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Riding in the chilly winter air with numb fingers is not only a hassle for motorcyclists everywhere but an even greater safety concern. To ensure agility and constant focus on the road, motorcycle kit technology is advancing by the day.
Consequently, this has given rise to indecisiveness among product choices. Therefore, we are here to help you settle the heated debate between grips and gloves once and for all.
Working on a convenient and easy-to-operate principle, heated grips are connected with electrical cables directly to your motorcycle battery. Thus, they start heating up automatically as you turn on the ignition and remain warm till the bike is on.
While they don’t need recharging and are available in various temperature settings and power equipment to suit your ride, heated grips only manage to warm up the underside or palm of your hand. This disadvantage dulls the range of temperature settings (usually up to five different ones) as most of the hand is still exposed to the cold. Riders still tend to prefer them for their affordable prices and pair them with regular gloves.
- Easy setup and installation and no recharging required
- Multiple temperature settings are available
- Value convenience and can be comfortably switched on anytime as soon as your motorcycle starts.
- Heat up to 50 degrees in under five minutes
- Offer a more affordable range in various brands
- Don’t provide full coverage
- May drain your motorcycle battery
Although they’re a bit on the higher end, heated gloves allow you to hold onto the handlebars naturally and also comfortably reach out to the front brake. These are commonly powered by rechargeable batteries with an average runtime of 3 hours. Therefore they might not be suited for long commutes.
The lack of setup and easy operation, needing just the push of a button, keeps your hands warm and cozy until the battery gives out. While having to charge and prep them beforehand might be a downside, they are preferred by many professional bikers due to their versatility. Heated gloves are not only restricted to motorcycles but can come in handy in all outdoor activities during the chilly weather.
- Offer full coverage and are available in a variety of sizes
- Easy operation with the push of an accessible button
- Can be worn for other outdoor activities during winter
- Most heated gloves become toasty enough to ride within the first 3-5 minutes
- Commonly available brands offer a variety of temperature settings, so users have more control over their preferences
- Good quality gloves are very pricey
- Require frequent recharging during a long ride and take up to 4-7 hours to fully power up
Breakdown of Features
While they do share some common features like being washable, heating up quickly, and having various temperature settings, here are some distinguishable ones that can help you determine whether heated grips or heated gloves will make a bike ride cozier for you:
Heated grips work great for short commutes in slightly cold weather but will not fare well with harsh winds numbing your hands and fingers. It is necessary to cover your hands completely, and as an individual product, heated gloves are the choice to go for as they provide full coverage and warmth.
Comfort and Versatility
Despite what first looks may indicate, heated grips are far more convenient than heated gloves. They save time as they don’t require any prep or charging before operation, and also don’t take up any carrying or storage space. Being directly attached to the motorcycle allows them to be ever-present at your convenience and leaves no room for forgetting to bring them along with you.
In contrast to the comfort and convenience of heated grips, heated gloves come far handier than you may think. One does not have to limit them to motorcycling and can use them for various activities in the cold weather, both inside and outside.
If the lifespan of products plays a big part in your decision-making, heated grips might not be for you. While they outlast the battery life of gloves in daily or short-term use, you can only get about 150 hours of riding out of them. On the other hand, with over 500 permissible recharges, most brands of heated gloves can last you up to 10 times more.
Both heated gloves and grips have a variety of brands under their wings and are thus available at a variety of costs. Despite this, there is a huge gap between their price ranges, with premium heated grips costing as low as $30, while good quality heated gloves are priced upwards of $100. It is important to note that heated grips are more likely to need a replacement before the gloves.
What are some other tips on keeping your hands warm while riding a motorcycle?
- It is probably best to upgrade your current motorcycle with a windscreen to divert harsh winds from your face and hands.
- Investing in a pair of Hippo Hands, which are windproof and insulated hand-covers that fit right onto your handlebars, would also do you good.
- Keeping your hands as dry as possible is the best way to go, be it with windproof or leather layering.
- Chemical hand warmers (often used by hunters and skiers) are a cheap but temporary solution if you need a quick fix while on the road.
- For people not wanting to buy new equipment in a mildly chilly environment, it would be better to just upgrade their riding gloves by adding technical liners to them.
When choosing between heated gloves or grips, it is essential to value your safety and pick the option that you can comfortably ride with, is affordable, prevents any numbness on the fingers, and allows you to focus on the road. Lastly, protecting your head and eating well before you go on the road will also help you remain warm and safe during winter commutes.