Can't find winter gloves that adequately protect your hands from the wind, rain and wet without being so bulky you can't feel the handlebar? Or do you still get freezing feet even when wearing overshoes? Matt Garnett thinks he's got the answer.
His new products, launched under the name BreezeBlockers, basically act as mini fairings for your hands and feet when cycling, blocking the worst that the elements can throw at you.
The handlebar version is available in three road bike variants – Aero Shield, Aero Blade and Aero Curve – depending on how big your hands are, the bar width and bend you run, and the extremity of the conditions you'll be riding in. Mountain bike, flat-bar commuting bike and children's versions are in development.
They attach with zip-ties (the flat bar versions use a bar end plug attachment instead) and shield your hands when riding on the tops. Access to the hoods and drops is unobstructed. Matt, who works as a dentist, came up with the idea after a miserable ride into Scotland from his home town of Newcastle.
This version for mountain bikes and flat-bar road bikes is in development, which will attach via bar end plugs
They've since been tested in wind tunnels at Durham and Teesside universities, and Matt says that, as well as keeping hands warm, they're actually more aerodynamic than gloves at high wind speeds and in crosswinds.
While the idea is intriguing, one drawback is immediately apparent: the BreezeBlockers provide no protection for your hands when you're on the drops which, if you're facing driving rain or a howling head wind, is where you're likely to be.
BreezeBlockers for drop bars are available now, in three different versions
We've got a few sets in for testing, so we'll let you know how they fare. Weights start at 34g. RRP for the carbon fibre effect versions is £19.99. A Flex version is also available, made of a lighter, more flexible material, for £9.99. Matt says it'll be easy to get BreezeBlockers made in custom colours or with team logos, etc.
A BreezeBlocker product is also available to keep your feet warm. The Aero Guard is designed to sit between your shoe and overshoe to provide extra protection from wind chill and rain. RRP is £9.99.
The Aero Guard is designed to shield your feet from any wind or moisture that manages to penetrate your overshoes