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So the weather is starting to turn chilly, or shall I say, already has started to turn chilly, but you only own a pair of cycling shorts and no bib tights to try to help keep those legs warm during the ride? This is where leg warmers for cycling come into your life to help keep those hard-working legs warm and comfortable.
Have you been out in the cold on a bike with your legs bare hitting that freezing wind? Yes, I have too and it absolutely kills!
Especially for those who enjoy doing the long distance rides, these leg warmers are a must during the cold days if you don’t own a pair of bib tights or you just don’t like the feel of bib tights.
In this article, I will explain what these cycling leg warmers are and how they work. I will also list some leg warmers which I have picked out whilst doing my research for a pair which may be worth checking out.
What Are Leg Warmers?
Let’s get into what these bad boys are all about shall we?
Leg warmers are designed to be worn with bib shorts or cycling shorts. They are like pulling on a large tube over your leg but they fit from your mid thigh where your shorts will overlap and down to your ankle and use silicone strips to hold them in place.
The great thing I like about these, is that during the Spring and Autumn months when the weather can start off chilly but then warm up later on in the day, you can start the day by wearing these leg warmers, then when it’s getting too warm, just peel them off and fold them away in your bag or possibly in your rear jersey pocket! And of course you can work this the other way round too, just take them on a ride with you in case it starts to get chilly.
There is nothing worse than being out on a ride and being cold and uncomfortable, it just makes you hate the ride and miserable as hell! Then it begins to put you off ever cycling during these chilly days, and cycling shouldn’t have to stop being enjoyable because of that!
It’s also important to keep the muscles in the legs warm during any sort of physical activity as this helps to prevent injury. I have been out with my legs showing in the winter and when it comes to needing some leg power up a big climb and your legs have almost become frozen, you just don’t perform anywhere near as good as you can usually, and this is because of the cold muscles and your knees just feel like seizing up!
I wish back then I had thought about investing in a set of these small but highly effective simple items of cycling clothing!! Anyway I learned my lesson.
As with any type of cycling clothing, it’s important to know what to look for with these leg warmers and how they should fit also.
A good pair of cycling leg warmers will be designed and shaped to accommodate a bent knee for when you are pedaling to allow for freedom of movement and provide maximum comfort.
In terms of how they should fit, many of these leg warmers are sold by manufacturers in a small, medium, large, extra large category. I would recommend you go for the similar size as you do with your cycling shorts – if you usually buy large cycling shorts, then buy large leg warmers.
Some leg warmers will contain certain features, such as a zip near the ankle which can help when removing or putting on the leg warmers. These zips can also help you to add or remove these leg warmers without having to take off your shoes.
Manufacturers will also have some leg warmers that have a water repellent coating on them, which by the way won’t last forever. But you can buy your own water repellent coating to some leg warmers.
Many cycling leg warmers are made from a material that is slightly thicker and insulating than the typical Lycra, this material is called Roubaix which as fleeced-backed Lycra and aims to trap the air against your skin to keep you warm. There is also Super Roubaix which is the same idea, but it is a thicker and warmer version.
There are leg warmers made from knitted fabrics, usually Polyester or Merino wool for luxury and maximum warmth which are thicker and warmer than Roubaix.
My Top 5 Leg Warmers
As I mentioned at the start of this article, here is a list of my top picks of leg warmers for cycling in no particular order;
1. GripGrab Classic Leg Warmers
The classic GripGrab leg warmers are both thermal and breathable, which makes them an ideal companion for cycling on cold days. The brushed and breathable fleece helps with temperature regulation. The silicone ends on the thigh as well as the multi-panel design provide maximum comfort
2. Castelli Nanoflex Leg Warmers
Thanks to the Nanoflex fabric, these Castelli leg warmers are well-designed, comfortable and water repellent but only for sprays and showers, don’t count on these keeping you dry through harder rain conditions. These are made from Nylon and Lycra which help provide comfort and breathability. Elasticated gripper silicone on the inside to hold them against your leg and also on the outside to grip against your shorts and they also have a zip to make getting them on and off easier, even over your shoes.
3. VeloChampion Thermo Tech Lite Cycling Leg Warmers
VeloChampion leg warmers keep you warm and dry in the colder months, these can be easily stored into your back pockets for quick on and off times. Complete with silicone grippers to keep the warmers in place and inner fleece fabric to keep you warm/cosy on cold morning or evening rides. These leg warmers have also added reflective logos to keep you safe on night time commutes!
4. Foxter Unisex Cycling Leg Warmers
Thermal stretch fabric with brushed inside, exceptional Softness and total comfort and keep your legs warm. Their heavier structure acts as a shield against terrible weather conditions. They feature a red contrast flat lock seaming to reduce chaffing and increased comfort.
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5. Proviz Unisex REFLECT360 Leg Warmers
The REFLECT360 leg warmers give multi-season warmth and versatility and are manufactured using high quality fabric to help ensure outstanding comfort and softness to keep your legs warm on those cold days. Excellent breathability and moisture wicking ability along with high elasticity help to give your legs all the support they need. The REFLECT360 leg warmers also have anti-slip silicone bands to ensure there is no frustrating slipping down your leg when under use. Being part of the REFLECT360 range, they have strategically positioned ample reflective chevrons to help ensure your moving legs catch the attention of drivers when your are out on the roads when it’s dark.
For me, these are a no brainer for cyclists out and about in the cold conditions, especially if it is a bit unpredictable on what the temperature will be like on your ride, you can just fold these away into your bag or pockets and simply slide them on if you feel they are needed!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and have gained a better understanding of what leg warmers for cycling are and also how they can help you out in terms of comfort on the bike in those cold days.
Please feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts on these or feel free to ask any questions you may have, I will always reply within 24 hours.