Well, I ordered some Oxford "Heaterz" grips from an EBay vendor, but they sent me the "Hot Hands" grip wraps instead. I went ahead and tried them out, but decided I'd rather have the actual heated grips. So, here's a quick review on the Hot Hands. These may be a good solution for some, just not exactly what I want.
-Super easy to install
-Super easy to remove
-They get HOT!
-Add to the diameter of the grips (like Grip Puppies)
-Not a very clean look when installed
-Not adjustable, they're either off or on
-Doubtful as to how long they would last (see comment on loose Velcro)
-Obviously not intended for permanent install
Here's the package:
Here's what you get:
-Two Hot Hands grip wraps
-Well written instructions
(They also throw in an Oxford logo neck warmer)
Install took all of 5 minutes. The instructions were clear and well written, but totally unnecessary. If you can't figure out something this basic, you probably also have trouble the the double d-rings and strap on a helmet.
All you have to do is:
1. Hook the two ring-type connectors to your battery
2. Route the wires and secure the extra with zip ties
3. Mount the switch (also with a zip tie)
4. Wrap the Hot Hands around your grips and plug in the 3 connectors
That's it! They are installed and ready to use. You do need to remember that this method hooks the wraps directly to your battery, so if you leave them switched on you will drain your battery.
Here is the simple, color coded hookup to the battery. You can also see the in-line tube fuse at the left.
Here is the switch lip tied onto the handlebars. You can also see the extra wiring zip tied onto the bars. The switch has a bright green led to let you know when the grips are on. It is bright enough to easily see in bright sunlight. The connection are all clip-together plastic plugs, so they shouldn't shake loose.
The right and left wraps installed on the grips. You can see that they add quite a bit of thickness to the grips. This felt really good when used with thick winter glove as it was easier to grip the larger diameter grips.
The outside of the wraps: There is a very thin layer of nylon mesh over the heating elements; you can actually see the elements under the mesh. The instructions warn you to use these only with thick winter gloves. This is good advice. The wraps will reach 131 degrees! When I tried them with my summer weight gloves, they got uncomfortably hot and I was constantly turning them off and on. They would most likely burn you if you tried to use them without gloves.
The inside of the wraps: There is a nice tacky layer of neoprene to make sure the wraps won't slip around on you grips. On my 300 mile test ride, they stayed put and did not rotate at all.
The Velcro was not completely stitched onto one of the wraps in my set. If I had decided to keep the wraps, I would have exchanged this particular set for one that was put together better. This makes me worry a little bit about the durability of the wraps, but Oxford does warranty them for a full 2 years.
My test ride started at about 40 degrees in the morning, but the day warmed up to about 70 degrees before the ride was over. I rode mostly twisty Farm to Market roads, so the wraps were really tested as to their ability to stay put. They did very well on this count. When I switched them on, the wraps heated up VERY quickly. It was only about a minute before I could feel the warmth through my heavy Tour Master winter gloves. In 40 degrees, and at speeds of 80-90 mph, they eventually got hot enough that I was periodically turning them off. As the day warmed up and I switched to my summer gloves, I was FREQUENTLY shutting off the Heaterz. The 4-setting adjustability of the Heaterz grips would have been much more useful. The added diameter of the wraps was comfortable when wearing thicker gloves, but not really needed with the lighter gloves. It felt kind of like riding a cruiser with 1/2 bars.
The Oxford Hot Hands wraps would be a good solution for someone who wants to temporarily heat their grips (maybe for only one or two rides each year) but retain the stock grips for the rest of the year. They would also be good for the mechanically challenged, as the installation is a snap. The wiring could be cleaned up and hidden a bit more, if you were so inclined, but Oxford states that it cannot be trimmed in any way.
Overall, I prefer the finished look and feel of the actual heated grips versus the wraps. I also like the 4-setting adjustable nature of the Oxford grips. So, these are going back to the vendor and I already have a set of Heaterz on the way.