The best leg warmers I've ever used. Yes, they're expensive - but the great fit means I've got three times more use out of them than I would competitors, and their durability has stood the test of time.
Expensive (but worth it)
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The Assos Legwarmer EVO7 was selected for an Editor's Choice award (opens in new tab) in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
Leg warmers are a mainstay of any cyclist's spring/autumn wardrobe - and personally I won't wear any pair except the EVO7's from Assos without some serious persuasion.
The price tag has probably caught the eye of most readers immediately - so I'll address that first. These leg warmers cost £70. This is a lot more than most - even premium brands pitch theirs at around £45. However, I've been using my pair since September 2016 (there may have been some design tweaks in this time, but none I can spot) - and after three years of usage I can attest to the fact that their longevity will outdo that of most competitor offerings.
And, since I rate the fit so much, I've got more use out of them when compared with other options. One £70 outlay is more cost effective than multiple £45 spends.
>>> Buyer’s guide to arm warmers
Moving on from the swing tag. The biggest issue I have with leg warmers from other brands is the gripper. These flexible tubes of fabric need to stay up to be useful, but to do so, most brands use an elasticated strip to hold them in place. If you've got any body fat on your thighs - which as an hourglass shaped female, I can assure you I do - this is a recipe for discomfort and it doesn't do my confidence much good either.
I've tried telling myself the 'indent' is simply a sign of having strong, capable legs. But all the positive self-talk in the world will not do away with the awareness that there's a piece of elastic digging into my upper leg and creating a Michelin man effect.
Enter: Assos. The brand does things differently, using a curved cut upper, the leg warmer extends under your shorts all the way to the top of your hip. You then pull your shorts on over the top, and everything stays in place. No gripping, no slipping.
The leg warmers feature multiple panels, creating a second skin fit. The key fabric is a medium weight fleecy RX material, whilst this gives way to a more flexible strip at the back of the knee and down the calf.
I've worn these leg warmers with shorts on cold, mid-winter rides - and the additional fabric at the hip means that if you really wished, they could pretty much replace full winter tights on milder days. However, there's plenty of breathability, and using them for hard track sessions in the winter, or chilly blue sky days, I've not found myself overheating.
The fabric has been treated with a DWR (durable water repellant) finish, which beads the worst of light rainfall well. Of course, in a downpour you're always going to get wet but these keep off spring showers and road spray.
When fully extended, these leg warmers don't bunch at the knee. I'm probably shorter than the majority of customers, so I tend to have to tuck them over my heels to do away with excess material.
At the back, Assos has added a strip of reflective fabric, which is a nice touch, and there's a leather 'Assos' logo on the outer calf. Where such additions from other brands may begin to fade over time, these look almost as new.
It's is worth noting that despite ample breathability, these are heavy weight leg warmers. My size one pair (sizes range from zero to two) sit on the scales at 135g, making them not ideal for the kinds of rides where you think you might want to remove and pocket the extra layer. Assos does have a lighter weight spring/fall pair (£50) as well as knee warmers (£40) which utilise many of the same design features and might be better suited to this usage.
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