Thanks to Midlands based entrepreneur Guy Stanton and his aptly named Stanto Velo Protective Arm warmers, the humble chill beating jersey extensions have become a safety accessory.
Apparently, the one-time motocrosser and now regular sportive rider experienced a eureka moment having taken a nasty spill and succumbing to an equally unpleasant bout of tarmac rash that took its time about healing; denting his confidence.
After searching high and low for a commercial product, he created a prototype from redundant arm warmers and steadily refined the concept over winter until settling upon an abrasion resistant, antibacterial ethylene propylene diene elbow/forearm pad.
For the uninitiated EPDM is a rubberised, synthetic elastomer more commonly associated with flat roofing and similar industrial applications. Standards of fit and indeed refinement immediately impressed me.
The fleece lined Lycra is rugged, likely to shrug off the occasional spill. Tactile silicone grippers hold everything in situ, ruling out unbecoming Nora Batty-esque unravelling.
Retro reflective cuffs and logos are another nice touch, breaking up the black, adding some welcome nocturnal safety, which is particularly effective when combined with other accessories such as a helmet band.
Long evening miles with steadily waning temperatures have been markedly more temperate using these, compared with thinner, traditional types, and on the flip side; they're easily removed and stowed away in jersey pockets when the sun burns through early morning mist.
Since most of us crash fairly infrequently, time trialists will be interested to learn those rubberised inserts also provide some welcome damping when hunkered low on the tri bars, especially on the budget versions whose armrests err on the Spartan side.
Innovative and well made arm warmers with effective fringe benefits.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Stanto Velo Protective Arm warmers
Size tested: one size
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?
"High Quality product offering added protection of the lower elbow and forearm
lycra and elastane outer shell and micro fleece inner, robust on the outside but with exceptional comfort, good breathability & wicking qualities. Suitable for any weather. Designed to be versatile and soft so that it can be rolled down the arm, taken off and stored in the back pocket very neatly.
A product which, once worn, will leave the cyclist feeling exposed without it.
REFLECTIVE and PROTECTIVE..."
No quibble here.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Patent pending EPDM high impact strength soft foam padding. antibacterial & waterproof.
One size to suite all. stretches from 42cm to 64cm
Rider and garment should fare better than most in the event of a spill.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Clearly designed by someone who puts plenty of miles in, these are neatly executed and very comfortable alternatives to the classic Lycra strips. Micro-fleece liners sit tactile against the skin while the padded forearms offer some additional refinement when crouched over tri bars for long periods and haven't turned clammy in middling temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Innovative and moreover practical concept hailing from the UK.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)