Designed specifically for the Yorkshire Olympic medallists and Team Alpecin-Fenix riders who make up the Spatz development crew, “Armz” adds wetsuit tech to traditional arm warmers. The results are remarkably effective if you don’t want the flap or faff of a jacket on a non-stop training ride or a filthy weather gravel or XC race.
Design and aesthetics
Speaking to designer Tom Barras making the Armz wasn’t just a case of sticking some bits of premium quality neoprene onto a standard arm warmer. Well it was, but Tom went through 12 different designs and countless hours of foul-weather testing (luckily something of a Yorkshire specialty if you remember the 2019 Worlds) to finalize the design.
That mainly revolved around putting the neoprene forearm and bicep panels in exactly the right places to bounce weather off while warming blood on its way to your hands. They had to be carefully shaped and placed so as not to get in the way whether you’re riding tempo on the tops or ducked deep into an attack. They’re also extremely stretchy so even though my bicep diameter puts me on the threshold of the M - L chart in Spatz sizing, the S samples I got sent (no offence taken Tom) didn’t feel too tight once they were on. There’s plenty of length in them, too, with silicon grippers to stop them sliding down but the neoprene sections seem to hold them up better than normal anyway. That does make them slightly more awkward to get on/off though and they don’t roll up round your wrists as neatly if you’re not sure you want to pocket them just yet.
I’ve been testing and using Spatz gear long enough now to know the company makes quality products. No matter the weather, the Armz handled it all. Two hours in the sleet and rain using the Armz, Neoz neoprene gloves, short sleeve Basez baselayer and Burnr gilet, and I stayed comfortably warm. In fact the wetter things got, the more the neoprene panels made a real difference holding warmth noticeably better than other ‘weatherproof’ panel or DWR coated arms I’ve tried. That meant the Shake Dry jacket I’d taken just in case stayed in my pocket and I remained flap, rustle and free of fighting no handed in the wind to get a jacket on. If I’d been one of the pros who asked Tom to design these warmers there would have been no need to call the team car to bring up an extra layer either.
Like most Spatz pricing, it’s on par with other premium options but, yet again, the Armz delivers next-level uncompromised aero performance and bad weather comfort for those who ride hard and often enough to make that kind of investment worth it.
We really thought Spatz was having a laugh with the ‘Armz’ but, yet again, it proved that the right materials in the right place can create a ridiculous amount of protection. These are definitely a niche item but for riders and racers who want to stay comfortable whatever the weather without the drag, noise and inconvenience of a shell they’re absolutely outstanding. The pricing is relatively reasonable, too.
Tech Specs: Spatz Armz rain-specific arm warmers
- Price: $51.99 / £44.99
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Colors: Black