A couple of French brothers who grew up and still live in Hong Kong have merged some trending technologies to really improve cycling conditions for the ultra cold weather: heated clothing that employs air force technology.
While it has been tested in Californian peaks of Mammoth Valley for skiing and hiking in snow, due to its breathable, heated base layer design it could also be used for really cold weather cycling. Thoughts may turn to fat bikes in the snow or urban commuting in the Alps or Scandinavia, but I’ve felt pretty cold on some winter rides (and that’s not counting some of the unseasonal weather we had last month in July!).
We spoke to Sebastien “Seb” Vandenheste, one of the brothers who run Fillony Ltd, maker of the “Polar Seal” heated clothing. “Most heated clothing is thick and bulky. We designed a super lightweight, flexible heating element which we embed directly into the fabric that can sustain stress and deformation and always return to its initial state. Our garment is perfect for alpine sports requiring a lot of movement. Although the POLAR SEAL looks very sleek and minimalist, it is jam packed with many tiny details that make all the difference. The pockets, using a special zipper and pull system,are completely hidden when closed. We also decided to include optional thumb holes, ideal for very cold conditions when it is best to keep the sleeves fully extended and tucked into gloves.”
The conversation was just ahead of the product launch on Kickstarter, where it will run from today (August 2nd) to mid-September with an estimated delivery date of November 2017, so just in time for Christmas and winter cycling. The early bird price is US$99 saving you a good chunk of the proposed retail value of $169.
You will need to add a 5Ah or 10Ah power bank but these are inexpensive these days. That could give you up to 8 hours of on demand heat in less than 10 seconds. The tops could be worn over a t-shirt or cycling base layer and are made from a high-quality composite mix of elastane and polyester – a breathable material that prevents sweat build up – making it ideal for the highest impact sports.
By incorporating shock and waterproof LED-lit control button at the wrist, users can easily adjust between two heating zones found on the lower and upper back. The color coded control buttons, which also control heat intensity, can be adjusted without taking gloves off and are easily accessible when wearing an outer layer.
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