The original design of the Bar Mitts was based on Shimano brake shifters with the shift cable coming out of the top of the brake / shifter hood. Campy / SRAM / Shimano with internal shift cables & Mountain Bike / Commuter Bar Mitts are now available for sale. Bar Mitts are easily installed and removed. 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.
Bar Mitts are neoprene hand covers for cold weather riding, that attach to your handlebars, and provide enough protection and warmth, that a lighter glove can be worn. I was intrigued by the Bar Mitts idea, since it reminded me of my Kayak Pogies, which allowed you to have direct hand contact with the paddle shaft, yet still provided adequate warmth in cold water. Having the additional dexterity that thinner gloves provide is an excellent feature, and gives one a better tactile feel for more precise control of braking, shifting and gripping of the bars. Continue reading →
a Cross Country Rider
from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2012
Strengths: Can ride barehanded in as low as -10 degrees C, can ride with gloved hands in as low as -50 degrees comfortably
Weaknesses: Pretty expensive for a bit of stitched neoprene.
Despite the price tag, Bar Mitts are worth their weight in friggin' gold.
I have poor circulation in my hands, and they freeze very easily. I commute year round to work in Edmonton, Canada, where I have ridden in as low as -50 degrees with the wind chill. My first winter, I would just live with 3 layers of hand protection and still freeze. This year..hoooh boy...it's actually been a real treat to bike to work in winter. They block out all the wind, as well as cover the seam between my wrists and jacket. They are fairly easy to get my hand back into if I need to take them out to signal or ring my bell. I'd certainly try them on an XC ride with no shame whatsoever.
I value these just as much or possibly more than my studded tires. They are essential for winter commuting. There really aren't enough words to describe now much I appreciate Bar Mitts!