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dhb has released a new version of its Aeron Rain Defence Leg Warmers and the fit is excellent, as is the quality. The water resistance also does a decent job of keeping out the worst of the weather, as long as it's kept away from the seams.
I like the design of the Aerons and how the seams are positioned. Many leg warmers have just a single seam placed down the back of the leg, which can cause irritation at the knee. To my mind, seams should be kept as far away from the knee as possible.
dhb has used three panels in the warmers' construction, one for the entire length of the front of the leg, a panel at the rear from the ankle to a few inches above the back of the knee, and then another section above that up to the thigh.
The result is a warmer that is shaped to suit a bent leg through the pedalling stroke, with the main seams kept to the sides of the leg, and although there is a seam at the back of the warmers, it sits so high up the leg that it doesn't irritate anything.
They're very comfortable to wear, even on longer rides, especially as there is no bunching behind the knee.
Sizing is about as I expected for a UK brand and ties in well with dhb's chart. I would sit somewhere between medium and large on it, and the mediums here fitted fine. There is plenty of stretch in the material, so they sat well without feeling overly compressive, and the silicone bands used at the top and bottom didn't dig in.
The material used is Rain Defence fabric created by respected Italian manufacturer Miti. It's a mixture of 48% polyester, 37% polyamide and 15% elastane, with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. This, according to Miti, is fluorine-free, using a vegetable base technology.
It works pretty well, coping with road spray, light rain and drizzle, seeing the water bead off for half an hour or so. The weaknesses are the seams, though, as water of any pressure will get straight through the threads, and the material also can't cope with heavy rain.
Miti also says that the coating will last for around 30 washes before you'll need to reapply it. I've washed them a handful of times so far and ridden in the rain for about 10 hours over the test period and haven't noticed any trade-off yet.
The wet weather performance is similar to many other coated garments I've used.
If/when you get wet, the fabric does a great job of keeping your legs warm thanks to its fleece backing. Temperature-wise, I'd say they'll be good down to just below freezing.
The price of £36 is in line with much of the competition, and is backed by the excellent build quality.
The HTP Pioggia leg warmers offer similar levels of performance against the cold and wet for £39.99. They have seams that run behind the knee, although they didn't irritate like some I have worn, and they do come with plenty of reflectives on the calves, something I would like to see on the dhbs.
Mike was a big fan of the Lusso Max Repel leg warmers, complimenting them on their fit and performance. They are a touch cheaper at £29.99.
I think the main thing to bear in mind here is that the name Rain Defence doesn't mean waterproof. The dhbs offer the same sort of water resistance found on similar products with a DWR coating. My main reason for going for these would be the shape and the fit. The multi-panel design works really well, with no chance of any seam irritation.
Impressively warm, with some water resistance included, and a great fit as well
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Rain Defence Leg Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "A completely new development from dhb, this is the Aeron Rain Defence Leg Warmers are reborn into a highly technical and incredibly flexible weatherproof short, designed to keep water out and you comfortable."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MITI Rain Defence fabric
High level of stretch for maximum mobility
Bluesign Approved fabrics
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They have been washed a fair few times, with no physical issues and the DWR coating doesn't seem to be waning yet.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Decent enough water resistance and they fit really well without irritation.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great shaped fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of reflectives on the calves.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They sit in between the Lusso and HTP warmers, which is about right for the performance and quality.
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
The multi-panel design of the Aerons puts them right up there with the most comfortable leg warmers I've tried. Wet weather performance falls well short of waterproof, but they are on a par with many other DWR-coated products.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!