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Specialized Thermal arm warmers



Good levels of warmth considering the lightweight fabric, and comfortable too
Very warm
Sizing is guesswork

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Specialized's Thermal Arm Warmers offer an excellent fit, with the material feeling very soft and barely noticeable against the skin. For their barely noticeable weight they are surprisingly warm too.

They're made with an 84% poyamide and 16% elastane mix, with the material having a fleece backing to trap warmth, much the same as many other arm warmers on the market. That's not a bad thing, though, as it works, and considering its lightweight nature it is very warm and breathable.

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I've used them within a temperature range of 14°C down to freezing and found them to be competent throughout, only feeling a bit on the warm side at the upper edge of that when working hard.

2021 Specialized Thermal arm warmer - seam

In cold winds I found that they stood up well to the chill, and even if they get wet your arms remain warm.

With a range of five sizes there should be one to suit pretty much everyone, although you'll have to do a bit of guesswork as Specialized's guide doesn't cover arms.

I've got the large here, and I'd say I am normally a medium. The large fitted fine, though, so it might be worth going up a size.

> 6 top tips to keep you cycling in winter

The top of the warmer is held in place on your upper arm by way of an elasticated ring, with the back-up of a silicone strip. It works well with no slippage issues for me, and the cuff didn't move either.

2021 Specialized Thermal arm warmer - cuff gripper

Overall quality is very good. These are well made, although I have noticed some stray elastic strands on the upper cuff just as Emma did on the Therminal Knee Warmers. They haven't got any more exposed as the test period has gone on, though.

2021 Specialized Thermal arm warmer - cuff 2

At £30 the Specializeds come in at a fiver less than the Assos Armwarmer Evo7s. George was impressed with the temperature range they could cope, with considering how thin they are, although I reckon the Specializeds can go lower. That could just be down to personal temperature regulation, though – with 20 years on the bike, and riding 12 months of the year, my extremities have become more adept at dealing with the cold.

> Buyer’s Guide: 20 of the best arm and leg warmers

Jamie was impressed with the Endura Pro SL Arm Warmers II in terms of performance, including the DWR treatment which gives them some water resistance. They do come up a bit small, though, and are £34.99.


The Specialized Thermals are warm and comfortable, and also fold up small for back pocket storage.


Good levels of warmth considering the lightweight fabric, and comfortable too

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Make and model: Specialized Thermal arm warmer

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Specialized says, "Arm warmers are an essential layering piece, and the Thermal Arm Warmers are no exception. Throw 'em in your pocket for a post-work spin, or start with them on for a ride with inclement weather - these warmers are warmer than our Seamless Warmers, ensuring you have plenty of insulation from Old Man Winter's sting."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Specialized:

Light-tack grippers keep the warmers in place.

Fabric Content: 84% Polyamide, 16% Elastane

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:

Who knows, there is no size guide for warmers.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No problems after following the washing instructions.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Warm and comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

A good level of warmth for their weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

No specific guide on sizing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

They are in the right ball park for this type of arm warmer as you can see from the competition 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

They're well made and offer a good level of performance, at a decent price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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 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!

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