Packing for a tour a couple years back, I tossed in my Elkskin Ropers from RiderWearhouse for normal temps and the warm, waterproof Macna Borax for the worst weather. An obvious comfort gap between the two pair gave me pause. I tried to ignore it, and almost threw in a pair of intermediate gloves to fill the breach. Trying to pack light, I froze in indecision.
The gloves were in my hand, all I had to do was pitch them onto the to-go pile. Then I remembered something that I keep on the bike—the Grease Monkey Gorilla Grips that I tuck away for messy motorcycle work. Stretchy and light (less than an ounce), with nitrile-coated fingers and palms, I re-imagined them as glove liners.
A minute later, they were on my hands. Then on went the Ropers: great fit, not too tight over the thin Grips. Maybe we’re onto something here. A test ride proved that my hands were warmer with the Grips. Further testing showed they’re good for five or six degrees of extra comfort (depending on relative humidity, ride-induced excitement and caffeine intake). Houston, I think we solved a problem.
The last time I used the Grips as glove liners was last fall on a Nevada/Utah adventure. The Ropers let the cold soak through on the cool mornings, but the Borax were too toasty. On went the Grips, away went the cold. For five bucks at the hardware store it’s hard to go wrong. And even if you never use them for extra warmth, they’re always ready for the messy stuff.