On the one hand I’m surprised not more companies have delved into the heated clothing market. On the other, you need to be good to survive in such a competitive market.
With scooter riders in Italy often commuting all year around, it’s no surprise that Italian firm Tucano Urbano have also added heated clothing to their range. I’ve been using the Tucano Urbano Hot Road heated gloves for a couple of years now, or rather to be more precise, a couple of winters. The gloves themselves are a sturdy piece of kit with a leather palm, top half of leather and strong Oxford Polyamide construction, ABS knuckle protection, and a thin reflective strip that offers a surprisingly larger amount of reflected light than it looks like it should.
For warmth they are lined of course, are long enough to tuck your sleeves into, should that be the way you ride, and have a Hydroscud 100% waterproof and breathable inner membrane. These gloves also have a visor wiper blade on the left thumb too, a very useful item, especially in winter – trust me!
Battery or mains
With my scooter being of the classic variety, I don’t have a 12v battery on the bike to power the gloves. Instead I use the battery pack option, which involves charging the batteries via the mains prior to any journey, then plugging them into the gloves and stowing them (two batteries per glove) in convenient wrist pockets. This does make them a little bulky and heavier than regular gloves, so if you’ve got a scooter battery I’d suggest going for that option. Not only will it make for lighter gloves, but is cheaper too and you won’t have the concern of battery longevity.
Indeed, how long do they last? The best I’ve had has been about eight hours, but the reality is I only rely on the Hot Road gloves being available with battery power for five to six hours. Each glove has an easy to use (with gloves on) button on the back that you press and hold to turn on, then press again to go through the four temperature settings. You start at green, then go through yellow and orange before arriving at the hottest red setting.
Before I go further, you need to know that these are not ‘hot’ heated gloves per se. I think the best description of how they work is that rather than heating up your hands, using them prevents your hands from getting cold. Yes in extreme conditions, switch them on and put your bare hand in and you will feel the warmth, but they are more of a tool to help combat the cold than one to warm you up.
I start on green and scroll up as night draws in and the temperature drops, to stop my hands from getting cold. On the way to the Warmwell rally in November I added Tucano thermal under gloves too, and they did the trick for me.
At the same event, my riding partner in crime used the Keis heated gloves and she got a full eight hours out of hers, so it would seem that if price and sizing suits, they might be better for some. That said, I feel the cold less than she does and six hours was enough for me.
The Tucano Hot Road gloves are available in sizes XS to XL and the price is around £129.99, but as always shop around for bargains. You also need to add either £20 for bike battery power leads, or £80 for the lithium ion batteries and charger packs, the latter is perfect for classic scooterists with no batteries on their scooters to power heated clothing with. To find your local dealer email: info@.tucanourbano.co.uk and tell them SLUK sent you.