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.
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.
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.
- Easy ingress and egress for hands
- Excellent warmth and waterproofing
- Well built
- Install takes some practice
- Shifting is more cumbersome
Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Visit the Bar Mitts Website at http://barmitts.com/