Keeping your feet and hands warm is a serious challenge if
you’re the type who won’t let cold weather keep you off your
bike. While booties, extra-thick socks, fur-lined boots and even
wrapping your toes in a plastic baggie might be the best you
can do for your feet, A’ME takes care of your hands with their
$199 heated grips.
A’ME’s American-made, heated MTB Ergo
Tri Grip kit starts out with their Clamp-On Ergo Tri Grips and
adds a temperature-adjustable heating element inside. Each
grip has a wire that attaches to the supplied 11.1-volt,
4400mAh lithium-ion battery (11 ounces). The kit also
includes two mounting options for the battery. One is a shock-resistant pad/case (1.5 ounces) that holds the battery flat
against the head tube area, and the other is a stem or frame
tube mount. Once connected, an integrated button in each grip
allows you to select six heat settings. The kit includes the
grips, battery, two mounting options, a charging unit and
mounting straps. The components are sold individually, and
A’ME offers a six-month grip replacement guarantee for manufacturing defects and a two-year, half-price replacement deal on
grips you damage or wear out.
Field test results:
Mounting the grips to the handlebar is
as easy as mounting any lock-on-style grip. The battery’s shape
is a gigantic improvement over the first-generation battery we
tested in 2010. Gone is the bulky battery, replaced by a 4.25- by
3.25-inch flat battery that is less than an inch thick. The battery can be hung from a frame tube or stem, but we had the best results slapping it on the side of the head tube using the
supplied hook-and-loop strap and rubber mounting case.
Another big improvement over our 2010 test version is the
system’s wires and connectors. The earlier version had a
high school science-project quality to it. The new wires and
connectors are better sealed, the connectors have a firmer
connection, and that connection is better secured. There is
plenty of wiring length, even for wide handlebars, so we had
to tuck excess cable around the battery case.
Push the button on each grip, and a tiny blue indicator
light flashes once and then pulses until the desired temperature is reached (for level one, this takes less than two minutes). Push the button again and you go up to level two and
so on until the hottest setting (level six). The levels go from
“a warm tingle” to “hot potato.”
The grips feel great even before you turn them on, and the
heating element does not increase their diameter. The diameter is comparable to other lock-on grips. The grips’ rubber
offers a tacky feel that is welcome in harsh conditions. The
warmth feels wonderful on cold rides. A few of the crew
remarked that the grips not only warmed their hands, but
their cores felt warmer as well. Our rides were limited to
about two hours at either level two or three without any
juice issues. “Burn times” are increased when used with a
carbon handlebar (aluminum transfers the heat too easily),
so you’ll get anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending
on how hot you run them and the bar you use.
One final tip: don’t use heavy gloves with the grip. Use a glove with a thin palm that uses a wind shell or neoprene
material on the upper.
The new generation Clamp-On Ergo Tri Grips are a
marked improvement over the first generation we tested
three years ago and deserve the bump in star rating. One
other thing changed too; the price for the system is 20 percent less. If you ride in the cold, what are you waiting for?