AWB’s – How To Keep Your Hands Warm: Oxford Hot Hands Kit
For the last 5 or 6 years y commute on the bike has only been around 10 minutes long, and so a decent pair of Winter gloves or even my Summer gloves with windproof (Cold Killers) inserts has been plenty to cope.
I have Polish ancestry, and could sunbathe in a meat locker quite happily, which helps, too.
Lately my commute has changed into a long hard slog into Birmingham City Centre, and with the temperatures dropping rapidly, my fingers are suffering.
I did a 7am blast to Mallory Park in freezing fog where I was getting seriously worried I’d got my fingers frost-bitten, they were so cold! I pulled over and warmed my numb fingers on my exhaust at one point…
I forget the exact figures, but riding a bike at 40 mph the wind-chill takes the temps hitting your mitts down 20 degrees centigrade, or something daft. This means that anything under 5 degrees feels like you’re trying to ram ice cubes into the cold dead eyes of a Polar bear with bare naked hands.
When I was a motorcycle courier I fought against this by fitting a set of heated grips – and it was awesome! I rode in my Summer gloves most of the time.
WTF was I doing suffering from frostbite when I actually had a brand spanking new Oxford Hot Hands kit that had been sat in a box for 6 years?!?
I found them out and went off to fit them.
You can pick up the Oxford Hot Hands set for probably £10 these days. I paid £15 around 6 years ago, and as I knew these worked, I haven’t tried any others and can’t recommend them.
Basically, all you have to do is wrap the hand grips around your bars using the velcro, route the wiring from those to your on/off switch, and then route more wiring from the switch to your battery terminals. You can simply screw the attachments into the existing terminals in seconds, or wire it directly into a live feed wire. The advantage of the latter option is that you can’t leave them switched on accidentally, as they won’t work when your ignition is switched off.
I took the easiest option, and had them fitted in around 20 mins time – which mostly consisted of cable-tying the excess wires and routing it beneath part of the fairing.
They don’t come on at a great temperature, but build up very strongly if you keep your hands around them. If you take a hand off they cool pretty fast, but soon get you snuggly warm again.
They get HOT.
I’d forgotten just how good they are!
The tips of your thumbs can still get cold, but I used to get around this by tucking them under the palms of my hands – great on motorways but not so easy hooning around in the city. The heat they kick out to the rest of your hands means you’re unlikely to worry about this anyway.
Oh, and I’m talking about wearing my SUMMER Halo race gloves, here. With vents and stuff. COmbine them with full Winter gloves and you should be fine.
The reason I don’t is that they do have a down-side. Two, actually. The first is that if you park up and haven’t hard-wired them, then it is possible some Tit could switch them on and kill your battery. (or you can forget to switch them off)
They are quite thin, but still more bulky than the handlebar grips you’re used to. This makes your hands ache a little. I’m sure you get used to it after a while, but this is the main reason I’m still trying to stick to the thinnest gloves that I can for that extra feel.
And it really is that cheap and simple!
Anyone can fit them, and if you’re still riding about with cold hands, you’re an idiot!
Go buy some today and tell me they’re not great!