Gerbing's Heated Insoles

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Gerbing's Heated Insoles

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:59 pm

I've owned (and have been using) these insoles 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 toes and feet, I decided that the time had come for heated gear. I had already purchased a set of Gerbing's heated gloves, so I thought I would add a set of insoles to keep my feet warm. Nothing is worse than riding with frozen feet - and with your feet hanging out in the wind, it happens quickly in cold weather. I had considered heated socks, but I really wanted to be able to ride in cold temperatures with more than one pair of socks, and didn't want to purchase multiple heated socks - so heated insoles was my answer. I purchased a set from $69 from Cyclemax.


The insoles come in various sizes, and consist of a pair of rubbery pads, with wires emerging from the arch of each insole. There is a fabric covering on the top of each insole, which keeps your feet from getting sweaty with the heat they produce. The insoles are fairly soft and compliant, and are actually very comfortable to walk on - the top half is well-sculpted to your foot - the arch is not too high, and it cradles your keep and instep quite well.


While the insoles come in various sizes, they can be trimmed slightly at the front end, to adjust them should they be slightly too long to fit into your boots.


The insoles are actually quite thin. My boots fit quite well without any insoles installed, and I had thought that they were going to be too tight with these insoles installed - but my worries were unfounded. With the insoles installed, the boots still fit very well (if a tiny bit more snug), and are comfortable to walk in. I cannot tell when riding that they are in my boots. The only indication that I have that they are installed is that when I walk in them, I can feel the wire coming up from my arch, up the inside of the boot. I found it is important to make sure this wire is not twisted when putting the boot on, to minimize the amount of space it takes up in the boot. I think it would be a good idea for Gerbing's to consider using a special, flatter wire for this, to prevent any discomfort. As I said however, this is only when walking - when riding, I can't tell that there is anything there (unless the wire is badly twisted).


The insoles come with a set of wires connected in a "V" intended to run down each leg of your riding pants, where they plug into coaxial connectors at the end of each insole wire. If you have Gerbing's pants, they have these wires already built into them, so you can dispense with the hassle of pulling the wires down through the legs of your pants. The insoles also come with a fused battery harness, which wires your insoles 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 insoles into each end of the "V" wire. Your insoles will heat up fairly quickly. Do you want to do this? Absolutely not! You will roast your feet, and be uncomfortably hot. I tried this at first - plugging and unplugging the insoles 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 insoles (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.

Another option, not available for their gloves or jacket/liners, is battery power. Because of the small amount of power these insoles draw, Gerbing's offers a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that will power the insoles for several hours (depending on how high you have the heat set).


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 insoles draw 1.2 amps, or 15 watts, when on at full strength. Pretty much every motorcycle has 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 insoles? I love them! Unlike the gloves, they do not heat up instantly - it takes a few minutes for them to fully heat up (and cool off), so it can take a bit of time getting the levels just right. At full power, they are uncomfortably hot, and even in the coldest weather, I rarely run them this way.

I can't imagine riding in cold weather without these, as well as my heated gloves. If you live in an area with cold weather, and want to extend your riding season substantially, I would highly suggest investing in them!

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