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A decent element-repelling fabric is a strong highlight of the GripGrab AquaRepel leg warmers, but they're definitely not perfect.
If you compare the AquaRepel arm warmers with the leg warmers here, you'll notice that the front panels of the legs are definitely stronger in construction. It's understandable, considering the road muck that can be thrown up onto the legs, on top of any water that might fall from the sky.
And it's an effective modification. Constant road spray (as well as dirt) can be death to hydrophobic and water resistant materials, overcoming them with ease. And, while the front panels of the legs won't bead dirty water, they stopped any ingress – which for most will be ideal.
GripGrab say the layer is a windproof membrane, and we can see what they mean. The wind is kept fully at bay, and thanks to the breathable thermal insulation inside, they keep you warm too – a little more so than the arm warmers thanks to the extra wind proofing. Impressive, so far.
In terms of fit, this is where things get a little tricky. While GripGrab claim an anatomic fit, I found there to be significant bunching around the back of the knee, partly due to the beefier construction of the frontside windproof panels, and partly because of the cut itself. Somehow, it's just not quite flexible enough, and when around a moving joint like the knee, takes on even more importance as chafing is a real concern.
Elsewhere the fit is good. They're lightly compressive around the major muscle groups, with comfortable grippers around the upper hem, so they do stay in place. The mediums we had on test could do with being a touch longer. The gripper is comfortable, albeit slightly lacking in actual grip – something that could be solved with a slightly tighter upper elastic band, or gripper itself.
GripGrab have also provided an extra gripper at the ankles too, for securer fitting over an overshoe. However, personally, I've always placed my overshoes over the top of any leg warmers – at least, I find there is less pulling on the leg warmer this way, and is more comfortable as a result. It's horses for courses though, as they say.
And, that's your lot with the leg warmer features, barring a little reflective branding. Oh, and the insides are also clearly and helpfully marked with a big 'L' and 'R', so no more getting them mixed up (in case you did).
Nevertheless, I think the fit around the knee could use a little work for me to wholeheartedly recommend them. Wiggle price them at £48, but even then this is quite a lot for leg warmers that just aren't flexible enough around the knees to be completely comfortable. A shame, as these are otherwise good-performing leg warmers.
Otherwise decent leg warmers let down by anatomical cut that's not flexible enough
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab AquaRepel Leg Warmers
Size tested: Medium, Black
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?
GripGrab say: "Leg Warmers AquaRepel feature excellent water repellent properties* and in addition have the same insulating effect as our Leg Warmers Classic. The front panel has an additional windproof membrane to protect the knees and shins from the cooling effect of rain and wind. This feature makes the warmers a perfect companion to windproof bib shorts in harsh riding conditions. Silicon elastic grippers at the top keep the warmers in place, while a second silicon gripper at the base makes it possible to position the water-repellent warmer over a waterproof overshoe to prevent wet feet."
"* It is our goal to replace harmful PFC (fluorocarbon) production chemicals used in coatings with non-hazardous alternatives. This product has received a water-repellent finish that is free from Fluor chemicals."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Water repellent capabilities
- Windproof front panel
- Breathable insulation
- Anatomical fit
- Silicone elastic grip with RED details
- Diagonal stitch on rear panel
One of the highlights, they won't fail in a hurry even if constantly being used in wet, dirty conditions on a regular basis.
Very good at keeping the elements out while also breathing through the softer rear panels. Not quite unbeatable beading ability, but very good nonetheless.
See construction. Very good in this area.
The legs are a little short (even in medium) for my liking, with the thigh gripper sitting a touch too low, and I think the anatomical fit around the knees needs work.
The circumference is excellent, lightly compressive everywhere. But they could arguably use being a slightly longer.
Considering the sturdier fabric, it's lightweight for sure.
They're not unbearable by any stretch, but I experienced a little chafing around the back of the knees on one damp ride, thanks to the bunching.
If they were excellent, the RRP would be justified, but unfortunately they're not - they're simply adequate.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, like the arm warmers. The hardier fabric washes out easily too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For keeping water and wind out, very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Water and wind resistance, compressive all-round feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The anatomical cut needs work - by somehow making the knees more compliant and flexible.
Did you enjoy using the product? Truthfully, no because of the chafing I experienced.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I could do, but I'd certainly recommend they try them on for fit first.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a shame the fit just isn't quite flexible enough to avoid chafing, because otherwise these leg warmers are good performers. A mixed, and quite expensive, bag.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,