Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers - review - Road Cycling UK

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Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers – review

Lightweight, water resistant protection for riding in mild but changeable conditions

Sportful Fiandre’s range is designed to offer race-orientated, lightweight and water resistant protection from the elements. While these Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers may be lightweight on the scales, they’re not lightweight when it comes to performance and have impressed with their water resistance and comfort if you want a set of arm warmers for late spring-early autumn use.

You may be familiar with Sportful’s regular NoRain arm warmers, which are a staple of the Italian firm’s range, and are made from a Roubaix-lined lycra with a water repellent finish. They’re ideal early spring and late autumn, and could also get a run out in winter, but are otherwise may be a little too warm for year-round use.

However, as the name suggests, these Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers use a lighter, unlined fabric, which uses the same NoRain nano-technology (whereby the a water repellent finish is applied to the fabric) to provide rain protection without compromising on breathability, which can be the downfall of some arm warmers. Most riders will have been out for a ride where it’s too warm for fleece-lined warmers, but you still want the option of covering your arms without resorting to a long sleeve jersey or jacket and that’s where these come in.

The Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers offer lightweight, water resistant protection
  • Specification

  • Price: £27.00
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: black; orange; yellow
  • Website: Sportful

The material used for these arm warmers isn’t waterproof like a membrane fabric (such as eVent or Gore) and certainly have a limit as to what they can handle, but are really well-suited to changeable conditions or when it’s mild out but there’s rain in the air. Throughout testing, this meant most, if not all, water just beaded up and rolled off for the first hour when riding in steady rain, before saturation point was reached. Again, they’re not waterproof, but certainly live up to the billing of water resistant.

After several rides and washes, the NoRain treatment seems as effective as ever, although we’ll keep an eye out to see if this deteriorates in the long-run as it’s not part of the fabric structure.

The fabric is pretty windproof, too. It won’t block everything out, but is a good balance for a set of lightweight warmers, though it does mean they’re not going to be used when it’s really cold and are most likely to be a second investment, rather than the only set of arm warmers you own.

Out on the road, in a ride of around two hours at a sustained effort and a morning temperature hovering around 12 degrees, I was really impressed with the arm warmers, and the balance of protection, warmth and breathability, which is excellent. So too is the fit – they are long enough for a good overlap with jersey sleeves and. at the other end, close the gap well with gloves if you’re riding with them. The upper arm has a sticky rubberised hem which still grips effectively when saturated with moisture, while the cuff is stealthier, thinner and offers a good fit which neither cuts circulation or is too loose.

The upper hem is lined with an effective silicone gripper

In terms of looks, Sportful offer the Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers in three colourways: black, as well as two brighter options of orange (as tested) and yellow which offer an obvious benefit out on the road.

Conclusion

The Fiandre range takes its inspiration of the Flanders region of Belgium and its unpredictable weather year-round – and that wholly applies to the UK, too. The Fiandre Light NoRain arm warmers are ideal for when it’s relatively mild (and that could apply to spring, summer or autumn) but you still want the option of lightweight, windproof and water resistant protection for your arms. The low weight and breathability of the warmers means they feel unrestrictive and efficient in function, and as a piece of kit for a long race or sportive in iffy weather, these would be an excellent investment.

Pros

  • Excellent balance of water resistance, windproofing and breathable
  • Ideal for changeable late spring-early autumn conditions
  • Lightweight, packable

Cons

  • Lack of insulation means they’re likely be a second investment alongside, erm, warmer warmers

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