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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.
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.
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Make and model: Lowie Handlebar covers
Size tested: n/a
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
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,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.