Arm and knee warmers are two staple items in a cyclist's wardrobe at this time of year.
Rarely is the UK spring consistently warm enough to venture out merely in bib shorts and a short sleeve jersey, nor is it regularly cold enough to wear a long sleeve jersey (though a piece like the dhb Windslam jersey
, which has a windproof front panel and lightweight polyester sleeve, could be a worthwhile investment), so arm and knee warmers plug the gap between winter and summer (when they are still likely to see plenty of use).
Arm and knee warmers provide protection when there's still a nip in the air and can be removed and tucked into a jersey pocket if it warms up.
They're typically made from a Lycra fabric (though polyester and Merino wool versions are available).
Fit is key and varies from one clothing manufacturer to another, and one rider to another - my kit drawer is a bottomless pit of warmers which are too long, too short or too baggy - so try before you buy. The fabric should be pre-shaped and have a degree of stretch in it.
We still prefer the additional protection offered by fleece-lined warmers at this time of year - Cafe du Cycliste's Super Roubaix-lined Loulou arm warmers
get plenty of use here - and, for even more versatility, consider those made from a water resistant fabric.
Sportful's No-Rain arm and knee warmers
are our 'go to' option at RoadCyclingUK HQ, along with those from Castelli's Nanoflex range
. Both are made from a fabric enfused with silicone particles to repel water and, while water resistant as opposed to waterproof, provide an effective barrier against damp weather and save pulling on a jacket.
Crucially, both also have an excellent fit, and offer impressive breathability, so water resistance aside, are likely to get as much use in dry conditions.