Advice on cold weather cycling with Raynaud's?

novocaine

Old School Hero
Dynamo powered heated grips, right I'm off to the dragons den with that idea.
I think I'm going to try lobster claws this winter.
 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
Last winter I realised I've had Raynaud's syndrome/disease for a couple of years now (I googled something like "numb/tingly white fingers in the cold", and there it was!). The tingly white fingers start up when I'm outside in any cold weather for anything more than about 20 minutes, even with one or two pairs of gloves on. And while I don't cycle that much in the winter I've had a few experiences in the last few years where on autumn/winter rides my fingers and toes have been absolutely frozen after about an hour, while the people I've been riding with have been fine in similar gloves, overshoes etc.

The thing about Raynaud's is that once the extremities get cold they won't warm up again on their own until you apply some heat to them. I do probably need to try harder to keep my core insulated but given the wind chill from cycling I don't think I'm going to have much success with keeping them warm in the first place on winter rides of any length. So I wonder if anyone has any experience of managing this? I've been thinking about heated gloves which are cumbersome and rather pricey (the only ones that seem to have reasonable reviews on Amazon are around £100. There also seem to be heated socks, but again, pricey...
I don't usually have a problem with cold hands when cycling. However, I do other sports where cold hands can be a problem.

In the past I used these inside my gloves.


I found they're effective for maintaining circulation, but probably not suitable for daily use due to the cost.
 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
Also, shoes, don't f**k about, proper winter shoes, size up, liner sock (merino/wool is good) plus seal skins or similar, foil insole. Leave them inside to warm up before you put them on, even get a boot warmer. Dicking around with big/insulated overshoes, extra socks, blah blah blah is a false economy that still leaves you with cold feet.
Foil insoles is an interesting idea that I haven't heard before. I always try on cycling shoes with thick walking socks, because I'd rather have hot feet in summer than cold feet in winter. I bought some seal skins socks ages ago, but for some reason I've never tried them.
 

Joe_Rides

Retro Guru
I've got Raynauds and have been through loads of different things.

These gloves have been pretty good as a liner, combined with some larger outer gloves.


Key thing I find is to keep gloves quite baggy and not too tight. I tried neoprene wetsuit gloves once, and they were awful, purely because they were really tight on my fingers.

I'll be trying Pogies with some handwarmers at some point. And I once considered making myself some wind deflectors out of plastic bottles, but never got round to it!

Whilst my feet are affected, I can usually live with the pain / numbness. My main issue is the hands.
 

Joe_Rides

Retro Guru
Sorry in advance if it seems insensitive, but posted in July in UK ? What prompted that? Genuinely interested
ps. Regards the above - it can still cause me issues on a cool summer morning. I rode to work today (2nd August), and found that my left middle finger was completely white by the time I got to work, despite the rest of me being very warm!

I also can get white-finger issues when i'm feeling nervous. It seems to be quite strongly associated with the nervous system and not just cold weather.
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
Foil insoles is an interesting idea that I haven't heard before. I always try on cycling shoes with thick walking socks, because I'd rather have hot feet in summer than cold feet in winter. I bought some seal skins socks ages ago, but for some reason I've never tried them.
They're "standard" on many of the better cold weather shoes (cycling and non-cycling).
I have them in both pairs of my Northwave cycling shoes and my winter work boots. (Shovelling snow in -20 needs some serious insulation!)
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
ps. Regards the above - it can still cause me issues on a cool summer morning. I rode to work today (2nd August), and found that my left middle finger was completely white by the time I got to work, despite the rest of me being very warm!

I also can get white-finger issues when i'm feeling nervous. It seems to be quite strongly associated with the nervous system and not just cold weather.
Yes, definitely. Guy I used to ride with had some issues with a Raynaud's type problem. Worst time of year for him was a typical British summer, when he'd get hot and sweaty climbing, or riding with a tail wind. A change in gradient (descent) or wind direction would see him in tears with the pain as his sweaty extremities cooled down. Until he stopped and added clothing/warmed up.
The autumn/winter/spring was easy, because it was always cold enough for him to need serious insulation.
 
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