Ardennes II Cycling Leg Warmers Logo

When to cover your knees when cycling.

Regale Knee and Leg warmers are designed to be worn underneath your shorts, stretching from the mid point of the thigh to mid calf or ankle.

The standard advice is to wear tights, knee or leg warmers when the temperature is 15C degrees or lower- If you put your hand on your knee and the skin feels cold during a ride, it is time to cover up. This essential layer protects the joint and keeps your muscles warm. Warm muscles are more efficient.  Cold and exposed joints and muscles not only hinder performance, but can also contribute to the onset of tendonitis and arthritis. These warnings of deteriorating soft tissue and joints are something that is echoed by most progressive coaches.

Cycling in cold air, your skin is exposed to higher wind chill factors, so you get more vasoconstriction, which is essentially reduced blood flow to your muscles , something as cyclists looking for speed and efficiency, we do not want.

Vasoconstriction not only reduces blood flow to the muscles, but also redistributes blood volume to the core, causing increased stroke volume, and small changes in heart rate, with the result that the body is devoting extra energy to keeping itself warm.

It’s important to find the right combination of clothing for each temperature, and to also remember that you generate quite a lot of heat while you are riding, so it’s ok to be a little chilly at the beginning of your ride. While we can benefit from wearing extra layers, the most important thing is to stay comfortable while you are riding. Finding the right combination of clothes for each temperature range takes a bit of personal trial and error. The rider beside you with 6% body fat, has less insulation than my 19%, so will more than likely need an extra layer, but in the end the most important thing is to be comfortable.

LEG WARMERS OR BIB TIGHTS?

If it’s cold and the low temperature will remain all day, the easy fit option of the single garment, bib tight is usually desirable. If during spring or autumn the temperature is under 14 degrees but the weather might pick up during the day and/or we are going to train hard, leg warmers are usually a good choice, so that we can take them off when the temperature goes up or once we have warmed up enough.

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