Our Guide to Buying: Arm and Leg Warmers

What are Arm/Leg Warmers?

In a nutshell

Arm and leg warmers are simple tubes, often plain black but also available in different colours. They come in a variety of materials, lightweight for summer and racing or thermal Roubaix for extra warmth. Some feature waterproof coatings for when it rains and reflective materials for safety.

When do I need arm and leg warmers?

Arm and leg warmers are incredibly useful for layering on days with changeable weather conditions. Knee and arm warmers add versatility to your cycling wardrobe, allowing you to add sleeves to a jersey or cover up your knees if the weather is chilly. They can easily be taken off, even on the move if you are a skilled rider, and tucked away in a pocket once you have warmed-up.

Should my arm warmers be loose or tight?

Fit is very important, no one wants un-slightly bulges or gaps between the jersey and the arm warmer, your arm warmers should pull up almost to your armpit to prevent this happening. Whether the grippers are elastic or silicone, make sure they are not too tight, the wider the gripper the less likely it is to pinch.

Some arm and knee warmers are just snug fitting tubes whereas others have simple articulation at the joints to help them to hold their shape. As well as the ubiquitous colour black, arm and knee warmers are available in various colours to match kit, but for versatility, you really can’t go wrong with a simple colour palette.

What are the best arm and leg warmers for cycling at night?

Year-round cyclists might do well to choose brightly coloured arm and leg warmers. For low level light or night riding reflective or fluro detailing will aid visibility, useful for your commute to work. Many product lines provide both high reflectivity and great warmth, so you don’t have to compromise on anything.

Which types of arm and leg warmers are best for cycling in the rain?

Brands such as ThermoFlex from Castelli or Thermolite from Endura are thick and soft on the inside to provide insulation. These basic warm materials are, in the higher range models, coated to help shed water, whilst not waterproof they will help to keep you dry in a light shower. Castelli have created a leg-warmer where the lower section is entirely waterproof.