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Cleverly designed and well made, the Galibier Ardennes II Arm Warmers are intended for milder temperatures than most, but that makes them ideal for spring/summer/autumn use, or as part of a layering system.
Rather than just go for a single piece of fabric sewn into a tube, Galibier has created its Ardennes II arm warmers a little differently. They are made from two differing materials cut into panels: a windproof ThermoRoubaix fabric for the sections that are facing the direction of travel, with a thinner Lycra section for around the elbow, which allows easy movement without any bunching of the material.
This lack of bunching is helped by the fact that the panels are shaped to suit the bend of your arm when you are on the bike. The arm warmers are marked L and R, to make things clearer, and come in four sizes.
They are very comfortable, not only because of the shape but also because the fabrics used are soft against the skin.
The silicone grippers along with the Lycra used at either end provide enough compression to hold the warmers in place without any unwanted pressure, which means they remain comfortable even on long rides.
In terms of their temperature range, I'd say you are looking at around 5°C to 15°C because of their lightweight design. The windproof fabric keeps the worst of the chilly breezes out, and the fact that they are so slender means they'll fit under a jacket for a bit of extra warmth. They also bundle up small to fit in your jersey pocket.
The quality looks and feels to be very good, with all of the seams being double stitched for durability.
Priced at £19.58, they are some of the cheapest warmers we've tested.
The lightweight Lusso Active Aero arm warmers are priced at £24.99 and offer similar levels of protection, although they don't have the anatomical fit of the Galibiers.
The Castelli UPF 50+ Light Arm Skins are designed primarily for sun protection in the summer but can also be used in the cooler temperatures like the Ardennes. They are priced at £24.99 too.
Overall, the Ardennes II may not be ideal for the harshest of winter conditions, but for the rest of the year they are perfectly capable. The design is really well thought out too, making them some of the most comfortable arm warmers I've worn.
An excellent fit from the anatomic design, and provide plenty of warmth in cooler climes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Ardennes II Arm Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says, "HIGHEST PROTECTION ARM COVERING FOR CYCLING IN COOLER SPRING, SUMMER AND AUTUMN DAYS WITH A SHORT SLEEVED JERSEY.
"Second generation of a superb garment. The key to the great fit, is the panelled construction and anatomic shape, with a specific cut for your left and right arm. This prevents loose material around the elbow and the soft silicone grippers mean they stay in place, comfortably.
"4 materials are used in the construction, each panel ergonomically designed and cut for second skin feel. A windproof ThermoRoubaix provides warmth and Lycra at the elbow eliminates any tight spots at the bend. Double stitched for durability. An essential part of your kit bag, as the arm warmers are QuickDry for ease of use."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
25mm of silicone at the bicep to keep it in place, on a 50mm lycra cuff
6 panel design to match the bend of the arm.
Roubaix fabric on 5 panels to provide a pressure free warmth and windproof garment.
Double thickness 4 way stretch Lycra on the outside bicep to check elbow pressure.
Italian Thermoroubaix (polyamide 45%, polyester 42%, elastane 13%)
Galibier reflective detailing
1 pair, Right and left specific.
4 needle stitch construction.
UNSTRETCHED , laid flat, our arm warmers measure:
Small 42 cm Long by 11cm bicep
Med 45 cm Long by 12cm bicep
Large 46.5 cm Long by 13cm bicep
XL 48 cm Long by 14cm bicep
The medium size I tested fitted absolutely fine and corresponded to Galibier's size guide on its website.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with washing many times.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They work well in the cooler temperatures they are designed for.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to really dislike.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Thye are cheaper than most similar offerings, like the Lusso and Castelli mentioned in the review.
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
Arm warmers can be very simple in their design, but Galibier has come up with some clever ideas which it has executed well, and at a very competitive 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!