Thursday, 24 September 2009

GamJams Reviews: Arm and Leg Warmers

It's with some hesitation that I review anything that I like - things that I review positively have an alarming tendency to blow up on me within a freakishly short time after my reviews appear.

Warmers are indispensable pieces of gear. If you don't have leg, arm and knee warmers, I'd recommend getting them. Leg warmers will get your through all but the coldest rides. Arm and knee warmers are priceless for longer rides with early starts, where the air might be 25 or more degrees warmer when you get home than it was when you left.

Whichever warmer we're talking about, the key is fabric. High stretch, fleecy insides and a soft hand on the outside (especially for arm warmers, which are punished with an astonishing volume of snot being wiped off on them) are mandatory. I've had Castelli, Pearl Izumi and Specialized warmers which have all been good in these three regards, with the Specialized having a notable edge in all three.

For construction, flat-lock seams and silicon grip edges are a must. Lycra grippers haven't been very durable for me, and since warmers generally fit pretty darn tight, exposed seams are going to dig in. My Castelli arm warmers left a mark that lasted a good long time after their removal. Specialized once again holds the cards in these facets.

Leg warmers also normally have a zipper. My old Nike leg warmers bit the dust because the ankle zipper broke. Judging from the booties, seat bags and leg warmers I see out on the roads, sporting safety pins where the zipper ought to be, this is a universal issue. The little extra for the quality zipper is always well spent. Again, Specialized seems to have come through in this regard.

So, inevitably, my Specialized leg warmers will be dying within the next three weeks.

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