Santini's Eureka leg warmers provide enough insulation for cool and even cold rides, and a water repellent treatment means that road spray and even showers don't get through.
The leg warmers are made from a Roubaix-style nylon/elastane fabric, the brushed back providing plenty of warmth and comfort.
The BeHot yarn – which has been a feature of Santini's range for the past couple of years – is interesting in that it is said to generate heat as you pedal.
'When functional BeHot stretches, it generates heat by decreasing the entropy (disorder or randomness of molecules),' according to Sitip, the company behind the fabric.
Rather than a treatment, the heat generation is said to be a function of the yarn and the textile construction so it's there for life. The extent to which BeHot generates heat is difficult to assess but it's only ever going to be marginal. Sitip claims a difference of up to 1°C compared with standard fabrics, measured by a temperature sensor between the fabric and the knee.
Without the same product, in the same weight, made from a different yarn, I couldn't tell you whether the claims made for BeHot stand up to scrutiny, but the important factor is whether these keep your legs warm, and they do. We've had some chilly mornings around here recently and I've been wearing these comfortably down to about 7°C. I reckon they're good for a couple of degrees cooler than that too.
At the upper end of the spectrum, I've worn these at 13°C, although I felt a bit overdressed at that point and would rather have been in knee warmers. If you do start to overheat, it's easy enough to get them off over your shoes, although not as easy as with zipped leg warmers. Still, the lack of a zip makes them a little less bulky to carry in a jersey pocket.
The BeHot fabric has an Acqua Zero DWR (durable water repellent) treatment to help keep water out. Road spray beads up and rolls off the surface, although heavy rain will get through. Several washes in and this DWR is lasting well although, as with any other, the performance will eventually diminish and you'll need to reapply.
The fabric's technical features aside, these leg warmers come with silicone inside the elasticated gripper that holds them in place comfortably against your skin, and they're slightly articulated thanks to a two-panel back section. You just need to position the seam carefully to avoid any rubbing behind your knee. Reflective tabs add a small amount of night-time visibility.
If you're quick you can buy these for £30 – or as a package with Santini's Eureka bib shorts which I tested alongside the warmers, made from the same BeHot yarn, for £125 (rather than the RRP of £167) – from independent bike dealers before the end of October 2016.
Fleecy leg warmers with good water repellency and enough insulation for cold rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Eureka Leg Warmers
Size tested: XL
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 general purpose leg warmers made from nylon/elastane. The difference from usual is in the BeHot fabric that's designed to generate heat. The fabric has an Acqua Zero water repellent coating.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
According to Sitip, the company behind the fabric, "[The leg warmers are] made with BeHot functional yarn developed with Sitip Heat Generating Technology and with a special textile construction.
"BeHot contributes to generate heat more than 1°C by stretch."
The seams aren't the flattest ever. You have to position the rear seam so as not to rub behind the knee, but that's easy enough.
If I'm picking fault, they could have been slightly tighter around the knee.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple. They go into the machine at 30°C.
The Acqua Zero water repellent treatment is lasting better than most.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are very good leg warmers that provide lots of insulation with no fuss.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The level of warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The rear seam can rub behind your knee if you don't position it correctly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
These are very good leg warmers for cool and even cold weather. They're towards the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price, although they are on offer at the time of writing. They're a clear 8/10.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.