Lowie Merino Handlebar covers  £75.00

7/10

Pricey but unique way of keeping your hands warm while winter riding

Weight 180g   Contact  www.ilovelowie.com

by Lara Dunn   February 8, 2010  

First off, these Merino Handwarmers are currently available at half price for £37.50 from the Lowie’s website.

These knitted handlebar warmers may have more then a passing resemblance to tea cosies, but for casual and leisure cycling they are cool, quirky and surprisingly comfortable.

Made from 100% merino wool, the warmers are handknitted, with an attractive rose motif, a ribbon fastening and a dense felt lining to keep the worst of the windchill at bay. There’s no way these would fit onto drop handlebars but they’ll fit most flat bars, even with small bar ends, although they make gripping bar ends quite tricky, but not impossible. They’re easy to fit, once you realize that you need to engage the brake to fit the lever through (don’t leave the brakes outside like I did the first time!). Once in place, the ribbon is tightened to secure the cosy, although they do tend to move about in use.

I initially tried them in conjunction with light full fingered gloves, but found the gloves largely unnecessary and uncomfortable. The fabric of the gloves also caught on the wool sufficiently to make it trickier to slide the hands in and out of the handwarmer at will, not desirable at junctions. Without gloves, the warmers worked well, allowing the hands to breathe and preventing excessive sweatiness, whilst shielding them from the worst of the cold and wind, leaving them a comfortable temperature. I’d not want to use them in heavy rain, but for a chilly dry ride they work well.

I’d have concerns about the durability of these warmers, given their handknitted nature and the interaction of wool and cables etc. I suspect they’d also suffer quite quickly from prolonged use in the rain. That said, they’re designed more with café cruising in mind, or shorter journeys around town, rather than full on multi-hour road rides.

This is a product whose girly looks is best suited to use with a classic style bike, such as a Pashley Princess or a Dutch cruiser, and as such will add cool weather comfort and hand knitted chic. They’d look a little strange on the more urban styling of the likes of a commuter bike.

Verdict

Pricy but unique. Stylish hand knitted merino wool that will keep hands cosy and protected from the wind. Will add a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to your cycling image.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lowie Handlebar covers

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes- probably as a gift

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Reminds me of something called "Mummy Mitts' I saw on a re-run of Dragon's Den last week, although that was for a push chair, not a bike (she didn't get the money).

Bit of an England rugby shirt influence going on with that flower logo Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8495 posts]
8th February 2010 - 15:17

6 Likes

Which in turn reminds me of a sight I saw during the recent snow, of a guy who had created a frame around his handlebars from dowel and MDF, around which he had affixed bubble-wrap.
It was the work of a madman; it was a kind of bubble-wrap fairing, which my wife thought was ingenious until I pointed out that gloves have been serving this purpose for quite some time, and required a lot less work...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
8th February 2010 - 16:09

6 Likes

ridiculous. pure and simple. even half price is still more than enough to buy you a really good pair of waterproof winter gloves.

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
8th February 2010 - 17:22

6 Likes

hmm… somehow I don't think you're the target market Jezzer… anyway the concept of 'ridiculous' doesn't really work in fashion.

As to the bloke with the hand fairing Dasy, I'm with him - as someone whose hands are really really sensitive to the cold I've often thought about some sort of extra cover to go over the bars and brakes - I think I've tested all the top rated winter gloves, except those lobster mitts, and when it's got cold none have really done the job. Somebody did/and maybe still does some windproof/insulated handlebar covers for bikes like the ones you sometimes see on motorbikes. I'd certainly try them, but I've often thought that something like that which incorporated a fairing would be even better.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
8th February 2010 - 21:07

5 Likes

...and the same for Real Men
http://velocitynation.com/content/equipment/2010/bar-mitts-review

"don’t leave the brakes outside like I did the first time!" Chortle! Surprise

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [190 posts]
8th February 2010 - 22:04

5 Likes

Thanks Chuffy, gonna see about getting some of those in

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
8th February 2010 - 22:31

8 Likes

If I see him again Tony, I will try and get the technical drawings off him!

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
9th February 2010 - 9:16

7 Likes

Also, they use them in the Iditasport and similar. I'd not accuse them of not being 'real men' Wink

Have a look at these.

http://www.trails-edge.com/retail/bikeparts/winterbikestuff.htm

posted by Lara Dunn [297 posts]
9th February 2010 - 10:54

7 Likes

spend only a little bit more and get a free bike thrown in:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Best_of_British/27/Early_Rider_Classic_Pedal-F...

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
11th February 2010 - 14:34

7 Likes

road.cc reviews

Latest reviews

6/10
£69.99
December 19, 2014
6/10
£125.00
December 18, 2014
6/10
£149.95
December 18, 2014
8/10
£35.00
December 18, 2014
8/10
£175.00
December 17, 2014
8/10
£10.14
December 17, 2014
9/10
£2200.00
December 17, 2014
7/10
£32.99
December 15, 2014
9/10
£1499.00
December 15, 2014
9/10
£12.99
December 15, 2014
9/10
£650.00
December 14, 2014
8/10
£32.00
December 14, 2014
8/10
£124.99
December 13, 2014
8/10
£14.49
December 13, 2014
8/10
£99.99
December 12, 2014
8/10
£49.99
December 11, 2014
7/10
£44.99
December 11, 2014
7/10
£64.99
December 11, 2014
9/10
£3299.00
December 10, 2014
8/10
£69.99
December 9, 2014
8/10
£84.99
December 9, 2014
7/10
£39.95
December 9, 2014
8/10
£135.00
December 8, 2014
8/10
£169.95
December 8, 2014
7/10
£170.00
December 8, 2014
8/10
£999.99
December 7, 2014
 
1