Leg and arm warmers for cycling
If you haven’t yet discovered leg and arm warmers for cycling then you have been missing out on some very useful items of kit. Leg and arms warmers are tubes of fabric that fit over your arms like sleeves and over some, or all, of your leg like leggings.
The advantage of these warmers is that you can pull them on and off according to the weather. Rather than choosing between a long-sleeved cycling top or a short-sleeved top or cycling shorts/tights you enjoy the best of both worlds.
In the summer, I often start my bike rides wearing a short-sleeved top and arm warmers. As I warm up or the sun comes out I peel off the arm warmers, roll them into a small ball and pop them in my back pocket. If I was to remove long-sleeved top I would not be able to fit this so easily into my back pocket.
In winter, arm warmers can add an extra non-bulky layer for arms underneath a jacket.
I also found arm warmers to be very useful during a recent cycling holiday in Mallorca. When cycling down long descents from mountain passes the warmer helped to keep the chilly breeze off my skin and to maintain my general core body temperature.
It’s the same with leg warmers. I prefer the three-quarter style warmers that start under the hem of my shorts and finish half way down my calves. I use them on days when I am not sure how warm or cold it will be.
It’s surprising the difference such simple tubes of fabric can make to your general warmth on a bike.
Tips for buying arm and leg warmers
Make sure they are tight enough. I have thin arms and I have found that a women’s small size is the only one for me. On occasions, when I have bought the wrong size and have not been able to return them (I bought them in a sale), I have taken in the arm warmers down the full length of the hem using a sewing machine to make them smaller.
Choose arm warmers to suit the conditions. There are styles that have more of a thermal/windproof rating and even though that are water repellent.
I have two favourite pairs of arms warmers. Sugoi arm warmers with a lovely flower pattern. These are practical and very pretty. I am not sure that they are still available to buy but there are plenty of other beautiful arm warmers.
The others are dhb Blok Roubaix Fluro arm warmers. These are so soft on the inside and nicely warm while also have the huge advantage of being very bright. I wear these when cycling busy roads so I am more visible.
Arm warmers are also a great accessory for runners. They will need to be super tight fitting to stay up as you jog along.
Leg warmers also need to be carefully chosen so that the fit well. Because of the pedalling motion the wrong size of leg warmers will move around and slip down if they do not fit neatly. I like Gore Bike Wear leg warmers for fit and also functionality. They boast windstopper and water repellency features.
When wearing leg warmers and arm warmers ensure that the top of the top tucks well under the jersey sleeve or shorts hems to prevent a gap forming where you will feel the cold.
Most leg and arm warmers have an inner gripper strip to keep them in place.