An armwarmer, yesterday
The one that goes on the other arm
Knees are not left out
Gore Arm Warmers Thermo £19.99
Most manufacturers only offer armwarmers in three sizes; Gore offers these in four.
For most people this statement will mean next to nothing, but if you happen to be one of the increasing number of women entering the sport it means you should be able to find a pair that will fit (unless you are a slim size 8-10). To make the size run complete, some customers would benefit from an eXtra Small size. Not only would this cater for the increasing ladies market but it would also give those 60kg mountain goats an option as well. As Gore’s armwarmers are anatomically cut to follow the elbow, it is handy that they have a L and R on the corresponding arms at the wrist. If they didn’t, you could end up swapping arms over and find yourself having to move them around until you found the right position. The simple addition of the stitched letters removes the potential hassle. The weight of the material is about perfect for spring/autumn weather. The choice of fleece provides ample warmth while never feeling hot and sweaty. The garment uses flat lock seams so you don’t suffer from multiple pattern lines up and down your arms when you remove them.
The grippers at the wrist are excellent; not over tight but nevertheless feeling secure. This unfortunately was not the same for the upper bicep grippers. Jekyll and Hyde would be an apt description for how they performed. Some days they performed flawlessly and on other occasions just would not stay up. Experimenting with different jerseys, I eventually got to grips with the erratic upper gripper. I found that a traditional style jersey with an elasticated sleeve worked best. Even though they have this minor problem I really like the cut, weight and style of these armwarmers. I am sure that this is a very simple problem to fix, resulting in an armwarmer that would make an excellent addition to any wardrobe.
Gore Knee Warmers Thermo £24.99
The knee warmers share the same material and size range as the arm warmers, but you could be left thinking that two different people designed these items. I have always liked the concept of knee warmers as they give you the ability to change from summer garb to an autumnal ensemble quicker than you can say Jack Frost. It always makes me shudder when I see riders with shorts on in the dead of winter with nothing covering their knees. As both knee and arm warmers take up very little space either in a bag or back pocket, they should have a home in the wardrobe of any self-respecting cyclist.
Gore has taken a similar approach to the knees as to the arms in regards to fit. As both legs move in the same plane there is no real need to make a left and right option as with the arm warmers. The warmers do have an anatomic cut to deal with the flexure of the limb, which can happen around 90 times a minute if you have a good cadence. As the material is the same as that used for the armwarmers the warmth is excellent while not leaving you baked. The only difference I have noticed in the material is that the knee warmers seem to have been treated so encourage light rain to bead off them, although this doesn’t make them waterproof. The big difference was in the fit department, as my knees had no issues with the grippers at all. Lengthwise they ran from mid thigh to mid calf, covering a longer section of leg than most knee warmers. If you have ever watched the early season races you will have noticed that the Pros use this length also, and for good reason. The extra length protects the bigger muscle groups and allows the body to use the energy that would have been used to warm the body to propel the legs faster.
For a knee warmer these are about as close to perfect as you can get. They work brilliantly and the price is affordable to everyone. My only negative would be the same echo as the arm warmers, in that if you are a sub 65kg rider you may find even the small version baggy. As this is probably the best knee warmer I have used to date I would like to see it available to everybody. If you don’t have a set of knee warmers or your current ones are past their best, hunt out a Gore dealer and buy some. You will not be disappointed.