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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-18-09, 11:46 AM   #1
Greg_R
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Knee warmers?

Well, Oregon had cooler weather the past week (60s). While riding to work, I noticed that my knees starting aching. However, I was still sweating during the ride. During warm weather my knees are fine. Is this why they sell knee warmers?
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Old 08-18-09, 12:23 PM   #2
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I have a set and love them. They work well for rides that are cool in the morning, but warm up later. They don't take up much room, as I can roll both warmers up and put them in my rear jersey pocket after I take them off. Generally a good idea for us Oregon types that get a 30 degree temperature swing in a day
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Old 08-18-09, 12:34 PM   #3
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I never "got" the concept behind arm/knee warmers until this year when I started riding with the Seattle Randonneurs. When you have to carry all your gear with your for a 300 - 400k ride and temperatures might be in the low 50s when you start, the low 80s during the day, and back to the low 50s as you finish, you don't want to be carrying all sorts of bulky, heavy difficult to manage stuff.

A pair of arm warmers turns a short sleeve wool jersey into a longsleeve. A pair of knee warmers turns a pair of shorts into a pair of knickers. It's a 60 second task to pull over and slip on a set of warmers, and same for removing them when it warms back up. Plus they take up very little space in a bag.

Pearl Izumi XL knee warmers fit me fine around a 27" quad, and just above the widest part of my calf; so maybe 15.5 - 16" at the small end. The elastic isn't super-grippy to rip your hair out, but they'll stay in place. Same thing with Novara (REI house brand) XL arm warmers. Comfortable length for me, and I wear a 38/39 shirtsleeve. Reasonable elastic, and they don't pinch around a 7.75" wrist; upper arm measurements over 17" might feel a little constricted, though.
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Old 08-18-09, 01:27 PM   #4
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Yep. Arm/leg/knee-warmers: necessary parts of your toolkit.
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Old 08-18-09, 01:30 PM   #5
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Yes, your knees will be happier if they are warmer.
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Old 08-18-09, 01:36 PM   #6
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They are really important when I do long climbs in CO, the descent can be really cold. Throw on some arm and knee warmers and a vest and it is much more comfortable.
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Old 08-18-09, 01:40 PM   #7
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Thank you.

This weekend has been cooler than usual, and I've had a return of knee pain. I didn't know there is such a thing as knee warmers.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:47 PM   #8
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For the fall rides where the temps never get much above the low 60s, I've been trying to find a pair of bib knickers. The only ones I've managed to turn up are either women's models, not bibs, or are really pricey (Assos: nearly $250/pair).
I'll spend the $$ on the Assos if a) they're truly worth the money, and b) there's nothing else available.

Anyone got some leads?
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Old 08-18-09, 03:34 PM   #9
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I usually wear a set of cycling knickers (baggy) in the mornings. Not quite as warm as knee warmers but thats good on the 60 degree days. The warmers come out when it starts to get into the low 50s/upper 40s.

Bike Gallery in oregon always has some bib knickers.

Last edited by pityr; 08-18-09 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
For the fall rides where the temps never get much above the low 60s, I've been trying to find a pair of bib knickers. The only ones I've managed to turn up are either women's models, not bibs, or are really pricey (Assos: nearly $250/pair).
I'll spend the $$ on the Assos if a) they're truly worth the money, and b) there's nothing else available.

Anyone got some leads?
Performance Bike has 5-6 different models listed with their men's tights. Prices start at around $60/pair.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:48 PM   #11
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I picked up a pair from Pearl Izumi 2 years ago at my LBS. I'm sure PI still makes/carries them. Try them.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:54 PM   #12
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I've been watching PB to see if any of their stuff ever comes back in stock in XXL aside from the 1 brand where the only customer review is about how the chamois padding was "saggy". I swing by the shop once in a while to see if they have anything, and I keep watching the LBS sale rack for closeout sales on chubby guy gear since I've found a few pairs of PI bibs in there for about 30% off. So far, no uber-cheap Assos FI.13 S5 knicks have shown up.

The PB site at least gives me some ideas of what to look for other places. I forgot about them; thanks for the reminder!
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Old 08-19-09, 06:17 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. Yep, that's basically the issue (50s in the morning, high 80s for the afternoon commute). I'll give some a try.

- Do I need to keep my elbows / arms warm (for joint health) or is that strictly for comfort?
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Old 08-20-09, 11:05 AM   #14
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- Do I need to keep my elbows / arms warm (for joint health) or is that strictly for comfort?
Probably a little of both. I've never noticed any pain from cold elbows, but I keep my arms warm just because I don't like getting chilled while riding.
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Old 08-20-09, 06:42 PM   #15
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I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi's on clearance at some discount store. When I rode last winter I wore them under a pair of long pants. They kept me warm enough and didn't slide down.
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Old 08-21-09, 01:25 PM   #16
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Leg and arm warmers have never fit me that well. All brands of leg warmers that I've tried (tried multiple styles/lengths/weights from both PI and Performance), that fit-over my knees comfortably, are so loose below the knee that they bunch up behind my knee. Leg warmers that stay in place below my knee practically cut of my circulation above the knee.

Most brands of arm-warmers feel too tight above the elbow as well. I can find arm warmers that fit (don't leave bruises around my upper-arm area), but think that they are too uncomfortable, and too much trouble to adjust to fit right while riding.

I prefer tights for the bottom, and a poly-shell for the top. Both fit into my jersey pockets, and cover a broader range of possible conditions while out-on-the-road than leg or arm warmers. The tights definitely take up more room in your jersey pocket than leg-warmers, but they are worth it. Actually...if I start out wearing tights on a cool morning, I usually don't take them off unless the temperature goes above 70 F or so. A little bit of extra sweat, never hurt anybody. As long as you make sure to drink enough.

Using a poly-shell jacket is much better, to me. It packs down smaller in my jersey pocket than arm warmers, and you never have to worry about losing one side on the road somewhere. You just use the front zipper to control how warm and protected you want to be. If only my arms are cold, I just leave it unzipped. If it is windy, the jacket can get on my nerves flapping around, so I just make a ball in the back, and cram it into my center jersey pocket. If it gets below 45-50F, or it is raining, I zip the jacket up.

Works for me.
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