As with any water resistant cycling products, I wasn't expecting to be able to wade into water and come out dry. I was, however, very surprised at the amount of water these kept away from my skin. Combine that with a nicely brushed thermal interior, and I was warm, dry and very happy after a very rainy ride.
Generally, the first thing you notice when pulling on any piece of clothing is the feel. With their brushed, fleecy lining, the leg warmers instantly feel snug and ready for some cold miles. The Rain Defence fabric is included only on the frontal section, where most spray is concentrated, leaving the rear more flexible for comfort behind the knee.
Adding to that comfort is the way dhb has shaped the warmers, using flatlock stitched seams. While riding I had no issues with bunching at the back of my knee – and I must say I was expecting some discomfort to kick in mid-ride, given the thickness of the material. Thankfully, because of the excellent shape, that never occurred, and I stayed happy in the saddle.
The upper grippers are conventional dual-sided silicone. They're simple, very comfy, and kept the leg warmers right where they should be. The lower grippers are made of the same silicone, positioned on the inside only. The sizing was perfect, too, they didn't leave my legs feeling like sausages.
In terms of value they score well. You can pay more – Castelli's Tempesta Leg Warmers are £80 – and while Galibier's Ardennes warmers are just £22, they don't offer the same protection against rain.
Overall these subtly styled warmers are a great piece of kit that will complement any autumn, spring or winter kit. When paired with the matching Rain Defence Bib Shorts, I felt safe in the knowledge that, should rain fall, my legs would stay warm and dry for hours.
Subtle styling, comfortable, and they keep rain away from your main working muscles
Make and model: dhb Aeron Rain Defence Leg Warmers
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?
dhb says that its entire range of Rain Defence products is aimed at riders facing "changeable weather". So British weather 11 months of the year.
dhb says: "A must-have for autumn, winter and spring rides, they provide shower protection, warmth and breathability to keep you riding to your best."
I'd have to agree with this. The Rain Defence material on the front section really does fend off water very well. The back section is brushed for warmth but also nicely breathable.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Top Features of the dhb Aeron Rain Defence Leg Warmers
dhb Performance level kit
Warm, water-resistant front panel fabric.
Water-resistant stretch fabric rear panels for comfort and breathability.
Silicone gripper elastic at top
Rate the product for quality of construction:
The seams and softer rear section give much needed shape to prevent bunching of fabric behind the knee.
Rate the product for performance:
The seams do let in some water and the rear section isn't water resistant at all. However, the majority of rain will hit the knee and shin so these do the job very well.
Rate the product for durability:
The dual-sided silicone strips aren't fancy but they are comfortable, don't move and should last longer than thin grippers.
Rate the product for fit:
Grippers can sometimes be overly tight, and therefore uncomfortable, but these were just right. They provided support for the leg warmers without cutting off circulation.
Rate the product for sizing:
dhb has got its sizing spot on. The leg length is perfect and the elasticity means many thigh circumferences are accommodated. My medium was just right.
Rate the product for weight:
They carry a little extra weight over standard warmers, but nothing to write home about.
Rate the product for comfort:
The soft fabric on the rear not only prevents bunching but also feels very pleasant against the skin.
Rate the product for value:
At nearly half the price of Castelli's excellent Nanoflex Leg Warmers, these were much better quality than I was expecting. They're a little more than Galibier's Ardennes, but have the benefit of the Rain Defence.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
As with all things that are coated, these need to be washed cool and then line dried. Ideally you'd hand wash them, but who has the time?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. The Rain Defence worked and the coating kept most of the wind off, which can be half the battle to keeping warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The shaping at the back, around the knee, was very effective at preventing bunching of fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The trade-off of the seams is that they leak water more quickly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They do their job very well, helping to keep your legs dry as well as warm, at a good price. The subtle styling means they will match any kit.
Age: 22 Height: 1.77m Weight: 61kg
I usually ride: Rose Xeon RS My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
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