Ride All Winter With Bar Mitts
I received these last March, so only had a very few cold days to test them out, but in November cold days came early and sub-freezing temps could not keep me from riding thanks to Bar Mitts.
Bar Mitts are a neoprene handle bar cover fitted specifically to your road bike, mtb, or even other sports uses. I have the mtb pair. The idea is to keep all the wind from sucking heat out of your glove, and also insulate your hands in a warm cocoon that allows you to easily operate your controls. Keeping your hands warm on a cold ride makes a huge difference for your over-all comfort.
Entry and exit is very easy. My method of entering is to make a pointy-hand by folding my thumb and fingers together. Concerns of missing the hole fold when you realize the Bar Mitts are playable enough to grab on the outside.
The Bar Mitts come with an internal hook & loop strap to attach the end to the grip securing the Mitt from moving around (you can see a red flap inside - see below why it is not attached).
To attach the Bar Mitt simply unzip the lower cable opening, slide on, and zip up. Two external straps close the opening to reduce air flow.
Note that some air flow is necessary to prevent your hands from sweating. The small gaps at the cable provide this.
On a sub-20 degree day you can wear 50 degree gloves when using the Bar Mitts.
Users report loving using regular gloves as the bulk of winter gloves just does not feel right and isolate the rider from the terrain.
I have modified the grip strap by attaching a screw and washer through the Mitt and into the bar plug. It has the same effect, but eliminates the inner strap which can either come off, or in my case, just bug me.
Bar Mitts now come with an expandable bar plug to do the same thing, and requires no tools.
My only complaint is cold knuckles. My top knuckles can press against the fabric and get a chill. The insulation comes from the warm air pocket inside the Mitt, and with my knuckle pressed against the fabric this decreases in that particular spot. Likely a one size larger Bar Mitt would solve this, but I have to tinker…
Where I had screwed the Mitt to the bar plug is the solution. I simply moved the screw hole back 1/2 inch to make more room in front of my hands, and this solved my issue.
Bar Mitts also has one called the Extreme. Founder and creator, Ward reports:
The larger sizes have a gusset in between the two halves giving them more body/hand room. …I made an Extreme version, its fleece lined, has a removable cuff, a large ventilation zipper and comes with the expandable bar end attachment plug.
Pros: Everything. This is a product that has almost all positives:
Warm hands, does not interfere with riding, easy to use, can be left on if temps rise., no more bulky ski gloves.
Cons: Cold knuckles.