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Well, it always depends on the circumstances, like you drive through a nice warm forest in Trinity Alps and suddenly end up at Pacific Coast in Fortuna/Mendocino and the humid cold winds bite your fingers.

I use winter gloves and liners inside but I miss the heated grips on BMWs that come default.
 

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My hands easily get cold, probably because of arthritis, but…

The problem with step one is my bike is my only form of private transport. Well, apart from my legs. And my bicycle, though I have not ridden that in years ad I doubt my hands will feel that warm after a 160 mile ride to my dad's house.

And the problem with step two is that last year was the first time the average temperature in April reached 50 °F, so it would rule out half the year. And I like riding.

Nothing wrong with riding in colder weather so long as you have suitable clothing or equipment and, at least it is my rule, that it is not freezing so you do not have to contend with icy roads. With suitable layers it is easier to keep the body warm. It is only the extremities of feet and hands* that needs extra help.

So I would normally wear some summer bike socks (shorter ones) under winter socks (longer ones), and a pair of thermal socks over the top. Heated glove liners would be perfect for the hands if not for the problem stevengeorgeboot mentioned. They are workable, I can still feel the controls with the added thickness, but they are not ideal. Heated grips and winter gloves had been similarly workable for me, better feel but less protection on the outside of the hand. I have yet to try with the hand guards, but I think for me it should work. Although by the time I can go out again it will arleady be spring anyway.


* I was going to joke that that is 30.48 or 10.6 cm in metric countries, but I am not sure how any people would get it!
 

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* I was going to joke that that is 30.48 or 10.6 cm in metric countries, but I am not sure how any people would get it!
I see what you did there. That's pretty cleaver.. But you're right. Some of US are metric challenged. :geek:
 

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I'm just not a cold weather rider BECAUSE there is no enjoyment if I have to layer up like the kid in the Christmas Story!
The fun is when you dont have to freeze your fingers off because of the cold.
Give me any day above 80°F / or 26°C in your language!
 

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My USB grips finally arrived today. I ordered them from China thinking they were cheap enough to be useful as a backup option. Sadly not in a position to test them out — never mind the Covid restrictions, there is a yellow snow warning for tomorrow — but I have plugged them in at home and they do seem to heat up nicely. I was sceptical how much heat you can get out of a 5V at 2.1A but to my bare hands they feel no worse than the Honda grips at medium setting. It will be interesting to see how that holds up in a real world test with gloves.

The grips are plastic and neoprene pouches into which the heating elements are placed, so can be separated for cleaning. The velcro is used to fasten the grips around the bike feels shorter than I would like, but maybe I am just imagining the bike grips being fatter than they actually are. With enough overlap they feel tightly closed.

There is a lot of cable, which I guess gives useful flexibility if you have a battery pack in a tank bag or even a coat or trouser pocket, though with a USB on the front of the bike bike it will require some bunching to avoid loose cable causing a problem.

There is a button on the USB plug which toggles between the three modes, glowing a bright red, green, or blue for the one selected, which also turns it off. The box says that red is coolest (45 °C) and blue hottest (55 °C), but from just holding the grips while sat on the sofa the red felt the hotter setting to me.

Interesting the plug has been designed to be used either side up, so the button will always be accessible regardless of the position of the socket. I have never seen that before, but I guess it means needing to be extra careful because the usual thick piece of plastic inside the plug is rather thin. Which given the vibrations you get on a bike is a little worrying about longevity.

I once tried using an SJ4000 mounted on my bike's bars with USB power, and it did not take long to take the micro USB socket off the camera's circuit board. But I suppose anyone who wants to use heated grips on a regular basis will install proper ones anyway, so they are probably only designed for occasional use.

This is the item I bought:

There are cheaper ones, but I wanted one with a controller rather than just a single always-on heat. I would not want to be plugging and unplugging while riding to effect it. Weirdly the logo that is just placed over the photo of the grips is actually embroidered into them. No idea why they do not use a real photo like that, maybe to trick people into thinking they are plain? Whilst having no logo is better in my opinion, it has been done properly so does not look cheap.

They took just under two weeks to arrive, which is particularly good with Brexit and Covid. I originally ordered them in December but the order was cancelled for "technical reasons", which I only found out a few weeks ago when I went to check the status.

Alongside Brexit, tax changes mean that the customs exception on low value items is scrapped and sellers are supposed to charge VAT (which is an E.U. change, but they have delayed the implementation to summer due to Covid). So AliExpress now add VAT at checkout on U.K. orders, and I guess customs are backlogged enough or do not care to add a customs charge. That or the Chinese sellers still know how to get around those rules!

Even on warmer days in spring and autumn, it can be cold going out early but the sun gets high enough so I should be able to give them a proper test in a few months. I am due my second vaccine dose in early April, and presumably by then restrictions will be lessened once those of us who at most risk who we need to help / who are old or feeble and holding back everyone else (delete according to political persuasion) have been protected.
 
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