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BreezeBlockers AeroBlades are handlebar-mounted shields to protect your hands from the chilling effect of the wind. Motorcyclists will be familiar with the concept, but they’ve seldom figured in the chilly weather plans of cyclists, especially road riders. Until now.
These lightweight plastic shells are shaped to maximise wind protection while simultaneously aiming to keep wind resistance to a minimum to prevent handling problems or drag. BreezeBlockers have a variety of designs. Some aim to offer more protection but are a bit heavier, whereas others are lighter and slightly less protective. All designs are clearly marked as to what they work best for, and what bars they will fit to. Six out of the eight designs work with drop bars, and there are also a couple that fit flat bar commuter-style bikes and even one for mountain bikes. I tested the AeroBlade, a style that sits in the middle of the range for weight, thermal protection and resilience.
Fitting the AeroBlades was a doddle, with a simple tie-wrap attachment at each side. It’s best to fiddle with the positioning a bit before you pull them tight, however, as it’s tricky to move them once in position. The tie-wraps are the re-useable type, so it’s easy enough to remove them and re-fit as needed. (Once removed, you’ll see grooves in the bar tape from the tie-wraps but, depending on the tape, these do fade.) When fitting, it’s important to position the ends of the tie-wraps and the slightly sharp corners of the shields away from where you are likely to brush them with your hands. It’s not tricky to do this.
In use, the AeroBlades were surprisingly effective, keeping hands free from wind-chill to the point where I was able to ride for a couple of hours at around 6 degrees in just track mitts rather than long-fingered gloves. I normally suffer badly from cold hands, so was impressed. There was no noticeable problem with drag or wind resistance, although without a wind tunnel and computers it would be hard to explore the company’s claims that the drag is less than it is with gloves.
What you do notice is the warmth compared to wearing just gloves. Where my gloved hands often leach heat to the point where I have numb fingertips in all but the warmest gloves, there was no such chilling effect with the AeroBlades. The absence of wind (or rain, since they are water shields too) does have a marked effect on hand temperature and comfort.
While the AeroBlades work at keeping hands warm, they limit your ability to change hand position a lot. Once your hands are inside the shields, it’s reasonably easy to pull them out quickly to brake or change gear, but psychologically it doesn’t feel as easy. So a ride is not quite as relaxed as it is without hand shields. found myself riding quite a lot with my hands outside the shields, especially in towns or traffic. But even though I wasn’t using the AeroBlades all the time, my hands still remained warm in track mitts as they weren’t being constantly chilled either.
Cyclists with narrow and compact bars may find that there’s little spare bar space after fitting the shields, but they are still useable. Aesthetically, even with the faux-carbon option, it’s still an addition to the bike that does mar the clean uncluttered lines slightly, although it’s a penalty that’s possibly worth paying for a winter training bike. BreezeBlockers would be useful year round, especially in spring, autumn and winter.
A lightweight, inexpensive, effective solution to cold digits, which limits hand positions slightly.
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Make and model: BreezeBlockers AeroBlade
Size tested: Carbon Fibre effect AeroBlade
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aerodynamic shields to prevent windchill to a cyclist's hands.
Most models suit road style dropped handlebars.
Easy to use/fit
Do what they are intended to do quite well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, although I didn't feel quite as relaxed riding with hands inside the shields.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially those suffering from cold hands.
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.