Saturday, January 7, 2017
What Every Fatbiker Needs
I think snow conditions are best when it's really cold...anything under 10 degrees seems just right. When you're out exploring in sub-zero temps, it's pretty important to be prepared. I didn't start out with everything...I used what I had, and I had fun. But I've gradually begun adding to my cold-weather collection, and with each addition, I've really been able to appreciate the differences between regular snow gear and cycling-specific gear.
Each week I'm going to highlight a different piece of equipment that I think is a must-have for fatbikers. This week: pogies
It took me two seasons of miserable glove swapping to finally bite the bullet and buy some pogies. I decided to go with Bar Mitts brand Extreme Mountain, and so far, I'm super happy I did. I used to always pack two pairs of gloves on every ride: one for the way up, and one for the way down. Going up my hands get sweaty, the gloves get wet, then they'll freeze solid on descent. My hands get cold easily, so putting on a cold pair of gloves mid-ride right before a big descent always left my hands cold and numb on the way down.
The Bar Mitts are honestly the perfect solution. I can wear a lighter winter glove that still allows a comfortable amount of dexterity without my hands ever getting sweaty or cold. They're a simple, install-in-minutes design made out of tough neoprene. The Extreme Mountain version installs with handlebar plugs that tighten with a 4mm allen key. I'm a big fan of the plugs as they keep the mitts more securely anchored to the bar. The mitts have vents on the side and a removable top skirt that hugs your wrists to control the temperature. If you start getting sweaty, open them up and allow some air flow. When you're cold, close them off and they warm up quick.
Another unexpected benefit is the improved braking and shifting performance when I'm using pogies. If you're like me and like to get out when it's really frigid, you'll know that brakes and shifters stop functioning properly once they get too cold. Pogies completely cover your hands, shifters, and brake levers keeping everything at a higher temperature. It may seem like a stretch, but I've not had a single issue since I made the switch.
If you're out there suffering along without pogies, please stop by and grab pair. I promise, you'll be happy you did.