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We mentioned the newly-launched Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers recently and I've been out and about with them for a few weeks now, braving the early morning rain to give you the skinny on what have turned out to be surprisingly nice garments.
I've scanned the whole of the internets for the answer to this question as I feel it's super important in any review of a pair of full zip legwarmers; should they be worn under or over bib shorts? After checking, it seems there is no unanimous consensus but predominantly they go under the shorts, with the silicone gripper against the skin.
That being the answer, the next question must be asked as regards the point of full zips to aid early removal when they are under the shorts anyway, and you almost certainly will be stopping for removal!
I've been out and about with the leg warmers, pairing them up with the Endura Thermolite Winter Bibshorts and they have kept my legs warm and dry down to single digits, and through reasonable showers, with rain and road gank just balling up on them, rather than soaking through to the skin underneath. Eventually they will get overwhelmed with water, but the warmers still hold in a reasonable level of heat even when wet, I found that holding a good tempo at six degrees was enough to keep myself warm.
With the warmers under the shorts they have gripped nicely, losing at most two inches of height in an hour of heavy riding; that's probably the best experience I've had with any leg warmers. The downside of this dropping comes in the form of the zip bunching up behind the knees, I was expecting this to be a major hassle, but rather than balling into a thick mess, I found the zip actually curved the material away from the knee-nook and was more comfortable than standard warmers which just leave a lump of material there. Don't get me wrong, it's noticeable but certainly no worse than standard, non-zipped, warmers.
Undoubtedly the zips make removal easier on the go, as long as you have them over your shorts in the first place, if you have them under then you will be stopping for a minute to adjust accordingly. If you wear them over the shorts, perhaps for the coldest part of the ride or as part of your pre-race warm-up ritual, then removal is a doddle and can be done on the fly.
They feature reflectives on the ankle and calf, both on the rear and the outside of the leg. That makes it easy for other traffic to spot you thanks to the motion of your legs, and there's an added dimension of visibility from side traffic.
I'm more of a knee warmer type of guy, preferring the Belgian tan-lines they bring in the winter, but I must admit that I've warmed to the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers as the review has gone on. They are comfortable, practical and provide a good level of insulation to the leg at a very sensible price.
Comfortable, practical, and not too spendy; an adaptable solution to bad weather riding
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Make and model: Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers
Size tested: S/M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at those who don't want to go down the full-tights route, and those embarking on a pre-race warm-up, the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers offer warm and rain protection at a sensible price. They certainly do both things, and do so whilst remaining comfortable!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermolite with high performance Repel TEFLON fabric protector for ultimate weather comfort with durable water repellency
Silicone gripper elastic at thigh and ankle helps keep everything in the right place, the thigh silicone is strong enough to keep the warmers, mostly, up.
Full length zip, no need to remove shoes to remove.
They kept legs warm down to 6 degrees and the rain at bay for an hour, that seems like pretty solid performance.
No signs of any wear after a couple of hunted miles.
They will fall down a little, my experience is that all leg warmers fall down, but these have been better than most (if not all) I've tried before. The zip bunches but seems to keep away from the knee-nook so isn't uncomfortable.
A little less than £30 seems a sensible price, and they will certainly be worn over the coming 6 months.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I liked them, they stayed up reasonably well, offered a good level of warmth and kept the rain at bay.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Getting them off if worn over shorts is a cinch, couldn't be any easier.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Getting them off from under shorts is a bit of a pain, I wouldn't see why you would wear them if you are thinking about removal in this instance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Being both sensibly-priced and offering good weather protection, the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers make for a solid addition to the cycling wardrobe.
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: Rapide RC4, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: Rapide RC4
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries