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DIY heated grips?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by m.is.for.michael, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been struggling with the cold on my commute for the last month or so; I'm now wearing liners, and woolen gloves under my winter (fleece lined, waterproof) bike gloves. A friend suggested that heated grips would be a better way to go, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with the generic DIY kits?

    I mean, like these $5 ones or these $75 ones.

    Obviously I'm a cheapskate and would prefer to spend the $70 on other stuff....but I don't have much experience (read: none) with pulling my bike apart and putting it back together; so I'm wondering if anyone has any pointers.

  2. A real DIY man would just pull off the bar end and pop a bit of preheated charcoal in ;)
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  3. Or run a bypass from the engine cooling system that runs hot water through the handlebars
  4. Or for those with air-cooled bikes, a pipe from the exhaust into the bars.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. I tried the cheap ones for a bit, as an experiment. The shrink wrap system never worked properly and thus the grips never sat properly, particularly on the throttle side.

    Electrically it was all a bid dodgy too, so in the end I took them off.

    Pay a bit more and get the integrated set. $75 is only 2 cartons of beer.
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  6. ibast, you had me convinced at only $75 but when you put it in perspective (2 delicious cartons of beer), I said fk that!

    OP, if you're a genuine cheap bastard, carve some wind-deflecting Bark Busters out of a couple of 2L milk containers and 2 x 35mm hose clamps :finger:
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Send a memo to Erik Buell - he'd do some shit like that.
  8. Just buy a cheap toaster and use the elements out of that with some gaffer tape.
  9. those $75 ones ($90 with postage), will shit you with the wire coming out at 90deg like that..
    The Oxford ones have wires coming out ta different angle, which makes using throttle a lot safer. there's 2nd hand ones on fleabay for $65ish
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  10. Get the Oxfords as per @mexiwi@mexiwi 's post. That's $20 less than I could get em for just 4 weeks ago :cry:
  11. Go to Cheapskates anonymous, get better, then buy a set of Oxfords.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Hi Michael,
    I've fit a set of the $5 ones, and I've seen the good ones.
    Like you I'm a bit of a cheapskate. I hate spending money on a name or packaging unless I have to.
    The biggest difference between the cheapies and the better ones is that the cheapies only have 2 settings.
    On or off. The better ones have up to 4 heat settings.
    If you take your time on the install then the cheapies can do well. If you don't like them then you can always put on a better pair as you really aren't doing anything differently or particularly unnecessary.
    Whereabouts are you based ? You can have a look at mine.
  13. If I were going to do DIY heated grips I'd be doing it with resistance wire, a china pwm controller and some other stuff some of which I probably have laying around. I'd do it more for fun than any other reason, I don't think it'd be worthwhile for cost/trouble.
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  14. I've realized I do want heated grips but not Oxfords: I don't like the button style controller or how big it is and don't like the silly lights. Still undecided about making my own; it'll be over $60 easy for something with 20-25 watts per grip at full power and the other features I want.
  15. I fitted Oxfords on mine, love the idea of choosing the correct setting for the ride and also you can direct wire to battery as they have a power cut off in case you forget to turn them off when the bike isn't running so it won't flatten the battery.
    The kit is installation friendly and is set and forget.
    I am not one for fitting the cheap and nasty stuff as it usually means having to purchase the cheap and then the better grips later when the first set dies.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Coming from the UK I'll give you my advice on this:

    Heating grips dont really work that great in VERY cold weather. I found this out first hand and the logic is pretty obvious:
    In the cold weather you are wearing as many layers as you can on your hands. Under your hands you have the heated grips producing heat for the bottom of your hand. You also have a ton of layers of insulation between you and those layers and are constantly trying to add more layers. The cold air is coming from the top over your hands and freezing the top. The heat from underneath barely reaches your hands and the cold from on top definitely does.

    I've heard great things about heated liners and it makes sense as the heat is being produced INSIDE the layers of insulation you are wearing and so the more layers you put ontop of it, the warmer your hands are going to stay rather than the insulation acting to keep the heat out.
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  17. I had Oxford heated grips on my last bike and they were great, very welcome on cold nights!

    I haven't yet got a set for my new bike, but I've found with a good set of gloves my hands don't get as cold as other parts of me (neck, face, legs).

    I don't think DIY is worth it, you can pick up quality grips for a bit over $100 and the effort and potential issues with a DIY set up aren't justifiable IMO.