Impressively comfortable, soft, warm and water repellent, the Assos Evo 7 arm are a level above their already-premium competitors
- Luxuriously soft to the touch
- Low in weight but high in warmth
- No silicone gripper but they still stay in place
- Specific left and right arms increase coverage and comfort
- Specific left and right arms make it more difficult to get them on quickly while on the move
Right now as I write this review, it's late March and it's snowing outside. It's a stark contrast to just five days ago, when I rode in temperatures peaking at 18C/64F in shorts and white socks. Springtime has a knack for throwing up unpredictable weather, and if you live in the UK like me, you probably didn't need reminding. It's at this time of year when cycling clothing needs to be versatile, and there's little more versatile than the best arm warmers for cycling.
All of the best cycling clothing brands have a pair, many have a few, and they all serve a similar purpose of versatile, removable warmth and a modicum of water resistance. The Assos Evo 7 arm warmers are one such pair. They are simple in design, lightweight in construction and have a retail price of £35.00 / $49.00 / €44.95, but they're often available for less.
In order to work out whether the Assos Evo 7 arm warmers are better than the competition, I've been spending the past few months wearing odd arm warmers - looking like I got dressed in the dark - to directly compare them to their peers.
Design and specification
Assos does things a little differently from most of its competitors in that each arm warmer is specific to a particular arm. The way they are constructed means a specifically tailored upper edge that is around an inch higher on the back of the arm, adding a little extra coverage in the area often left most exposed by short-sleeved jerseys.
They are made almost entirely from Assos' proprietary RX Light fabric, which is the same used in certain areas of the brand's bib tights. This is except for a separate elasticated band which is stitched onto the upper hem. The cuff at the wrist is a simple folded edge of the RX Light material itself, and unlike most arm warmers on the market, there is not a silicone gripper in sight.
There is just one design consideration in the form of a rubberised Assos logo printed onto each outer forearm. The only other colour comes courtesy of the large black and yellow warning tab instructing whether you're looking at the left or the right arm.
The standout difference between the Assos Evo 7 arm warmers and competitors such as the Castelli Nanoflex and Sportful NoRain is the luxuriously soft feel of the material. The low-pile fleece interior is superbly comfortable against the skin, but even the outer face is silky and smooth, whereas competitor arm warmers are often a little more abrasive to the touch. Of course, this isn't exactly noticeable in normal wear but becomes apparent when used to wipe sweat or rain (or snow!) away from the sensitive skin around the nose and mouth.
The weight of the fabric is also slightly thinner than the competitors, but without a detriment to warmth. I've worn these arm warmers in temperatures from a few degrees above freezing to the aforementioned 18C/64F day comfortably. When the rain comes, their water repellency is excellent. So excellent, in fact, that when I ran my arm under a tap for a minute as a test, I came away completely dry.
Despite the lack of silicone grippers, I'm happy to report the Evo 7 arm warmers stay secure at the upper arm, primarily thanks to the highly elastic nature of the RX Light material as a whole. If upper arm security is something you really suffer with and you want to risk a slightly more compressive fit to get it, then I would recommend something like Castelli NanoFlex 3G or the Sportful NoRain, since they employ a silicone gripper and hold on a little more tightly, but even on my relatively skinny arms, the Assos pair stay secure. For reference, I'm 6ft 3in tall, weigh 75kg, and have a physique defined by years of turning pedals for exercise and driving a mouse and keyboard for a living.
The only complaint I have is that due to their left-right specificity, they're a little more difficult to put on whilst riding. You first need to find and read the label which takes a little more attention away from the road or wheel ahead. Of course, that's a small price to pay for the increased coverage and extra security the tailored shape provides.
Aside from that, it's really hard to find fault in the Assos Evo 7 arm warmers. They are impressively comfortable, soft to the touch, their water repellency is great, and they can handle temperatures that far exceed my expectations given how thin they feel in comparison to others.
They are a premium pair of arm warmers that feel a step above their peers, so they're hard not to recommend given they are priced in the same ballpark.
Tech Specs: Assos Evo 7 arm warmers
- Water-resistant: Yes
- Silicone gripper: No
- Sizes available: 0 (XS-S), I (S-M-L) and II (XL-XLG-TIR)
- RRP: £35.00 / $49.00 / €44.95
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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