Last week I wrote about some inexpensive pogies over on Blue Collar Mountain Biking. Pogies, sometimes called Moose Mitts or Bullwinkles, are weatherproof handlebar covers made of materials like Cordura and fleece. As cold weather cyclists know, bulky winter gloves can make it difficult to do simple things like brake and shift, adjust zippers, or grab something from your pocket. Pogies enable you to use your standard, thinner cycling gloves in cold weather. Although almost all the pogies mentioned in this post are for flat or riser bars, I did find one website that plans to sell some made for drop bars; however, it looks like they are still under development. More on that later…

Dogwood Pogies

Pogies from Dogwood Designs – Photo courtesy of Tim Woody

For my Pogie research I asked Anchorage, Alaska resident Tim Woody for his opinion on what works best when it gets really cold. If you’re not certain what really cold means, go check out Tim’s blog, Bicycles and Icicles, to see what I’m talking about. The following are some of the options Tim provided me at various price points.

On the cheap end, under $20, go check out my post on Blue Collar Mountain Biking. Cabela’s makes ATV/Snowmachine hand covers that should work ok for cycling. The design is certainly not as good as the cycling specific pogies below, but the price is right.

For quite a bit more money, but a much better design, there are the Bike Toasties available for $68 from Apocalypse Design in Fairbanks, Alaska (scroll down near the bottom of the Apocalypse Design site to view the picture). These also have a nice reflective strip across the top.

Next up are the Pogies from Dogwood Designs (pictured on this post), which Tim says are very popular with Anchorage Riders. They come in a variety of colors if you’re trying to match them up with your bike or attire, and will run you about $90. Apparently Dogwood Designs doesn’t have a website, but you can email them at dogwooddesigns@gci.net for more information.

Dogwood Pogies Closeup

Pogies from Dogwood Designs – Photo courtesy of Tim Woody

On the very high end there are the Expedition Pogies from EPic Designs. These $200 pogies are designed and hand made by Tim’s friend Eric “Bearbait” Parsons. According to his website, Eric Parsons “has over 15 years of adventure cycling experience, ranging from Alaskan winters, to high and remote Himalayan passes, to thousands of miles across South America.” These are probably overkill for most of our needs, but they are worth a visit to the EPic Designs website for a look at these robust pogies and some of the other hardcore gear designed by Eric Parsons.

Here’s another website that sells pogies, trails-edge.com. They have a pair of of mountain bike pogies for $60, and it appears they have some pogies for drop bars in development that will be $70. There’s no date on this statement, so it’s hard to tell for sure when they’ll be available. Personally, I’d love to have some for my road bike, since the wind chill is so much greater at the road bike’s higher speeds. The trails-edge website is a bit hard to navigate (and link to), so look for the winter biking products section for more details.

One of my friends let me try his pogies, an old pair from the early 90’s made by Madden. I used my summertime long fingered gloves for the test on my commute home. Before I started my ride, the sun had gone down, temperatures were in the 30’s, and the wind was blowing. I could feel my thin gloved hands getting cold quickly. With the thin gloves, my hands slipped easily into the Pogies, and my hands stayed warm all the way home. I pulled a hand in and out during the ride to verify that they were indeed keeping me warm. I also verified that I could get my hands in and out easily enough to be safe. I was impressed with how well they worked!

As you can see, there is a set of pogies for every budget. Hands can be one of the harder things to keep warm during the winter. If you’ve been suffering from cold hands, or would like the dexterity of a thinner glove while still staying warm, then pogies are definitely worth checking out!

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