I was given two pairs of leg warmers for Christmas, one pair of dhb Roubaix and another of Specialized EX. I’ve had Specialized warmers before and been pleased with them. The dhb warmers came in a heavy plastic bag. Without wanting to sound ungrateful that annoyed me a little. I’m sure the idea of these plastic bags is to reuse them, but I find they lack the volume to be of much practical use; it is just wasteful excess packaging and I’m not a fan.
Anyway, this post isn’t about the packaging, what I’m interested in is their performance and after 5 weeks of riding I’ve learned as much as I can about them.
Leg warmers are simple bits of kit and these two pars are in most respects the same. Both are thermal and I found to be warm enough for the recent snow. Both are contoured and, when first put on, fit my leg well, there is no loose fabric (saggy spandex on chicken legged riders is an awful sight). Both are black and have de rigueur reflective details. And of course both have silicone grippers at thigh and ankle.
I do not know how much my relatives paid for them, but looking online, they do differ on price. Wiggle sell the dhb warmers for £19.79, while the Specialized generally retail for £28, except for Evans at £35!
The Specialized warmers have an ankle zip, a feature not present on the dhb warmers. This is a handy feature if you want to take the warmers off over shoes. A nice detail, but not one to sway me; if I am wearing leg warmers they usually stay on for the ride.
The second difference is the thigh gripper. The dhb warmers have a single silicone band. It’s a proven design, tried and tested on women’s hold-ups for decades. The Specialized warmers do not have the traditional band, instead they have silicone “S” logos spaced about an inch apart and, sad to say, they don’t work well. Over the course of a ride I can feel them slip a few centimetres down my thigh, for some reason the right leg is always worse. It isn’t comfortable and I am sure it is only my shorts which keep them from dropping down to my ankles. Quite simply, the silicone “S” logo grippers do not provide sufficient grip.
I have a lot of Specialized kit, from bikes to shoes, gloves and saddles and this is the first time I have been disappointed by them, and all because of a fairly fundamental design flaw in a very simple kit.
The dhb warmers are the first of their kit I have owned, I’m pleased with them and compared to other brands they seem to be good products at a sensible price. Based on these warmers I expect to buy more dhb kit in the future.
So if you are looking for leg warmers I don’t think you can go wrong with dhb, they are good value and won’t fall down, plus you get a daft bag. Until they change their gripper design, I wouldn’t bother with the Specialized EX. I just hope my mother-in-law didn’t shop at Evans!