There are, as many cyclists know, three ways to wear a pair of arm warmers: on the arms, as per design; rucked up around the wrist in the style of Marco Pantani, too busy demolishing the opposition to consider fully removing them; and slipped quietly into a jersey pocket.
As it is no longer the ’90’s, and I have long since given up on demolishing anything bar a bag o’ donuts and a post-ride pizza, I chose to test this offering from British brand Invani using two of the three methods.
Lucky for me they have sneakily introduced secret option four: inside out.
Which is, in fact, outside in. They’re reversible, is what I’m saying. My pair designed to seamlessly flip from black to blue with no compromise in style. Other colour combos are available.
See my previous review of their long sleeve jersey for more of this.
On the arms, like any good pair of warmers, they have a simple job to do. They cover the arm, gripping stickily up above the bicep, and they stay there. The razor-sharp lines at the wrist make a nice finish. The material clings like a timid toddler in a crowded room.
By my rough calculation you’d be advised to carry a pair of arm warmers on approximately 84% of summer’s days here in the UK, such is the random weather on this increasingly random island of ours. And when removed, and pocketed, this Invani iteration of a cycling staple fold up so crisp and feather light you forget you have them.
A little insurance policy in your jersey pocket.
And if you get bored of them, you flip them inside out, or you deliberately mismatch them – one black, one blue – adding instant ‘character’ to your regulation personality.
One thing they’re not, is thermal. They are a lightweight arm covering to take the edge off. I would argue this is the job of an arm-warmer; if it’s a ‘thermal’ kind of day, a long-sleeved jersey would probably have been a good idea.
It’s a great product, from a young, independent British brand, at a reasonable price. Whether you feel bold enough to wear them in the legendary Pantani wrist-scrunch is entirely up to you.