As featured in the February 3, 2013, issue of New York Times
Don't Let Cold Hands Keep You From Riding!
Bar Mitts are a cold weather bicycle accessory that helps keep hands warm and comfortable in the cold, rain, snow or wind. Bar Mitts stay secure on the handle bars while riding allowing your hands to slide in and out without difficulty. Braking and shifting is also easily accomplished.
Bar Mitts are made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber often used for waterproofing or weather resistant clothing (wetsuits). The neoprene has a closed cell construction, meaning it is filled with closed air bubbles. These bubbles serve as insulators, just as Styrofoam does. Since the cells are closed, the neoprene itself is waterproof. The thickness of the neoprene is 5.5 mm with nylon laminated on each side. Due to the body of the neoprene, the Bar Mitts stay open allowing easy access and removal of hands.
- Helps keep hands warm and comfortable in the cold, rain, snow or wind
- Easily installed and removed for temperature changes
- Can be used with regular cycling gloves of varying thickness
- Designed for road bicycles with drop style handle bars & mountain/commuter bicycles
- Guaranteed for LIFE
Bar Mitt Choices
- Campy / SRAM / Dura Ace Bar Mitts
Black Only: Small, Medium and Large
- Mountain / Commuter Bar Mitts
Black Only: One Size Fits All
- Shimano Bar Mitts (with the shift cable coming out of the side of the brake shifters)
Black: Small, Medium and Large
Blue: Small and Medium
Note: Bar Mitts are NOT heated.
How do you determine size for Drop Bars?
You can go by the glove size you would normally wear. The difference from small to medium and medium to large is about 1" around the opening where you slide your hands in and out of the Mitts.
Since moving to Montana in 1995, keeping my hands warm while riding in the fall/winter/spring has been an ongoing challenge for me. I've tried all manner of gloves - thick, thin, etc., and no matter what, after an hour or two, my fingers would be frozen. Dexterity and safety were also compromised with heavy duty gloves.
So, I was more than a bit curious when I found these Bar Mitts. Just from looking at them, they made sense - big neoprene mitts attached to the bars of a bike. I ordered a pair.
I've used the Bar Mitts now in a wide variety of temperatures and absolutely love them. Finally, no more cold hands, no matter if it's 30 degrees or 0 degrees. In fact, I've actually stopped wearing full fingered gloves altogether unless it's under 20-25 degrees, then a light pair of full fingered gloves keeps my hands nice and toasty no matter how cold it is.
Also, I found that bike control - operating the brakes/shifters, getting your hands in and out of them to wipe your nose or signal a turn is easy with the Bar Mitts. They work equally well with Campy, SRAM, Dura Ace, and Shimano levers.
Bar Mitts cost about as much as a nice pair of heavy winter cycling gloves and work infinitely better.
Please make sure you have read and understand all the instructions before use. If Bar Mitts have any creases, leave them in the baggie and put them in the sun for a short time. The heat will help flatten the creasers.
Installing Mountain Bar Mitts
(Click on image to view larger image)
Installing Shimano / Dura Ace / Campy / SRAM Bar Mitts
- Start with opening the Velcro cinch next to the zipper. Unzip the zipper. This opening allows the Mitts to clear the brake & shift levers upon installing.
- There is a strip of neoprene and a Velcro cinch on the inside of the Mitt that attaches to the handle bar end (this will keep the Mitts in position when putting hand in). Keep the cinch loose before installing.
- Slide the Mitt on over the handle bar end and brakes / shifters. To secure the inside strip of neoprene and Velcro cinch, put one hand in through the zipper opening and the other hand through the hand opening. Maneuver the neoprene and cinch over the handle bar ends so the neoprene covers the bar end as you look into the Mitt. Then tighten the Velcro cinch in place.
- Zip up the zipper and secure the outside velcro cinch to close up the opening around the cables and handle bar.
- Repeat the above for the other Mountain Mitt.
(Click on image to view larger image)
- There is a left and right "Bar Mitt". For Shimano, the zippers should face each other when installed. For Campy / SRAM / Dura Ace the holes should face each other.
- For Shimano, start with opening the zipper. For Campy / SRAM / Dura Ace, start with loosening the Velcro cinch at the small opening of the Mitt. Slide the lower end of the handle bar through the inside of the "Bar Mitt" and then through the small opening on the bottom of the "Bar Mitt".
- Pull the "Bar Mitt" up onto the handle bar until it is covering the brake levers and shifters.
- Position the hole next to the cuff onto the handle bar top and secure the Velcro tabs.
- For Shimano: To keep zipper in the closed position, zip up zipper and secure the Velcro tab over the zipper. For Campy / SRAM / Dura Ace: When the Mitt is in position, tighten the Velcro cinch to keep the Bar Mitts in place.
- Repeat the above for the other "Bar Mitt".
Depending on the thickness of the handle bar and handle bar tape, it will vary on how tight the "Bar Mitts" fit onto the bar ends. If it is too tight, a thinner bar tape can be used.
CAUTION: Due to the added surface area created by the Bar Mitts, please ride with your hands on the handle bar, as riding with no hands can be dangerous. Cross winds can cause an unexpected turn, resulting in a crash.
Q: How do you determine size?
A: Sizing the Bar Mitts is based more on girth than hand size. The difference from small to medium is about 1" around the opening where you slide your hands in and out. Medium to large is another 1" larger. If your tall but thin, I would lean towards a small to medium. If you are thick and husky, I would suggest a medium to large. I am 5' 8", 160 pounds and use a small. When it is cold, I want my forearm to fill the hole as much as possible reducing air from getting sucked out.
Q: Do Bar Mitts replace gloves?
A: No, but it drastically reduces the glove thickness, increasing dexterity.
Q: How is it getting in & out of the Bar Mitts?
A: Getting in & out of the Bar Mitts is a natural movement. The mitts stay open so you can slide your hand in & out with no thought involved.
Q: How should they be washed?
A: Rinse in cool water. Do not iron or dry clean.