Every experienced cyclist can probably think of a few products that really changed the way they ride. It might have been something as expensive as a new carbon-fiber bike or as simple as a new pair of gloves. For me, Bar Mitts are one of the greatest products I have ever purchased and they changed the way I rode all winter!
Bar Mitts are simple neoprene mitts that attach to your handle bars and allow you to use very lightweight gloves even in the coldest of weather. You have probably noticed ads for Bar Mitts or similar devices in bicycle magazines before and wondered if they worked. The answer is a resounding YES!
Installing Bar Mitts took under five minutes the first time I used them. They attach with a simple Velcro cinch and mine stayed on all winter long without any problem. Once installed you can put your gloved hands into the mitts and ride in some of the worst weather possible without worrying about frostbite. I was able to ride with my “fall gloves” (gloves I use when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees) even though the temperature was in the teens. The problems I used to have with frozen fingers were gone and I had much more control over my bike since I was wearing thinner gloves. Getting out of the mitts while riding was no problem, and since I was wearing thinner gloves I could actually find my Cliff Bars by touch.
I do have a couple of hints for you if you use Bar Mitts. If you store your bike in a cold garage (like most of us) you can quickly warm up the mitts with a cheap hair dryer before you go on your ride (it just takes about 30 seconds per mitt). I bought a hair dryer for a drug store for under $10.00. Also, if it is really cold outside (under ten degrees) you can throw disposable chemical hand warmers into the mitts and they will do an incredible job of keeping you warm.
I paid $65.00 for Bar Mitts for my mountain bike. They also have models available for road bikes (for either internal shift cables or external shift cables). The company offers free shipping within the contiguous US. I ordered mine online on a Sunday afternoon and was riding with them on Wednesday.
There are several other products like Bar Mitts on the market, but since I have not tried them I cannot offer an opinion about them. However, if you are looking for something to keep your hands warm on a road bike, I would suggest you try a pair of Moose Mitts (see the review).