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Thread: Bar Mitts

  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Bar Mitts

    It is getting cold here in Portland. This morning it was about 25 F at 5 am when I ride to work. For us, at this time of year, that is unusually cold. It gets colder but not usually until mid winter, and by that time I am used to it. I am not used to it yet.

    Most of my body is fine, if I ride vigorously for the first half mile or so, but my fingers were numb for half the ride. I was wearing so called "winter cycling gloves" which are sort of a lightweight cold weather glove, very far from a real winter glove or ski glove. I own great ski gloves and wear them when I have to, but it is not much fun to ride a bike that way.

    So . . . I broke down and ordered some Bar Mitts. These are covers that go over your bars, you stick your hand into the cover and grip the bar and levers. They make some for drop bars, which is what I ordered.

    What do you think? Have you used these? Would I have been better off wearing ski gloves?
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    Can't beat a good pair of mittens!

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    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    I just got mine last week; so far I'm loving them. It hasn't been below 30 yet, but from what I've seen so far, these are going to be great.
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    I got them last year, I wouldn't be able to make it through winter without them. I tried several different gloves, but the really warm ones were so thick that it was hard to maneuver, now I can wear fairly thin gloves even when it gets really cold. Definitely worth the money!

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    I had them for several years now but only use them when it's really cold. They are definitely warm and you can even make them warmer by throwing a hand-warmer inside the mitt. Normally I use a thin pair of gloves with the bar mitt. The down side with the bar mitt is that your hand positions are limited. Emergency braking with your hands outside the bar mitt is very difficult so make sure to keep your hands inside them while riding at high speed.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    HTFU PDX , like Here on the Coast is Only cold for a few Days , then in the winter it warms up a bit, clouds over and Rains .
    ..See my multiple rain cape posts ..

    the ones for Straight MTB bars , are probably more functional than the Ones that restrict You to riding the hoods on Drop Bars ..

    I agree Mittens or Lobster [ Zoidberg ] gloves where each finger is sharing the heat of at least 1 other is the way to Go ..


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    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-03-14 at 02:14 PM.

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    I ride year round in southeast Idaho. It gets pretty cold here. In the heaviest, nicest, and often most expensive gloves, my hands were usually quite cold, to the point of numb or painful by the end of my commute. I recently bought some cheap bar mitts made for atv's. In the realm of winter riding comfort, I would rate these inexpensive items a solid *BEST PURCHASE EVER*. I now wear rather light gloves, or none at all, and my hands have been comfortably warm every ride. In fact, once or twice they have been warm enough to get a bit sweaty.

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    Senior Member jdoff's Avatar
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    Piling on a bit here, but yes, bar mitts are the thing. I have a pair of Bar Mitts for my MTB (flat bars) and cross bike (drop bars), both which see commuting duty. Nothing else will keep my hands warm below 15 or so (well, short of not riding). The drop bar version seems a bit tight for me, and makes it a bit tricky to get the best angle on the levers when braking, but I think that just means I need to upgrade to discs...
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  9. #9
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    My hands are not an issue when it comes to the cold and commuting but I'm considering some sort of bar mits for the fat bike. I ride with a lot of fat bike riders that use them (Pogies or similar for flat bars) and not necessarily for warmth. Because you can wear regular thin cycling gloves under them your contact points on the grips and controls feel normal which improves bike control and feel. This is a bonus for winter MTB riding. Heavy gloves, while plenty warm, can be clumsy and get wet and reduce your feel, plus what if you lose one fighting off a bear in the woods? Then it's a cold ride home.

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    Just to emphasize a couple of points already mentioned for the drop-down version. They do limit your hand positions, they are designed so that you are on the hoods, and you can put your hands where the bar curves up to the top bar, but you cannot use the drops safely. The other thing is the size. I first got a medium pair and took them back for a large after one ride. I don't have big hands, but I thought they were way too constrictive. If you get them, go for the large.

  11. #11
    just ride
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    For you guys with the mitts - I leave my bike at the train station all day so I remove anything removable and take it with me. How long does it take to put a pair on a bike with drop handle bars ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbagrannygear View Post
    For you guys with the mitts - I leave my bike at the train station all day so I remove anything removable and take it with me. How long does it take to put a pair on a bike with drop handle bars ?
    It takes me 30 seconds to put one on and 5 seconds to take it off.

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    Senior Member jdoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
    Just to emphasize a couple of points already mentioned for the drop-down version. They do limit your hand positions, they are designed so that you are on the hoods, and you can put your hands where the bar curves up to the top bar, but you cannot use the drops safely.
    I find I can use the drops with no problems with my hands outside the mitts. Shifting (brifters) would be nearly impossible, but braking is fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post

    So . . . I broke down and ordered some Bar Mitts. These are covers that go over your bars, you stick your hand into the cover and grip the bar and levers. They make some for drop bars, which is what I ordered.

    What do you think? Have you used these? Would I have been better off wearing ski gloves?
    Bar Mitts are awesome. I only use them when it's really cold because they can be too warm. At 30F, for example, I've even ridden bare handed with Bar Mitts. Any insulation and they can get too warm. I advocate getting the old style with the zippers so you can open them up to vent them.

    I use the drop bar version for my road bike and they work just fine. Shifting with brifters is fine if you have the right size and have them installed properly.

    Ski gloves don't belong on bikes. I don't like the loss of feel and anytime you need to do anything to the bike, you'd need to take them off (i.e. repairs). With a light glove, you're good for the repair and you have great feel.

    J.

  15. #15
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    ... it was about 25 F at 5 am when I ride to work. For us, at this time of year, that is unusually cold. It gets colder but not usually until mid winter, and by that time I am used to it. I am not used to it yet...

    So . . . I broke down and ordered some Bar Mitts. These are covers that go over your bars, you stick your hand into the cover and grip the bar and levers. They make some for drop bars, which is what I ordered.

    What do you think? Have you used these? Would I have been better off wearing ski gloves?
    25F is right around where I start using my bar mitts. I am thankful for them when I need them but they are a nuisance when I don't so often I will put them on for the am ride and take them off for the pm ride.

    Now that you have them, you can use them when necessary. It is always best to have something that helps you deal with conditions. For those times when it's cold but not enough to need the bar mitts, I use double thickness ragg wool mittens. I think they cost $13 or $14 and they are terrific, IMO.
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  16. #16
    just ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
    It takes me 30 seconds to put one on and 5 seconds to take it off.
    thanks - keeping my hands warm is a challenge for me and I'm still doing trying to decide between the bar mitts or something like this

    Mt Baker Shell Mitts | Outdoor Research | Designed By Adventure | Outdoor Clothing & Gear

  17. #17
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I LIKE my Bar Mitts for cold rides. Not for cool rides.
    Size L on my drop-bar bike. They are still a bit constrictive. I spend most of my time riding on the hoods anyhow.
    I love having all the dexterity to needed work the brifters.
    It takes about 30 seconds to put them on or take them off.
    If the day warms up and you remove the mitts, they take up less room in panniers than bulky ski mitt types of gloves. They flatten nicely.

  18. #18
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Waiting eagerly for my mitts. They had a sale. A large pair for $45. Cool, huh? Only problem is, the ones on sale are baby ick blue. Well, I'm not a stylish commuter anyway.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Isn't Your Porsche Blue?

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    i use mittens extra large size to give alot of space for hands. looks goofy to have on oversized mittens but practically speaking best size.

  21. #21
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Isn't Your Porsche Blue?
    Not baby diaper blue.
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    For those who leave bar mitts on the bicycles outside, do you ever have spider problems?

  23. #23
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    I ride a Surly with drop bars and bar end shifters. What would bar mitts be like for that setup?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Bar Mitts.

    Vah.

    Someone had to say it.
    The dollar bill. It's the new penny.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    Bar Mitts.

    Vah.

    Someone had to say it.
    Over my head.

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