With the arrival of colder temperatures, my crochet cycling gloves were no longer cutting it. The Co-Habitant came to the rescue with a welcome gift: convertible mittens in a luxuriously soft wool. I love these things!
The convertible mittens are basically fingerless gloves, with extra "mitten flaps" above the knuckles. The flaps can be unbuttoned and folded over the fingers to create mittens. The thumb is full-fingered. The Co-Habitant bought these at the Banana Republic outlet store. They were available in this heathery beige colour, and also in black. Apparently many mainstream apparel manufacturers now sell versions of these.
Aside from being clever and cute, these convertible mittens have several features that make them particularly suitable for cycling. Having the tips of the fingers exposed allows for optimal shifting, braking, and other machinations (such as camera clicks) that do not work so well when the finger tips are covered. The mitten mode makes them versatile as on/off the bike gloves. The 100% wool is great for warmth and moisture-wicking, and is not slippery on the handlebar grips.
An additional benefit, is that these gloves are extra long, which is excellent for protecting cyclists' wrists when they get exposed to the cold air due to the stretching of the arms to reach the handlebars. All those jackets, coats and sweaters with sleeves not long enough for cycling can be supplemented with long gloves like these.
Convertible mittens in action. For those of you who knit, this might make a fun and worthwhile project (see instructions in pdf). Just make sure to use a soft 100% wool yarn (or wool and silk blend) and not an acrylic blend, and to make them extra long.