Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dorkiness is a warm bar mitt

Two new additions to my winter kit are on the way.

I know I'm going to get eviscerated the minute I show up with ugly-ass neoprene abominable-snowman mittens, so I'm just going to out myself now.

I stay warm on winter bike rides--except for my hands and feet. It's the same for everybody, right? But there were times last winter when I still couldn't feel my fingers and toes three hours after getting off the bike. That's dangerous.

So my options are: ride the trainer all winter and slowly go berserk, take spinning classes and quickly become homicidal, or acquire extreme warming options and endure endless ridicule.

So yeah, I've ordered Bar Mitts. Pearl Izumi lobster claws are okay for an hour or two in temperatures warmer than 20 degrees, but our longer gravel rides are frequently more demanding. I've got a pair of Bontrager's thickest five-fingered glove, but even with liners, they're still not warm enough. So the windproof neoprene Mitts, according to the icebike guys, are the warmest option. We're talking Alaskan I-bike-a-rod warm.

The shoes were a real toss-up: the store where I work part-part time is a Sidi dealer, so I've played with fitting them quite a bit. They're really, really well made shoes. But my existing road and mtb shoes are both Shimano, and their size 46 fits me well. I guess it came down to trust: I had a chance to talk with our rep. this summer, and he made me promise that the next pair of shoes I buy would be Sidis. The Diablo has a full Gore-tex liner and some fleece insulation, so between the shoes and Bontrager's crazy-thick fleeced RXL booties, I should be loaded for frost. Bryan just ordered a pair of the Shimano winter boots, so we're going to stage a side-by-side, on-bike test in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I'll have the Bar Mitts by then, too, so I won't break a knuckle when I slug him in the nose after enduring hours of his ridicule.

Come to think of it, I hope the Mitts are really durable. I'll probably have to smack Shim around, too......


  1. I've been tempted to go with bar mitts too, so you won't get ridicule from me. I'll be interested to hear what you think after a few rides.

  2. I never found my hand cold... I don't know PI amfib gloves worked great for me. But I can see the benefits