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Stolen Goat's Orkaan Arm Warmers offer protection against chills, comfort and zero 'slippage'. In typical Stolen Goat style, they are sure to draw attention to any hand signals, although if this 'Palace' design isn't for you there are plenty more to choose from.
Stolen Goat has taken a simple, one-seam approach with the Orkaan warmers. Despite this seam being substantial, I didn't find it irritating. You'll want to cut out the rather sizeable label though.
The warmers have a soft, fleece lining which works really well to keep your arms cosy and warm. They've been perfect in recent weeks when we've had some cool mornings, followed by warm afternoon sunshine. They roll up nicely to fit in a back pocket.
Stolen Goat claims the outer is aero, wind-resistant and water-resistant. For sure, they keep the chill off in temperatures around 8-14 degrees, but are less capable once it's properly cold. They cope down to around 6°C if it's calm and sunny, or your speeds are under 28-30kmph, but throw in a biting northerly or some decent speed (in lower temperatures) and the cold air cuts through them.
I also found that they didn't protect against much more than moisture in the air, or the lightest of rain (the sort that seems to be just droplets being carried by the wind, rather than actual rain). Stolen Goat does offer 'Waterproof' warmers in the Orkaan range, for no extra money.
I can't test the aero claims, but the material is silky smooth, if this is some indication. They also boast UV protection.
I didn't find the fit as good as many warmers I've used. On Stolen Goat's size chart, which takes a bicep measurement, I was on the cusp between 2 and 3, and tested a 3/M. I would suggest sizing down to get a snug fit as they were too generous around the bicep for me. That said, I also found the seam at the wrist very tight, certainly not in line with the generous girth further up the arm. It's a narrow seam rather than a wide band, so tends to leave a mark after every ride.
The length is good, though – no risk of gaps between the top of the warmer and a sleeve cuff.
Despite the generous fit on me, the warmers haven't slipped a millimetre throughout testing. They are held firmly in place by a silicone strip on an elastic band of material.
If the aesthetics of this Palace design don't do it for you – it certainly gets your arm signals noticed, but I didn't find it easy to find coordinating kit – there are 12 others to choose from, even some plain(ish) ones.
Considering you can get a pair of decent black warmers for a tenner from ETC, and Galibier's Ardennes II are less than £20, the Orkaan warmers hardly seem great value for money. That said, many options do come close to the £30 mark – Chapeau's are £30, for example, and Assos' Evo 7 warmers are £35.
If you like the Stolen Goat aesthetics, it could be worth looking at Cycology's range for £22, or Primal's, which vary between £22.50 and £25. Steve tested a pair of Primal Trimotifs a few years back.
The Orkaans offer decent protection in temperatures hovering around 10°C, which covers a good proportion of the UK's unpredictable seasons. They might struggle to compete with slightly cheaper alternatives but I wouldn't say they're hugely overpriced, and while the striking design won't be for everyone, with a good range of options on offer you should be able to find something to your liking.
Striking and comfortable for cool starts and chillier evenings, with plenty of choice in the range if these hurt your eyes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Stolen Goat Orkaan Arm Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Stolen Goat says, 'Stolen Goat Orkaan Arm Warmers are constructed from the same water-resistant and wind-resistant fabric as our Orkaan Jerseys & Bib Shorts. Lined with a 'soft on the skin' thermal Roubaix inner which helps regulate your temperature and keep the wind at bay. These arm warmers are the perfect weapon against those bitter early morning starts and cooler Autumn/Spring days.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stolen Goat lists these features:
-Soft inside lining
The tight seam at the wrist didn't tally with the generous girth of the warmer. Length is good.
If in doubt, size down for a good fit around the bicep, but be ready for a tight wrist seam.
Snug, cosy sensation from inner fleece. The tight wrist seam wasn't uncomfortable for me, but it might be an issue for some with bigger wrists. It did leave its mark after every ride.
They're not the cheapest, but there are others out there for a similar price and more.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Instructions are, 'Handwash only at 30 degrees'. I used a 30-degree sport cycle, which has an 800rpm spin. They seem to be coping fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keep you warm in cool conditions, though they're not ideal for when temperatures really dip.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft lining, good protection against chills.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Difficult to match up with other kit. Tight, narrow seam at cuff.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are upper end of the scale. The Galibier Ardennes II are £19.58 and Primal's Trimotifs are £22.50, but others cost the same or more: Sportful's Thermodrytex warmers are £30 and Assos Evo 7 warmers are £35. You'll struggle to beat ETC's for a tenner, though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they like this kind of kit, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are good at keeping you warm in cool conditions and great at drawing attention to arm signals, but water resistance is minimal, and for me they were let down a little by the tight, narrow seam as a cuff.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…