Altura’s Raceline arm and knee warmers are excellent: the fabric is ideal for spring/summer use and, crucially, the fit is spot on.
Arm and knee warmers are, on the face of it, are among the more simple items in a cyclist’s wardrobe but, in my experience at least, they’re surprisingly hard to get right and my kit drawer contains many that are too baggy, too tight, too long or too short, and so haven’t quite made the grade.
Invariably I reach for Sportful’s excellent NoRain arm and knee warmers (whether it’s raining or not) but these, from Altura’s flagship Raceline collection, have given me another ‘go to’ option and these have received plenty of use through spring and over the past two months. The arm and knee warmers are sold separately, for £24.99 and £27.99 respectively, but seeing as they’re cut from the same cloth and will often be worn together, we’ll review them as one.
The Raceline arm and knee warmers have what Altura call a ‘dual density fabric construction’. That, essentially, means that the front half is made from a fleece-lined lycra fabric, while the back half is made from a conventional unlined lycra fabric. That’s a smart combination seeing as the fleece-lined sections traps a layer or warm arm next to you skin, and it’s also the front half of your arm or knee that’s exposed to the wind. As a result, these are an ideal mid-season option, when it’s not quite cold enough for a fully fleece-lined warmer. They’ve served me well to take the edge of the early morning chill while on training camp in Andalucia, Spain, after which they can be stashed in a jersey pocket once it warms up, and have been worn regularly on rides – from start to finish – in the UK. That’s included early-morning rides in single figure temperatures to distinctly warmer days with the temperature around 20c (though in such weather we’re likely only wear the arm warmers), when the fabric has proved plenty breathable enough.
Fit is personal, particularly as far as arm and knee warmers are concerned so if you have the chance before you buy then all the better, but Altura have got it spot on here. Two sizes are available, with a L/XL option alongside the S/M tested, have a pre-shaped ergonomic cut. The fabric is compressive but not tight, and the combination of an elasticated band lined with a silicone gripper at the top of either the arm or knee warmer does an excellent job at holding it in place, and so avoiding the arm or knee warmer slipping down to leave a gap between your jersey or shorts. They’ve also remained wrinkle-free and have no adjustment on the move. That’s all you can ask for.
We like the understated all-black styling (save for the reflective ‘Raceline’ branding) but red and white warmers are also available if you want to colour-match your kit.
Arm and knee warmers are essential items of kit for much of the year in the UK and these are an excellent option. The arm and knee warmers can be worn together on cooler spring or summer days, or ditch the knee warmers and just cover your arms when it’s warmer but still not mid-summer hot. Either way, the Raceline arm and knee warmers are an excellent midway option thanks to the dual fabric construction and the fit is spot on.