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PotomacCyclist
01-16-2012, 10:37 AM
I did my first true cold-weather ride yesterday. My fingers were OK inside the Bar Mitts, even though I was only wearing thin full-fingered bike gloves that have a lot of ventilation. (I forgot to use my neoprene bike shoe covers. My toes got very cold.) The only problem with my hands was the cold metal of the brake levers. Halfway through the ride, I thought that thin neoprene covers for the brake levers would be nice to have in the winter.

I did some searching online but I could only find limited options. Someone mentioned Lizard Skins brake lever grips. They seem to have mixed reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Lizard-Skins-Bicycle-Brake-Lever/dp/B003SLMTVQ

Other people mention motorcycle brake lever covers but I was unable to find those on the motorcycle websites that I checked.

Has anyone tried the Lizard Skins? Or a different product? Maybe handlebar tape would work. Or even an extra-large pair of Croakies (which are used to hold eyeglasses in place during athletic activity).

http://store.croakies.com/croakiesscreenprintshawaii.aspx

(I think the Hawaiian designs offer a little more warmth, because they make you think you're in Hawaii.)

Hmm, maybe the Croakies would be the best choice. I just thought of that one.

CCrew
01-16-2012, 11:06 AM
I've tried the Lizard Skins and gave up on them quickly. Only product I use of theirs anymore is their chainstay protector.

PotomacCyclist
01-16-2012, 12:58 PM
I may have to try the Croakies then, in the XL size. They aren't that thick, but they might offer enough protection from the cold metal. The Croakies are inexpensive, so if it doesn't work, I'll only be out a few dollars (less than $10).

DSalovesh
01-16-2012, 04:39 PM
I got a pair of Lizard Skin lever covers off a bargain table at some bike shop years ago, but I couldn't get them on. I tried them on a bunch of different bikes but the shape was always... wrong.

My best suggestion (untried) would be Plasti Dip. I used to put it on all my bare metal tools and it made them nice and grippy and more comfortable to hold in the cold, so I bet it would work well for brake levers too.

Dirt
01-16-2012, 05:41 PM
I use part of a skinny road bike tube and zip ties. Seems to work well. I've also used some really lovely fake fur (pink, of course) and automotive trim adhesive. The trim adhesive is nice because it comes off easily with a heat gun.

PotomacCyclist
01-18-2012, 08:43 PM
I found an easy solution, which is also inexpensive and temporary. I was looking for the Croakies XL bands at an outdoor sporting goods store. I found a pair. But then I saw one of those floating keychains (Chums). It's made out of a flexible 1/4" plastic tube, with neoprene sleeves placed around the tube at regular intervals. Those neoprene sleeves looked to be the perfect diameter for a brake lever.

I brought the Croakies XL and the CHUMS keychain over to a hybrid bike to see if they would fit on a brake lever. The Croakies XL looked to be far too small to fit. But the neoprene sleeves looked OK. So I bought the CHUMS keychain instead of the Croakies.

At home, I cut the plastic tube and removed the neoprene sleeves. Simple enough. Then I squeezed two of the sleeves over each brake lever, with one sleeve left over. Each sleeve is about 1.5" in length. The first sleeve was difficult to put on because I didn't want to take the Bar Mitts off. But after I figured out how to put it on, the process went pretty smoothly.

The two sleeves per brake lever don't cover the entire length of the lever, but it's close enough. I adjusted one sleeve so that it partially covers the semi-knob on the end of the lever. The sleeves are long enough to cover most of the area that I would be gripping with my fingers. The neoprene seems thick enough to offer enough protection from the cold metal. But I'm not going to test it out tonight. I'll have to test my new invention later this week. I'll probably ride tomorrow but the temperatures will be in the low to mid 40s. Friday might be a good test of the sleeves.

If this works, then my problem is solved. And it only cost $6.