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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-16-10, 07:58 PM   #1
seafoamer
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Bar Mitts?

Thinkin' about trying bar mitts. Looking for some of your experiences.
This is my 4th winter commuting and I'm tired of trying to find gloves that work. I've been know to commute all the way down to 0F.
I ride with road bars, & I'm also wondering if I'd still be able to see out of my bar end mirror, or if the mitts might hinder my view.
I'm 6'1" but on the thinner side, so I'm thinking of the medium size?
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Old 12-16-10, 08:01 PM   #2
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Also, even though I don't have external cables on my bike, I was thinking of going with the shimano ones, in case I wanted to vent a little with the zippers. Not sure if this is a good idea?
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Old 12-17-10, 09:20 AM   #3
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Bar end mirror on drop bars? You should be fine.

I started using them this year. Previously I had a hard time keeping my hands warm. Now I don't. They're a fantastic product. You wear about 1-2 levels lower weight gloves. So, on a day when I might wear big ski mittens I'll just wear some thin fleece gloves. On a day where I might wear those fleece gloves I'll go bare handed.

One key to making them work well is to have something to keep the air from rushing into where you insert your hands. My solution is that my wind break is pretty baggy on my arms (jackets always are for me).


I have to use Shimano ones. I don't use the zipper to cool my hands much, I just pull my hand out for a little bit.
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Old 12-17-10, 02:19 PM   #4
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Best winter investment since my screaming yellow winter jacket. Bar mitts at 30F have me riding without gloves. Only negative is that you will ride on the hoods. No other hand position. I'm about your height and the medium is OK. A little large, but my jacket fills the gap well enough and I like the ability to quickly get my hand back in after signalling a turn. Can't say about the zipper...guess I never gave it a thought.Now, if I could just find something that kept my toes as warm....
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Old 12-17-10, 03:28 PM   #5
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I believe in the Winter Bike pic section someone attached a plastic bag and another a plastic container thus making their own. I believe it was more for the wind which is usually he culprit.
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Old 12-18-10, 03:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
Only negative is that you will ride on the hoods. No other hand position.
This is my biggest current worry. When I'm riding over very icy areas, I like to move my hands to the flats so that I can keep my weight as far back as possible. For safty reasons, I'm not sure how much I'd like not being able to put my hands on the flats.
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Old 12-19-10, 10:51 AM   #7
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You can still ride on the flats (aka tops). I routinely climb with my hands outside of the mitts. If it's for relatively short periods - like the icy spots you mention - there's no problem. It's the drops that really can't be used effectively once they're installed - at least not by me.

Your comment about getting zippered ones even though you don't need them for Shimano shifter cables is interesting. I routinely pull out the hands if they're getting a little too warm. It would be nice to be able to dial in the warmth level like with pit zips on a jacket. But I don't think the gap would be big enough or stay open enough to make any real difference.

But the bottom line: buy them. These things were a major leap forward in my winter commuting comfort. I can't imagine doing without them.
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Old 12-19-10, 01:14 PM   #8
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I use the MEC ones, on Roadster style bars. Significant improvement for warmth. Can't recommend the MEC mitts though, had to modify them by threading brake cable inner round the opening to stiffen it. There are better ones out there, usually more expensive, but I wish I had bought them instead of all the fiddling around with these ones.
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Old 12-19-10, 06:57 PM   #9
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Thanks again for the post! I really appreciate the insight.
Are you guys all using the Bar Mitts brand ones, or is anyone using the ones at the bottom of THIS PAGE?
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Old 12-19-10, 09:01 PM   #10
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This is my first season with Bar Mitts. Worth every penny. Mine are the Shimano. I ride six miles to work and have used them as low as 19 degrees F. The key for my comfort has been keeping the bike indoors overnight. The warm bars, and the heat from my bare hands, create heated compartments for my hands. At 5'10, mediums fit me fine.
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Old 12-20-10, 06:21 PM   #11
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Thanks again for the post! I really appreciate the insight.
Are you guys all using the Bar Mitts brand ones, or is anyone using the ones at the bottom of THIS PAGE?
Bar Mitts. Your link is an interesting compromise that gets away from the no-riding-in-the-drops problem. But, they look like they'd only work as a wind break. You'd lose some of the warm with that huge opening. I guess, it depends upon how long you're riding (aka how bad you want those drops) and how cold it is going to get.
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Old 12-20-10, 09:35 PM   #12
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I use these . Cheap and effective.
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Old 12-21-10, 02:35 PM   #13
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I use these . Cheap and effective.
Wow... Probably cheaper than I could make something.
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Old 12-21-10, 10:06 PM   #14
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I haven't bought anything yet, but now I'm leaning towards the Moose-Mitt ones (in the link I posted) over the Bar-Mitts because of the bigger area of drop bar coverage.
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Old 12-21-10, 10:19 PM   #15
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I've been riding with these this year:



And they help a decent amount for the wind, especially on downhills. It allows me to wear thinner less annoying gloves for longer.
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Old 12-22-10, 11:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yak View Post
I use these . Cheap and effective.
Do they work on drops?

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Originally Posted by seafoamer View Post
Thanks again for the post! I really appreciate the insight.
Are you guys all using the Bar Mitts brand ones, or is anyone using the ones at the bottom of THIS PAGE?
I also was thinking cold "backdraft" air would be a problem. Why don't you be the guinea pig for us? They look like they offer great hand positioning, easy in/out for hand signals but boy are they open to the elements.
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Old 12-22-10, 07:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seafoamer View Post
Thinkin' about trying bar mitts. Looking for some of your experiences.
This is my 4th winter commuting and I'm tired of trying to find gloves that work. I've been know to commute all the way down to 0F.
I ride with road bars, & I'm also wondering if I'd still be able to see out of my bar end mirror, or if the mitts might hinder my view.
I'm 6'1" but on the thinner side, so I'm thinking of the medium size?
I think some really thick insulating bar tape for the winter will be more effective for the amount of money spent than the road moose mitts. They are just wind breaks. They will help at high speeds but at the lower speeds of winter commuting they will not be as effective. You could probably rig up something yourself that was completely enclosed that would work but I haven't seen anything like that on the market anywhere.

The BarMitt brand would probably be the warmest but only offer full protection when riding on the brake hoods. Still that's where most ride most of the time.
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Last edited by Hezz; 12-22-10 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:11 PM   #18
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How far off the hoods can you ride with bar mitts.? I find I'm usually not right on top of the hoods, but a little further down, and sometimes I like being on 90 degree bend area, too. Do the Bar Mitts force you smack on top of the hoods all the time, or can you pull back at different degrees without it being uncomfortable?
Thanks!

Last edited by seafoamer; 12-22-10 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 06:42 AM   #19
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Does anyone know of a type of bar mitt the works well with trekking/butterfly bars?
I was thinking that perhaps the ones from the Sportsmans Guide might work.
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Old 12-23-10, 12:47 PM   #20
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How far off the hoods can you ride with bar mitts.? I find I'm usually not right on top of the hoods, but a little further down, and sometimes I like being on 90 degree bend area, too. Do the Bar Mitts force you smack on top of the hoods all the time, or can you pull back at different degrees without it being uncomfortable?
Thanks!
I haven't used them. Only researched them. They are flexible so they will move somewhat. I think that you would get a pretty good windbreak with them on the 90 degree bend of the top bar. But without your arms filling in the openings they will not be as good. Still, you can go down on the hoods to warm up your hands if necessary. Here's a picture from another angle that shows them better. There are also a couple of companies that make knock off's of these that are 10-15 dollars less money. I have seen them for around 50-55 dollars.

It looks like they are made of neoprene. You could also make some yourself with longer cuffs to be warmer when on the 90 degree bend.
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Old 12-23-10, 12:52 PM   #21
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Does anyone know of a type of bar mitt the works well with trekking/butterfly bars?
I was thinking that perhaps the ones from the Sportsmans Guide might work.
I don't know if there are any big enough to go over the whole bar. But you could make some without too much grief.
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Old 12-23-10, 12:56 PM   #22
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Mittens. One size too big so you can wear your riding gloves under them. Then you have the flexibility on hand positions. Keeping your fingers together in one air pocket traps more warmth. Its a $10 investment that you can wear off the bike too.
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Old 12-23-10, 01:25 PM   #23
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Mittens. One size too big so you can wear your riding gloves under them. Then you have the flexibility on hand positions. Keeping your fingers together in one air pocket traps more warmth. Its a $10 investment that you can wear off the bike too.
Yes, they also make thick mittens for hunting that have a flap you can put your fingers through. With them you can wear a thin glove underneath and stick out your fingers when you need to shift or brake. However, when I was young I made my own hunting mittens that worked rather well. Out of an old pair of military surplus leather mittens I made a slot at about the first joint of the fingers near the palm wide enough so that I could stick two or three fingers out easily. Then I wore flexible wool gloves inside. They were quite warm and worked better than expected.

Now days, I would get a cheap pair of large size polyester fleece lined mittens and slot them and then wear a pair of medium or thin stretchy fleece gloves under neath the mittens. This would be real warm, flexible and would probably cost less than 25 dollars to do.

Last edited by Hezz; 12-23-10 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 01-02-11, 02:20 PM   #24
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I decided to order & try the Road versions of the Moose Mitts. I'll let yous know what I thinks when I gets them.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I believe in the Winter Bike pic section someone attached a plastic bag and another a plastic container thus making their own. I believe it was more for the wind which is usually he culprit.
This post appeared in the Commuting Forum, "Winter Cycling Gloves" (original picture below)

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Originally Posted by Mauriceloridans View Post
I use waterproof breathable ski gloves $7 at Basspro and for real cold days I strap a clear plastic spinach box to the front of my handlebars to shield the wind.
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Soooooo Fred! So brilliant! So simple. I'm so stealing this idea...patent pending, of course.
I have considered Bar Mitts for the occasional days in the single digit degrees F, but I am planning to try the above idea first when we get such a day. Iíve already finshed eating the box of spinach. I also have front brake levers, but I think the box is deep and wide enough to fit. What I plan to do is to cut opposite notches on the two edges of the lip of the box near both ends. I thought I would use rubber bands to secure the box to the handlebars and the bands would sit in the notches to keep them in place. I may also cut some notches on the edges of the ends of the box so the handlebar will sit in them. Iíll post the results when it happens.
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