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Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies

02 Nov

There comes a time every fall when even the best winter cycling gloves just can’t keep your hands warm anymore. Fortunately, there are mittens that attach to the handlebars on your bike that allow you to wear lightweight gloves in even the coldest of weather while your hands stay toasty warm. The three best-known brands of these handlebar mittens are Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies. I a couple of pairs of each of these brands and use all of them (but not at the same time). I usually start using these mitts when the temperature is around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hunter Orange Moose Mitts

Hunter Orange HiVis Moose Mitts

Products like Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies not only allow you to wear thinner gloves (and thus increase hand dexterity), but they also block the wind better than any glove can. Sometimes people underestimate how much their hands perspire in the winter—after a couple hours of riding the inside of your gloves become saturated with moisture and the slightest bit of wind can turn your hands into blocks of ice.

One of the biggest mistakes people new to winter cycling make is wearing clothing that is too tight—it impedes blood circulation and ends up making your colder. Layered, loose clothing allows warm pockets of air to form around you and give an additional insulating layer (it works on the same principle as a sleeping bag). All three of these products allow for a layer of warm air to form around your gloves. If you ride in temperatures below freezing you need to buy one (or more) of these products—there is no reason to have cold fingers on winter rides!

I do have two suggestions if you use any of these mitts. First, if you store your bike in an unheated garage (like most of us do) you can quickly warm up the inside of the mitts with a handheld hair dryer before you go on your ride (it just takes about 30 seconds per mitt). I bought a cheap hair dryer for a drug store for under $10.00. Second, if it is really cold outside (under ten degrees) you can toss disposable chemical hand warmers into any of these mitts and they will do an even better job of keeping you warm.

All three of these brands of mitts are well made and I highly recommend all of them to you. I hope this article will hope you choose the one best suited for your needs.

Bar Mitts

Bar Mitts attach to your handle bars with a simple Velcro cinch and can stay 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 ride with my “fall gloves” (gloves I use when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees) even when the temperature is in the teens. Bar Mitts give you much more control over your bike since you are wearing thinner gloves (plus you can actually find your energy bars and gels by touch). Getting out of the mitts while riding is no problem.

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

Bar Mitts For Mountain Bikes

Bar Mitts are made of 5.5mm thick neoprene (a synthetic rubber used in wetsuits) and has nylon laminated on each side. Bar Mitts are available for both road and mountain bikes and retail for $65 a pair (with free shipping within the contiguous United States). The folks at Bar Mitts ship their products out very quickly—I’ve ordered twice from them and both times the items arrived within five days after ordering.

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes for cold weather cycling

Bar Mitts For Road Bikes

The mitts for flat bars fit most mountain bikes, commuter bikes, and Townies. They also have a style available for road bikes with drop bars—one style is for the older Shimano style (externally routed cables), and another is for Campy, SRAM, the newer Shimano style (internally routed cables). The drop bar version of Bar Mitts only protects your hands when you are riding with them on the hoods (you have no protection when you hands are on the drops or flats).

Moose Mitts

Moose Mitts are made of thick 1000 denier Cordura, a sturdy and abrasion resistant material, and are lined on the inside with heavy fleece. The outside is coated with a windproof and waterproof membrane—it also has a decent amount of reflective material so cars can see you better at night. On the inside of the Moose Mitts there is a small internal pocket where you can put chemical hand warmers or use them as a storage area for your energy bars. One nice feature of Moose Mitts is the Velcro closure on the bottom of the mitts that allow you to close the mitts and keep the heat in if you stop to take a photograph or “nature break.”

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Hunter Orange

Moose Mitts Super HiVis Standard Version

Moose Mitts for mountain bikes are available in either standard black or with an incredibly bright fluorescent Hunter Orange Cordura that has twice as much reflective material as standard Moose Mitts. Some Fat Bike riders are fortunate enough to be able to ride on groomed snowmobile trails. The downside of groomed trails is that a snowmobile running along at 30 MPH can easily overlook a cyclist, and in a snowmobile versus bicycle crash the snowmobile will always win. These HiVis mitts can be seen a long way off, even at night, and could possible save your life.

Moose Mitts for winter cycling with your hands on the drops, flats, or hoods

Moose Mitts For Road Bikes

Moose Mitts also come in a road bike version for drop bars and, like the MTB version, are made of thick 1000 Denier Cordura and lined on the inside with heavy fleece. They are both windproof and waterproof. These mitts are attached to your handlebars by an elastic ring that goes over the bottom of your drops, a strip of Velcro on the top, and another strip of Velcro around your cables. There is also a strip of 3M reflective tape on the top of the mitts. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts allow you to ride your road bike with you hands in any of the three standard positions (on the drops, hoods, or flats).

At first glance Moose Mitts look about as aerodynamic as a bookcase. However, I’ve ridden with them into 30 MPH headwinds without any trouble. In fact, and this is a very subjective opinion, I think the Moose Mitts create less drag than you would have with a pair of lobster gloves on.

Moose Mitts are hand-made in the U.S.A., but they are only manufactured during the winter months, so if you want a pair you need to order them soon—shipping can be a little slow if everyone decides to wait until the first snowfall to order. The mountain bike Super HiVis version of Moose Mitts sells for $90, while the standard black sells for $65. The drop bar version of Moose Mitts sells for $75. They offer free shipping in the United States (Canadian orders are $22 extra for shipping).

Bike Poagies

Bike Poagies are manufactured and sold by Dogwood Designs, a small business in Fairbanks, Alaska (and those folks know what cold weather is really like). Bike Poagies fit over standard straight bicycle handlebars and allow you to slip your gloved hands in and ride in warmth and comfort. They have a durable nylon shell on the outside, polyester insulation in the middle, and a nylon taffeta lining. There is also a lightweight internal skeleton to make sure the Poagies hold their shape.

Bike Poagies, manufactured by Dogwood Designs

Bike Poagies For Mountain Bikes

To attach Poagies to your bike you just slide them over your handlebar and then cinch them down around the bar with the attached elastic strap. There is also a gusset where you put your hands into the Poagies that you can close to keep the cold air out. However, I leave mine open most of the time because my hands get too warm when the Poagies are sealed up too tightly. If your bike has bar ends (like the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips) these Poagies will fit over them perfectly and allow you to still use several different hand positions. Bike Poagies are roomy enough that you can store a couple of energy bars or gels in them to keep them warm (or a chemical hand warmer if needed).

Standard Bike Poagies are good down to around -15 Fahrenheit. Dogwood Designs also offers Poagies Plus which are supposed to be good down to around -40 (I’ve never had a chance to try these out for myself). Both versions of Poagies are available with an optional reflective trim if you have to share your route with either cars or snowmobiles.

Bike Poagies On My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

Bike Poagies On My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

Bike Poagies sell for $98, and the Poagies Plus for $150. The optional reflective trim is an additional $12. Both versions of Poagies are available in an unbelievable seventeen different colors: Red, Royal Blue, Yellow, Neon Green, Hot Pink, Safety Orange, Electric Watermelon, Purple, Gold, Forest Green, Charcoal, Light Gray, Navy, Kelly Green, Chocolate Brown, Olive Green, and All Black. The cost for shipping to U.S. addresses is around $12 ($25 to Canadian addresses).

The folks at Dogwood Designs do not have a Website. However, you can email them at dogwooddesigns@gci.net for a current brochure (they will send it to you as a PDF file).

 

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40 responses to “Bar Mitts, Moose Mitts and Bike Poagies

  1. Joboo

    November 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Dogwoods Plus……………………. hands down, or hands warm!! ;)
    Can a price be put on warm digits?? :) :)
    Pedal On!!!

    Peace

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 2, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      The Bike Poagies from Dogwood Designs are rated for the coldest temperature — and I am sure you need all the warm you can get. I live between Chicago and Milwaukee and it rarely gets below -20F, so I can get by with the lighter mitt. Don’t you feel sorry for all those folks who live south of here and still spend all winter inside riding a stationary bike?

       
      • Joboo

        November 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Yeah I know, I just can’t say enough good things about the Dogwoods!!! ;)

        Yes~
        People don’t know what they’re missing out on!! I can’t even imagine putting my bike on a trainer; why…. when one can just go pedal outside!!?
        Sure it takes a little more than just jumping on the bike and pedaling away, but hell, IMHO that’s half the fun!!
        If you don’t get it right (clothes) and such….. There’s always next time! In my area, you make a mistake and you could lose a finger or toe, or worse!! To me that’s most of the fun!!
        Yeah I know, I’m one sick puppy!! :)

        Peace

         
      • All Seasons Cyclist

        November 2, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        Joboo — you’re not a sick puppy, just dedicated!

         
  2. AndrewGills

    November 3, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    Wow! I can’t imagine needing gloves like that to cycle. You guys are so dedicated!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Andrew — during the long winter months you either have to get outside and play or you will go insane (which is what most people in this area do — which also explains the way they vote).

       
  3. maria

    November 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Wow…With our mild climates here where I live, I can’t imagine riding with these, but it’s great to have that option. Wonder if my son used them when he lived and biked in Madison. I’ll ave to ask him. These days he is riding in Ann Arbor, which is not that much warmer….

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      The hardest part of riding in the winter is the first 500 feet out the front door — after that it is a piece f cake (more like frozen ice cream cake).

       
      • Bryan

        November 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Agreed. I tell friends if you’re cold your not pedaling hard enough,lol. I’ve been using a pair of ATV bar mittens from Cabela’s with great results. They are available for around $25.

         
  4. an uncommon girl

    November 4, 2012 at 6:12 AM

    These look great. I’m in SC but hey, I’d use them :)

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      If you ever go visit the polar bears make sure you take a pair of Moose Mitts with you! :)

       
  5. rosemarybyde

    November 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Hi!
    I have a couple of questions …
    What happens if you fall off when you’re using these? I’m thinking how normally your hands would go out to break the fall, but with these on you might be stuck on the bike?
    Also, can you get your hands in and out of them very quickly? If I was doing a race where I had to keep stop-starting to jump off the bike and ‘dib’ at a control – would it work?!
    And … last one … is it just the Moose Mitts which are waterproof?
    Cheers! :-)

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Rosemary — hate to admit it, but I’ve fallen twice with these mitts on (both times on ice). I had no problem getting my hands out either time. All of the mitts take advantage of the air space around your hands to keep them warm — none of them are tight. Bar Mitts are made of neoprene (the stuff wetsuits are made of) and they are waterproof as well. The Bike Poagies are made of nylon, so I don’t think they would protect you when it is raining. However, I’ve ridden for many hours at a time with these when it was snowing and they never got wet. If it is warm enough to rain you would probably be better off with rainproof gloves instead.

       
      • rosemarybyde

        November 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Thanks! I get very cold hands – they got sort of frost nipped in one event last year! Even when wet / raining / sleety with cold winds – once wet and on the bike they just won’t warm up. I’m OK on a fast consistent ride, but mountain biking is slower and can be more stop / start especially in an adventure race. None of the gloves I’ve had in the past have worked at keeping my hands warm on the bike, waterproof or not! I like the air insulation idea.

         
  6. jennsmidlifecrisis

    November 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Excellent post – had no idea such things existed. I’m a hibernator! When it’s below -20C (with or without wind chill), I am outside as little as possible!!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      With the right clothing it really is not all that bad. I think I have ADHD and when stuck inside a house for too long I become impossible to live with (at least that is what my wife claims).

       
      • jennsmidlifecrisis

        November 6, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        lol ‘K – you bike, I’ll hibernate! And everyone is happy! :-)

         
  7. tinatimebomb

    November 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Most excellent!

     
  8. ironwomom

    November 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Reblogged this on ironwomom and commented:
    Now THIS is what I’m talking about! I wish this existed back when I was living in Canada and biking in the winter. I wonder if they do something of the sort for tri bikes…

     
  9. danamcintyre1

    November 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    What a great idea. I usually only run in the winter because I don’t like the wind from riding my bike. Now, if they can come up with something to keep the snot from freezing to my face, then we are in business. :)

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      I think I have a product that might help! The Psolar Face Mask allows me to ride outside even when the temp is well below zero — and my face and lungs stay warm! I wrote a review of it at: http://wp.me/p1sFbY-zv

       
  10. canadianinjersey

    December 2, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I’ve got the Bar Mitts for road bikes, and they work great when the temperature falls much below freezing. I get cold hands and feet, and the Bar Mitts let me keep riding the commuting bike with gloves instead of mitts (mitts make gear shifting more difficult).

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      The Bar Mitts for Road Bikes are the only way to go when the temp is below freezing! Like you said, shifting gears with mittens on is really difficult.

       
  11. thewindykitchen

    December 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    had no idea they made these…pretty cool!

     
  12. manilla

    December 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    My brother lives in Kansas City and said he would like some good biking gloves for Christmas that will keep his hands warm and give him good utility. Should I go with a pair of gloves from your article: https://allseasonscyclist.com/2012/10/01/best-gloves-for-winter-cycling/ , or should I just go ahead and get him some bar mitts? Thanks!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      It depends on what type of gloves he already has. If he has gloves that keep him warm down to about 40 degrees you can get him the Bar Mitts and that will be good from 30 down to at least 10 degrees. Make sure you get the Bar Mitts that match the type of bike he has (Road bike or Mountain bike).

       
  13. Paul

    March 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Hi
    I note it’s mentioned that bike Poagies will fit over Ergon GC3 bar-ends, I have Ergon GC5 (the big ones) fitted to my expeditions biek, will they fit and be suitable for these barends, anyone got any experience or know?

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 31, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Paul, I don’t think you would have any problem using the Ergon GC5 bar-ends — the Bike Poagies have a lot of extra room.

       
  14. Matt

    September 14, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Which would be best if I’m counting on wearing fingerless summer gloves around 20°F with drops to 0°F? I like the bar mitts because they don’t look like aircraft carriers but I’m not sure if they can handle the Norwegian cold. :)

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 14, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      At 0°F I’d prefer the Bike Poagies. I’ve never ridden with fingerless gloves at those temperatures with any of these products. You need to remember that your handlebar is going to conduct the cold to your hands. You will certainly need to put a pair of chemical hand warmers into whatever mitt you choose.

       
      • matteodjohnson

        September 15, 2013 at 4:47 AM

        Ok, thanks I’ll go for the pogies. It’s to be able to full around with my phone without having to take off the gloves every 3 songs :)

        Sorry for the double post, something with WP login.

         
  15. matteodjohnson

    September 14, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Which would be best if I’m counting on wearing fingerless summer gloves around 20°F with drops to 0°F? I like the bar mitts because they don’t look like aircraft carriers but I’m not sure if they can handle the Norwegian cold. :)

     
    • françois

      November 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      I use bar mitts in Quebec down to -20C (below that, my lungs are screaming, my feet get cold after 10km) with a medium glove and i am all right.

       
      • All Seasons Cyclist

        November 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        You need to check out the Talus Outdoor Technologies ColdAvenger Expedition Balaclava — it has a piece that goes over your mouth and allows you the breathe warm air even when the temperature is well below -30C. I posted a review of it at: http://wp.me/p1sFbY-1Hc

         
  16. rantsrulesandrecipes

    November 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Can I get them for my car steering wheel too!?

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 23, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      I don’t think they have them for steering wheels! However, my new Jeep Grand Cherokee came with a heated steering wheel, heated seats and heated outside mirrors (I am not sure this option package is sold in the South).

       

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