These Hincapie Nitro knee-warmers are ideal for taking the chill off your legs when it's too cold for shorts only, but too hot for long tights. They're well-made and fit nicely, come at a fair price, but the colour scheme may not suit everyone.
They're made from a fabric 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. That means these knee-warmers are fine for cycling in spring, and even for some of those late winter days when the sun is shining but the temperature is low.
As knee-warmers go, these Nitros are pretty long, which means you can pull them nice and high up your thigh under your shorts to get sufficient overlap and avoid unsightly lines of flesh peeping out.
The top hem of each knee-warmer has silicone grippers inside and out, to further help keep them in place between your leg and your shorts, while the bottom hem has silicone gripper on the inside to hold the fabric firm against your calves.
These Hincapie Nitro knee-warmers retail at a penny under £28 on the Evans Cycles website, which is a fair price, with similar quality knee-warmers from other brands mainly costing £30 or over. They're currently reduced to £17.99 which makes them a bargain.
But the price probably won't be the decider for most cyclists. It's likely to be the colour scheme. The knee-warmers we're testing are mainly white, with a large black stripe and a thin red stripe that run down the back of the leg.
They're designed specifically to match the colours of the Hincapie Nitro bib-shorts (previously reviewed on road.cc http://road.cc/content/review/87301-hincapie-sportswear-nitro-bibshorts ), so if you have some of these, or shorts from another brand that employ the same palette, then you might want a pair of these knee-warmers to complement your outfit.
Alternatively, especially if you're male, you may prefer to steer away from too much white on your items of leg-wear, as they can get perilously close to looking like comedy undergarments.
Good quality leg-warmers with a nice fit and fair price, but the colour scheme may not suit everyone.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hincapie Sportswear Nitro Knee 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?
These are knee-warmers, designed to be worn with a pair of cycling shorts, when it's too cold for shorts only, but too hot for long tights. Evans is the Hincapie distributor and the Evans website simply says:
"The Hincapie Nitro Knee Warmers are convenient thermal protection in matching Hincapie colours."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Evans website goes on to say:
"Fabric: BodE Thermal Loft
Fabric Properties: Soft, supple BodE Thermal Loft elastic knit fabric insulates and wicks moisture away from the body.
Cut: Ergonomic pattern with articulated knees fits the body in the ride position.
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."
When they say "jersey", I think they mean shorts.
Construction is very good. Seams are neat and double stiched. The silicone grippers are also well sewn on, with no loose threads.
Performance is very good. These knee-warmers kept my legs warm on test-rides in chilly weather.
Comfort is very good. The knee-warmers stayed in place, close-fitting without being over tight, and did not ruck up behind the knee.
The recommended retail price of £27.99 is fair, but the current discounted price of £17.99 is very good, compared with similar quality knee-warmers from other brands.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These knee-warmers perform perfectly: they stay in place and keep your legs warm. Can't fault them from that angle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, long length, double silicone gripper at top.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Personally, I don't like the colour scheme.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, except for the colour scheme.
Would you consider buying the product? No.All my knee-warmers (and most of my shorts) are black.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, if they wanted knee-warmers to match their white, red and black kit.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
These knee-warmers do exactly what knee-warmers are supposed to do: they fit well, stay in place and keep your legs warm. They're also a good price. Put all that together, and they earn an overall score of 9. The only reason some riders may not buy them is the colour scheme.
About the tester
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,