Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cold Hands?

Weather permitting I do a bit of winter riding. As long as there is no snow to melt off and create nice little areas of black ice to happen upon. Utilizing a union suit, polar fleece gloves, a Carhartt Arctic Jacket,a balaclava and some warm ass socks I stay reasonably warm. The weak link in this has always been the gloves. While my gloves keep my hands warm for a bit, after about a half hour forty five minutes, the coldness starts it's frosty creep to my digits.
I asked a friend of mine whom is a dedicated bicyclist that rides year round in any kind of weather, what do you use to keep your hands warm. He said until recently, he used the same polar fleece gloves I did. This past October, he picked up a Pugsley all terrain bike to make his winter riding even more enjoyable. While not reaching the speeds of a motorcycle, the year round cyclist faces the same challenges staying warm that we do. He said he just bought a pair of Bar Mitts to keep his his digits toasty. He can't believe how well they work and should provide the same amount of protection to the elements they have afforded to him.
I find this to be very good news indeed. I have been contemplating fitting some sort of electric grips to the FJ. But as I can't seem to emphasize enough, I am a tight wad of epic proportions and will look to save a buck where ever I can. Plus with Bar Mitts, I don't have to worry about a short or other electrical gremlin, melting down my grips or rendering them useless at the very moment I need them most. With prices ranging from $14.99 to just over $56.00 there is a model that should fit into every ones budget. I just ordered a set and am waiting in sweaty anticipation for their arrival at my door.

Till Next Time..............

10 comments:

Richard said...

Gymi, these devices have been pretty common over here among the commuter crowd for many years. I'm told they work brilliantly well, at the expense of a bit of lost street cred. One thing to watch out for, though:

A friend had a set of these through one winter (a Honda CB250, IIRC) and his front brake lost all its bite. The bike's performance seemed to decline too. Another friend (older and wiser than us both) suggested that next time he hit 50 mph he should simply straighten the fingers of his right hand. Immmediately, the bike gained about 10 mph. The wind had been blowing the bar muffs back onto the brake lever, slowing the bike down and glazing the brake pads. The solution was easy (a bit of wire, I think), but it would have taken us several lifetimes before we could have come up with the reason for the problems on our own.

Just a thought.

red said...

I have some soft wind guards on my SECA. They work well but after a while, cold is cold.

The guards plus my insulated gloves kept my hands functional while riding @ 70mph (temps in the high 20s/low 30s).

Watch the brake lever, my guard would flex back and activate my brake light while riding above 30mph.

Gymi said...

I haven't seen anyone using these besides cyclist in these parts. I don't know why, probably has something to do with not seeing any other motorcycles out in the cold. I'm not too worried about taking a fashion risk if the end result is toasty digits.

Thanks for the tips about the brakes guys, I'll bend up a couple pieces of wire too keep my brake and clutch levers in thier proper positions. I get ya with the cold is cold, I'll be sporting my best foul weather gloves in conjunction with the Bar Mitts. I'm looking foward to trying them out.

Cynthia said...

I do want a pair of this too. It is a good thing that I stumbled upon your blog and heard about this. Just looking at that picture of it makes me really sure that it is warm and comfy. My digits will be really happy.

Squirts said...

Some 20 odd years ago, a friend gave me a pair of Vetter "Hippo Hands". Craig Vetter built fairings for touring motorcycles back in tha' day before fairings became standard on bikes and dabbled in "other schtuff". =) Anyway, I'll never part with my Hippo Hands. Heavy vinyl on tha' outside and pile-cut fleece on tha' inside. They look pretty funky on my bobber with tha' 19" apes, but they do tha' job. Respects, Squirts
Hippo Hands: http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j62/squirtsdawgamber/MY%20WING/snow1.jpg

Gymi said...

Amazon sells a couple brands that look similar to the Hippo Hands. If Craig Vetter designed them you know they work good. I Bar Mitts just arrived at my door the other day, I haven't got the chance to try them out yet, it's been snowing almost everyday around here. I'm hoping they work as good as your Hippo Hands do.

Grumpyunk said...

Those mitts AND heated grips together? That would be heaven.

I've got a set of the electric grips sitting in a drawer out in the garage. They've been there at least 3 years. I'm such a dork for not installing them and then bitching about my hands being cold.

Gymi said...

I think you may have something there Unk, that just may be the cat’s pajamas. I have been following Red’s installation of his heated grips on his Seca II. He also has a set of the soft wind guards, that boy has the best of both worlds. We are going to have to see if he will stick his chocolate in his peanut butter and see how he thinks they work together. Who knows, I may be picking up a set of heated grips and you may be picking up a set of Bar Mitts.

red said...

I plan on going with hard hand guards, the soft work well but I want something permanent.

Gymi said...

Like bark busters? you'll have to let us know how it works out.

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