Which Tire Warmers?

Discussion in 'Technical Forum' started by Ducbert, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    Warmers

    The pyrometer I use you can get here,,
    http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/product/1456/Longacre_Pyrometers
    If the link doesn't work It's Longacre Racing Products and about $100US.
    Some of the cheaper ones get all funcky as the battery gets low.This one seems to stay good.
    When checking your hot tire pressures,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,BUY a pair of gloves for you wife or girlfriend! Seen too many burning their hands on the rotors!

    I don't like turning info threads into info-mercials so if anybody needs pricing you can e-mail me at bickleracing@sympatico.ca

    I will answer questions if you e-mail me as well,,,cause I know some of you are looking for the edge. And if I can't answer it I'll let you know.
    I will say our warmers and sliders are all hand made in Canada,right here just south of Mosport Ontario.

    Thanks, look forward to hearing from you
    John
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  2. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    Warmers

    So,, been thinking about this,,and here's Warmer's 101. I'll try to keep it middle of the road but there will be some info-mercial in this.

    Basically the warmers we can afford are wire based warmers. The negative of a wire based warmer is you get cool spots between the wire.KLS makes a carbon mat warmer [I have a set] but in fact, you still get cool spots between the mats of carbon. So If we were to use KLS as the "best" warmer product out there,, lets see what I have learned from the others.
    First off the wire does not like to have bends.So on the warmers that have a zig-zag pattern across the warmer you will have reduced life. The wire is ordered,, you can order single strand to 10 strand.We use a 7 strand and I have not seen any other warmers currently made with more then 2 strands.Picture the heating wire as a thick strand of hair. The wire has a Teflon coating to keep it from bending and braking. The wire is specified to have a 1/2 inch space between it and other wire.If this is not adhered to the Teflon bakes and snaps the wire.
    Now because a warmer design is forced to have a very slim profile,,, it sucks at retaining heat.In most cases most warmers loose well over 50% of their heat through the top of the tire. So it doesn't matter how you make heat if you aren't getting it to the tire. This past winter we spent days trying new products. Finally I found a very simple product that doesn't raise the cost of the warmer retail wise but is the "bomb". We actually retain more heat then we loose now. Or heat soak the tire quicker!
    There are very good insulators out there like Nomex,,about $50 a set. Kevlar is much cheaper but not as good. Most use a cotton based insulation,like a Thinsulate but not nylon based as it will melt. So we in fact use two insulators, Kevlar and a fire retardant foam material.
    Now back to the wire. No matter how you lay the wire a front takes about 50 feet a rear takes about 100 feet. So if I use the same wire as most do,, the front obviously will come up to temp much quicker then the rear. So you run the risk of heat shocking the front tire. Or if the front is good you,, assume the back is. Or you waste the thermostat cycles in the front as it's bouncing off it much sooner.
    So we use a wire for the rear and a higher resistance wire in the front.
    Now covers,,, tried the big side wall coverage but they hang up on the calipers. Tried the "green"light is good to go,,,messed up more heads on cooler days.So go rid of that.
    Also, the thermostats can be ordered to fail open or close.If they fail closed and all you do is put your warmers on for 45 minutes life will be good.Should 45 minutes turn into red flag turn into lunch ,,well they just get hotter. With thermostats that fail open one day they just won't seem as hot. So, the best thermostats you can get have 100,000 cycles available. That relates to about 3-4 years in regional racing life. Nationally it's about 1.5 to 2 years. We actually design the warmer to retro fit new thermostats.[did about 6 sets this week] So if you look after your stuff and get 3 years on the original thermostats then pay $75 to $100 for new thermostats to be installed ,over 6 years+ that's not bad. We have regional racers here going on 8 years on one set of warmers,two thermostats.
    The programmable warmers,, well lets say the hard part is to get the displayed temperature to represent the actual tire temperature. If the display is not even close to the tire you have and will learn nothing. Good boxes are good money.So I won't go cheap there. I remember working with Steve Dick and they were using a US based design. The tire was only 64 C and the display showed 85C. The rider was cold tearing tires like crazy.

    So these are questions you need to ask. I got into making warmers because I got tired of trying to fix my XYZ warmers. Nor did they last more then 2 years. So my warmers aren't cheap,but nothing we put in them is.I could source cheaper products or go to China and buy them for $80 a set.[nightmare]
    But we don't make them in a factory,,just three people make every set. Honestly,, no warmer is perfect but most of all,, how long and where does it need to go to get fixed! That is the big question. A warmer has a hard life! So being able to get it fixed at a nominal fee is the big question.


    JB
     
  3. fask

    fask Member

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    For what its worth, i run Bickles and wouldn't ever consider any other brand. On top of the best quality warmer i have ever used, it is also the most easy to have serviced... just a shipment to John's place in Ontario and they can be repaired. Can you tell me what to do with any other warmer when it stops working? How many people do you have to talk to and how much time do you have to spend doing it before you get your warmers/money back?
     
  4. sv-racing-parts

    sv-racing-parts Well-Known Member

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    Which Tire Warmers

    :) Customer Service is important, often the problem stems from people buying products from discounters or auctions that are not authorized dealers,

    I can tell you that I have never had a warranty issue or repair delay from Chicken Hawk, Suzuka, or Woodcraft,

    In fact, even the much less expensive TyrSox has never denied me a replacement,

    We pretty much live in an era where anyone who wants to stay around is going to provide warranty and repairs wherever appropriate and them some,

    It's always good to have choice,

    Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
    Blair
     
  5. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    Thank you!
    Much appreciated!!!
    John
     
  6. sv-racing-parts

    sv-racing-parts Well-Known Member

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    Tire Warmers

    :) The earlier comments posted on not seeing any other warmers using more than 2 strand wire made me curious so I called David, the head and technical director at Chicken Hawk to see what they use, and what they see as the reasonable life of their products.

    David tells me that Chicken Hawk has been using 7 Strand Wire in their Tire Warmer Products since 1993. That is like 17 years,

    They state life expectancy of Chicken Hawk Products is 6 to 8 years, and it is not uncommon for them to see 10 year old product at the track,

    So I guess the good news is Chicken Hawk and Suzuka by Chicken Hawk can be expected to deliver superb performance for years to come,

    Enjoy the ride, and best regards all,
    Blair
     
  7. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    That's awsome news,, becasue the one I have here on my table I'm trying to fix has 2 strand wire. According to the production date it's two years old. So I'll forward this post and he can talk to David direct.
    The guy will be ecstatic! Must be something that slipped out!
    The two sets I have from the late 90's have two strand? Of course C-H.

    Blair,, I replyed to the post to try offer some information, not turn it into an infommercial.But more of an informative post. See, you even learned stuff and are now asking questions.Too which you now are much more knowledgable about the product David sells. Which it is obvious to me now, you sell.
    Hey, I've used C-H and they are the reason I got into making these things. I desperatly tried to not slag anybody or any company.David is a great guy, even if he does hate my guts:p!
    This is an exspensive sport,, I don't make cheap warmers,that's a fact,, but in turn all warmers "ARE NOT" the same,,that's fact!
    So if it threatens you that I popped in to help some people make a educated decision,,I'm sorry.
    I know what I know becasue I make them,,,I'm not the salesman,,[or well maybe I am] So I know David and good for you you're selling his stuff.
    People will buy what they can afford and sometimes it's not my product.
    Sometimes it will be something neither of us sell.

    Good luck and have a great season!

    John Bickle
    Bickle Racing,,, home of the Canadian made Tire warmer and knee sliders!
    One thing for sure,, we're the best made in Canada!

    Have a great season guys! Be safe!
     
  8. sv-racing-parts

    sv-racing-parts Well-Known Member

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    Which Tire Warmers

    :) Hi, just passing on what Chicken Hawk Tells me,

    Woodcraft also says that they use 7 Strand Wire,

    Lots of people use and love all of these products Chicken Hawk, Woodcraft, Bickle. Sounds to me like you all say you use 7 Strand Wire, and you all claim to have good longevity,

    Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
    Blair,
     
  9. racer51

    racer51 Active Member

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    Rick Newcombe "Duke Nukem"
  10. vcms72

    vcms72 Member

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    Bickle Warmers

    I cant say enough good things about John Bickle and his products. We used and sold his knee sliders last summer, used and sold his Ice tire covers all winter, and we will be selling his warmers at the track this summer... I appreciate all the info that you have posted up John, your a wealth of knowledge.. And its Canadian made, what more do I need to say! Talk to you later John..

    Chris
     
  11. YZF1000jon

    YZF1000jon Well-Known Member

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    They come with their own warmer tech.:D Probably the new carbon element technology stuff, no wires from what I understand.
     
  12. sv-racing-parts

    sv-racing-parts Well-Known Member

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    :) How cool would that be, :cool:
     
  13. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    I bought a set to see how they work,,it's really kind of neat/weird.
    There are wires but just supply wires.So picture about a 1 inch carbon mats and maybe a centameter between the mats. Wires joining the mats. So it does actually have more connections,, but the heating surface is the 1 inch mat. So you get heat all over the 1 inch.
    They really are the bomb and worth the money,, if one had the money to spend.
    I actually took the bike set apart,[very carefully] the F1 set I got from the Beneton car were defective so we didn't have much mercy there. They weren"t too hard to fix either.
    The F1 set was absolutely,, unbelievable! THe temperature controls were nothing,,nothing we've seen in bikes. The warmers actually had four sections.So the top of the tire was the same as the bottom.THere was a control box for each warmer,and each section .Everything fit into this carbon fiber suitcase.
    It would cost thousands to make these,,,probably times some double digit!

    But, nothing you have available to you today of all the other mfg'ers is close to KLS's carbon system,,, they are the top of the pyramid!!
    Now did I tell you about the F1 tires and rims, and the ,,,oh my,,,,,,,,:cool::cool:
    actually sat in a the real "Mcoy",, There is a guy at Shannonville that has 4 Benetons and 3 un-named cars as the team fell through.
     
  14. YZF1000jon

    YZF1000jon Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how close that technology is to the new heated clothing that uses carbon mat technology. Much lighter, more heat, more even, using less power. In a couple years they may be mass produced enough to be within reach of mere mortals. You mentioned keeping heat in is as important as generating it, what kinds of insulations did you try that failed. You did mention thinsulate and a couple others, but have you ever tried that reflective "bubble" wrap type stuff under the protective layer? http://www.tradekey.com/product_view/id/204047.htm
     
  15. John Bickle

    John Bickle Member

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    Nomex is the best,, anything plastic based melts,can get ugly.
    Remember you usually have the width of your finger under the front fender. So if thickness wasn"t an issue you could use all kind of stuff.
     

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