Most leg warmers are much of a muchness but these new ones from Rapha are well made with some high-quality features.
If you’re familiar with Rapha’s knee warmers, these are made from the same Roubaix fabric. If not, it’s an ultra-soft blend of polyamide, polyester and elastane – stretchy with a fleecy inner face. It feels great next to your skin, is highly breathable, and provides enough warmth for most autumn/winter conditions, although it’s not windproof.
Each leg is made from three separate panels and is constructed to give a slight knee bend that minimises bunching as you pedal. All the seams are flat-lock stitched and the two that cross your knee are positioned right at the front and right at the rear, well away from the prominent tendons, so we didn’t get any chafing even after several hours in the saddle.
The ankle zips allow you to get them on and off easily over your shoes if the temperature changes mid-ride – a definite bonus – and they come with pullers that snap into place to avoid rattling and zip guards behind to keep them comfy. Silicone grippers top and bottom hold them in place perfectly… and that’s about it.
These do a straightforward job really well and the design features we’ve mentioned are genuinely useful. As long as they're not in the wash, these are the leg warmers we've used throughout the autumn. You can get something nearly as good for half the price, though; whether it’s worth paying the extra for a small step up in performance is your choice.
Very comfortable leg warmers with some high-quality features, but you're paying a premium price
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Make and model: Rapha Leg Warmers
Size tested: Large
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?
Rapha say, "With shaped left and right legs for comfort, other features include offset seams to prevent chafing and a zipped lower leg with zip guard. The leg warmers have gripper tape top and bottom to hold them securely in place and each leg features an embossed Rapha logo. The leg warmers are finished with reflective tabs for visibility."
Only one of ours has a logo – it's black on black and looks like it'll stand the test of time – and there are no reflective tabs. That aside, we've got no arguments.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Hmm, maybe. Price puts me off.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 39 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.