in the depths of winter, having warm hands on a ride can be an absolute essential. Cold fingers are uncomfortable, painful and the lack of feel leads to reduced finesse with the controls. Heated grips can help, but they still leave the back of the hand exposed to the chill. Bar muffs are an effective solution to that, but they come with their own compromises of not being able to see or feel handlebar switches, and at speed the wind force can cause them to press against the levers, either applying the brake or slipping the clutch… not good.
So, a better way to keep the blood flowing is a pair of heated gloves. Good ones should be no bulkier than standard winter gloves, allowing control and feel to be maintained, and the all-round heat application means fewer cold spots. One downside can be the fiddle of plugging them into a wiring loom for connection to the bike’s battery, but the new Ion gloves from Weise neatly sidestep that problem by being entirely self contained. The power for the heating elements is provided by a pair of 2200mAh rechargeable batteries secreted into the cuffs, which are enough to power the gloves for up to four hours. A compact USB charging cable is provided.
There are three levels of heat settings, selected by a large and tactile button on the cuff which changes colour to indicate the level of heat chosen.The heat feels most concentrated on the back of the hand and the fingers – the most exposed areas when riding.
The Ions are made from a combination of full grain leather and polyester, with a wind and waterproof membrane. Thinsulate insulation is fitted, with a 200gsm layer on the back of the hand and a thinner 100gsm layer on the palm which helps to maintain feel of the controls. To ensure a draught-free integration with a wide range of jackets, the storm cuff has a two-layer design, with an elasticated inner layer and a hook-and-loop adjustable outer cuff to make a nice tight over/under cuff junction.
Safety features haven’t been skimped on, with TPU rigid knuckle armour, padded finger panels and dual-layer leather on areas of the palm and scaphoid areas for added protection all adding up to a CE (and a now-defunct UKCA) accreditation.
On the bike the Ions feel sturdy and suitably tough to withstand the elements during winter rides. Durability will have to prove itself over the months ahead, but first impressions are good, with no loose threads or uneven stitching. In low-double-digit temperatures, they proved to be adequately warm without having to activate the heating elements, but once the sun went down and the air temperature plummeted being able to switch them on and continue in comfort was a boon. As the winter freeze has started the Ions are certainly proving their worth – in combination with heated grips they kept my hands warm enough on the -2 deg C commute to work: usuall, even with full-on winter gloves, I am normally in pain and have no feeling by the time i get to work.
Weise Ion gloves come in sizes S-3XL for an SRP of £199.99, including two batteries, charging cable and, like all Weise clothing, they’re covered by a two-year warranty.
The Key Collection; 01179 719200; [email protected]