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Layering with heated liner?


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I finally bit the bullet and got a heated jacket liner. I looked at Gerbings and Aerostich, went with Gerbings, liked the fit the best.


So, what do you wear with these? I'm assuming a lightweight long sleeve shirt under and my normal riding jacket without liner over.


Any other suggestions?



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I'll also add a wind breaking layer over the Gerbings but beneath my riding jacket if it gets cold enough. I always have lightweight moisture wicking long sleeve shirt on as a base layer regardless.

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What Charlie said except if you have a real waterproof jacket (Bellstaf etc), you don't need the wind breaker. With my BMW Savannah II, I put the gortex liner over the gerbings.

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I take the liner out of my jacket and wear the Gerbings/or Tourmaster elec over a long sleeved t-shirt. If it is raining, I put my thin rain liner on between the outer jacket and the elec liner. That rain liner is great, packs very small, stops wind penetration thru the elec liner, as well as H2O repel. Works well even when it is very cold wind chill. Good luck with your purchase, I am sure you will like it.

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Kevin, that would depend on how cold & damp you want to ride at..


As a rule I ALWAYS wear a light weight long sleeve T shirt under the Gerbings jacket liner.. That helps keep the liner heat more even on my skin & prevent hot spots..


Now on what I wear over the liner depends on the temperature & humidity..

Down to about 40°f or so I just wear my outer coat over the liner & decent gloves..


If riding in 30°f to 40°f I usually wear a heavy sweat shirt or my insulated jacket inner liner over the Gerbings..


At temps below 30°f down to about 15°f I wear a turtle neck high quality Thinsulate long underwear top & seal my neck area with a ski band.. I also seal my wrist area to glove area to keep any air from entering there.. At these temps I also usually wear heated gloves & long underwear bottoms under my insulated riding pants.. I don’t use heated sox but toss a couple of hunting type chemical toe warmers into my boots (good for about 2-3 hours then have to replace with new toe warmers)..


At colder temps or very high humidity I also use a long Bacala under my helmet & anti fog on the face shield.. I also make darn sure to seal the neck & wrist area as well as seal the pants to boot area.. (a cold breeze up a pant leg or up a coat arm will cool your body off right quick)..


At temps below 0°f I usually keep the riding times to 1 hour or less between warming stops.. I have had some helmet frost & face shield freezing issues at those cold temps as well as keeping my feet warm..




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0 degrees F. Twisty, you da man.


I have found turtle necks (just the neck part) at workwear places for construction workers work very well. They also have light belaclavas that will fit under a helmet and often have very well insulated work gloves and thermal undies at much better prices than bikewear and ski shops.

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I usually have on a regular short sleeve t-shirt under the gerbings (synthetic, unless I'm just commuting - then I'll get lazy and wear cotton...). Mid fall or Spring, I'm liable to add a fleece or wool sweater OVER the Gerbings. And deep in mid-winter I'll replace the wool sweater with a synthetic inuslated layer (like primaloft...). And all of that is always under the Aerostich. Sometimes I'll add a balaclava, or more often, just a neck gaiter.


Come to think of it, it's not uncommon for me to have on a big red wool union suit (long johns) underneath all that, but try to keep the electric jacket close to your skin. Mostly, you want to add insulation OVER the gerbings. As mentioned earlier - a thin layer under the electric prevents hot spots.


I've also found that a light down jacket works great, but I never do that around here because it's just too dang wet.


Oh, and the heatroller is tops!

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I wear a heat retaining, form fitting, long sleeve undershirt from Shampa, my Gerbings and an air tight Tourmaster shell without its liner. I've been toasty in temps in the upper 20's.


I hope you bought the heat control unit. It makes it easy to keep comfortable as the temperature changes.

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LDComfort base year round, short sleeve and shorts for summer and long sleeve and tights for spring and fall. Aerostich Darien and electrics used with this setup and have had great rides and no problems with comfort. I stop riding when the white stuff starts to fly and I will not go out in the spring until the roads loose that white salt haze we get around here. I carry a lightweight fleece to put on for food stops and sometimes I just keep it on when getting back on the bike. There are some great fabrics out there that will make the ride a pleasure so take your time and enjoy!




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A tip for those who plan to do a long ride, travel, and count on keeping warm with electrics. Always have with you some good additional warm gear for a emergency. Electrics can fail. Only alternative, if available, is to go to a store (Walmart?) and buy a heavy sweatshirt or something. I had to do that once.

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Thanks for all the good ideas.


One of the reasons I went with the heated liner was to try and reduce the amount of stuff I need to carry. The biggest reason was I wanted to reduce the stops to adjust for temperature.


I did get a dual temperature control. I'm hoping with the adjustability, that I should be able to start off on a ride and just adjust for temperature changes throughout the day by twisting a knob instead of stopping to remove or add layers. I only need to go down to mid 30s for my riding.


My strategy will be my Firstgear Rainier jacket down to about 55 or so. Then I'll add the Gerbing. If it's raining or colder than about 40 or so I'll add my NorthFace Rain/Wind liner on top of the Gerbing. All of this over a long sleeve REI base layer. I'll let you know how it goes.


I'll be interested to see how long I last before getting pants, gloves, and insoles. :-)



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Kevin, if you keep your body core warm, which you probably already know, you will be warmer all over. Hands go first for me, but a couple of those heat packs in the gloves or on the underside of the wrist work wonders keeping blood flow to the fingers warm.


Also, many here may not like to stop at one of these shops, but thrift stores can be a good source of long sleeve items to layer with, and these shops are often in some of the smaller towns in out of the way places. Cheap too usually. $3 fleece saved my bacon once. Good luck staying warm.

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When it drop below 40F, consider some fleece lined cycling tights. They are shaped for having your leg bent, and they have a heavier lining in the front where the wind hits your legs, but overall they are very lightweight and thin for the amount of warmth they add.


I still ride in jeans most of the time and wear the tights under my jeans.. and add rain pants as w windbreaker if it get scolder...or it's raining.


Yup, keep your core warm, and everyhting else stays pretty warm. Actually, keeping the core a little warmer than what is comfortable, forces your body to increase blood flow to the skin to remove the heat. Look at it this way, your lungs and kidneys are in your core and can readily act like heat exchangers distributiing the excess heat in your cheast to the rest of the body.


The key it to keep your core as warm as possible without sweating. I find a heat vest alone works fine, with the wind protection on the RT, I don't really need the arm liners. I just use a long sleeve shirt under the vest. I don't ride below 40F, so I haven't really needed to layer much past that... but a base layer long sleeve shirt under the first, would do the trick.

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Using the proper garments for a given situation can dramatically improve your comfort. And these days, with the technical fabrics, blends and weaves available, you can go a long way toward maximizing the value of good heated gear.


First, let's set some basics. Heated liners, like jacket liners and pant liners, are designed to create and deliver heat. They are not designed to be your base layer nor are they designed to seal off your body from the elements. Therefore, a good base layer and a good outer jacket shell are essential in order to derive maximum benefits.


What's a good base layer? Well, in milder cold, cotton does surprisingly well, provided that the humidity isn't too high and you're not sweating. When you perspire, cotton should not be your primary choice. If cotton isn't called for, then capilene, UnderArmour, or any one of a number of synthetic blends will do an excellent job.


Heated gear. Let's assume you're wearing a heated jacket liner, which is easily the most popular heated garment sold in the motorcycling industry. There are two kinds of fit. The tight, elasticized fit. And the slightly looser, but still cozy fit. Both will get heat to your body, but in different ways. Here's the difference:


All popular heated clothing uses some form of resistance wire, be it stainless, copper or carbon fiber. These wires are woven into heating pads which are sewn into the jacket liner. The wires are, in the case of some manufacturers, more than 1.5 inches apart in these pads (although they're closer in the pads used by the higher-quality companies). Therefore, when a pad is elastically pulled tight to your body, you will feel the heat from the wire directly, but not evenly, due to the gaps in wire placement. These types of jacket liners use your skin, located between the hot wires, to even out the heat. And frankly, your skin is a lousy conductor. So, while you feel heat and that may keep you from feeling cold, you're not nearly as comfortable as you might otherwise be. Still, since you ARE feeling heat, it's easy to believe that this is what heated clothing is all about. Uh, not really. Mostly, such elasticized jacket liners are made this way in order to fit more people into fewer sizes so that manufacturing and inventory costs can be lower, and profits higher. It's an understandable business plan, but you, as the consumer, do pay a price in total comfort.


Jacket liners that fit more cozy than tight, work differently. In these, the idea is to have the heating wires heat the thin layer of air between you and the liner. The air, then, heats you more evenly all around your torso. No hot spots. Your skin doesn't have to work as a conductor. And you feel like you're riding in your own electric blanket. Come to think of it, that's exactly how your electric blanket works, i.e. by heating the air underneath it so that the air can warm you. In order to get that "cozy" fit, such manufacturers have to make and inventory more sizes. But in order to provide you that even, all-around warmth, there's no shortcut.


The final thing to consider in a good heated gear setup is the outer jacket. Keep in mind that whatever the temp will be, the wind chill at 60mph is going to be colder. In some cases a LOT colder. Therefore, proper materials and sealing is essential. You need a jacket that blocks the wind (usually, that also means it's waterproof). It should have a tall collar with an easy-wrap closure that lets you create a windproof seal. The sleeves should be long enough that your glove gauntlets cover them completely. And it should seal around the perimeter of the waist, either by adjustable belt or by elastic.


If your jacket liner has an insulated and removable liner, remove it. Truly cold weather will find its limits very quickly. Besides, you will be using your heated liner in place of that other liner so that you don't end up bulking up.


Finally, your outer jacket should be comfortable, with no pressure spots, even with armor. Pressure spots will compress the heating wires into your skin regardless of the type of jacket liner you select. So make sure your outer jacket fits you properly.


That's about it for all but the most extreme cold. In rare cases, you might want a thin fleece cover between the heated jacket liner and your outer jacket. But most likely that would be for temperatures that have the words "below zero" after them.


And now for the disclaimer. As many of you know, I work for Gerbings. I've tried to keep brand names out of my discussion above, and wish anyone well with whatever brand they purchase.




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I wear a SmartWool long-sleeve shirt against the skin under the Gerbing (excellent wicking). Over that the armored jacket. Sometimes I throw the PVC raincoat over the jacket.

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