The PEdAL ED Shawa armwarmers are waterproof and cut to fit you on the bike. Designed to match the Shawa jersey, they're a good option for warmer rides where you want to stay dry, or colder, faster, wetter rides.
Pros: on-the-bike cut, taped seams
Cons: the alternatives are pretty good for less cash, sizing is out
Designed in Japan and made in Italy from a dual-layer waterproof / windproof tape-sealed fabric, the Shawa arm warmers are a good match if you've already forked out £160 for the matching Shawa jersey.
It's hard to get excited about arm warmers, as they have one job: keep your arms warm. I have appallingly bad circulation, and with a suitable mix of merino baselayers the Shawa warmers did the job in temperatures ranging from zero to 13° C and wind, rain and sleet. That's a fair spread of conditions, and a testament to the design and fabric. They aren't 'thermal' unlike the British cyclist's go-to bad-weather arm garb, the Castelli Nanoflex Armwarmer - but with suitable layers underneath that's not an issue and means you can opt for no insulation on warmer days without boiling.
If I'd followed PEdAL ED's size guide I'd have worn the Extra-Small or Small - which I can only imagine being really tight and short. As it was the Medium was spot on for my not-buff-classic-cyclists long arms. The fabric is pretty stiff and nowhere near as stretchy as Castelli's Nanoflex, so you need to get the long cuffs sorted around your inner gloves before donning outer layers, if like me you wear several pairs. Once in place they stayed put, the upper arm grip strip doing the job well.
Out for 2 hrs at 85% heartrate - upper Zone 4 - in 3-8° C, overcast with no wind and two merino base layers under arms, I stayed perfectly warm and didn't feel uncomfortable. If you run hotter just lose a base layer.
Likewise an appallingly-grim hour out in 3-degree rain, wind and sleet proved their worth - my hands remained functional, which with my circulation is quite some feat.
£42 RRP is a lot of money, considering the logical alternative Castelli Nanoflex are £35 RRP and come with thermal warmth as well as waterproofness. But if you don't want or need thermal fluff and want to keep water and wind out, the Shawa armwarmers are a good option. Just remember to size up.
Water and wind-proof without fluffy insulation, these are well-designed to go fast in cold-to middling temps.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PEdALED Shawa arm warmer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
It's for going fast in bad weather.
The Shawa arm warmers are designed to match the Shawa Jersey for a complete protection from winter elements.
Like the Jersey these Arm warmers are specifically created to protect from rain and wind and still mainting the right fit.
What makes the Shawa totally different from the rest is its special two-layers construction.
The internal taped seams ensure the waterproof characteristic of the Shawa and the internal pocket is perfect for a smartphone and wallet storage keeping them dry during rain showers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- WATERPROOF AND WINDPROOF
- TAPED SEAMS
- STRETCH FABRICS
- BREATHABLE INNER LAYER
- SLIM FIT FOR PERFORMANCE
Very well-put together
Kept the water and wind at bay
Can't see them failing any time.
For a stiff fabric they fit well - if you are particularly large of bicep they may be tight.
The size chart for my chest recommends the XS or S - which would have been very tight and short. The Medium were perfect.
The angled cut is great on the bars.
For the money the Nanoflex might edge them out.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed up just fine
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I liked them - kept my poor circulation going when ridden fast.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut and length, ignoring the sizing recommendations and going 1-2 bigger.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, really. Apart from the price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not really
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.
Use this box to explain your overall score
If not for the price, they'd be a star better. The price is high, no question, which drags the value equation down.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, Dutch bike pootling.