I must admit to having a bit of an obsession when it comes to arm and leg warmers. They are one of a cycling’s most adaptable items. Whether it’s dealing with changing weather conditions when out riding; warming up before an event, or cooling down after, they can’t be beat. I’ve been using set of GripGrab Light leg and arm warmers this season and have found them to be some of the best I’ve come across.
GripGrab are a Danish company and consequently have a bit of a head start when it comes to dealing with cold weather; or am I generalising there? Whatever the reason, they have a huge range of cold weather accessories and the quality of the items I have had, have all been top-notch. The Racing gloves I reviewed previously are still going strong and look as good as new.
If you’re not familiar with arm or leg warmers, then you should be! They are simple extensions for shorts and short-sleeved jerseys. Perfect for donning for a chilly early start, when you know it’s going to get warmer. Or maybe like I often do, you have an afternoon ride planned that finishes when the sun has gone down and you have to wait around for a train home. And of course they are perfect when warming up for an event, allowing you to keep your muscles warm until the last moment.
The GripGrab Warmers I was using are their Light version; there are thicker options for colder weather and the Aquarepel range that is designed to keep the wet as well as the cold at bay. I’ll be reviewing the Aquarepel warmers soon. I used these down to just above freezing and found that they were plenty warm enough. You wouldn’t want to be standing around in the cold for extended periods with them, but then why would you? That’s not what they are designed for.
So after a full spring and summer of riding, how did I get on with the GripGrab Warmers? Well as I said in the beginning these are pretty much the best set I’ve come across so far. Both leg and arm warmers are made from a 80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane mix, which produces a soft and lightweight warmer that scrunches down into a very packable bundle; I can easily get all four into one jersey pocket.
The uppers are held in place with silicone backed elastic grippers and have proved resistant to slipping. Part of this is due to the gripper and also to getting a good fit. I have 28cm biceps and 52cm thighs – I won’t be appearing in a Mr Universe competition anytime soon – so went for a medium and they were spot on. They manage to keep their form even after repeated wearing. I recently had to use them twice a day on an hour-long commute and after four days of riding they still kept their shape, without any bagginess.
There are no zips, GripGrab have kept it simple and that was fine with me, less clutter. A nice little touch on the inside of the warmers are the letters L and R; great for those bleary early morning starts, where you’re getting ready with the lights off and everyone asleep. No more clothing on the wrong way round!
The inside of the leg warmers have a different treatment applied to the front and back; makes sense as the front is where you’ll be feeling the cold the most. The front has a slight brushed, thicker finish, helping to trap warm air, while the back has a smooth finish. The legs also have a two panel construction to the rear, helping to create a better fit. On some leg warmers these stitched panels can rub, but this wasn’t the case with the GripGrab Warmers. Once on they disappear, there was no rubbing or bunching behind the knees. The arms are a more simple straight tube, with only a seam up the inside, again once on they do their job without any bother.
Reflective details on both the arms and legs have stayed put after seven months of use, which is impressive; on many manufacturers clothing the reflective designs usually disappear within the first few washes. I haven’t been gentle with these either, they’ve been off-road with me and have brushed off the odd thorn bush without any pulled threads or rips, so far…
So in round-up, GripGrab Warmers, they’re great! They will keep you warm in all but the coldest conditions. For around £22 for the arm warmers and £26 for the leg warmers, they are also good value. Recommended.
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