Hincapie Nitro arm warmers do just that: keep your arms warm when the weather's too chilly for a short sleeve jersey on its own. They're well-made, fit nicely, and come at a fair price, but the colour scheme and prominent brand-name may not suit everyone.
Previously on road.cc we've reviewed the Hincapie Nitro short-sleeve jersey and these arm warmers are specifically designed to go with this kit. They're made with the same fabric, and in the same colours. They're especially handy on those days when the weather's likely to improve later in your ride; you can simply take them off, stash them in your back pocket, and expose your bronzed fore-arms to the breeze.
The fabric is called BodE Thermal Loft. It's a medium thickness Roubaix-style fabric, with a smooth Lycra-look on the outside and a slight fleeciness on the inside. This makes these Nitros a tad more bulky in your pocket than some other arm warmers, but of course it means they're warmer when they're actually on your arms.
The fit is tight, which means they stay in place on your arm, but they're not so tight as to be uncomfortable, even at the top where two silicone grippers (inside and outside) hold each arm-warmer in place across your bicep, under the sleeve of your jersey. The cut is anatomic, meaning it's got a bend in it, to better fit your arm when in a riding position.
Our test pair of Nitro arm warmers are mainly white, with stripes of red and black. Also available are options that swap the red for blue or yellow. On the upper white panel of each arm-warmer is the brand's H logo, and just in case you're not sure, the word 'Hincapie' is writ large across the lower panel as well.
These Nitro arm warmers retail at £24.99. This is a fair price, compared against arm warmers of similar quality from other manufacturers, which usually cost in the region of £20 to £30. The Nitros are currently reduced to £16.99 on the Evans website (Evans is the Hincapie distributor), which makes them more of a bargain.
If you've already got some Hincapie Nitro kit, or something similar, these arm warmers make a good addition to your wardrobe, but I'd guess that most cyclists are unlikely to buy them to go with another make or colour of jersey.
There's also the name to consider. While it's not unusual for clothing manufacturers to display their brand in such a big way (think Superdry and Animal for example) because the Hincapie brand belongs to the eponymous former-lieutenant of a certain disgraced Texan, some riders may prefer not to display his moniker so proudly.
Good quality arm warmers with a nice fit, currently available at a bargain price, but the design and colour scheme may not suit everyone.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hincapie Sportswear Nitro arm warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Nitro short-sleeve jersey is aimed at warm-weather riding. These Nitro arm warmers are designed so you can use the jersey in cooler conditions. The Evans website says this:
"The Hincapie Nitro Arm Warmers are convenient thermal protection in matching Hincapie colours.
Fabric: BodE Thermal Loft
Fabric Properties: Soft, supple BodE Thermal Loft elastic knit fabric insulates and wicks moisture away from the body
Fastening: Soft gripper elastic with Slip-not 2-sided silicone gripper at top openings keep warmers in place on body and in contact with jersey
Extra Features: Colours and design to match the Nitro and Edge apparel"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hincapie Sportswear's global website says this:
BodE Thermal Loft™: Supple, 4-way stretch knit (at 235 gsm) with lofted fleece back provides excellent moisture wicking and insulation. Nylon/Lycra® construction is durable and soft against the skin, providing unsurpassed winter weight comfort.
Construction seems very good. This product is well made, with neat seems and no loose threads.
Performance is very good. On test rides, the close fit meant no fabric flapping in the breeze, but the arm warmers ars not too tight anywhere to be uncomfortable.
These arm warmers are well-made, and the fabric appears fairly robust, so they should be durable. One down-side though: they need to be washed carefully after use. All our test kit carried this warning: "Inks my bleed slightly. Wash garments in cold water and line dry to remove any bleeding effects." This might be too much hassle for riders who want to bung sweaty kit in the washing machine after a long hot ride, and not worry about separate 'delicate' progams.
These arm warmers have a slightly fleecy lining which means they are not super-light, compared against those which are just a layer of thin Nylon, but of course the lining means they're warmer.
Comfort is very good. These arm warmers fit tightly, so they stay up, but they're not so tight as to be uncomfortable.
£24.99 is a fair price, compared against arm warmers of similar quality from other manufacturers. They're currently reduced to £16.99, which makes them more of a bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product performed well. These arm warmers do just that: they keep your arms warm. They're also well-made, comfortable and close-fitting.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable and close-fitting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Personally, I prefer kit with the brand-name less prominent.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they wanted stuff to match their existing Hincapie kit.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This is a good item of clothing and scores 9 on aspects such as comfort and construction. The need for separate washing is a pain, which means a point docked, giving an overall score of 8.
About the tester
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,