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The dhb Merino Leg Warmers are soft, stretchy and warm, but the gripper tape at the top is quite narrow and won't suit all riders.
The first thing you notice about the warmers is how soft and stretchy the fabric is. A mix of 97% merino wool with 3% elastane, it's also extremely breathable and has the natural antibacterial properties associated with merino, while also offering warmth when wet. They're light in a jersey pocket but mid-weight in terms of the warmth on offer.
I tested the size medium, which according to the website should be 68cm long with a leg opening of 20cm. Measuring the test pair, the opening was correct, but they were longer at 73cm. They were fine on me for length (80cm inside leg), although probably the limit of what I'd be comfortable with, also allowing for the stretch required by my 65cm thighs.
The top opening is elasticated and features a narrow band of silicone gripper. The warmers stayed in place very well, with no rolling down or slipping; quite the opposite, in fact – the gripper is a little over aggressive for my liking, and did cause some chafing when riding.
I asked a rider with smaller, less fleshy thighs (62cm) to try them on a ride too, and he encountered the same secure fit but also some chafing.
At the other end, there was no bagginess around the ankles, where the lack of silicone gripper or zips mean they can be worn any which way with socks/shoes/overshoes.
Aside from the gripper issues, the level of warmth and breathability the warmers offer for their low weight and compact size is excellent. They're not windproof, but they're ideal for autumn and spring when full tights might be overkill, and they pop into a rear pocket or seat pack with no bother when not required.
They sit roughly mid-market for leg warmers in general, but it's worth remembering that they are merino based and for cool conditions rather than being out and out cold weather protective warmers like some more expensive ones.
I'd say their rrp of £28 is pretty good – and they're currently on sale for £21.
They're a couple of quid cheaper than the spring/autumn-focused Lusso Active Aero Leg Warmers, which are still £29.99, but £17 more than the ETC Snug Leg Warmers at £11 – although their merino wool construction and the comfort and breathability that provides puts them a cut above the ETCs.
They are £22 less than the Assos Assosoires Spring Fall Leg Warmers which aim at similar levels of warmth but with added weather protection.
Overall, I'd say the dhb warmers are a cost-effective option if you're looking for protection in cool but not cold weather, before the onset of tights weather; just check that the gripper around the thigh works for you.
Sleek and lightweight, with good levels of warmth and breathability for cool rather than cold weather, but bitey gripper can chafe
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Merino Leg Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, 'These performance dhb leg warmers use Merino wool to give you naturally high comfort levels and technical properties. The high stretch Merino Wool utilised provides outstanding thermal regulation across a range of climate conditions.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
97% merino (non-mulesed source)/3% elastane
Superfine 18.5 micron merino yarn
Available in sizes S, M, L
Very high quality fabric with a good finish.
Good levels of warmth and superb breathability but the gripper tape didn't work for me personally (or my other guinea pig).
Wash well and keep their shape, but the lightweight fabric does require some care to avoid snagging.
Comfortable for a variety of leg shapes, but on me the gripper tape was intrusive and chafed, probably because of its narrow width.
Came up longer than the stated length, otherwise good.
Lightweight and packable.
The fabric is exceptionally comfortable, but I found the gripper would chafe, as did another rider who tried them; others might be fine, but I can't help thinking a wider band might help to alleviate the problem.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, washed well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Useful for cooler conditions, and the quality and breathability of the fabric is impressive, but a broader gripper might solve the chafing issues.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft and super stretchy fabric, their weight/warmth and price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Silicone gripper band is quite narrow and can chafe.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They sit roughly mid-market for leg warmers in general, but bear in mind they are merino based and for cool conditions rather than being out and out cold weather protective warmers like some more expensive ones. They are a similar price to the spring/autumn-focused Lusso Active Aero Leg Warmers, £17 more than the ETC Snug Leg Warmers, and £22 less than the Assos Assosoires Spring Fall Leg Warmers, although they have added weather protection.
Did you enjoy using the product? The chafing was sub optimal.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not in its current form.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Well made from lovely quality fabric which gives good levels of warmth for cooler conditions, but the overly aggressive gripper can leave its mark.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.