Cycling Arm Warmers and Cycling Leg Warmers Will Solve the Majority of Your Cycling Kit Decisions2 Min Read
Simple in design and purpose, cycling leg warmers and cycling arm warmers turn your cycling shorts into leggings and your short-sleeve cycling jersey into a long-sleeve model. Their inherent flexibility often negates the need to wear — or carry— a cycling jacket on cool spring and fall days. Each end of these fabric sleeves features grippy tape over the hem to help them stay in place on your skin. They even double as sunblock protection in high altitudes or intense sun. Below is a quick guide to where, when, and why you’d wear arm and leg warmers.
Cool Mornings Turn to Warm Days
Mornings are often the best times to ride, but in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, those cool, crisp mornings can quickly turn into warm sunny days. You may start your ride wanting to bundle up, but once the sun hits, you’ll end up a sweaty, overheated mess. With cycling arm and leg warmers, you can start out toasty warm, then as the day and your body heat up, you can easily shed them and stuff them in your jersey pockets. This strategy also works in reverse, when you start your ride in the warm sun and end it in the cool, early evening. As the temps drop, pull on your arm and leg warmers and carry on.
Pro-tip: Cycling arm warmers have a greater effect on your comfort level than leg warmers. Accordingly, take your leg warmers off first and see if you’re comfortable riding. Still warm? Then remove your arm warmers. Conversely, if growing cold on the bike, put on your arm warmers before your leg warmers.
Long Slow Climbs and Fast Descents
When cooler weather arrives, so do personal records on your favourite climbs since the colder air enables you to push yourself harder on those long, sustained climbs. However, the effortless, high-speed trip back down the mountain can instantly chill you to the bone. Here’s where carrying cycling leg and arm warmers come to the rescue. Pull them on at the top of the climb and head back down. When you reach the bottom, simply pull them off again.
Pro-tip: When ascending and descending multiple climbs in a ride, try first pushing your arm warmers down to your wrists instead of taking them all the way off. This makes it easier to pull them back up on the descents.
Cold Weather Rides With Cycling Arm Warmers
Most arm warmers will have a tight fit and fleece thermal layer that lies against the skin. The tight fit comes from the pieces’ need to stick tight to your skin and stay there. This design feature also makes them excellent layering pieces that can turn a lightweight cycling jacket into a winter riding jacket and expand your lightweight riding kit without the need to wear a bulky winter cycling jacket or jersey.
Pro-tip: When layering your arm warmers and leg warmers treat them as base layers. Jersey sleeves should lie over the arm warmers. Same for cycling shorts or bibs; the hem of the shorts should lie over the top of the leg warmers and tall socks should go over the bottoms of the leg warmers. The reason: the arm and leg warmers will stay in place better, lessening the chance of them sliding down and exposing your skin to cold air.
Cycling leg and arm warmers serve a purpose year-round, especially for those who ride at high altitudes or in intense sun. Megmeister’s Ultratherm Leg Warmers and Arm Sleeves are designed to keep you warm and dry with a breathable fleece fabric that doubles as sunblock. In the summer, Megmeister’s Ultrafris Pro Cool UPF 50+ Arm Sleeves keep your arms protected from the intense UV rays of higher elevations and lower latitudes, and they keep you cooler with sweat-activated wicking technology.
Pro-tip: Get in the habit of carrying a set of arm warmers on every ride. Treat them like you would your tire-repair kit and nutrition strategy. Arm warmers take up little weight or space in your jersey pocket, but having them when you need them could make or break the quality of your ride. They can also double as a rag to wipe your hands off after fixing a mechanical issue or stopping for a mid-ride snack.
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