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The ETC Zip Off Leg Warmers are designed for wearing before and after a workout or event, designed so you can whip them off without having to remove your shoes before the start of your ride. The zips cause a few comfort issues for extended warm-ups, but their simplicity takes away the faff. They aren't a bad price either.
If you've ever done early season races, or events that start at the crack of dawn, you'll know all about trying to keep warm before the off. I used to time-trial, and remember spending plenty of time standing about in a freezing cold layby waiting for my push-off. Even getting to the start line as close as possible to the off, you can still get cold very quickly. This is where the ETCs come into their own.
With a full zip on each warmer, they are easy to put on and off quickly without removing shoes. This makes them not only ideal for road race events, but off-road stuff including mountain bike or gravel and cyclo-cross events, what with the shoes being bulkier and the ground often being wet and muddy. You don't want to be dipping a sock down before the race start.
The zip itself starts at the top, at the thigh, so when the warmers are fully done up it finishes down by your ankle, which stops the zip digging into a fleshy thigh.
They come in a range of sizes from XXS to XL; I'd say go for the same size you wear in normal tights, unless you have large thighs, in which case go up a size.
The zip doesn't flex as well as the rest of the fabric, so they can feel a little uncomfortable if you are moving around a lot. I tried a few sessions on the turbo as if to replicate warming up, and I found the zip track to be a little irritating.
In truth, I'd normally take them off to warm the leg muscles, and quickly put them back on as soon as the warm-up was finished. I wouldn't want to be wearing them riding to or from an event.
The material is fleece backed and I found them plenty warm enough even when not warming up at just above freezing.
If you like your kit to look spick and span, you might be a bit disappointed that the logos crack as soon as the fabric has been stretched a few times.
Otherwise the quality is good. All the seams are neat and tidy, and the zip runs smoothly up and down.
An elasticated strip at the top of the warmer keeps it in place too.
There aren't that many fully zipped leg warmers on the market, but their price of £24 compares well with Endura's FS260-Pro Thermal Full Zip leg warmers at £35.99.
Overall, the ETCs are a neat solution for keeping you warm before or after an event, and they are competitively priced. I just found that the lack of flex in the zip area makes them a bit irritating for actually riding/warming up in.
A good solution to keeping your legs warm pre and post-ride
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ETC Zip Off Leg Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
They are leg warmers you can put on/take off without removing your shoes. Ideal for pre and post event.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Fleece Lined
* Full length Zip for easy on & off
* Warm up and don't need to stretch over shoes
* Great for MTB and Cyclocross
* Elasticated Top and Ankle
They come in a large range of sizes, and while ETC doesn't provide a size guide I'd say stick with your normal shorts/tights size. Go up a size if you have larger than normal thighs though.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They wash fine, although the logos do crack and look tired quickly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Quick to put on and take off, and keep you warm while on.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple solution for fitting and removal.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Zips can irritate if you are using them to warm up in.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There aren't currently that many fully zipped leg warmers on the market, only really the Enduras I mention in the review which are over a tenner more.
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
Overall, the ETCs are good quality and work well at keeping you warm and toasty, at a decent price.
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!