Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year = New...

Happy New Year!

We made it. Its 2016 and we are all still alive. For now.

Not a lot is new really for me. Figured I would write a 2015 wrap up post but I plan to do that every year and I can say with out even looking that it rarely, if ever happens.
So not much has changed.

Whats new?
Well its finally cold enough here in Iowa to put my Bar Mitts on my commuter.
I think I've gone through every box of bike stuff I can find in my basement bike shop, more than once and cant find them.
Looks like 2016 is the year of new Bar Mitts.

I've been using Bar Mitts for a number of winters & overall been pretty happy with them.
I improved my original pair by changing the internal Velcro to a wider and longer one to make installing them easier.
I modified my new version (V2.0?) to make installing even easier.
Plus with this mod I can run different grips.

What did I do? I'll show you.

I had an idea (which I think the $130 Bar Mitts Extreme has) which is a bar plug.
I poked a hole in the side of the Mitt.
Put a bolt and washer through it, which in turn went through a beefy rubber bar plug, thru another washer, a gnarled washer and then a nut.
Bar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modifications

And Wa-La! New and improved Bar Mitts!

Bar Mitts modifications

Pretty simple fix if you can find all the bits you need.
The added bonus (and kind of the point) is now you can run the grip of your choosing.
For example on my geared commuter (Straggler) I have ergo style grips. The way Bar Mitts come the internal strap is Velcro and short intended to wrap around the grip to secure the Mitt in place,
Plus with my bar plug mod the Mitts are super easy to swap between bikes.
Which I do often.

I made my Bar Mitt improvements on a slow Saturday at the shop.
The only issue I ran into was when I got home and went to install them on a different bike for the next day.
The Straggler runs the old Surly Torsion Bar, which is steel. The plugs I used were probably for a road bike bar internal diameter. They wouldn't fit in my aluminium bars on my other bikes.

Back to the drawing board, sorta.
I disassembled the bar plug conversion and first just rearranged the washers since the inner one was too big to fit in the bars. Thats when I realized the entire plug was too big.

Trim to fit.

A little careful sanding and trimming later and now the Version 2.0 Bar Mitts fit all my flat
bar bikes.

At this point we are 12 days into 2016 and I have used the Mitts every day for commuting and trail riding.
Happy fingers.

Wednesday AM #sycamorevibes on the Krampus Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! -z

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Nice! It would have been nice if I could've modified my Bar Mitts myself. But I'm not pretty handy with the tools like you, so I had to buy a more expensive one which made it easy for me to install.