Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Cycling Commuter's Dream - Power in Motion Heated Gloves

So this is actually a slight redo of my earlier blog post on this topic, if it feel like you have read this already.

About a year ago I blogged about buying some heated gloves to get me through the worst of winter cycling in Canada. Temperatures below -10C meant my hands were practically frozen by the time I got to work and I just couldn't find a decent glove to help me with the ride.

Well I found the Power in Motion Heated Gloves and decided they were worth the try. My reasons for the purchase and my initial reactions to the gloves are documented in an earlier blog spot here. Needless to say I was really impressed.

So a year later and it is the middle of winter and how are the gloves? Well in a word, awesome.

In case you didn't want to read my old post, these are glove liners with a filament that runs along each finger and over the knuckles. So this means warm fingers, not palms, and it means I get to work after a 50 min to 1 hour cycle commute with fingers that work.

The gloves have 3 temperature settings, which are controlled on each glove by an easily accessed button, to suit your needs. Personally I tend to like warm fingers and with the winds we get in Nova Scotia, I need the extra warmth. And being liners, they are thin enough that you can wear whatever top glove you want on them. I have a moderate weight windproof cycling glove, which I find allows me decent dexterity but holds the warmth in well. And for extra cold days, I can slip on a heavy pair of mittens to keep even more heat in.

When you order a pair opt for a tight fit as this helps transfer the heat best to your hands.

The long cuff is an essential part of the glove. First it keeps that cold away from your wrists, second it holds the electronics and switch and third, it has the option of holding the battery.

With these gloves you have the option of buying 2 batteries so that each glove is independent and has a run time of 3 hours, or you can use a wiring harness that means you can get away with only buying one battery. The original wiring harness I bought a year ago was fine, but sometimes was tedious putting on. I recently got a hold of the newest version of that harness which is quaintly called the Stickman and I must say it is significantly better.

I was nervous at first as the Stickman loops around your neck and holds everything in place, but it is really well designed and was not an issue at all in 2 weeks of riding. No wires protrude from your coat, nothing seems to snag when putting it on, and it allows for future adaptations, as Ken, the owner told me in an email that they hope to add to their heated wear collection.

What looks like a lot of wires, is really nicely designed and simple to use. The battery happens to be in my back pocket, but Easily tucks into a cycling jersey pocket or could be used in a front pocket as well. The wires down each arm or more than long enough that they do not pull, but aren't so long they are a problem. And the neck loop is incredibly loose fitting without any weight pulling on you.

This harness takes away the added battery weight from your wrist. Personally I found the wireless system to be quite comfy, but will likely switch over the the wired system for daily riding. I'll save the batteries in the wrists for other things, like skiing, mountain bike rides, skating and even running, all of which I have done with these gloves quite easily.

So, one year down the road and how are these gloves holding up? They are practically like brand new. As they are liners first and foremost, they are well protected by your over gloves. They can be hand washed, so they don't get too dirty either. My batteries still hold a full charge, which is usually enough for me to get to and from work with warm fingers (1.5 hours for 1 battery, 3 hours with 2 batteries on maximum setting).

The charging system is really just a plug and wire, so it is simple to throw in your pack and recharge at work if you need.

Power in Motion has a great video on the link I posted above showing their gloves and filled with the technical talk which some people want to see.

In short if you like being active in the winter these are a great way to keep warm and extend your outdoor time, even on super cold days. No hiding from the Polar Vortex!

Originally I contacted Ken at Power in Motion to see about buying some gloves, as they had no one on the East Coast. He put me in contact with John at Bay Cycle and Sports in Pickering John was really great to deal with and shipped my gloves quickly.

Hopefully I gave you all the info you need but if not leave a comment. They are tough, durable and warm. Well worth the price. And Canadian designed from a company that knows about winter and electronics!

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