The Roubaix Knee Warmers from clothing brand Galibier are very simple but massively effective for those days when the temperature can't make up its mind. They are comfortable, stretchy and cracking value for money.
- Pros: No irritating seams, great price
- Cons: No water resistance so not as versatile as some on the market
Galibier has often delivered decent products at very sensible prices and that is exactly what it has done here with these Italian made Roubaix knee warmers: £16.80 is impressive. Probably the closest we've tested to these are the Alé Seamless knee warmers, which use the same Dryarn fabric and are created the same way: knitted into a tube to remove the need for any seams that can cause irritation. They cost £25, which is still cheaper than most.
Most knee warmers we see are around the 40 quid mark, like the Morvelo Stealth Stormshields, for example, but then again those are aimed more at the extreme weather end of the market.
The Dryarn material is a polypropylene/Lycra mix and it does a great job of keeping your knees warm, blocking out the wind. It's been pretty mild recently and I found them perfectly comfortable from around 5°C to 14°C. If you are working hard they can get a little bit clammy from sweat, but slow the pace a bit and they dry quickly.
As soon as the outside temperature warms up they are easy to whip off over your shoes thanks to how stretchy the material is, and they take up very little room in a jersey pocket.
As I mentioned above, these Roubaix warmers are knitted as a tube, removing the need for any seams running from top to bottom, and it's a design I like very much. Comfort is top notch and thanks to the knitted bands top and bottom they stay in place no matter how hard you are pedalling. They also look to be slightly shaped to fit the bend of your knee, plus the knit of the fabric feels thinner behind the knee too to reduce bunching as your leg bends. For added protection the knit is bulkier over the front of the knee.
They come in a couple of sizes, and the L/XL tested here I found to be spot on. Galibier says that they should feel compressive rather than restrictive and that was exactly what I got.
The overall finish and construction looks to be good, with only the odd stray thread here and there. A neat touch alongside the knitted logos on the front of each leg is that they have also knitted the washing instructions into the bottom cuff, meaning there are no issues with annoying tags.
On the whole these are great knee warmers for warding off cold breezes without breaking the bank.
Very warm, seamless and comfortable, at a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Roubaix Knee Warmers
Size tested: L/XL
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says, "Our Roubaix Knee warmers are made from a soft Dryarn™ fabric. This is a technical Polypropylene / Lycra mix material material with excellent moisture moving capabilities designed for the athletic industry. It draws perspiration quickly away from the body keeping you warm and dry but it is also tightly knit to provide wind protection and warmth.
The tubular knit of these warmers gives the fibers varying densities that follow the contours of the rider's muscles and joints. This results in an extremely comfortable fit that provides an unrestricted range of movement. The weight of these warmers makes them the perfect transitional season piece well suited for cooler weather that doesn't quite call for a heavy winter warmer.
Dryarn™ fabric keeps you dry and warm
Light and soft elastic cuffs that adjust to the body for a snug fit
Embroidered galibier logos on the front.
Zero seams. Hems are four needle flat-stitched for durability and comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Galibier lists these features:
Lycra fabric stitched in 5 stitch patterns to provide pressure free warmth and windproof.
Double thickness 4 way stretch on the knee area
Italian Fabrics and construction
4 needle stitch construction.
.....if you think you are small/ medium you are.
Compressive, but not restrictive. High stretch fabric
Stick with the sizing you'd normally use for any other brand I'd say.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Thrown in the washing machine with the rest of my kit on a 30 degree wash and they came up clean with no shrinkage issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Easy to get on and off and great at blocking the wind.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very warm considering how thin the fabric is.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to really dislike to be honest.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Very well priced indeed, coming in at nearly a tenner cheaper than other similar products we've tested.
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 overall score
They offer really good performance and quality especially for the money, a clear 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.