- Ground Effect Half Pipes leg warmers
- £25 (approx)
Word association time: “Leg warmers”.
Go on, admit it, you’re thinking of Fame and 80s gym chic. Or you have no idea what we’re on about, if you’re more blessed with youth than us. But in bicycleland, leg warmers are essentially full-length extensions for your shorts – lightweight Lycra legs that live in your pocket until it gets a bit nippy around the knees.
Ground Effect’s offerings are the Half Pipes. They’re made from lovely fleecy-backed Lycra and have a couple of very useful features. For a start, they’re distinctly on the long side, reaching well beyond mid-thigh and therefore guaranteed a healthy amount of overlap with your shorts unless you’re an enthusiast of the shorter short. They’re best worn with either Lycra shorts or baggies with a close-fitting liner – the Half Pipes have grippy elastic at the top to keep them up, but tucking them under a snug shorts leg removes any possibility of slippage.
At the other end is a 10in zipper, which means that you can haul them on over your shoes for minimum faff. There’s also a small reflective logo on each calf. Once in place they’re very comfy and toasty warm. And if it warms up, it’s the work of a moment to slip them off again.
As all Ground Effect gear is shipped direct from New Zealand, pricing is something of an inexact science, subject as it is the the whims of the international money markets. At the time of writing, the Half Pipes’ price of NZ$69 comes to about £25 including VAT and import duty. There’s shipping to go on top of that, though – you’d be best off buying a few items at a time.
Ups and downs
Positives: Warm, comfy, compact
Negatives: Cheaper leg warmers are available
These are really rather handy. They’re long enough to ensure good coverage and the zips make them super-easy to get on and off. We’ve become converts to the Way of the Leg-Warmer in the uncertain weather conditions that we tend to experience, um, pretty much every ride…