It really hit me when I lined up at Kutztown Cross, why I love these legwarmers. We were waiting for the one minute to go call, and I stood there, my legs comfortably wrapped in my Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers. Next to me, another rider was struggling to get his legwarmers off without taking off his shoes. He was panicking that he was not going to be ready.
And there it was, the one minute to go call. I grabbed one last sip from my bottle, unzipped my vest, threw it to the side, reached down to my ankle, unzipped my right leg, then my left, threw them to the side, hit the start on my Garmin, and I was ready to go. The other guy was still fighting with his leg warmers. At 30 seconds, he finally had them off, threw his vest to the side, and was back on his bike just in time for the whistle.
Let’s go back to an hour earlier. Before my recon laps, I zipped up the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers over top of my bib shorts. This is something big for me, since I ride in Giro Empires for both cross and the road. Other leg and knee warmers are a pain to slide on and off over my shoes, and I don’t have the ability to just pop my shoes off on a whim. Even leg warmers that have a partial zipper, are still a pain to get off over your shoes. The last thing you want to do is have to worry about what you are wearing when you are a minute out from a race, just ask the guy that was lined up next to me.
The other great feature about these warmers is the fabric. The Thermolite material has a fleece back that feels soft against your skin and keeps you warm. Even in low to mid 30 degree temps, they kept my legs toasty during recon, warm ups, and just standing around waiting for my race to start. They are also treated with a Repel TEFLON fabric protector to keep them water repellent when the conditions get soggy.
During the recon lap, I paid attention to the comfort of these warmers. I was a little worried about the zipper, and how it would feel on the side of my knee. When wearing them correctly, the zipper sits on the outside of your legs, but even when pedaling or running, I never felt it rub or any flexibility issues with the fabric. The warmers actually stayed in place pretty well, even sitting on top of my bibs. A bit of silicone grippers keep them from falling down from the thigh or riding up from the ankle. There is even a reflective bit printed on the back of the calf for those early morning commutes or evening training rides.
So let’s recap. Full length zippers for easy on and off, warm, comfortable material that stands up to the elements, silicone grippers to keep them in place, and a bit of reflective, I don’t think there is much more that you can ask for when it comes to a leg warmer. With a $49.99 msrp, the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers are right in line with other well made legwarmers on the market that do not include a convenient full length zipper.