Wintertime doesn't need to slow down your cycling regimen. Thick winter clothing tends to get caught in the crankshaft, but special insulated leg warmers cling to the skin for hassle-free cycling in cold weather. For effective cycling leg warmer usage, sizing is important. A loose leg warmer can get snagged on the bike chain, while overly-tight leg warmers cause discomfort and leg numbness. For the right sizing, you need to accurately measure your legs.
Measure your thigh circumference at its thickest point using a vinyl tape measure. Flexible vinyl tape measures are sold at most crafts stores or fabric retailers.
Stand barefoot on the floor and measure the distance from the floor to the top of your natural waistline. Cycling leg warmers typically extend from the ankle to the the top of the thigh, near the groin. Though the leg warmer will not extend the full length from the floor to your waist when you wear it, a standard “side measurement” is used in sizing.
Share your measurements with the sales clerk to determine the best fit for your legs. Every manufacturer sizes leg warmers differently, though in most cases general sizing guidelines are applicable. For legs between 20 and 21 inches around and 42 to 43 inches tall, you need a small. A medium is best for a thigh circumference of 21 to 22 inches and a side length of 43 to 44 inches. A large leg warmer is suitable for legs 22 to 23 inches around and 44 to 45 inches tall. Dimensions below these ranges are considered extra-small, and extra-large sizes are above these ranges.
Choose leg warmers made of a moisture-wicking fabric to keep from getting chilled on your ride.
The proper attire for cold-weather cycling is not only important for comfort, it helps prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Always check the weather and dress appropriately before heading out for long rides in cold weather.