Ixon and Clim8 push glove tech to beat the winter phalange freeze.
Have you ever questioned the effectiveness of the heated hand grip?
I learned long ago that heated grips can be an asset on a bike, and I would prefer not to ride through winter without them. But am I thinking this way because that’s all we know?
If you turn a critical eye to the heated grip, it’s got one obvious and much-overlooked flaw in that it only heats your palms which are perhaps the only part of your body that isn’t cold to begin with.
Sure, that heat permeates through your glove to a degree but once you reach the top of your hand and your fingers, both copping a blasting from the cold air, heated grips have very little to offer aside from sweaty palms.
And it’s not very smart, only knowing how to offer a constant heat that invariably means you turn it down when your palms start to burn but the rest of your hand remains cold.
Again, it’s all most of us have ever known.
Ixon is a well-known name in motorcycle apparel and no stranger to the adventure market. The family-owned French company has an excellent reputation for producing durable kit and embracing innovation.
Ixon has teamed up with technology company, Clim8, to produce a glove that responds to a rider’s thermal needs in real-time, the result being the IT-YATE EVO gloves.
The IT-YATE EVO heats the top of the hand, right down to the tips of your fingers but the magic isn’t in the what, it’s in the how.
The gloves connect via Bluetooth to the Clim8 app on your smartphone where you set a comfortable temperature that works specifically for you.
While riding, the app receives information back from the gloves that tell it what the temperatures are inside the glove.
When the inside temp approaches a point below your comfort level, the app activates the heating elements. And it doesn’t go from zero to nuclear either, it can be quite subtle, offering only what you need to stay warm but not overheat.
The gloves are reacting to the outside and inside temperature in real-time and not just setting a constant blast of heat like a grip would do, and it’s heating the areas that need it most.
It also does this independently for both hands so if your left is fine but if, for example, your right is getting hammered by a wind from the side, then the app will recognise this and feed heat to the right but not the left.
The app even offers weather information so you know what you’re riding into.
Comparing the Ixons to a heated grip is like comparing a Tesla to a Corolla.
Each glove is powered by a rechargeable battery that sits in a pouch at the bottom of the extended cuffs. That gave me pause at first, but I couldn’t feel them at all when riding.
The glove turns on when you slide your hand in with a blue LED light on the top of the cuff illuminating to let you know they’re on. They turn off when you remove your hand, but it’s best to take the batteries out if you’re done for the day because they can drain over a night.
I’ve seen a battery life claim of up to 5 hours, which is dependent on how hot you set your ideal temp and how often the heating elements have to be activated to keep you at that point.
I don’t like my hands to get hot, so I ran 26.5 degrees and over a day of riding that started at 8:30 am and ended at 7 pm and I still had battery life. It was bloody cold making the back way home after the sun dropped, but the Ixons kept every word of their promise, and my hands were in a happy place.
All this marvellous tech wouldn’t be worth much if the gloves were trash to begin with. But Ixon has produced a premium product with the IT-YATE EVO and even without the heating, they are a comfortable and well-built winter glove.
Made from a blend of nylon, goat leather and polyester with a layer of Primaloft insulation, the fit is soft and malleable and while I am a large sizing, I was delivered a medium by mistake, something I didn’t notice till halfway through the day so they’re a just a little bigger in sizing than you may expect.
For riding offroad where I like a decent level of feel, the gloves don’t feel overly bulky nor restrictive. I’ve generally kept away from the larger road-style gloves and use mostly lighter kit that feels better on the bars and levers, but Ixon has been smart in insulating the back of the hand and not the entire glove so as to not restrict finger dexterity.
The elasticated cuffs can be tightened to keep the cold out while a waterproof membrane keeps your hands dry which is crucial on the worst of days regardless of what tech you have available.
A knuckle protector and a palm slider as well as a rain wiper (which could be a little wider), and smartphone compatible index finger pads complete the picture of an impressive standalone glove that will get an absolute flogging by me through this wet and cold period, which looks like it will last until 2024.
For me, while I’m aware they aren’t the only heated gloves on the market, the Ixons are an evolutionary step forward for a piece of kit we generally accept as simple by necessity. Being uncomfortable greatly reduces the enjoyment you get out of a day on a bike – it’s bloody miserable to be freezing cold.
The app is easy to use and fast to set up so don’t stress about tackling confusing tech. Once your’e done, everything takes care of itself until you want to change the ideal temp and even that is just a five-second job once the app is open.
While I wouldn’t wear the Ixons in the most intense offroad stuff where maximum dexterity is crucial, I’ll be happy to wear them across a wide range of rides and terrains that make up the vast majority of my time on two wheels.
Just as a brutal winter begins, I’m pretty happy to have the IT-YATE EVO literally on hand.
The Ixon IT-YATE EVO is available in sizes from small through to XXXL at a retail price of $399.95.
• Index compatible with touch-screens
• Rain wiper on left hand
• Comes with 2 batteries and 1 charger
• Waterproof and breathable fixed membrane
• Insulation: Primaloft One® 170gr
• Clim8 intelligent heating technology
FIT AND COMFORT
• Long and extra large cuff in softshell
• Waterproof rain cuff
• Elasticated wrist with tightening strap
• 3D fingers and thumb
• CE model
• Knuckle protector on backhand
• Slider on palm
• Reinforced sidewall
• Backhand: softshell + goat leather
• Palm: goat leather
• Lining: polyester