Simplifying Comfort (...a Better Power-cord)
We have been making this pretty neat coil cord power control for twenty years. I remember designing it to be an illuminated hi-low inline switch of such small dimension that it would not be a 'lump' in the middle of a compact coily power cord. We went round-and-round trying to find a switch which would allow a better functioning and packaging design. Something tactually, visually, and ergonomically lighter and cleaner.
And there still isn't anything as good in terms of simplicity and overall handy-ness. I wanted this cord switch to be so easy to use one could forgo a thermostat. They always seemed useless over-complexity...even the newer nice digital ones everyone uses now (just yesterday all were stupid power-hungry inefficient resistance rheostats). I'd used one several times but wanted something thoughtlessly simple, super-compact and field-reparable if ever needed. (This last consideration turned out irrelevant.)
It's just too easy to be riding along and without looking down move my left hand downward from the grip momentarily to find the cord lying across my left thigh and then by touch alone (finger or thumb) push or release the illuminated in-out button…then move my hand back to the left grip.
It's only one second, done without thinking, and there's no fumbling around. I can feel at a touch if the button is in high or low position to maintain temperature at a nice level all day long, with neither thought or effort. Just click-on and click-off as needed for comfort, and if there's ever question about power status a quick glance down shows the red pilot light glowing on or off through the button's cap. Even in daylight.
So today if I were for some reason forced to use some non-Aerostich electric garment, I'd still want this simple, intuitive and reliable coil cord and switch.
Electric Bib Story
A few years ago John Chase (designer and co-founder of the pioneering motorcycle luggage company Chase Harper) wanted some electric heating wires for an experimental off-road chest protector. One prototype led to another and pretty soon we were making prototype versions of this Kanestu electric bib. They worked so well…much better than we'd anticipated…and there was nothing else even remotely like them on the market. So we applied for a US Patent (#D641,543S) and somewhat surprisingly received one.
With perfect hindsight it's easy to see why this non-obvious invention is so wonderful. Generations of riders have put layers of newspaper under their jackets, carefully positioned across their chest to block cold winds. At the same time our circulatory system is incredibly efficient at moving any calorie of added heat to all areas of our body, no matter where those calories are added. Doesn't matter if they come via heated grips, saddles, vests, liners, bibs or from a just-imbibed piping hot cup of cocoa. Calories are the same wherever they're added.
Worn beneath an Aerostich textile suit aboard my unfaired bike I'm good to temps in the lowish fifties during all-day-long rides...and down into the forties under a Transit jacket.
Whenever cool weather is anticipated I'll also carry a wind block jersey and a 100wt micro fleece...and layer-up as needed: electric bib first, then fleece, then the jersey and lastly the Roadcrafter/Darien or Transit. The combination takes me five to ten degrees lower.
Is this electric bib is the most important new Aerostich product we've added during the last five or ten years? I don't know. But if it's not it's near the top of the list.
-- Mr. Subjective, 9-13
"Best Scenic Routes" Website Review: Aerostich Warmbib
As a kid growing up in Northern Minnesota, I remember snowmobiling in temperatures far below zero degrees Fahrenheit. We never thought about how cold it was. We were too busy enjoying the ride.
The winter months in the Pacific Northwest offer a completely different winter motoring experience. Snowmobiles have been replaced with year-round motorcycling.
Hypothermia is a real risk when riding motorcycles in the winter. Even with temperatures hovering around freezing, windchill and its friend hypothermia quickly become an issue with winter riding. The Mayo Clinic defines hypothermia as a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature drops below 95 F (35 C). The Mayo Clinic also says that when your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs are affected... Continue to Full Review