Summer is well and truly over and now there’s a good chance you fall into one of two camps. You either bike for leisure, avoid riding in the cold and wet and place your bike into hibernation until next year; or you’re a year round biker, by choice or necessity and just gear up to stay warm and fend off the elements. If you fall into this latter group, then you will be all too familiar with cold hands and numb fingers. Never underestimate wind chill, it maybe 5°C outside, but at 60 mph wind chill brings that down to -11°C! (Wind chill chart) Once your fingers are numb, it becomes painful, distracting and drastically affects your riding for the worse. Even the best winter gloves won’t protect you for long against that cold and so here I present a few options to tackle cold hands.
Quick heads up: Lidl are doing cheap motorcycle rain covers from the 3rd October this week. They look quite basic, but are dirt cheap at just £9. At a fifth of the price of an Oxford one and with a 3 year warranty, I’m sure you’ll get your moneys worth. I’ll certainly be grabbing a couple, so watch this space for a review.
Also this week, Lidl are doing base layers and cheap hi-vis waistcoats. Previous base layers from Lidl proved very effective last winter, so I can definitely recommend them. At just £2 for the hi-vis, I’m dubious as to how they will stand up to high speed riding. Still worth a quick look though.
I recently purchased these boots second hand off ebay, after the straps on my old Hein Gericke Bullson boots started to wear and looked ready to snap at any moment. I opted for Alpinestars as I’ve always found their gear to be good quality. It’s easy to see why they’re still going strong after recently celebrating their 50th anniversary. Granted their brand carries a premium price, but popularity does mean a large number of their products can be found second hand and so with a little patience, some real bargains can be found. These S-MX 4 boots will normally set you back in the region of £150, but I picked up a pair in good nick for just £40. Sorted.
To celebrate one full year of riding since passing my DAS test, I’m kicking off a little competition to win some handy goodies useful to all bikers out there:-
First Prize: NikWax Leather Care Kit. Featuring leather cleaner, leather restorer, aqueous wax for footwear, glove waterproofer and visor water repellant. Ideal combination to see you through wet weather. I reviewed this leather care kit earlier in the year.
Second Prize: Can of ACF50 anti-corrosion spray. Halts existing rust and prevents new. Perfect for protecting you bike through the winter.
These boots are made for riding. I purchased these boots almost a year ago during the ‘closing down’ sale at Hein Gericke when the UK arm of the company went into administration. As such they were heavily reduced at cost me around £60. Consider this a long term review on how they have fared as I’ve worn them 5 days a week for 12 months during my daily commute.
I was initially drawn to these boots as I was looking for something I could wear during the day at work without looking too obvious as motorcycle boots. The discreet black leather design fit this bill well. The Sheltex layer promised to provide waterproof protection and the reinforced sole – impact protection. I took a size 11, but do have narrow feet. The fit of the boots was pretty good, but a little wide, so did necessitate yanking the strap pretty tight. The next size down was too cramped on my toes.
The wonderful people at Hoo-Rag recently sent a couple of their Bandanas in for review. Less well known here in the UK, however the Hoo-Rag is a big product over in the US. Essentially it is a tube of material that can be worn in a multitude of different manners. As a biker I’ve been wearing it predominantly as a neck gaiter, but of course it need not be just for ride outs on the motorcycle.
The key thing about the Hoo-Rag, is it’s made from a single seamless piece of soft polyester micro fiber tube. No annoying seams, or labels, just one nice stretchy, soft tube to protect your neck from the wind, cold, dust, insects and so on. Wear it round your neck, over you face, or go all ’80s rocker style and wear it as a headband or bandana. With such versatility and loads of different patterns available, there should be a Hoo-Rag to suit almost everyone. They even do one for your Dog!
Continue reading “Hoo Rag Bandana / Neck Gaiter Review” »
I picked up this kit a few months ago and have been using it every now and again to clean up and condition my leather motorcycle gear. It’s a pretty decent box of bottles covering, head to toe pretty much everything you need. You get leather cleaner, leather restorer, waterproofing wax, glove waterproofing and visor water repellent. Not a bad bundle for £20.
The glove waterproofing I used on my Gerbings XR12 gloves, as recommended in their care instructions and on my wifes Buffalo leather gloves. The bottle has a foam top sponge dispenser type thing, which lets you apply and rub the solution all over your gloves easily. Once dry, the solution is completely invisible, but the palms did feel a little slippery on my grips for a day or two. In the wet, it performed exactly as desired, no water leaks, dry hands – job done, big thumbs up.
Dammit. Just broken the zip on my Hein Gericke jacket. This is the waterproof inside pocket. No idea what happened, just zipped it up, then found my keys falling out. Not good, expected better really, jacket is only 9 months old.
Might see if I can take back, however I’m not sure I still have the receipt. Not that you should need one for faulty goods. Otherwise I’ll shall gave to look into getting it repaired.
My replacement Gerbing’s heated gloves arrived last week. Quick turnaround time again from Gerbing’s. Good stuff, but they really should be more reliable than this. Of course, sods law strikes again, Monday was fairly mild, so I found myself scrabbling to turn them down on route to work as my knuckles were burning!
I picked these gloves up second hand after being thoroughly disappointed with my Hein Gericke Pathan gloves. I opted for them based on their wide spread regard on various motorcycle forums and due to their abundance on eBay cheap. As such, I found this pair in almost new condition for £30, a bargain considering they sell new for over £100.
The gloves are made from Gore-tex, so totally waterproof. On top of this is, there are sections of leather and a decent amount of knuckle protection. There are two Velcro straps per glove one around the wrist under a flap and one on the cuff. I found the cuff a bit on the short side and didn’t go over my jacket very well, thus letting in a draft and water. My arms are quite long though. These gloves aren’t however the latest iteration, later versions appear to resolve this with an extended storm.