Heated grips? This sounds like the kind of thing that would be either hokey or over-the-top luxurious. But they come in handy (no pun intended) for motorcyclists and snowmobile riders, so why not bicyclists as well? A’ME happens to make some very high-quality and effective grips that can keep your hands happy through the winter.
Remarkably, these grips are not overly chunky things, but fairly thin, made of durable yet comfy material. Each grip has a lead connecting it to the lithium ion polymer battery (said to be more rugged than lithium ion) encased in tough plastic. The two leads are covered in protective mesh, and connect via “DuxButt” connectors that are designed to be watertight and easy to plug in. They get thumbs up on both counts.
The grips put out six levels of heat, adjusted with a tiny button at the thumb end. Equally tiny blue LED lights let you know which setting you’re in, and pulse to show the grips are heating or glow steady when they’ve reached the set temperature. And heat they do, very effectively. I almost never used the highest setting. It takes a while for the heat to transfer through typically thick winter gloves, but once it does—wow, it’s really nice. I used thinner gloves after the first trial. Adding heat to my hands, rather than merely trying to preserve it with gloves or pogies, makes a noticeable and welcome difference, particularly as I have poor circulation. It also seemed to keep the rest of me warmer, or at least provide a mental boost. The warmth lasted for about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the heat level.
This awesome technology doesn’t come cheap—the complete set of grips, battery, charger and mounts goes for $199. If you live in a cold climate or are committed to riding through the winter, it could well be worth it. Now I just need a matching heating system for my feet…
The heated grips come in three styles. A’ME also makes a road bike version that wraps onto drop handlebars, also $199. All are made in the U.S.A. and include a two-year half-price replacement deal on damaged or worn-out grips, in addition to the six-month warranty.