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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 12-27-17, 07:36 PM   #1
jefnvk
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Bar mitts or heavier gloves sub 20F

Bar mitts seem to get very solid reviews, just curious if anyone doesn't like them and prefers some other sort of hand warming solution heading south of 20F to zero and perhaps a bit below? Want to hear from the other side before committing to bar mitts, since no one took my Christmas hints!
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Old 12-27-17, 07:37 PM   #2
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I've been having good luck with a thin pair of gloves underneath a heavy pair of ski gloves a size too big.

Bar mitts might be more comfortable...never tried them. I had this stuff on hand and it's worked.
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Old 12-27-17, 08:21 PM   #3
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There are a lot of folks who deliver food and stuff by bike in NYC. They have many layers of plastic bags over their handlebar grips. I don't know if that works as well, but it's free, so I guess it's a good value. They manage somehow, so it must work to some degree. I've been meaning to try it. I haven't tried bar mitts yet, either, and I should try at least something.
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Old 12-27-17, 08:37 PM   #4
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I used to use various homemade contraptions and ATV handwarmers for temperatures in the 15F and below range.

Then, I discovered these: https://www.dakine.com/en-us/sport/s...sequoia-glove/ (There is a similar men's version as well.)

At 20F, my hands get sweaty with just the outer shell. At 0F, my hands get a bit sweaty with the shell and the liner. The gloves breathe remarkably well and dry out overnight, and shifting and braking on a road bike is fine. I prefer it to trapped hands.
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Old 12-27-17, 09:34 PM   #5
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I haven't tried bar mitts.

I've used these when it is below 32F. I wore them the other day at 8F for about an hour and my hands were comfortable. The same manufacture has a lighter weight glove I use and work great when it is 32F and above.

The warmer glove has a bit of a wind barrier where the lighter glove does not have any wind protection, but at the temps I wear it I don't need a wind barrier.
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Old 12-27-17, 09:57 PM   #6
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I've been using "lobster mitts" for over 15 years commuting and trail riding in the Chicago area. These are good down to at least minus 20 Fahrenheit. I've had 2 or 3 pairs over the last 15 years. I finally found a pair that has "Hi-Vis" coloring; previous pairs were mostly black with reflective elements.
It's easy to operate trigger-shifters with these mitts; STI shifters are somewhat less easy to work, but can be used. My experience with twist-grips is not as good, but that may be because the detents on the shifters I've used were not strong enough to make the gear positions obvious.
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File Type: jpg Pearl Izumi Lobster Mitts.JPG (608.6 KB, 142 views)
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Old 12-28-17, 06:27 AM   #7
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Bar mitts restrict you to only one hand position--the hoods. I'll use chemical warmers in my regular mitts if necessary.
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Old 12-28-17, 06:36 AM   #8
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A motocross guy I used to know said that he and his friends used cut-up gallon milk jugs as windshields on their handlebars.
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Old 12-28-17, 07:18 AM   #9
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Just sold my bar mitts. They work, but as someone already mentioned, you're limited to the hoods and they can be a pain if your gloves are bulky. Nothing ever worked for me below 20 degrees except the bar mitts. The trade-off was always dexterity for warmth, then I started using these:

https://www.ventureheat.com/winter-s...ve-liners.html

I found them on amazon for about $100. They're worth every penny. A few months later I picked up an open box pair for about $50. I wear them with softshell gloves - isotoner ultradry and seirus mtn challenger gloves. No issues down to 8 degrees. I'll test that again in about an hour, it's 2 degrees out right now. On medium I've used them for rides that lasted 4 hours. Now that I have 2 sets of batteries if I was stupid enough to go out longer than that I'd take the other pair of batteries with me. Had them over a year now with zero issues.
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Old 12-28-17, 09:07 AM   #10
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got bar mitts this fall & used them barehanded & with thin gloves, thought they were excellent. like everything cycling, it's a matter if choosing the right layer(s) for the current conditions. haven't ridden since it got wicked cold due to a plethora of excuses. looking forward to try them with warmer gloves. I suspect they will continue to fit into the spectrum. whether they hold up in the coldest weather I don't know. I got some relatively thin (not bulky) Pearl Izumi lobster gloves as pictured above (but can only fit the thinnest of silk glove liners inside them cuz despite getting the largest size they make, they are not very loose) which I can get into the bar mitts but it gets pretty crowded in there. larger bar mitts might help. or better mitts might be better. there are a bunch of choices out there. the expensive ones look pretty darn roomy

so back to the OP's question, I don't think it's either/or but rather buy both! & use whatever, as required for the day. aka trial & error

pretty darn awesome for late fall


got them for both bikes


wutz the forecast for Saturday? maybe Wifey will let me play again

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Old 12-28-17, 10:27 AM   #11
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I haven't needed to try bar mitts since I got a pair of Pearl Izumi lobsters a while back. They're too warm above 25F, but they're warm enough for the coldest I've ridden in (about 7F).
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Old 12-28-17, 10:37 AM   #12
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I haven't needed to try bar mitts since I got a pair of Pearl Izumi lobsters a while back. They're too warm above 25F, but they're warm enough for the coldest I've ridden in (about 7F).
that's encouraging cuz I wasn't looking forward to using them with the barmitts. I was gonna try but my intuition was telling me they weren't meant for ea other
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Old 12-28-17, 11:02 AM   #13
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Thanks all, the lobster mitts were the gloves I was considering when I asked this. Sounds like I'll have to just give both a try and determine which works for me!

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Bar mitts restrict you to only one hand position--the hoods. I'll use chemical warmers in my regular mitts if necessary.
Should have mentioned they're for a flat bar bike, so that isn't a huge concern.
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Old 12-28-17, 11:24 AM   #14
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I've been using "lobster mitts" for over 15 years commuting and trail riding in the Chicago area. These are good down to at least minus 20 Fahrenheit...
I don't think that's normal unless you are talking about a very short bike ride. I have the same gloves and they are good for me down to around +20 F. Below that I use moose mitts.
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Old 12-28-17, 12:10 PM   #15
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cpl thoughts

w the drop bar mitts, after you warm up, you can move your hands to other positions periodically. I can still grab the brakes in the drops & use the top part of the bar. the top cuff of the mitt continues to act as a wind break even when you slide your hand up on the bar. kinda like the windjammer windscreen on a motorcycle. meaning I'm not glued to the hoods even if that's where I spend most of my time. also, consider your rides in this kind of weather may not be as long, so the inconvenience isn't as bad as staying on the hoods for a 4 hr ride in the summer

this picture doesn't really show what I mean, but kinda. I can have my hand on the side, outside, top of the bars & still have my fingers in the mitt & hand shielded from the wind. like being on the hoods, but sliding them back further so they are't on the hoods



with the straight bar I can move around pretty good too


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Old 12-28-17, 04:35 PM   #16
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Lowest temps I've biked in was 8F-12F and the only gloves that worked for me was an old bulky pair of Primaloft-filled skiing gloves. Not the most dexterous but it worked. Today I own a pair of fairly thin Polartec/wool combo gloves I got for 5 bucks at an REI garage sale and these alone are only good for wearing in ~40s but I would use them as liners in my regular winter gloves (actually just did for hiking and got sweaty hands). Again, bulky.

45Nrth may have something but that stuff is not cheap... sale?
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Old 12-28-17, 05:29 PM   #17
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I don't think that's normal unless you are talking about a very short bike ride. I have the same gloves and they are good for me down to around +20 F. Below that I use moose mitts.
Yeah, that's probably right. My commute is broken up into two segments each way. The longest stretch is about 3 miles, which I cover in about 20 minutes. My hands stay quite warm throughout... I've got pretty good blood flow in my extremities.
Sometimes I wear glove liners as well.
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Old 12-28-17, 07:11 PM   #18
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I got bar mits this year, I like them. I have them on a flat bar, went with size large, I'm 6' and an average build . I'm wearing them and a pearl izumi glove "rated" from 40-60F. This combo comfortably allows me to generate some sweat and not get damp in the gloves.

Lastyear I used thick 3m weather tech snow gloves but even at 10F I'd generate enough heat to get them wet, then the finger tips would freeze and I'd be sol.

The bar mits would work well with your summer cycling glove from 35-50 no problem. They do a terrific job blocking the wind, and I've had no problem slipping my gloved hand in.
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Old 12-28-17, 08:51 PM   #19
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Below about 25F I use mittens. I can shift my STI levers on the road bikes and the rapid fire levers on my mountain bikes. I shift very carefully but it works. Been using gloves and mittens on Motorcycles since about 1968. Bicycles not as long.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:04 PM   #20
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I just heard about silk glove liners and silk sock liners. I'm going to try them. I just took a short walk outside in 10ºF weather with no wind. I wore wool socks, heavy boots, and heavy gloves. My hands and feet were not warm. There's no way I could have managed on the bike. Everything else on my body was perfectly warm.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:34 PM   #21
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silk is good cuz it's thin but adhesive toe warmers stick better to fibers w/ more tooth
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Old 12-29-17, 03:07 PM   #22
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+1 on the Pearl Izumi lobster claws. Went on a ride the other night at 0-5°F and they were great.
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Old 12-29-17, 03:23 PM   #23
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silk is good cuz it's thin but adhesive toe warmers stick better to fibers w/ more tooth
There is yet another thing I never heard of!
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Old 12-29-17, 04:55 PM   #24
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Another plug for lobster mitts from me. I only wear them below about 15F, way too sweaty otherwise. Everyone's different in their internal heat production, though. You'll have to experiment around and see what feels best for you.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:58 PM   #25
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I hadn't thought about bar mitts, but got a pair for Xmas a couple years ago. The ones I got are for upright bars, and they're great. I usually put them on at the point in January when it looks like temps are going to head below 0 F for a while. Normally I wear thick ski mittens. I choose shifters that work with heavy mittens, and my two winter-equipped bike builds (now my son is riding one of them) are 1x gearing so I only need to worry about one shifter. The smaller increments of a rear derailleur seem to make it easier to shift while wearing mittens. Also, my front derailleur turned into a rust ball.

My only mishap was that I got my chain tangled up somehow, and in the process of getting it back in business, I got grease all over my mitts, which I transferred to the bar mitts by accident. That was during my "thick sticky chain oil" phase. So I ended up having to wash them in sudsy water.

I tend to bundle up pretty good. I don't sweat a lot, so I can get away with it.
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