Friday, 31 October 2008

exo2 clothing review

I was sick to the back teeth of getting cold while out on the bike. So I finally took the plunge and got myself some heated clothing. As you have already guessed by the title I opted for exo2’s range of clothing. Why? I hear you ask, well simple answer, it’s a British company with a unique invention. What’s unique about it is the heating element is a carbon based polymer that once supplied with dc voltage excites the carbon into giving off heat. Its very flexible like a rubber sheet its waterproof and washable.

After countless weeks of humming and hawing I finally decided I was going to splash the cash. I phoned exo2 and made an appointment to see them. So at about 12:30 I headed off from Kirkcaldy to Bellshill on the 29th October 2008.

Adorned with a 2 piece Prexport leather suit and waterproof boots, a pair of Richa waterproof gloves, Cold Killers pants, top and neck warmer thingy and a Bell m2 helmet. The ride there was in the daylight but it was cold, by the time I got there I was freezing.

The place is an absolute nightmare to find, no seriously, its not an industrial unit its an office block in the Strathclyde Business Park.

After eventually finding the place I was greeted by an employee and escorted up the stairs to their office then ushered into a warm comfy meeting room, I was then asked if I would like a cup or coffee. No thanks I said. The gentleman left and about 2 minuets later another elder gentleman entered the room, announced himself as James and asked what clothing items I would like to see and try on.

Me-Gloves insoles and a vest please

James-what vest do you want to see

Me-the warmest one with a smirk on my face

James-ok I’ll be back in a minuet, make yourself comfy.

I took my helmet, gloves and jacket off and started to thaw out, buy this time I started to get pins and needles in my toes and fingers. James came back a few moments later with an assortment of different sized gloves and vests, asked what sized gloves usually fit then opened a pair of large, he then asked what size of vest I would want then opened a size small, he then gave me both items to inspect and asked if I would like a cuppa.

I was now mostly thawed out so I accepted. He came back with cuppa and said I’ll be back in a moment I forgot the power pack. When he came back he plugged the power supply into the gloves and vest. We had a chat about R&D and how the polymer came to being. This gave enough time for the gloves and vest to warm up for me to try.

First on was the gloves. Hmmm nice and toasty, ohh wait a minuet there to toasty. James then explained to me that they will be a tad to warm as they were designed to take wind-chill into factor. He also explained that the gloves do not have the polymer sheeting but are wired. He also went into great detail about how they are made and what materials were used and how the wires run in the glove to ensure that you get the warmth where its needed. I also discovered that the gloves are made on the larger side, so I swapped them for a medium which fit much better.

Detailed overview of gloves:

First impressions, they feel and look cheaply made, but on closer inspection they are not to bad, ok not top of the line gloves by any means but not rubbish. They feel like new gloves as in that they have that cardboard feel to them. I suppose this will disappear as I break them in, and are not to padded, to me a heavily padded glove can make them feel clumsy.

V wipe on thumb:

One of the things I don’t like about the gloves, the v wipe is too small and hard. I can feel a small ridge on the back of my thumb, besides I don’t use my thumb to wipe my visor I use my index finger. The v wipe also restricts the movement of the thumb.

Palm of glove:

Suede like fabric and leather.

Fingers:

Suede like fabric, woven carbon type fabric, fabric and leather.

The pinkie finger has carbon like fabric which I just don’t like, I think this might crack in time. The other 3 fingers have pads on them.







Knuckles:

Hard plastic with carbon fabric covering. Seems to be in the right place for my knuckles.

Wrist strap:

Leather and Velcro with a plastic buckle. A bit to long for my liking.

Cuff: mostly fabric with carbon like material.

Wide enough to get your jacket sleeves in.



Cuff strap:

Leather and Velcro. And just about right for size and shape.

Linings:

Tufted nylon with Thinsulate and Porelle membrane.

Connections:

Another thing I’m not to happy with, I would have liked to see a small pocket on the outside of the glove for the connection. Having a hard piece of plastic on the inside annoys me a little, if it were on the outside the only thing that would be inside is the connecting cable which would be much comfier. Another thing that is a bit annoying is the cable for the cloves is HUGE, way to long if you ask me. One of my friends who is 6’3” popped in for a cuppa when I got home, so I tried the wire length on him to see just how long it is, and yup it’s way to long. The arm length was not to bad but still to long and the connecting cable that runs down to the jacket is way to long even for him. Ok I’ll admit I’m only 5’2” tall and I expected it to be a little long, but it really is way to long. The connectors and cabling are good quality and I have no complaints there.









Conclusion:

The retail price of £125 is not too bad for what you get, but I would like to see some refinements as mentioned above. One of the other things I would like to see is double stitching throughout. Also the knuckle protector needs a bit more padding behind it, apart from that the comfort is really quite good. Warmth while riding is about right, its only when you stop at lights for a long period that it gets a bit uncomfortable. I have not tried the optional heat controller as yet and I think I will purchase one to try out.

Part 2: Stormrider Vest

3 comments:

samstriple said...

Hi can you please give me an update on the gloves as I am thinking of getting these and you are right they do feel like cardboard compared to the Gerbings!

thanks

sam

Lance said...

I know my reply is a bit late... but yes they have broken in lovely, very comfortable gloves..

another thing i will stress is they get to warm, in fact i can feel the wires burn the outer side of my fingers. i have not invested in the controller yet but this will be my next purchase.. and i would advise anyone considering getting these gloves to do the same..

Luke said...

Have you any update on the controller unit -has it made a difference when stopping at lights etc?