Originally Posted by greasy rider
wow that was a lot more responses than i expected. Thanks everyone for the info. Given what I have learned i think will go with the jacket liner, gloves, and first gear thermo suit. Still have to make up my mind on the brand for the jacket and gloves. Gerbling seems expensive compared to first gear, but i am wondering if its a you get what you pay for type relationship. The part that annoys me is that growing up in IL I know i could be riding up in a tshirt or be riding through 6in of snow.
If you do go the full jacket liner, just make sure you test the arms by bending and paying attention to your elbows. My wife and I both have the very old school heated vests with the wires running through them. I tried a full jacket liner but the wires would rub and actually hurt whenever you bent your arm. I'm sure the newer gear with the very thin wires would be fine.
I can't pry my wife's heated vest out of her cold hands, but frankly I haven't used mine in about 3 years. My body doesn't get cold just my hands, so heated grips are my *must have*. I also have Gerbings heated gloves but haven't used them since moving from the frozen prairies of Canada to the warmer west. I only needed the heated gloves when commuting to work in -12C temps. At that temp the heated grips don't even begin to warm up.
Our vests are old school with simply an on/off switch and I don't even know why my wife has a switch cause her's is always ON.