Guide to Purchasing the Best Cycling Arm and Knee Warmers
It is believed amongst the community of professional cyclists that if the weather turns chilly enough for the sleeves, it is chilly enough for the knees. It is something that is profoundly true and we are of the view that both arm and knee warmers are the simplest solution to coping with colder days or unreliable weather conditions, as they can be put on or removed with ease and do not occupy too much space in a cyclists’ pocket. There are tons of different types of arm and knee warmers available on the market. You can get your hands on the super thin UV protection type or the thick Roubaix style ones. Considering colder climes, the tests that we conducted focused on thermal and water-repellent types.
Before we begin, it is important that an appropriate size of both the arm and knee warmer is of prime significance. Keep in mind that the segments of skin at the back of the knees and inside of the elbow are extremely sensitive and a peculiar fold can cause excruciating discomfort on a long ride which is further exacerbated in moist and wet conditions. Seams are also important as they assist with fit and structure and can also hamper movement and cause irritation in the joints. There is certainly more to the world of arm and knee warmers than meets the eye.
Best cycling arm and knee warmers
1 – Giro Chrono
This product boasts a smaller diameter in contrast to the rest of the test products on our list and offers a distinct design. Giro has come up with their new line of Chrono with a 10% elastane content which is an ideal alternative for those who have sensitive skin to silicone grippers since the fabrics high elasticity ensures that the garment softly grips your body. The arm warmers come with a slightly tapering cut and the knee warmers are heavily shaped and both offered a nice fit.
The garments have been designed with a more open weave in contrast to their counterparts. They are ideal for the slightly warmer temperatures for the cyclists who run hot or on trips where exaggerated effort is being put in. Moreover, they have the ability to remove moisture from the skin.
Giro Chrono is blessed with a gentle feel and amazing flexibility which render them an ideal choice for riders who find their conventional warmers unfit for their sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line: The material used in Giro’s Chrono warmers provides plenty of grip and is efficient at removing the moisture away and hence an ideal choice for warmer days. We would be glad to give it a rating of 8/10.
Arm warmers cost about £29.99 while the knee warmers come for £24.99.
2 – Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal
This American brand named as Pearl Izumi is another one of the entrenched market leaders who have made an effort to recalibrate the fit of both kinds of warmers by promising a dexterously engineered anatomic fit. For instance, its arm warmer boasts a four panel design on the inner arm that is trimmed a bit shorter to give it a square finish at the wrist when the elbow is twisted or bent. Both the arms and knee warmers come with a prominent seam at the joints to support articulation while the broad elastic grip along with the formidable silicone stripe ensures that the warmers stay in their place.
Quite surprisingly, only a limited number of brands opt for a gripper that is below the knee, yet the Elite Thermal warmers contain such a gripper to keep their in their place. The wide gripper on the thigh works like a charm while the one on the upper arm seems to be a bit heavy which is quite surprising to be honest considering the fact that the fabric used in their construction is rather comfortable.
Elite Thermals are available in a wide array of sizes, colors and fits while ensuring decent warmth. On the whole, they seem like a good bargain considering their affordable price.
The bottom line: The warmers have been sculpted anatomically which ensures that they maximize the freedom of movement and remain in their place without any hassle. A rating of 8/10 would rather be appropriate for the Pearl Izumi Thermals.
The arm warmers cost around £24.99 while the knee warmers come for £34.99.
3 – dhb Aeron Rain Defense
These water-resistant warmers by dhb have been fabricated with Miti Thermal fabric at the back and Windtex Storm Shield fabric at the front. The manufacturer seems to have been able to pull off a pretty decent job with regard to the product’s design.
The Miti Thermal fabric ensures that sufficient warmth is provided by the warmers at the back. The fabric tends to promise a practicable contour thanks to its high level of flexibility despite the hampering Windtex layer.
There is significant amount of creasing along the joints but it is not bothersome owing to the grippers located at the bottom and the top which ensure that the warmers remain in their place.
The warmers are being touted as a protective apparel from rain and it took them roughly 20 minutes or thereabouts before they succumbed to water similar to others. Probably, it took a little longer on the arms since the seams are hidden underneath.
Dhb certainly has been able to done a commendable job with their Aeron Rain Defense as they offer a nice fit on the arms and the knees.
The bottom line: The water resistance feature is an added benefit. Considering their price range, they seem to be a pretty decent offer. A high rating of 9/10 is what we would be more than happy to award them.
The arm warmers can be had for £22 while the knee warmers are priced at £26.
4 – Endura Windchill
Endura have been able to carve out the most number of panels with five in their arm warmer and six in their knee warmer. There is a broad elastic gripper at the top of each of the warmers backed with silicone beads around the side while they are located on the outskirts of the thigh. The warmers have been built from Thermolite fabric which trap air in its hollow fibers for warmth and keep a rider warm even when the conditions are moist. Both the products have been treated with the Repel Teflon fabric protector which ensures that the warmers are able to withstand the rigors of moist conditions for about 15 minutes. However, the seams can always succumb to leakage sooner. As far as the sizing is concerned, we had a few issues since we found out their X/XL sizes loose while their S/M sizes hindering and yet they got crumpled up around the joints. If you are able to find a nice fit, these warmers would certainly offer you a nice alternative to stay warm in unreliable weather conditions but we would urge you to try out the sizing before you purchase them.
The bottom line: This is a great brand that has been able to conjure a pretty decent product. However, sizing could present a few issues for some cyclists. So, a rating of 7/10 would be okay.
The arm warmers cost around £22.99 while the knee warmers come for £24.99.
5 – Nalini Nanodry
For the purposes of our tests, we requested all the participating brands to provide us their products in large size so that we could establish a baseline for equitable comparisons. However, it is important to let you know that Nalini’s Nanodry come in five different sizes ranging from small to XXL which is a remarkably wide array of sizes.
These warmers have been contrived from Nalini’s professional range called the Black Line and employ Moa Cold fabric that offers moderate breathability while ensuring that the moisture is wicked away and sufficient warmth is provided to the rider. Cycling in wet and rainy conditions can sap your confidence but watching the beads of rain water trickling over your wardrobe can be an overwhelmingly liberating experience as well. When it comes to these warmers, the main fabric does an exceptional job but the rain water does not bead on the seams which is the most vulnerable area to leakages. It is quite frustrating to be honest to find out that the seams are located on the top of the forearms and thighs. The fit and the sizing are pretty damn good while the Nanodry warmers can withstand a rainy weather for just about 20 minutes.
The bottom line: These warmers are nice enough for light fall or spring drizzles. They are available in a wide array of sizes which is remarkable. A rating of 7/10 sounds appropriate.
The arm warmers cost around £33.99 while the knee warmers come for £37.99.
6 – Rapha Arm and Knee Warmers
In contrast to some of the other products enlisted in this post, this set of warmers from Rapha might seem to be void of some of the attractive features. However, to be honest, the British manufacturer has utilized an Italian made Roubaix cloth that boasts a gentle feel on the inside as well as the outskirts in comparison with some of the best warmers around. There is a white accent that has been constructed to go at the front with On the Front scribbled to let a rider know how to put them on which can be quite a bit of a help for some.
The comparison between the arms and the knees is rather frustrating. The Roubaix fabric does render a soft and gentle touch around the arms but it turns out to be rather restricting around the knees as the fabric tends to gather around just behind the knee. This can possibly be resolved with the help of a lower grip. Having said that, the brand’s arm warmers are a must have as the single seam and fabric offers a spectacular fit.
The bottom line: The fabric is cool and the arm warmers are a sheer delight but the knee warmers could probably do better. Again, we would be happy to give them a rating of 7/10.
The arm warmers cost around £30 while the knee warmers come for £40.
7 – Castelli Nanoflex+
Castelli has been able to garner plenty of sales in the UK thanks to the fabric and applied treatment that keeps the rain and road spray away in a magnificent manner and the warmers never get drenched. The older variants of this range used to gather around the joints. So, Castelli came up with a new version in 2017 called as Nanoflex+ that employs a thinner and less fleecy pile on the rear and a contoured shape to reduce undesired fabric.
There are no seams on the front exposed sides of both the arm and knee warmers and both have been able to display splendid results in wet and moist conditions. The fit is also an improvement in contrast to the previous variants while the knee and arm warmers stay in their place without much effort. Silicone grippers have been used on the inside and out of the top of both the products which is quite refreshing. The warmers are available in three sizes and are an excellent choice for cooler weather.
The bottom line: Castelli’s Nanoflex are a massive improvement in contrast to their previous variants and certainly deserve a perfect rating of 10/10 for what they are.
The arm warmers cost around £35 while the knee warmers come for £40.