Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10.00am
By James Huang, technical editor
Arm warmers are typically considered autumn or spring-only apparel but a wind- and water-resistant face on Capo's Limited Edition Roubaix version pulls the comfortable temperature range down into milder winter conditions, too.
When paired with a light vest and a thermal short-sleeved jersey, our arms were sufficiently warm even when a late-day road ride got us home just after sundown and temperatures dropped to nearly 5°C (40°F).
We wouldn't suggest relying on the Limited Edition warmers much below that, though, as Capo use the toasty fleece-backed Super Roubaix fabric only on the trailing side – the Element4 multi-layer laminate used on the face may block icy breezes and shrug off road spray and rain, but insulation is modest at best.
On the plus side, breathability is excellent and the minimal bulk makes for easier than usual stowage in jersey pockets if you're only going to need the warmers for part of your ride.
And while laminate fabrics can often create fitting issues due to their relative lack of stretch, three separate panels of Element4 per warmer lend a pre-curved shape that works in combination with the Super Roubaix back and silicone arm grippers for a perfect form fit that stays put. Two sizes are available.
One final drawback is the price – at US$59, they're roughly twice as expensive as the norm. If you've already got a pair of thermal arm warmers the Capo Limited Edition Roubaix warmers will be tough to justify but if not, their extended comfort range will make for an extremely versatile bit of kit to add to the wardrobe.
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