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Specialized Therminal knee warmers

8
£30.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Outstanding comfort and warmth, though suspect elastic could cause issues in the longterm
Lightweight
Warm
Good cut
Full size range
Signs of the elastic fraying
Weight: 
77g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Specialized's Therminal Knee Warmers have a fantastic cut and are made of exceptionally lightweight fabric. They are so comfortable the only way you know you're wearing them is by their outstanding protection against cold air.

The cut of these is great; I didn't even notice I was wearing them on the bike, and lining the seams up with the knee gave me a perfect fit that didn't pull or bunch. The two-way stretch probably helps here; the fabric adapts well as you move.

> Buy these online here

> Find your nearest dealer here

These come in six sizes, but the chart linked from the product page is incorrect, so be sure to use the one linked from other products, for example here.

I'd say your height is the most appropriate guide: I'm 172cm and found the medium a good fit around the knee, though I would have preferred a slightly larger elastic gripper; there was a small amount of 'sausaging' going on, though not enough to be uncomfortable. I shouldn't have been influenced by other dimensions...

2021 Specialized Therminal knee warmer 1.jpg

Specialized could usefully add 'thigh circumference' to their size chart, but they're not the only manufacturer guilty of ignoring it though.

The elastic in the lower seams is grippy, as it's made of tiny, ridged 'strings' of elastic, while the upper seam is a smooth, elastic band lined with silicone. Although they were both on the tight side for me, they weren't aggressive enough to create soreness (I should probably have gone for large instead of medium) and slippage wasn't an issue – even when I wore them deliberately low as a test.

2021 Specialized Therminal knee warmer - cuff gripper.jpg

Performance-wise, these are nothing short of impressive. Not only is the Lombardia fleece super soft against the skin, it's seriously warm without being overbearing or heavy. I never felt a build up of sweat or clamminess, but neither did I sense anything less them decent warmth, even well into single figure temperatures. If you want to peel them off, they roll up to fit in the smallest of pockets and weigh less than 80g.

> 20 of the best arm & leg warmers for 2021

The Therminals are not water waterproof at all, though, so it's cold and dry days only.

Durability

While I can confidently rave about performance, I have reservations about durability. There are threads of elastic already showing at the upper elastic hem – not great after a month. The function is unaffected so far, however; only time will tell whether they deteriorate further, or performance suffers. I'll update this if so.

2021 Specialized Therminal Knee Warmer Fraying Elastic.jpg

It's worth noting that Specialized has a '30-day satisfaction guarantee' on anything bought from its online store, plus a one year warranty for Specialized-branded apparel.

Value

£30 is reasonable, assuming the pulled thread issue is simply aesthetic. Steve liked the performance of Endura's £39.99 Pro-SL Knee Warmers II and had no questions over durability, but he did say the tall, narrow-topped cut might not suit everyone. You could be forking out significantly more on, say, the Rapha Classic Thermal warmers at £45, but something like Liv's Midthermal Women's knee warmers looks great value at £22.99.

Overall

The Therminals are exceptionally comfortable and outstandingly warm, without being heavy or overbearing. They really don't add bulk to a pocket if taken off, either – so long as the elastic's performance lasts better than its looks, these are a great buy.

Verdict

Outstanding comfort and warmth, though suspect elastic could cause issues in the longterm

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized Therminal knee warmers

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Specialized simply says, 'Fully made of soft and resistant Lombardia fleece.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Specialized says:

It stretches in two directions for comfort and easy care.

The jacquard elastic band at the top and the lower inner elastic keep the warmer in place.

Available in 6 sizes from XS to XXL

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Super cut. Not considering hem weaknesses here.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Be sure to use the correct size chart! See the main copy for a link.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Comes out fine.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Do exactly what they should - keep you warm, yet otherwise stay unnoticeable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Exceptional protection for a relatively light fabric.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Mid-range. Liv beats it, though there are more expensive options from Rapha, Endura and Sportful.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes (with a warning to try for fit first)

Use this box to explain your overall score

Performance and comfort are seriously impressive. The fraying elastic is disappointing, and though hasn't affected performance or fit to date, it stops them getting a nine.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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