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Group test – Arm and knee warmers for all seasons

Arm and knee warmers are just that, right? Simple, versatile clothing to keep your arms and knees warm? Wrong.

Like all cycling clothing, there are enough options to confuse even the most weathered rider. Arm are knee warmers are a key component to autumn and winter clothing, providing a quick way to regulate body temperature on rides when weather conditions can vary dramatically. See our autumn clothing guide for more on that.

We’ve had three sets of arm and knee warmers arrive at RCUK, each with a different construction. dhb’s Pace warmers are made from Lyrca, OneTen offer a knitted option, while Santini’s 365 version are manufactured using a fleecy Roubaix fabric. So what are the pros and cons of each?

dhb Pace Lycra arm (£14.99) and knee (£12.99) warmers

dhb’s Pace Lycra arm and knee warmers are a budget option. The thin Lycra construction makes them suitable for spring, summer and autumn, and they pack down very small, but the light weight fabric offers only a little protection against cold winds and will not be enough to see you through winter.

The fit is basic – with a little anatomical shaping – and very generous. Order your regular size and you’re likely to find them too baggy. The knee warmers are very long, too, stretching down to a length more familiar with leg warmers. Silicon grippers help to hold everything in place, while black, red and royal blue variations are available.

Available from www.wiggle.co.uk

OneTen arm (£29.99) and knee (£24.99) warmers

In an age where polyester and Lycra are king, a knitted construction might not seem the obvious answer for modern arm and knee warmers. These are about as modern as it gets though, coming from OneTen, a clothing company that launched earlier this year.

When you first pull on OneTen’s arm and knee warmers, the first thing you notice is how soft they are next to the skin. They’re extremely comfortable, and the seamless and tailored fit hugs the key contours well.

The blend of micro-denier polypropelene and polyamide is fast drying and draws moisture away. Crucially, the knitted material does a surprisingly good job at keeping the wind off your skin, providing a middle ground between Lycra options like dhb’s and fleecy fabric like the below.

One drawback, however. While most warmers will have silicon grippers to keep them in place, these have an elasticated band, which is liable to slipping and will occasionally need pulling back into position.

Available in black or white from www.hotlines-uk.com

Santini 365 arm (£24.99) and knee (£19.99) warmers

As we head towards winter, the need for a more substantial option will grow, with Santini’s 365 arm and knee warmers providing the answer. The fleece-lined Roubaix fabric is extremely warm, while allowing moisture to escape. They also stop water getting in, too, thanks to a water resistant coasting, while a reflective logo adds a little low-light visibility.

Fit is excellent, and the construction strong. These are ideal if you want to leave the three-quarter or full-length tights in the wardrobe for as long as possible, or avoid putting them on altogether. Four colours – white, red, navy blue or royal blue – are offered. Decent value, too.

Available from www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

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