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Thread: Choosing Electrics

  1. #1
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Question Choosing Electrics

    Hello All-

    I know that this thread has also appeared on the IBMWR, but figured I would poll here as well.

    In an effort to combat PMS I am stocking up on warm clothes. My wife got me the HyperTex Overpants for Valentine's Day. They work great so far.

    The layering is working pretty well for the upper body, but after becoming an Umpalumpa cause of all the layers I think it is time to look into Electrics.

    So I have decided that I want to get something for the upper body. So now the options and choices:

    Vest or full shirt? I am leaning toward full shirt.

    Brand? Aerostich, Gerbing, Widder, Eclipse... etc.

    Comments?
    Cliches?
    Commentaries?

    Thanks!
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Gerbing Liner.



    If you think you might ever need them, get the pigtails for gloves and chaps that are heated as well.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Heated clothing is wonderful. I'll wear the vest long before I resort to a big puffy warm layer of polartec under my 'stich.

    Gerbing is the hands down favorite. Their jacket liner isn't bulky and produces prodigious heat. The downside is that they are damn expensive once you've added the necessary thermostat and other bits.

    Widder/ Aerostich: from what I can tell, the performance is similar between their vests. The heat is sufficient, but not overwhelming. I have an older Aerostich vest that's just barely enough to keep me warm on a truly cold day (humid and below 32??F), but is more than sufficient on all other days.

    The Widder vests come with the extra option of adding more heated bits.

    My recommendation? If you can afford it, the Gerbing. If you can't, either the Widder or the Aerostich. And if you're truly cheap or thrifty, look for them used. Lots of people sell them lightly used after they gear has "shrunk". I bought my Aerostich vest used for something like $70 and it has worked just fine for nearly 5 years.

  4. #4
    REBECCAV
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    I would highly recommend a full liner rather than just a vest.

    My Gerbing has a nice, high heated collar too. I'm not sure if the Aerostitch liner's collar is heated.

  5. #5
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    What's the total price of a fully equipped Gerbing these days. Anyone bought one recently?

  6. #6
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    here's another couple of questions to make things interesting: how much difference, given equal garment setups, is there in the energy draw between brands, and which gives the best heat for the wattage, for those of us who have less than 700 watts to work with?
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  7. #7
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    I've never had a Gerbing, which is what everyone recommends, so I can't compare it. But I fell into a killer deal on the new BMW vest.

    It has NO WIRES. Instead, it has an elecroresistive material that heats up uniformly. The tag says it's made from the usual materials, but includes "1% Aluminum" at the bottom. Consumes 37 watts. Comes with a molded plastic controller with a "chicklet" style button that is off/low/high, with two LEDs to indicate the position.

    I find it very light and surprisingly warm. I've ridden with nothing but a T shirt under it, in a Savannah II jacket (which is lightweight and doesn't block the wind that well) down to about freezing, and found it acceptable. (Of course, my arms were cold, but I wasn't cold, overall.)

    It's worth trying, and I'd be very curious to know how it compares with the Gerbing vest, if anyone else has had the chance to do that.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  8. #8
    REBECCAV
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    Originally posted by knary
    What's the total price of a fully equipped Gerbing these days. Anyone bought one recently?
    Gerbing/77 watts
    $199 for liner
    $ 69 for thermostat
    $ 15 for accessory plug
    = $283 + shipping

    Aerostitch/70 watts
    $227 for liner
    $ 30 for windproof fabric (which I don't recommend)
    $ 57 for thermostat
    $ 12 for BMW adaptor
    = $326 + shipping

    I'm sure that Brad knows all of that and more though.

    A difference of $43. One big difference in the jackets is their texture - the AStitch looks like any other fleece jacket and you can wear it anywhere, anytime. The Gerbing looks like an electric jacket. However, the Gerbing is sort of a slick fabric that makes putting on a shell easy whereas the fleece (in my experience) sort of grabs a shell as you put it on.

    Also, the Gerbing has cords inside it. I don't know about the 'Stitch.

  9. #9
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by boxergrrlie
    Gerbing/77 watts
    $199 for liner
    $ 69 for thermostat
    $ 15 for accessory plug
    = $283 + shipping

    Aerostitch/70 watts
    $227 for liner
    $ 30 for windproof fabric (which I don't recommend)
    $ 57 for thermostat
    $ 12 for BMW adaptor
    = $326 + shipping

    I'm sure that Brad knows all of that and more though.
    Got you fooled.

    Actually there is one other detail, that makes a difference. I can drive/ride down and try on a Gerbing during lunch and possibly walk out with one. I am not the best "waiter" for stuff to show up.

    To me sales tax = shipping so that is a wash, but the fact that I can try it on and make sure I gots all the parts is the important part.

    Now the funny part, most people think of the shop I would go to for the Gerbings a Harley place. I know better it is a motorcycle shop. Their slogan "It doesn't matter what you ride, it is if you ride".
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  10. #10
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    From what I understand, you can live without the thermostat on the stuff from the other companies, but you MUST have it for the Gerbings.

    I'll happily pay $100 for this stuff, but nearing $300 seems sorta silly for a thin jacket with some wires in it. I dunno. Why is this stuff so expensive?

  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I don't have a thermostat. I have one of those funky lamp switches on mine.

    Too hot = off.

    Too cold = on.

    I think I paid $175 for mine a few years ago.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by knary
    Why is this stuff so expensive?
    Cause people like me are dumb enough to pay for it.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  13. #13
    ian408
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    I got one of those thermostat thingies with the jacket
    (G-bings) and it was pretty cheap. Less than $20 I think.

    I started with a vest ('stich) and while it's good for short
    trips, any time on the bike and you'll want a jacket.

    The price of electrics is too high. But so is the price of a
    fleece jacket (hmmmm....about the name) made from
    recycled bottles.

    Ian

  14. #14
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by boxergrrlie
    I would highly recommend a full liner rather than just a vest.

    My Gerbing has a nice, high heated collar too. I'm not sure if the Aerostitch liner's collar is heated.
    Yes, there's heat in the collars of the AeroStich vest and liner, but the collars aren't near as high as the Gerbings, and there isn't as much heat, either.

    OTOH, I think the AeroStich stuff is much better as an off-the-bike garments. Snap it into the Darien with the slick side in, and the jacket's easy to put on and take off. Take it out of the Darien and wear it fuzzy side in for more warmth when off the bike.

    Still...there are some days (in the tule fog in the Central Valley comes to mind) when I wish I still had the Gerbings...
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  15. #15
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by boxergrrlie
    Gerbing/77 watts
    $199 for liner
    $ 69 for thermostat
    $ 15 for accessory plug
    = $283 + shipping
    Being able to ride in colder weather... Priceless

    BG is definitely an expert. After this robust panel came up with the same recommendations as the IBMWR List today during lunch I went and picked up the jacket, thermostat, accessory plug and tax, out the door at $290.

    Tried it on and the heat in the jacket is Holy Cats good. Nice even, fast, hot, fast, hot,,,, got thermostat.

    Assuming the rain stops, riding tomorrow.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

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