Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves


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Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:35 pm



I've owned (and have been using) these gloves now for one full year. I think that's long enough to give a qualified opinion - and now that we're moving into fall, it's a good time to review heated gear.

After I spent one too many rides with frozen fingers, and even tried wearing thick winter mitts over top of my regular riding gloves to stay warm, I decided that the time had come for heated gloves. I evaluated quite a few different gloves, including several different models from Gerbing's, and finally decided on a cheaper model. That lasted one week - the gloves were clunky, left me with no control feel, and the heat was slow and uneven. I sent them back and ordered the more expensive Gerbing's T5 model - which list for $200. That seems like an obscene amount to spend on a pair of gloves that will see limited use throughout the riding season. But once I got them, I realized that I had made the right decision.

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These gauntlet-style gloves are of extremely high quality - and they are supremely comfortable. They aren't bundled up with lots of bulky insulation, so they don't feel like thick, winter gloves - instead, they have a thin layer of Thinsulate inside. They are built with very high quality leather, have a waterproof, breathable layer inside, and the liner is a supremely comfortable, soft fabric. There is ribbing on the top, but not much in the way of protective features - these gloves are purpose-built to keep your hands warm, and apart from the leather itself, I suspect they would not give a huge amount of protection in a crash. That said - there is a testimonial from a customer on their web site that claims that his Gerbing's gloves did exactly that when he was involved in a crash, so you can take that for what it's worth. The fingers are pre-curved, and it is very simple and comfortable to operate the controls.

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Of course, the big feature behind these gloves is the fact that they heat up. Unlike other heated gloves, and earlier Gerbing's gloves, these gloves utilize Gerbing's patented "Microwire" heating elements. Developed for the military, these extremely fine and tough heating wires are unique in that when power is applied, they heat up almost instantly. And I mean instantly - the instant you turn on the heat, you are feeling warmth in your fingers. I had worried about these thin heating elements breaking, but Gerbing's is so sure of this technology, that they offer a lifetime warranty on the heating elements.

The heating elements surround each finger, including the thumb, as well as the back of the hand. How well does it work? I have ridden in temperatures well below freezing, with my hands out in the wind, and with the gloves active, my fingers remain toasty warm, with no hot spots. The heating is very even and well-distributed. The biggest problem is actually having TOO MUCH heat - more on this in a minute.

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The gloves come with a set of wires connected in a "V" intended to run down each sleeve of your jacket, where they plug into coaxial connectors dangling out the end of each glove. If you have a Gerbing's jacket or liner, it has these wires already built into it, so you can dispense with the hassle of pulling the wires down through the arms of your jacket. The gloves also come with a fused battery harness, which wires your gloves into the battery of your bike.

All of the wires and harnesses are of the highest quality. If you like, you can wire this harness into your bike's battery, then plug the "V" wire into the harness, and the gloves into each end of the "V" wire. Your gloves will heat up instantly. Do you want to do this? Absolutely not! You will toast your fingers and hands, and be uncomfortably hot. I tried this at first - plugging and unplugging the gloves as they got too hot/too cold. Obviously this was not an acceptable way to use them.

The solution is to use a temperature controller. Gerbing's offers a portable unit that can be attached to your clothing, or velcroed to your bike, for $70:



In addition, they offer a unit that can be permanently installed in your bike, for $100:



Both of these have a small dial that adjusts the amount of heat getting to the gloves (or any other Gerbing's product you plug into them). They also offer dual controllers, so that you can have two different Gerbing's heated products, and control them separately. I would highly recommend that you consider the controller to go along with the heated gear.

On the other hand, I wanted dual controllers built into my bike, but did not want to spend the $130 they were charging - so having a background in electronics, I ended up building my own, for about a quarter of the cost. If you have a similar background, you could do the same.

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The palms of the gloves have a synthetic rubbery substance stitched to them. This layer is very tough, and gives excellent grip on the grips and controls of the motorcycle. The palms are also reinforced with extra padding, to protect against abrasion in the event of a crash.

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A velcro strap is located at the wrist of each glove, so that it can be snugged in place, holding the glove on your hand securely. I found I had to adjust these only once, and then just left it that way permanently.

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At the bottom of the cuff is an elastic string that can be pulled taught and secured, closing the cuff of the glove against the jacket to prevent any cold air entry. I have never once used this feature - the gloves secure very tightly against my jacket just the way they are, and I've never had any problem with cold air getting up inside them.

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I mounted my two power outlets next to the gas filler on my GL1500 - these outlets are the only indication on my bike that I have a heated gear system in place. I purchased two of their coiled extension cords:



Coiled tightly, these are a foot long, but stretch to 4 feet if required - short enough that they don't get in the way, but more than long enough to keep me from damaging anything should I forget to unplug before I dismount (and I do this often!).

The gloves draw 2.2 amps, or 27 watts, when on at full strength. Most Goldwings have more than enough excess electrical capacity to run them. If you switch some of your incandescent light bulbs (running, brake, turn signals, dash, etc.) to LEDs, you can free up many times this much, allowing you enough capacity to run gloves and other heated items.

So, how much do I like these gloves? I absolutely LOVE them. They're SO comfortable, that I find myself wearing them even when it's a bit cool out - not cold enough to hook up the heated wires, but too warm for summer gloves. Riding without freezing fingers makes rides - particularly long-distance rides, so much more pleasurable (and safe!). I could kick myself for riding for so many years without heated gear such as these gloves.

They're of the highest quality, they're supremely comfortable, they're warm, waterproof, and they look good! My only wish is that there was a bit of hard armor or better padding on the knuckles. Overall, I give them two thumbs up!



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clwydian
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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby clwydian » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:59 pm

I was quite surprised that my GL1500 had cruise control and reverse but no heated grips. I used some battery heated gloves from Tandy for a while but worried that they weren't designed for protection. Then I left them in a cafe one day and they vanished!....

I'm thinking about them again now.I get whitefinger (just one usually) when the nights get colder. My heated grips on the Deauville have fixed that completely.

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby Blue highways » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:29 pm

"The heating elements surround each finger, including the thumb, as well as the back of the hand."

But Gerbing produced and sold many T5 Gloves in error that only had heating elements on the back of the glove . . . and Gerbing will NOT replace/warranty them! Great technology (microwire) but very poor product quality control to say nothing of their response to consumer problems with products not meeting their own design specifications. Gerbing's argument is that the gloves function as manufactured . . . as opposed to as designed . . . serious pretzel logic in my opinion.

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby lhelber » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:08 pm

I looked at a set of T-5s the other day and really liked what I saw. Upon closer inspection I noticed that one of the tags said the gloves are lined with a with a waterproof layer but the outer leather shell is not water proof and needs to be treated otherwise the leather will saturate and will take a long time to dry. Did you treat your gloves and have you used the gloves in the rain?

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm

Blue highways wrote:"The heating elements surround each finger, including the thumb, as well as the back of the hand."

But Gerbing produced and sold many T5 Gloves in error that only had heating elements on the back of the glove . . . and Gerbing will NOT replace/warranty them! Great technology (microwire) but very poor product quality control to say nothing of their response to consumer problems with products not meeting their own design specifications. Gerbing's argument is that the gloves function as manufactured . . . as opposed to as designed . . . serious pretzel logic in my opinion.


That's not quite correct. T5 gloves manufactured before about 2011 were heated on the back only. A newer version was then released that heats the palms as well. It was not a manufacturing "error" - just a newer design of glove.

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:54 pm

lhelber wrote:I looked at a set of T-5s the other day and really liked what I saw. Upon closer inspection I noticed that one of the tags said the gloves are lined with a with a waterproof layer but the outer leather shell is not water proof and needs to be treated otherwise the leather will saturate and will take a long time to dry. Did you treat your gloves and have you used the gloves in the rain?


I haven't had them in the rain, but yes, I do treat them. Here's what I found a Gerbings rep had to say:

The general differences between the G3's and the T5's is insulation and construction. The G3's are thinner, with 70 grams of Thinsulate. This makes for a softer, more pliable and less bulky glove. We recommend that for riders who ride in above-freezing temps. Below those temps, the G3's still make plenty of heat, but you have to turn them up higher. That creates a greater temperature disparity between the heat-producing wires and the natural hand temperature at which you want to ride. For some people, that means the gloves feel a little "hot" when it gets really cold. I wear my G3's most cold days here in WA, although I was out in 29 degrees (and not raining, yay!) last Saturday and I took my T5's.

The 100-gram Thinsulate in the T5's does mean that this is a slightly heavier glove. It's also a little stiffer, although mine have broken in and are like butter to wear. With the extra insulation, the T5's require a bit less heat at sub-freezing temps, as less heat is lost to contact transfer with the cold air, and more heat is retained inside the glove (all gloves, regardless of build, lose heat to the environment on cold days). The T5's, because of their extra insulation, were designed with flexure points at the knuckles and on the back of the hand, along with stiff knuckle pads to help deflect minor road debris. This requires more pieces and more labor in their manufacture, and therefore they're priced higher than the G3's. In fact, the name T5 came about because it's a more "Technical" glove to manufacture. And just in case you were wondering, the name G3 was given to that glove because it had three small "Gel" pads in the palms (The T5, introduced a couple of years later, also has gel palm pads).

Some discussion has been offered regarding which gloves are waterproof. All our gloves come with a waterproof membrane. This means your hands will stay dry. However, the leather outer is not waterproof, which means it can get wet. Permanent waterproofing of leather has, in our testing, adverse effects on the long-term life of the leather. And if the leather cracks, you're left with a leaking glove and no interior moisture barrier. Temporary repeatable waterproofing treatments, such as NikWax's Glove Proof or Sno-Seal, do an excellent job of repelling water, need to be repeated only about twice a year, and do not have adverse effects on the leather, so your investment lasts longer.

Sizing has also been discussed. Industry experts agree that the two things we motorcyclist purchase that are generally too large to function as intended are helmets and gloves. We urge our customers to get the gloves that fit the snuggest, yet are comfortable. This is particularly true with winter gloves, where you don't want to be dealing with both the added thickness, as well as a fit that's too large. And remember, leather will stretch a little. My first Gerbing's G3's were a size Large. The sizing hasn't changed, but I now wear a Medium. I get better heat, better feel of my bike's controls, and a pair of gloves that have shaped themselves to the point where they feel like they were custom made. However, each customer must make that decision for themselves.

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby lhelber » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:43 am

Thanks for the great reply. That answered a lot of my questions. Now I just need to find a Nikwax Glove Proof supplier. Found the stuff for boots.

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Re: Gerbing's Microwire T5 Heated Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:52 am

lhelber wrote:Thanks for the great reply. That answered a lot of my questions. Now I just need to find a Nikwax Glove Proof supplier. Found the stuff for boots.


Right here: Nikwax Glove Proof




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