Just wanted to comment on Steve Aiken's review of the Gerbing's T5 gloves. I bought a pair at the Redmund rally (along with the heated jacket.) Wore both on a cool morning - not plugged in, no rain - and the gloves were very comfortable with decent control feel. Obviously, need to test further in rain and real cold before I could recommend them.
Checked out the website in Steve's review and was moved to get out both the gloves and my wife's flexible tape. According to the Gerbing's chart, since my hand measures 8 3/4" across the nuckles with fingers splayed (as shown) I should own a Medium. I tried on several pair and it was the XL that fit me perfectly.
Gerbings is far from the only company that gives bad sizing advice. I MUCH prefer to try on any motorcycling gear at a vendor and wear it awhile to see if it really is comfortable. I also bought a pair of Held Steve 2 gloves in Redmund after trying on many pairs. They are 10XL, which I believe indicates greater finger length. On that cool long ride I mentioned, I preferred the Steve 2's with cheap glove liners to the un-heated Gerbings. But only a little.
For future summer touring I think I will stick with the Held's and a pair of "medium grade" rubber gloves to keep them dry in the rain. Those Gerbings take up a lot of space in the tank bag.
If you must mail order gear, be sure to check out the return policy and who pays in both directions. There are a lot of great products out there (kind of mind boggling trying to sort them out) but remember the greatest gloves, helmut, boots, etc. are ONLY great if they fit your body.
+1 on mail order gear fit. I started with Gerbing jacket liner and gloves, which I tried on at my BMW dealer, which was an hour and half ride from home. After the temp dropped below 45 I realized I wanted the pants liner for highway trips at that temp. Followed the instructions on Gerbings web site and my dealer mailed them to me. The fit was so far off, I couldn't believe it. After getting the pants liner, I could see why. Their instructions call for 2 measurements, hips and from the belt to the floor. I took these measurements wearing my jeans, but the waist on the Gerbing pants is very high, about the middle of my stomach. So, I measured again using the waist on the Gerbing pants and that called for about two sizes larger. I had to order these in microwire, and fortunately my dealer was very good about taking care of me and all I was out was 6 or 7 dollars in shipping. The new pants fit great. Also, on pants you are better off with a little too big than a little too small, obviously, and the wind breaker type material is very thin so there is no bulk to it; fits easily under jeans or whatever you wear.
So far, my boots have kept my feet warm, so I haven't bought the insoles. My coldest trip so far was about 23 degrees. The boot liners are not expensive, so I will buy them if I ever feel the need.
Anyone out there with boot liners that can tell their experience?
2003 F650GS Dakar
In this thread, both stkmkt1 and Steve Aikens mentioned that the Gerbing T5 heated gloves are supposed to be waterproof. Tonight I came across a card included with the T5's I purchased last summer, and I quote:
"Your gloves have a weatherproof liner, but your outer glove (textile or leather) will need to be treated with a waterproofing agent prior to using in wet conditions. Failure to apply agent will result in a very wet and heavy glove that will take considerable time to dry."
So tonight I decided to follow the printed advice and then conduct a little "scientific experiment." I found an old can of "Nikwax Liquid," shook it up well, then applied it twice to all the leather parts of the glove. Then I weighed the pair of gloves on an accurate kitchen scale. (12.5 oz) Next, I donned my gloves and stuck my paws in a bucket of water for 5 minutes, being careful to keep the top of the gaunlets a couple inches above the water. Hands remained completely dry. But when I weighed the gloves (and, I confess, this is after wringing out some water) they weighed 22.5 oz. With a weight gain of 5oz water per glove, it is hard to imagine that my Nikwax treatment had any effect.
So have any of you tried a similar experiment with other waterproofing agents? It seems the "weatherproof liners" really DO keep your hands dry. Hard to imagine that sweat buildup in a winter glove would ever be a problem if you managed to seriously waterproof the exterior.
And I understand you guys with the hand protectors laughing your heads off. Glad to entertain.
Doug - I think for all practicable objectives in motorcycling, when we talk about waterproof gloves, jackets, pants etc., the objective is to keep the rider dry and comfortable in the worst of wet conditions. Concern for how the product performs on the outside - at least from me - is of little consequence. If the cow wrapped around whatever it is inside that's keeping my hands dry saturates, what do I care? Keeping the cow from saturating wasn't my objective when I bought the cow - my objective was to keep my hands dry. If the gloves did that under extreme conditions - I met my objective.
I appreciate where you went and are going with outer waterproofing. However, I disagree with your supposition "Hard to imagine that sweat buildup in a winter glove would ever be a problem if you managed to seriously waterproof the exterior" - based on my experiences with non-porous materials like rubber and vinyl over-gloves. Try your experiment again, this time using only a pair of rubber gloves under the same conditions, for the same length of time. You'll quickly find that your hands are now "damp" from sweat. Now imagine that same glove in extreme weather riding conditions when the outside temp is something over 85 or 90 degrees. That fact that the "insulator" you're using doesn't breathe is the downfall to evaporating sweat. I realize you're considering your goals specifically for winter riding conditions. However, in the real riding world, many of us carry and use our waterproof gloves/gear regardless of season, when it gets wet out. I can do that with my Gerbings waterproof gloves. No chance in the world I'd consider using rubber gloves in 90 plus degree weather.
I can also tell you from experience that if you use waterproofing products like Bear Guard on your riding boots, you have effectively turned your boots into a swamp - regardless of whether it's raining or not - in 85 - 90 degree or higher temps when riding.
The bottom line is really pretty simple. Sweat IS a problem in most riding conditions and has to be considered when deciding how to keep dry. If the product doesn't breathe well enough to evaporate average sweat - it may prevent moisture from reaching you from the outside - but it will certainly become uncomfortably moist inside from sweat.
Disclaimer: everyone sweats differently. The above may apply to your body's metabolism - or not.
BMWMOA # 6218
That is a good test to see if gear is absolutely waterproof. I read a boot review once that did a similar bathtub test in addition to a hose test for about a dozen "waterproof" boots. The bottom line was that just about all the boots passed the hose test and only one ($400 pair) passed the bathtub test, but all gained weight in the bathtub test. I assume you let the Nikwax dry overnight before the test. Nikwax is a water-based solution, so you need to let it dry completely before the test. I use Nikwax Gloveproof on my Gerbing G3's, because that is what Gerbing recommended. My Gloveproof is in a plastic bottle, is that what you used? They also make fabric waterproofing which is probably quite a bit different. It would be interesting to try the hose test also, since immersion is probably beyond what you will ever run into in a real world situtation. I have ridden through very hard rain with the treated G3's, and even though I did not weight them before and after, they were certainly not waterlogged, and water does bead up on them.
2003 F650GS Dakar
What boots are you wearing in those pictures?
2003 F650GS Dakar
They're AlpineStar "Tech Roads" from the late 1990's.
Hit this link and read about all the gear Rob Lentini and I tested under severe conditions
The full Ride Report is located Here.
BTW - when Rob tried to mirror my walk into the Pacific - His Alpinestar "Malcolm Smith" boots soaked through in a heartbeat.
BMWMOA # 6218
You link to http://www.alpinestars.com/2002/sitemap/sitemap.htm appears to be broken on your page: http://www.nmpcs.com/50CC/essentials.htm.
I would like to look into boots that perform like that. Can you point me in the right direction?
2003 F650GS Dakar
I'm not surprised the link is broken, I posted it in 2000. Try this one.
I still have those boots and they're still waterproof - even with the sole being glued back on with Gorilla Glue about a year ago. Still wear them from time to time - they're like old friends.
That said, I just bought a pair of BMW's AllAround boots and have already "road tested" them. They work just as well as the AlpineStars do/did. I'm headed to Ojai the middle of next month. I might "ocean test" them at Ventura if I have time...
BMWMOA # 6218
The point about sweaty hands in hot wet weather is a good one to which I've yet to find a great answer. Hauling covers in the summer is pretty silly and space wasting and I don't even like them in the winter, though I have the Wunderlichs. And rubber gloves or the Aerostich items are guaranteed to give you hot sweaty hands after 15-20 minutes whether you wear them over gloves or by themselves. So far the best I've been able to do is deerskins or my Held Steves. Just let em get wet and dry off later when its hot- doesn't take long when you're riding. Recently added some Barkbusters to help extend the cold temp, thin glove use- be interesting to see how they contribute in hot weather.
This year I drowned one fpc, an accessory tailight and numerous TT HID 30 bulbs. Fixed the first two so they shouldn't repeat. Working on the last but may not to be able to fix the TT design flaws.
Be interested to hear a hard core review of the Gerbings 5. To me, the 3 is thick, too clunky and poor quality leather compared to a Held. I own em, they work but I sure don't like them and avoid them as much as possible.
I had a pair like those Yamaha snowmobile gloves many years ago when I rode all winter in upstate NY- wore them out from all the wet snow they saw. They sure keep hands warm but at a large cost in control feel- no way would I want them unless it was absolutely necessary these days.
For the record - the microwire gloves "hot-up" damn fast and really evenly. Much better than the old ones. They're also soft like a baby's butt....
BMWMOA # 6218
http://www.helimot.com/shopexd.asp?id=75 which are my favorite because I've got skinny feet attached to pencil ankles and this particular boot comes in narrow (and regular and wide) widths. They aint cheap!