Arm and leg sleeves are easily the most versatile of all cycling clothing. Over the years these garments have evolved from simple coverings to must-have gear developed with intelligent engineering. Different types of sleeves are suited to a varying range of temperatures – warmers for cold weather and coolers for warm weather – and they can be worn by anyone, whether you’re a pro racer or a weekend warrior. On warm days, arm and leg sleeves not only help cool your skin, but they also offer UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays, which eliminates the need for sticky sunscreen. On cooler rides, when it’s too cold for just a short-sleeved cycling shirt but not cold enough for multiple layers, sleeves are ideal for that added layer of warmth. And with spring around the corner, these mild riding days will be plentiful, which makes arm and leg sleeves the perfect investment for your cycling kit.
Early mornings and evenings in Autumn and Spring are usually when you have to face the chill on your ride. By wearing arm and leg sleeves you’ll have added warmth without the risk of overheating. The technology behind warmers is based on insulated fabric that traps air against your skin to keep you warm, but at the same time moves out moisture from the sweat you build up during your ride, so that you stay dry. Most warmers also consist of water-resistant features that repels droplets and makes riding through light rain more comfortable. For warmer rides, the fabric used in sleeves is much thinner and includes UV protection against the sun. There is no insulation, but good quality arm and leg sleeves provide a welcome cooling effect on the skin, and wicks moisture away to keep you dry for as long as you need. When the weather conditions change, you can simply slip off the sleeves and stow them away in your jacket pocket. Practical, convenient, and compact – it’s an all-round winning situation.
Arm sleeves cover your arm from the wrist up to the shoulder, and your cycling shirt sleeve should always cover this top part to help keep it up. Sleeves shouldn’t bunch or sag during a ride, and silicone grippers are used to help keep the sleeve comfortably in place. Leg sleeves come in two different lengths – from mid-thigh down to the ankle, or mid-thigh down to mid-calf, just below the knee. The shorter length is perfect for mild Spring days, while you’ll want the full cover on cooler rides. Much the same as with arm sleeves, you should wear the leg sleeves going up under your cycling shorts to ensure proper fit. With the comfort and protection boxes checked, you need to consider safety when looking at sleeves to invest in. Reflective elements incorporated in the design of your sleeves will ensure that you remain visible in low light conditions, which are rather common in bad weather conditions.
Pearl Izumi’s range of arm and leg sleeves – for warm and cooler rides – incorporates all the key design features needed for optimal performance. The Elite Thermal Knee Warmer guarantee added warmth for your legs thanks to our Thermal Fleece fabric, while our PI Dry technology provides a unique coating that makes them resistant to water and also guarantees fast drying after a rainfall. Our Elite Thermal Arm Warmer has the same brushed thermal fabric, with contoured patterning for the most comfortable fit. Keeping warm is not an issue, even in very cold temperatures if you’re the kind who works up a real hot sweat. Our sun sleeves are lightweight and compact, with Elite Transfer fabric that has UPF 50+ ratings to ensure you’re protected from the sun’s UV rays. Pearl Izumi’s unique In-R-Cool® technology provides a cooling effect on your skin, and superior moisture management so you stay dry and comfortable no matter how hard you’re working. With these sleeves your ride won’t be dictated by time of day during summer, and you won’t have to lug around bottles of sunscreen, stopping time and again to keep reapplying. We’re all about keeping you in your seat, having the ride of your life. No breaks, no worries. Additionally, all of our sleeves come with silicone grippers to keep them in place when riding, and strategically placed reflective elements to make sure you’re always in the sight-line of traffic in low light conditions. The anatomical cut in our arm and leg sleeves guarantee a great fit both in the full rider position and off the bike. Designed to feel like a second skin instead of clothing, you won’t be distracted by the weather or what you’re wearing, and will have all the time in the world to enjoy your little slice of freedom.