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Best Cycling Leg Warmers for Women

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Dressing for a bike ride can be challenging, especially during cold and rainy weather. However, leg warmers will add versatility to all of your cycling outfits, and they are perfect for any weather conditions. But how do you wear them, and where can you buy them?

When buying leg warmers for cycling, you should try to find a pair with a wide silicone grip on the thigh that fits loosely around the knee and tightly around your thigh and ankle. Warmers that fit well allow you to turn your shorts into tights or add layers, keeping you warm in any condition. 

Top Picks for Cycling Leg Warmers for Women :

* Prices are as of February 15, 2022

Assos GT Spring Fall Leg Warmers

Features

  • Material: Nylon and
  • Waterproof: No
  • Windproof:
  • Available Sizes: 0 (XS-Small), I (S-M-L), II (XL-XLG-TIR)
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: No
  • Price: $65.00

Go to Assos for more information on this leg warmer.

Pactimo Storm+ Thermal Cycling Leg Warmers

Features

  • Material:
  • Waterproof: Water Repellant
  • WindProof:
  • Available Sizes: XS – 3XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: Yes, 8″ Ankle Zippers
  • Recommended Temperatures: 30 – 45F
  • Price: $66.00

Go to Pactimo for more information.

Isadore Eco-Knit Leg Warmers

Features

  • Material: 65% Recycled Polyamide, 30% Dryarn Polypropylene, 5% Elastane
  • Waterproof: No
  • Available Sizes: Small-XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: No
  • Recommended Temperatures:
  • Price: $65.00

Go to Isadore to more information.

Panache Pro Issue Leg Warmers

Features

  • Material:
  • Waterproof:
  • Available Sizes: small – 2XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: No
  • Temperature: 45-60F
  • Price: $89.00

Go to Panache for more information.

Louis Garneau Wind Pro Zip Leg Warmers 2

Features

  • Material: Fleece Lined
  • Waterproof: Water Repellant
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Available Sizes: Small – XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: Yes, 7″ Ankle Zipper
  • Temperature: 45-60F
  • Price: $84.99

Go to Louis Garneau for more information on this leg warmer.

Castelli Nano Flex 3G Leg Warmers

Features

  • Material:
  • Waterproof: Water Repellant
  • Available Sizes: XS-XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Zipper: No
  • Recommended Temperature: 46-64F
  • Price: $69.99

Go to Castelli for more information on this leg warmer.

So, let’s discuss why you might want to invest in a pair of leg warmers. I’ll teach you how to wear them and help you find the right fit so that you can be prepared for anything on your rides.

What Are Cycling Leg Warmers?

Leg warmers are designed to keep your legs warm, even in cold and rainy weather. 

Cycling leg warmers are flexible tubes of fabric that cover your legs from the middle of the thigh to the ankle, keeping your legs warm. They usually have silicone, rubber, or elastic grips at the top and bottom to ensure that they stay up during your ride. 

The top edge of your leg warmer goes underneath the edge of your shorts, essentially turning your bike shorts into long, legging-like pants. Leg warmers are the perfect accessory for cold weather biking since they can make your shorts longer while adding more layers to your outfit.

Cycling leg warmers are flexible and stretchy, especially in the knee area, and they are usually made from lycra or spandex to give them plenty of grip and sweat-wicking properties. 

Most leg warmers are designed to be worn with bib shorts, which have straps that go over your shoulders, but many of them will also work with longer waist shorts. 

Are Cycling Leg Warmers Worth It?

If you’ve ever started a bike ride on a warm sunny day, only for the weather to become cold and rainy later, you could probably use some leg warmers. Cycling leg warmers are incredibly versatile, easy to carry, and most importantly, keep you warm during chilly bike rides. 

Cycling leg warmers are worth it if you live in an area with quickly changing weather or for people who bike in the chilly mountains. They are also an excellent choice for warm-ups in cold weather since you can peel them off and easily store them after you get your heart rate up. 

Cycling leg warmers give you the option to customize your clothing mid-ride, allowing you to adapt your outfit depending on the weather and how cold you are. In addition, cycling leg warmers can also come in waterproof varieties, or you can waterproof them yourself, helping you stay dry on rainy days. 

The distinct advantage of having cycling leg warmers is that you can take them off and put them on quickly no matter where you are, and they are small enough to keep in your pocket. 

Some seasoned riders can even take them off and put them on without stopping their bike!

Since they are so easy to carry, you can take these leg warmers with you wherever you go, so you’ll always be prepared for cold or rainy weather. 

Many cyclists wear leg warmers on mountain rides where the temperature changes quickly from the base to the summit. They are also perfect for fall weather, and you can use them with tights to add another layer of warmth on frigid days. 

Female cyclist wearing leg warmers with a zipper at the ankle and calf.

Do Leg Warmers Stay Up?

Leg warmers are built to stay up, even during the most intense rides. However, some leg warmers will stay up better than others depending on what they are made of, how they fit you, and how high-quality they are. 

Leg warmers stay up as long as they fit your legs well. Leg warmers with tight-fitting, wide silicone grips and plenty of room in the knee area will stay up best. In addition, wearing shorts with silicone grips at the leg will help your leg warmers stay up. 

Finding leg warmers with the perfect fit can be difficult, especially for women. Different leg warmers will fit differently depending on the thickness of your knees and thighs and the structure of the leg warmers. 

Just like how thigh-high socks are not one-size-fits-all, not all leg warmers will fit you well enough to stay up. 

Still, if you want your leg warmers to stay up, look for a pair that has a wide silicone band at the top since silicone usually stays up best while also being stretchy and soft enough to prevent chafing and pinching. 

You can also wear shorts that have a silicone band at the bottom to add some extra grip to the top of your warmers. 

One pro tip that always works for me is using this Juzo Body Adhesive (available on Amazon.com). 

This glue, designed to keep leg warmers and socks up all day long, is a game-changer. It is mild enough to use on my sensitive skin, and it holds spectacularly even on loose or stretched-out leg warmers.

All you have to do is roll a bit on your thigh before putting your leg warmers on, and it’ll keep them in place, no matter how strenuous your ride is. It’s also easy to wash off, so if you struggle with keeping your leg warmers up, try this miracle cure.

How Tight Should Leg Warmers Be?

In my experience, most leg warmers that fit my leg well enough to stay up during my ride give me a bulging muffin-top on my thigh. So, checking the fit of your leg warmers before you buy them can go a long way in ensuring that they will be just tight enough.  

Leg warmers will usually fit if you get the same size as your shorts. However, everyone’s leg is different, and so are every pair of leg warmers, so you should check the fit before taking them out for a spin. 

Generally, you’ll want to look for leg warmers in the same size as your favorite shorts. Still, sizing differs depending on the brand and product. 

Leg warmers should be tight around the thigh and ankle, but they should be looser around your knee. That way, as you peddle your bike, the knee of the warmers will not stretch so much that the top gets pulled down. 

Still, if you feel pulling or pinching near the top of your leg warmer, it does not fit well. If you ride with leg warmers that pinch and pull, you will likely experience chafing, rashes, and discomfort. To ensure that your leg warmers will stay up while riding, you might want to try them on before purchasing them. 

To check the fit:

  1. Pull the leg warmer up over your leg and sit down.
  2. Pull from the top again and tuck the top of the leg warmer underneath your shorts.
  3. Pull up your leg warmer from your calf until you feel that the fabric around your knee is unstretched. 
  4. After you have the warmer on while sitting, stand up, then sit down again around 10 times. 

If the top of the leg warmer doesn’t pull at your skin and if it stays in place, your leg warmer probably fits just right.

Do Leg Warmers Go Over or Under Shorts?

Leg warmers go under shorts. When you put them on, the grippy top of your leg warmers should rest on your skin around ¼” (2 cm) or more above the bottom seam of your bike shorts so that your leg warmers are tucked underneath the shorts. 

To put on leg warmers, you should roll up your shorts, slide the warmers up, then roll down your short legs to cover up the top of the warmers. 

Keeping your leg warmers tucked under the bottom edge of your shorts will make it look like you are wearing tights. The pressure from your shorts should help you keep the warmers from falling. 

Do Leg Warmers Go Over or Under Socks?

Leg warmers are fantastic since you can easily take them off at any time, so you should ensure that you don’t put your socks on over them. 

Leg warmers go over your socks, which will allow you to take the leg warmers off easily without having to reposition or take off your shoes and socks. Tucking your socks into the bottom of your leg warmers will ensure that no cold air hits your ankles, too. 

Although most people put their socks on underneath their leg warmers, plenty of people wear their socks over the leg warmers. 

Usually, if you pull your socks over the warmers, it will be more challenging to take them off, though, so if you want to keep your warmers on for the duration of your ride, you can put your socks on top. 

Leg Warmers vs. Tights

Cycling leg warmers practically turn your bike shorts into tights. So, what are the advantages of using leg warmers when compared to tights? 

Leg warmers are more versatile than tights since they allow you to quickly add more length to your shorts without changing your pants. Tights will keep you warm during your ride without the option to remove the leg portion, which can be inconvenient if you get warm later on.

Leg warmers can also fit underneath tights, which will keep your legs warm in frigid weather. 

So, with leg warmers, you can add extra layers to your tights or use them with shorts to make impromptu tights during your ride. It isn’t hard to see why leg warmers are a popular choice among cyclists with all that versatility. 

Conclusion

Leg warmers allow you to add more length to your bike shorts, and they are easy to put on and take off during your bike rides. They are also easy to carry and are small enough to fit in your pocket, allowing you to be prepared for cold and rainy conditions at any time.

Leg warmers should be tight enough to stay up underneath your shorts but not so loose that they fall. So, try on different leg warmers to see what fits you best– I guarantee you’ll love them!

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