. Two pairs of socks, silk ski liners under wool socks, Winter shoes a full size bigger. Covered by a wind proof cover. Legs don't need much ski liners cover calves and a good pair of long riding pants is all it takes. Top, layers is key. First layer is a wind proof on front and vented on the back, zipper vents under the sleeves. Wool jersey and a good jacket. wind proof on the sleeves and front breathable on the back, and with a good collar. Skull cap that covers your ears and a windproof helmet cover, shower cap works great.

    Hands are the key. A thin set of gloves covered by latex gloves and a really good set of gloves, windproof on the top and enough thickness .

    You're good to go, except that when the temp gets up to 15 or 20 F you have to loose the helmet cover and start opeing vents on the jacket.

  21. After decades of sub freezing commuting, I cringe at most of these hacks. Hands a feet sweat too and deserve special attention when we consider the unique relationship between water and freezing temperatures. Leave the tin foil and cling wrap for leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, your sweaty extremities will thank you for your wisdom. If you are a commuter, consider the obvious, invest. 10 years ago I bought winter shoes for 60 euros, still awesome. 12 years ago I bought gloves for 50 euros. Still awesome but need replacement. Glove and sock liners are just bonus. Fingers cold? Wiggle and change position . Feet cold? Wiggle or dismount and run a little. But whatever you do avoid sweating in winter.

  22. Forget the tape on the shoes over the vents, just buy some thick waterproof overshoes and when it's really cold out, get some hand/feet warmers

  23. Chris and James are real HEROS! Going out in the nasty weather to teach all of us how to ride in nasty weather should never be un- appreciated. Thanks guys. If we ever meet, you will never have to pay for a drink! Cheers!

  24. there is not a sure fire system to staying warm , its down to experimenting , what works for one does not necessarily work for another , layers help , however once you start to sweat its another ball game , here in quebec riding the trails through a forest is ok , even at -20-30 F, however being out out in the open with the wind , well lets say , i want my mommy, dam you don t last long , I have the perfect ride for the GCN guys to try this winter , its called bike across the lac st jean 32km 20miles on fat bike ,in February

  25. Hard to believe so many are totally unprepared to ride in cold and inclement conditions. Lycra is useless in the cold and wet. Light layers of wool and silk, looser fitting clothing, shoes and gloves so you can wear liners. Balaclava to minimise heat-loss from your head and neck. Sleeves and glove cuffs that cover your wrists.
    Or buy a velomobile.

  26. Best hack for keep your hands and feet warm on winter tires is to move to a warmer climate. Well if you can, anyway.

  27. I have raynaud’s syndrome and have a hard time keeping my hands warm in the cold. Wearing 2 pairs of gloves help, but gives you less dexterity to shift and brake.

  28. Warm Hello from Indonesia to both of you, in Indonesia is very hot so i ride my bike without wearing the glove and proper shoe. Hehe…. Nice video GCN.

  29. I have tried nearly every combination of gloves possible. At or below -5c, nothing keeps my hands from getting like painful icecubes

  30. Hmm… gloves. I like glittens. If my hands get cold, pull over the mittens. When I get warm, the mittens parts tuck into the back of my hands. This was robbed from jogging gloves 🙂

  31. A couple things, as a bike courier who's busy through the Canadian winters, after taking care of the basics (core/non-compressed layers) my last resort to not get freezing purple toes riding in frozen slush or freezing 0 deg. rain (which is worse than a little snow at -15) all day are Gaiters. Even with Gore-tex/thermo/winter cycling shoes, after an hour or more of riding, the frozen wet splash above your ankle will seep in and slowly amass a icy puddle inside your waterproof shoes for you to endure another few hours. The Gaiters (gore-tex) will do the trick in shielding the bottom half of your leg from frozen splash. The rest of your legs will be a 'comfortable" wet, as there is no such thing as "stay dry out there'.
    Another tip, if it's dry-ish but very cold, say -10 to -30 with the wind factor is putting some face/body cream(substantial like Coconut based or Shea) to moisturize you face and hands so they don't crack, literally. They'll withstand the cold wind for longer.

  32. Aluminum foil is such a good insulator, that's why it's used in cooking". Methinks he does not cook. Let's what the interweb says about Aluminium: Aluminum is an excellent heat and electricity conductor and in relation to its weight is almost twice as good a conductor as copper. … It is also a superb heat sink for many applications that require heat to be drained away rapidly, such as in computer motherboards and LED lights. Hmmmmmm………

  33. As others have commented these hacks are not effective for really cold (Canadian, et al) temperatures and/or for a thin rider who has difficulty maintaining a high core temperature. I wanted to be able to do sub zero, -10°C, -20°C, long rides, 140+km, and finish without painfully cold hands and feet. Last winter I was finally able to achieve this, yay!

    I have the same Assos gloves shown in this video. While they are light weight and flexible, at 5°C my hands were freezing cold. Glove liners helped but weren't effective for really cold temps. For that I went to heated glove liners. I looked around for the ones with the largest batteries, and selected the motionHeat liners.The Assos gloves that on their own fail at 5°C can easily do -20°C now. The liners are very thin (I think I measured at 0.4mm a while ago) with heating elements running around the fingers. Gripping the handle bars can be cold since the glove liners don't have elements in the palms but the lighter grip on my aerobar addons was comfortable. I had a problem with one of the gloves causing an small electrical burn but was quickly sent a replacement by the mfrr, (excellent service)

    I was using my summer shoes with Endura Freezing Point covers and shoe vents covered with electrical tape But this was not very effective. A little below 5°C and my toes were purple and the warm up was painful even after a short ride.I looked at several winter boots but many had vents (really??) or thin covers and looked less effective than what I was already using. Next I looked at adding heated socks. The Lenz 1,0 heated socks weren't too effective but the Lenz 5.0, with all the heating elements in the toes, were effective and, gag, expensive.

    I finally got spare batteries for both the socks and gloves last winter and that allowed me to do a long ride.

  34. Lake MX303 Winter boot with liner socks, chemical toe warmers, and wool socks. If your riding in the cold rain your feet will get wet. The water that your tights collects and gravity will always win, and your socks will get lose. I have been blessed and never has issues with my hands.

  35. Neoprean gloves and socks. Your tootsies and fingers will be wet, but the insulating factor means you will stay warm. They're good for an hour, maybe two when it's really wet. Life savers during the wet winter months, especially good for your commutes.

  36. Good ideas, but here in the NE U.S. these tips are only good in late fall / early spring. My winter kit includes Northwave high top boots a full size and a half larger. Then liner sock / goretex sock / electric heated sock. Likewise, I have electric heated heavy-weight gloves. Working hard to make trainers extinct in our lifetime…..

  37. A couple of questions: 1. What was the temperature of the ride in the Cold Hands/Feet video? New to cold season riding and trying to figure out what to wear on rides outside. 2. Were did you get the GCN long tights for winter riding – I can't find them on the website.

  38. I just bought a pair of Northwave XCM 2 GTX winter boots to replace my very old winter Shimano shoes. With the Shimano’s I’ve ridden hours in rain and in dry 20 deg F weather. Obviously have winter kit too.

  39. Tried all of those, none worked especially the aluminum foil, it’s very messy. Next step, heated overshoes and heated gloves from racer gloves.

  40. Electric heated gloves and dedicated winter cycling boots have transformed my winter! in Utah we have mostly dry weather but cold, well below freezing in the morning and evening, my prime ride/commute times. Neck warmers also nice addition too!

  41. Serious topic: best way to keep penis from becoming frostbitten. Sounds silly, but its not. This stopped me from riding last year. The pain kept me off the bike and I got into running instead to avoid windchill.

  42. When I was a nipper I would fill my handlebars with hot water and cork the ends before heading out on my early morning ride, pretty sure you shouldn't try this at home.

  43. Prevous two rides i had to cut short. 1st my hands got too cold. Then on second ride: my feet. First two truly cold rides, so still finding the optimal gear. Not too hot nor cold.

  44. I use the R5 shoes allot, also in rain when it's not quite so cold. So imho not only for the 'worst of conditions'.

    However, with heavy rain you'll still get wet feet, if you don't seal your ankles. Within an hour water will trickle down into the shoe from the top. It then takes days to dry these shoes. So: make sure you wear rain pants or long winter bibs óver the shoes, that is covering the ankle.

    GCN – you forgot the most important thing. Mount fenders! Cheap, easy, keeps most of the water from you body. From experience I can say that this investment amounts up to the tenfold in fancy winterclothing. Try the raceblade XL.

  45. Would it make more sense to apply the hand warmers to the inside of your wrists? Closer to your veins and out the path of the freezing headwind? May last longer too???

  46. all well and good to keep your hands and feet warm. but any thoughts on bibs and other clothing? I mean, riding in -5C will make your muscles hurt if not protected..

  47. Ears..thats the real issue, .they freeze in real winter. Thats why I use a winter thermal cap(Bontrager)with ear flaps and/or a down filled head warmer (Sears)to go under the helmet. your ideas are ok for wet conditions, thats Fall. In winter the water is frozen . For hands and feet, same as the rest of the body layer after layer.

  48. Merino insoles are insanely cheap and make a world of a difference when riding in sub-zero temperatures. Add a thin layer of tin foil underneath your merino sole, and bang – there you have it!
    Also, using a waterproof sock works wonders!

  49. The "worst of the worst conditions" bootie are a daily requirement for my commute 😀 for cycling shoes that is… with Five10 Elements flat pedal shoes a pair of really good wool socks will do..

  50. As my dad always used to say, if you have cold fingers and toes, put a hat on. A skull cap under the helmet works wonders. Also, wear a windproof jersey to prevent heat loss from your core.

  51. I used suffer with terrible cols feet. I used to use old shoes that I previously raced with. I brought some shoes slightly bigger, use merino wool socks & decent overshoes & now never have a problem.

  52. Buy some proper clothing! Merino wool as baselayer, something windproof over that. And Bob is not just your uncle but aunt and cousin as well.

  53. Here's my gear that I used just two days ago at +1…-2°C:
    -My normal Shimano summer shoes
    -Normal socks
    -Wetproof overshoes
    -technical underlayer shirt
    -padded underlayer boxers
    -fleece inlined windproof jacket + trousers
    -neoprene water resistant gloves
    -technical sporty cap under the helmet or Buff scarf works too!

    I GOT SWEATY! Greetings from the real winter area =) Just adding layers if it gets colder and put skiing cloves on. I really got surprised by the gloves I mentioned and also that wetproof overshoe blocked cold that effectively with summer shoes :O

  54. For those of us who suffer from Raynaud's syndrome, these ideas are all insufficient. Despite wearing a disposable nylon glove, an Assos liner glove, and Black Diamond lobster gloves, and charcoal hand warmers inside my gloves, my fingers suffer terribly in 5º C weather and below, turning white/blue/purple/red and tingling and painful, if I can feel them at all. They are especially painful after riding. (I assume this to be something to do with HR slowing down.) This year, I've been thinking of trying heated gloves and found these https://www.raynaudsdisease.com/30seven-heated-race-edition-cycling-gloves.html If anyone has any experience with them, I'd love feedback. Thanks.

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