Whether your joy in riding comes from bettering your performance, beating the competition or you just have fun noodling around, pretending to fly, no one wants to see the cycling season end when the weather gets cold. You can extend your season with thermal wear, gloves, hats, and shoe covers, but it’s always a challenge to keep your fingers warm and still nimble enough to brake and shift. So a cozy little neoprene shelter for your hands to slip into makes a lot of sense.
Bar Mitts fit over your handlebars and shifters, creating a cocoon of warm for your hands. I used a pair on my commuter bike through the late winter and early spring and I was able to put away my lobster-claw style mittens and revert back to a pair of light gloves on the below-freezing days. When the temps climbed just above freezing, I could actually ride without gloves at all. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed actually feeling my fingers while I was riding.
There’s a short learning curve once you get the Bar Mitts installed (and installation and removal are super easy). You have to get accustomed to pulling your hand straight back out of the Mitt to signal a turn instead of the instinctual lift up off the bar. You may also notice a slight resistance as your shifter rotates through a really long shift but the Mitt will move with you when you allow for that resistance. After a couple of days using the Mitts, I was shifting and signaling without any hesitation.
I’ve been commuting to work by bike year-round here in Chicago for several years now. The joy of riding always outweighs cold hands but, gosh, is it nice to skip numb, cracked, bleeding fingers in those bitter months. Thanks, Bar Mitts!
Bar Mitts www.barmitts.com, msrp $64.95, available for SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo road bar shifting, and mountain bars.