Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Frozen Digits and warm BM's

I have pretty poor circulation especially in my hands, but I have tried not to let this infringe on my winter miles. Typically a good set of windproof softshell gloves are great for temps down to 30 degrees, but for temps down to 10 degrees F I have used Pearl Izumi Lobster claw gloves. The big problem with thick gloves is reduced dexterity and the fact that once you start sweating you are gonna soak your gloves.

Wet gloves = cold hands

Jay Buthman of Amoeba R&D laid out a pretty cool idea last year (scroll down its a long post) that got me to thinking.

Pogies. Numerous people make their own versions of flat bar pogies, and they all work pretty well. These have a lot of advantages over gloves, you can wear no gloves or just liner gloves, if its Super Cold (less than 10 degrees F) you can toss hand warmers into the pogies, and also store your cell phone, gel, or Clif bars to keep them from freezing. Snow bike wacko’s like DG swear by these things

Enter Bar Mitts (BM) for Drop Bars: being warm never looked so dumb. I don’t have heaps of style working for me to start with, but these things are incredibly dumb looking. I was going to buy some new winter gloves last month, but seeing that Bar mitts were gonna cost as much as some really nice gloves I just went for the bar mitts. Best money I have spent this winter. I usually just wear a thin wool liner glove so that when I take my hands off the bars they don’t chill as quickly. I rode 45 miles of gravel on Saturday morning with no gloves (just BM’s) and was fine.

You can still toss chemical hand warmers and a phone down in them, and ride all day, no matter what the weather. BM’s are neoprene so they block the wind and retain quite a lot of warmth even if your hands get really sweaty. The down side is that you are relegated to riding on your hoods, and you are gonna look dumb and attract the ridicule of people like Shim. But fear not, you can feel smug knowing that they are relegated to trainer purgatory while you bask in the glory of a stiff north wind.

How Dumb will you look? On the sliding scale of bicycle style: Bar Mitts are in between the little rear view mirrors that go on your helmet and aero bars on a hybrid…..although all are well conceived, they are often poorly executed.

I liked my drop BM’s so much I actually bought a set for the mtb too. I know that Bike Rack at 140th and Maple has some in stock (both styles). Not sure who else in the Big O might carry these? Mark and Bryan at the Trek Store might have a little too much style to carry something like this (Mark would sell you a hybrid AND aero bars, but he will not be responsible for combining them).
I have NO IDEA why my formatting just went all to pot. I hate you blogger (shaking fist at sky)
FYI The snow is still too deep at L&C for riding other than going downhill.


The Life of Brian & Family said...

you will soon find out that BM also refers to Bowel Movement (and frequently) in January when Jasper comes pooping into the world....

Joshua Stamper said...

That was the type of wordsmanship I was hoping someone would pickup on. I love it when I can provoke poo talk

bryan said...

The current place to get Bar Mitts in Omaha is the best — and most fitting — place to get Bar Mitts in Omaha.

I'll do my part to keep it that way.

Joshua Stamper said...

I thought so.

bryan said...

Actually, you know what? If it's cool with you I could adapt your review for GamJams Midwest. It would be a good read for sure. Or you could write a little more. Whatever works best for you, if you're interested.