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Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 28 Dec 2010, 10:58am
by Mark R
Soon I will be back in Poland and commuting everyday in temperatures which can go as low as -25deg Celsius, although I can maintain a good core temperature, my hands and feet tend to get really cold.
I have noticed Maplins are selling heated gloves and insoles, they are not too expensive and use 3 AA batterys per 'limb'.
So does anyone have experience of these? and are they worthwhile or are they junk?

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 10:03am
by [XAP]Bob
Someone has mentioned the insoles - search for velcro ankle or similar..

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 6:31pm
by George Riches
There's a bit of a discussion here.

I've gone for shoes which are four sizes two big (46 instead of 42) and three pairs of socks (two thin, 1 thick). What do you do when the batteries go flat? Rechargables?

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 7:13pm
by alicej
My guess would be that the batteries would last a while because you'd only need to heat them to the required temperature and then switch them off for a while until you lost the heat again and needed a top-up. I doubt you'd keep them switched on all the time.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 8:57pm
by johnmac
The heated insoles are good. The plonker on the till tried to tell me that they don't work with rechageables, which, of course is rubbish. Rechargeables are the only viable option, unless you're very rich because they'll eat a set of Duracells in one ride.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 9:25pm
by gilesjuk
I would imagine the money is better spent on more sophisticated clothing. After all they didn't have this newfangled stuff when they were trying to get to the South Pole.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 10:15pm
by George Riches
johnmac wrote:... Rechargeables are the only viable option, unless you're very rich because they'll eat a set of Duracells in one ride.

So if you forget to re-charge your batteries or you go out on a longer than usual ride? ... Reminds me of relying on batteries for lighting.

Ski mittens are good, although they can be expensive.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 10:44pm
by alicej
I just carry a spare set of charged rechargeable batteries. Non-rechargeable batteries don't solve the problem of your batteries running out, they just mean you have to add something poisonous to landfill more often than if you use rechargeables.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 10:49pm
by LANDSURFER74
Todays landfills are tomorrows metal mines... a mine that provides not just metal but plastics as well .. a wonderful resorce .. apart from the nappies and dog poo bags ... :lol:

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 9:04am
by George Riches
Maybe try thicker trousers and warmer hats before spending money on bigger shoes or heated insoles/gloves.

When your blood is a bit cold, the blood vessels close to the skin contract to reduce further heat loss from the blood. Unfortunately this means that the outer parts of your body get unpleasantly cold. On the other hand if your blood is a bit too warm, the blood vessels close to the skin expand in an effort to cool the blood.

So if your trousers are not very thick, given the cold weather, your blood will be a bit cool by the time it reaches your feet. Leading the blood vessels to contract making your feet colder. Wrap up your legs; your blood will get hotter, the blood vessels will expand and heat your flesh.

I notice this effect with my hands. If they are cold I put on a warm hat. At first my head feels uncomfortably warm, but I persist and soon my hands warm up! :D

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 10:28am
by mr riff raff
gilesjuk wrote:I would imagine the money is better spent on more sophisticated clothing. After all they didn't have this newfangled stuff when they were trying to get to the South Pole.

I imagine Scott would have taken your hand off for a set of heated insoles!

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 11:49am
by 7_lives_left
johnmac wrote:The heated insoles are good. The plonker on the till tried to tell me that they don't work with rechageables, which, of course is rubbish. Rechargeables are the only viable option, unless you're very rich because they'll eat a set of Duracells in one ride.

There might be a grain of truth in what the guy on the till said. Rechargeable batteries of all types tend to have much lower internal resistance than alkaline primary cells. If the former are short circuited because they are fitted into equipement that is unsafe and not fuse protected, the wiring can burn red hot and/or the cells themselves can explode. I wouldn't want either of those things to happen to something attached inside my shoes.

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 1:23pm
by vjosullivan
7_lives_left wrote:If the former are short circuited because they are fitted into equipement that is unsafe and not fuse protected, the wiring can burn red hot and/or the cells themselves can explode.

I would have thought the logical thing to do would be to do away with the batteries altogether and wire them up - via a suitable adaptor - to a dynamo. You could run wires from the insoles up the trouser legs and from the gloves up the sleeves, all meeting up together in the middle somewhere. Marry it up with a suitable socket on the saddle and you'd be happy as Larry. :)

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 2:20pm
by George Riches
vjosullivan wrote:... the logical thing to do would be to do away with the batteries altogether and wire them up - via a suitable adaptor - to a dynamo.

I did buy a pair of insoles last March - it's difficult to resist the temptation to buy something at the toy shop, err Maplins.

Each insole is powered by 4.5 volts and has a resistance of about 16 ohms. So each insole produces about 1.3W of heat.

I expect you could connect a pair in parallel to a standard bicycle dynamo without causing damage to anything. They would get a little bit hotter than with 3 AA batteries each, as standard dynamos are nominally 6 volts. But the actual voltage would be lower given the higher load.

As bicycle dynamos are notoriously inefficient, you'd have to pedal with 10W of extra power to maintain speed. As muscle is about 20% efficient, you'd consume 50W to heat your feet by 2W. More support to the idea of re-directing the waste heat carried by your blood to your feet rather than losing it elsewhere?

Re: Anyone tried Maplins heated gloves and insoles?

Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 4:48pm
by corshamjim
I guess a more efficient alternative to using a dynamo would be to replace the ball-bearings in the pedals with sand. The resulting friction would heat the pedals up ...