Bar Mitts Review

Apparel Pro Reviews

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Installation
Turn them slightly inside out, and open up the bar end closure, and clasp the Velcro shut, leaving the circumference as wide as possible. Push everything back in, and with the bottom zipper open, slide them over the bar ends and stretch them over the brake and shifters. Turn them slightly inside out again, and slide the closure as far over as possible on the bar ends, and reach around and pull the Velcro strap down tight, and pull the system over as much as possible. Push everything back in, and grab the zipper by the shifter and brake, and roll it around slightly (to squeeze the lines), connect it up and close it shut, and lastly close the Velcro tab between the lines and bar.

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Impressions
Once installed they stand up nicely (semi-rigid), and are stiff enough that the large 4×6 inch opening is easy to egress and ingress. I had no problems on any ride tossing my hands in and out of the openings, even on some moderately technical terrain. Emergency maneuvers, and safely being able to extract my hands presented no concerns. You did occasionally get whacked by branches and bushes, since they stick out like giant oven mitts or hand paddles, and sometimes they got grabbed, so you had to keep a watchful eye on things. Braking was fairly easy, and I didn’t really have any issues with controlling them. Shifting was more difficult, and you had to sort of jam your hand over into the inside edges, and the front required more theatrics. They stayed securely in place no matter what seemed to happen, even with the occasional tree encounter. You can vary the thickness of the glove you wear, so it gives a slew of temperature gradient ranges. My hands were toasty warm, no matter what Mother Nature was tossing at me, whether it was the cold, snow or wind. It made some of my night rides almost enjoyable, since my hands had a comfortable, warm and dry environment, which was isolated from the outdoor realities.

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Bottom Line
Bar Mitts are a great addition to the winter time arsenal, and they keep your hands warm and cozy, while allowing lighter gloves to be worn for greater dexterity. The 5.5 mm thick neoprene, is waterproof and provides excellent insulting properties. They are simple to install after a couple of practice sessions, and their stiffness and large 4×6 inch opening means it’s easy to take your hands in and out. Braking was effortless, while shifting was slightly more cumbersome. They are a great innovative product, that almost makes riding in the cold tolerable.

Strengths

  • Easy ingress and egress for hands
  • Excellent warmth and waterproofing
  • Well built

Weaknesses

  • Install takes some practice
  • Shifting is more cumbersome

MSRP: $64.95

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Visit the Bar Mitts Website at http://barmitts.com/

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • David Padfield says:

    I purchased a pair of Bar Mitts last month and they are wonderful! They add about 20 degrees, i.e., gloves that are normally only good down to 40 degrees can now be used down to at least 20 degrees. I wish I would have bought these a long time ago!

  • MK_ says:

    These look like a real must have for the harsh Arizona winters. :D

  • OLHS says:

    I BOUGHT A PAIR IN EARLY JAN AND RODE NEARLY THROUGH A KENTUCKY WINTER WITHOUT WEARING GLOVES ONCE. ANYTHING ABOVE 25 AND MY HANDS STARTED SWEATING. I LOVE THESE THINGS. WORTH EVERY PENNY OF THEIR (OVER)PRICE(D).

  • Chris says:

    Reminds me why I moved out of the NorthEast lo those many years ago. Now winter means ‘bundling up’ for the mid 60F rides in SoCal.

  • Mitch says:

    here is another option at 1/3 the cost.
    http://www.cannonpower.com/Moose-ATV-Hunting-PAWS-GAUNTLETS-detail.htm?productId=8553720
    The Bar Mitts do have a nice finish, how about something other than black?

  • upsidedownbiker says:

    I ride a great deal in Wisconsin winters. I’ve wanted something like these just not Neoprene. I’m not sure why cyclists ever thought that using something that doesn’t breath at all was a good idea or an athletic sport. There are a few things that are extremely important in staying warm. The first is staying dry with moisture management, the next is wind proof, and the final one is insulation in my opinion.
    Someone please make some of these out of Windtex or something on that order.

  • MBR says:

    IMHO, very overkill. Is 5mm neo really needed? It’s not like the product is going to be used in 40-deg water, like a steamer or drysuit would be. All that’s really needed is something thick enough for the mitts to keep their shape and block the wind. Nylon faced wind-block fleece, with something to stiffen and sustain the shape or a combination of neoprene, nylon, fleece…

  • Jim says:

    Just got a pair end Jan, beginning of Feb or something like that. I live in Colorado Springs and our winters are relatively mild by real winter standards in MN, WI, IL, etc…but at least a few times a season it gets SERIOUSLY bitter cold for a few days at a time. I finally bought a pair of these from my LBS for a great deal and wonder why I didn’t years ago. I can now ride into single digit temps w/ just a windstopper weight glove underneath, even as far down as say -12deg at least. I’m talking wearing windstopper balaclava, moto/ski goggles, wool base, under softshell, and all that. My hands FINALLY stayed warm! Who knows the limit of these. Another trick is to put a little handwarmer into the mitt for even colder temps. Good piece of equipment for an all weather commuter or intrepid winter mtb rider. PS…gets cold enough to start compromising good function of grease, suspension forks, and the DOT fluid in hydro brakes…but you can still have warm hands! These work for me.

  • Rob L says:

    I have a set of Moose Mitts I got this year and if not for them I don’t think I would have ridden much/at all, my hands are just too messed up from too many bad rides with wrong gloves. I do like the bar end restraint on these better and the water proofing is a bit better. And they are a bit less floppy then my moose mitts.

  • Thane says:

    I tried these with my commuter and Shimano thumb shifters and found them difficult to shift. On my Mukluk fatbike with SRAM grip shift they work really well.

    They definitely help in the Wisconsin winter; in fact, anything above about 30 degrees and I find I have to wear normal (summer) mountain bike gloves to keep my hands dry. They are quite warm; I’ve used them in 5 degrees with a 30 mph wind and while my feet weren’t happy, my hands were fine.

  • Gregg says:

    another great review, Brian! Just goes to show that you can never be sure how popular any one particular product will be!

  • Yevgen says:

    I would better buy a pair of winter gloves! :) Actually that’s what I did — SixSixOne’s Storm Plus are just great for our -20С ;)

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