cycling kit

A world of cycling accessories

Arm-warmers are just arm-warmers, right? A couple of feet of overpriced material with a logo on it? Maybe, but they can also be the first step onto the road to cycling specific financial ruin.

When starting out cycling, it takes quite a leap of imagination to see a time when you might consider spending £30 on a set of arm-warmers. ‘Who the hell needs arm-warmers’ you think, ‘if I want arms, I’ll buy them already attached to my jersey thank you very much’.

But once you’ve spent long hours in the saddle pedaling through the seasons, the times of day, and the longitudes and latitudes, the weather becomes more than just wet or dry, windy or still, or hot or cold. Over time, you may find yourself developing an appreciation for your surroundings on a par with an over-excited Bear Grylls.

Not convinced by the need for arm-warmers? Here’s an example:

Imagine you head out for a four hour ride at 8am on a summer’s day. When you leave the house there is a chill in the air, so you wear your summer kit – a short sleeved jersey – with arm warmers. By 10am the sun has burned off the cloud and starts to warm the skin. Not only are you starting to overheat a little, this is now an excellent opportunity to get to work on your cyclist’s tan, and so you swiftly remove the arm warmers (while pedaling, no-handed if possible), and voila…they have become the ultimate piece of practical kit, a snip at £30.

If you had gone out wearing a long sleeved jersey to ward of the early morning chill, you either become boil-in-the-bag for the rest of your ride, or you are forced to press on with jersey pockets bulging with the clothing you’ve just removed (which cramps the style somewhat!)

Once you’ve accepted that you need arm-warmers in your life, you’ve opened the door to a whole new world of accessories. How far you go from here is up to you.

Knee-warmers are obvious, doing the same job for your knees as arm-warmers do for your arms. Overshoes? Essential kit for cold and wet conditions, but what about Belgian booties? These are simply a traditional knitted version of the overshoe, for days when you just need that extra bit of feet protection…but no more. Great for displaying your love of cycling heritage, but practical?

And the list goes on; helmet covers? kidney warmers?…not for me, but each to their own.

Of course, you can get by perfectly well with standard issue cycling kit and to hell with all these frills and fripperies. If that’s what you choose to do, good for you. Me? I like to cherry pick. As it stands, I have no desire to get into buying toe warmers, for example…

…but then again, I said that about arm-warmers.

15 comments on “A world of cycling accessories

  1. I am heavily tattooed on my arms and legs, I have multiple pairs of arm warmers and some compression selves that are good for warm weather and sun protection and leg warmers for those cold mornings, they come in real handy, the piece of clothing that you don’t really think you need till you start using it


  2. Guilty as charged. I’ve actually found myself debating whether to take the arm-warmers or the arm-screens before…
    And one of the best things I’ve seen on a bike is a buddy removing his knee-warmers whilst pedalling with the other leg, no handed, at a fair old pace down Walthamstow High Road.


    • Now that i like – it takes a special breed to even have a go at removing knee warmers on the fly, let alone achieve it. I expect he’s Mr Nonchelant too?


  3. Ha. Got some toe warmers last season…great when you just need a bit of extra shielding from the wind on a crisp morning. Arm warmers? Not for me thanks…but then I said that about toe warmers. 😏


  4. Chikashi

    A really very slippery slope, indeed…


  5. Would never be without arm, knee or leg warmers; I get distraught if I lose them, as I so often do! Still too chilly in the UK to start off without them yet…


    • That’s true. I made the mistake of going out in shorts the other day with no knee/arm-warmers and, apart from the fact that I had to peer down at my glaringly white legs, I didn’t half have to pedal hard to keep them warm…as you say, bit early in the year yet!


      • Today I did a ride without wearing any kind of warmers! But, I carried my arm-warmers, you know, just in case 😉


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