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Lowie Merino Handlebar covers



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

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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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

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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,

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 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. 

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jezzzer | 13 years ago

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

Lara Dunn | 13 years ago

Also, they use them in the Iditasport and similar. I'd not accuse them of not being 'real men'  3

Have a look at these.

DaSy | 13 years ago

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

Tony Farrelly | 13 years ago

Thanks Chuffy, gonna see about getting some of those in

Chuffy | 13 years ago

...and the same for Real Men

"don’t leave the brakes outside like I did the first time!" Chortle!  13

Tony Farrelly | 13 years ago

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.

jezzzer | 13 years ago

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

DaSy | 13 years ago

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...

Simon_MacMichael | 13 years ago

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  3

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