The humble arm warmer, usually worn to beat the cold while cycling, has been developed into a road rash protection piece by an entrepreneur now hoping to clinch his first big order for the gear.
The Stantovelo arm warmers have a patent pending on the use of a lightweight, antibacterial elastomer along the forearm and elbow. So far, the only place to buy the fleece-lined slips is inventor Guy Stanton’s local bike shop. The warmers are priced at £25.99 a pair.
Stanton, MD of a flooring company by day and a frequent sportive rider, developed the protective gear over the winter. A crash left him with road rash that took a long time to heal and made him feel less confident about riding.
“I just started thinking, ‘Dare I go riding now that I’m injured?’ and I just came up with the idea. I thought, ‘Is there something I can buy?’ But I couldn’t find anything,” he told BikeRadar.
Stanton, a keen motocross rider when he was younger, turned an old pair of arm warmers into his first prototype. He trialled different types of padding before settling on the abrasion-resistant EPDM rubber elastomer used in the current design.
With help from a friend in the clothing manufacturing business, Stanton, from Upton-upon-Servern in Worcestershire, delivered his first small order of stock to a friendly local bike shop. So far, sales have been modest – around “20 something” and mainly to friends.
Stanton rejected the suggestion that road rash is simply a hazard of riding bikes, and that the protection is unnecessary: “I know where you’re coming from; my answer would be no. I’ve experienced it and it’s horrible. It takes a long time to heal and puts you off your riding.
“I feel that, with the way bikes are getting faster and faster and the way roads are getting busier and busier, we have to talk about protection. Go back a few years and people would laugh at you if you put a helmet on your head. Go forward 10 years, people will laugh at you for not having [road rash] protection.”
For more information see www.stantovelo.co.uk.