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Last year I was lamenting having a bike sitting in the garage when it was 50 degrees or less and that "sunny weekend" day came by teasing and taunting me to ride. Around here the weather stays in the 30's-50's from October through around March. I wanted to ride but it was too darn cold. This year I bought First Gear a heated jacket liner, pant liner, gloves and dual controller. First Gears heated gear is made by Warm&Safe. Many people commented on forums and reviews they like Warm&Safe better than Gerbings. I did not consider the Tourmaster because not many dealers carry them around here. All told this setup ran about $650 bucks. First Gear, Warm&Safe and Gerbing all have pricing agreements that bind there retailers to advertising MSRP so finding a deal on them is not easy. That is a lot of money but the first time it kept me from freezing my ass off, it would be worth it. I know that there are layering techniques that can be pretty effective I admit at times I am too lazy to work that hard and sometimes it's just easier to spend the money. Here are my thoughts on each piece.

First test conditions:
My bike club was going on a ride over the Cascade Mountains yesterday and I could not go. I did however meet them in the foothills for breakfast and rode throughout the morning and early afternoon with my brother. My day started at 50 degrees, dipping down to 36 degrees with dense wet fog and back to between 40-55 degrees for the rest of my riding time.

The Jacket
- I am 6'-0" 250 52" chest 42" waist. I opted for the XXL. I wore my Victory Leather Jacket over it. The jacket fit very well and allowed a nice freedom of movement without creating any big air pockets against your body that can cause heat heat loss. It's external appearance is nice enough if you want to wear it as a light jacket into a restaurant for example. This jacket is available in a 90W and 65W version. I bought the 90W and it was really warm. The heat was evenly dispersed with no single hot spots to speak of. A nice surprise was the heat in the neck/collar area. At 36 degrees and 65mph = wind chill of 15 degrees, it was sufficient on full blast but not excessively warm. When it warmed back up to the low 50's I had to turn the controiler way down so I didn't cook. I would say if you going to ride in freezing or sub freezing weather get the 90W. If you are just wanting to take the chill off and be comfortable on +40 rides the 65W would be OK. All in all I am very pleased with the jacket.

The Pants Liner
- The pants liner size I chose was Lrg/Med. They are made out of spandex and fit snuggly. On the pants liner you need to. Today I wore them over a pair of underwear and a pair of Carhartt jeans on top of that. It would be optimal if I were to wear something more wind blocking like my Joe Rocket overpants or leather chaps but here is my feedback anyway. It was adequate on full when it was 36 degrees. At 50 I ran it at about 70% on the controller and was very comfortable. The higher setting over the jacket was due to the higher heat loss and wind chill due to my jeans. Garmet fit very well even under a pair of jeans and provided even heat. Again, very pleased with the pants.

Gloves - While the gloves by themselves were warm enough but the only heat I felt from them was on the back of my had and none on the fingers. That was a deal killer on the gloves since they were $129 bucks by themselves. I switched to my deerskin medium weight gloves and was just as warm and had better mobility. The gloves are getting returned ASAP.

The Controller
- First Gear offers many types of controllers. Dual, single, mounted non-mounted, remote etc. I bought the dual semi-mounted. I am not going to explain them all but I will explain the single vs. the dual. The jacket and pants can be run in series so a single controller can moderate the heat for both garments. A dual controller allows separate temp settings for each garment. Since I don't always ride with the same gear, like yesterday I may have the jacket to warm compared to the pants. If I happened to wear chaps over what I had, a single control may have been fine. With the dual controller I was able to be comfortable the whole time. The controller was easy to install other than having to lengthen the power wires since the battery if unconventionally mounted up front on the bike. Mid mounted battery setups should be really easy.

Well just to wrap up, these are some thoughts that I felt might help some of you who may be grappling with a similar decision. I knew I made the right decision after rolling up to a stop with my brother when he begged for a coffee stop to warm up while I was perfectly comfy. When I am able to have many more days like it, the money will be an afterthought.
 
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Reactions: Shiner

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Great review ZZ.

When I lived in Colorado, I rode all year long but not when there was snow on the roads. I've ridden in sub-zero weather numerous times to/from work/gym in Boulder back to the tech center (70 miles total). I couldn't have done it without cold weather and heated gear. I never did the full heated gear, however. I had a cold weather coat with liner, winter riding gloves, full-face mask and cold weather pants with liner. Essentially I looked like a hockey player! The only heated gear I've used has been the heated vest. I found that if I kept my core heated, the other items were more than sufficient to keep me toasty. Actually, with this setup, I would only go to level two before starting to sweat profusely.

Now that we live in California, we still ride with our vests and while I've never actually turned mine on here yet, it goes a long way to keeping the boss happy.
 

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You were 3 days late with your review. Don't let it happen again. LOL
I bought a Gears heated jacket liner on Friday. Haven't tried it yet, but it looked well made, with the controller, it was $179.00 Cdn. Similar to the rest, with dual outlets for gloves or pants, SAE plug so I'm just going to use the same plug for the Optimax battery charger that is already installed on the bike.
 
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