Leg warmers or no leg warmers?

Leg warmers, knee warmers or bare legs? This one is also a classic spring cycling dilemma. A lot of people new to cycling will strip off their leg warmers as soon as the sun shines. This is not necessarily a good idea. When cycling there is a lot of wind chill, and keeping leg warmers on will keep your muscles warm and therefore working most efficiently. You will never see professional cyclists training without leg or arm warmers if the temperature is below 18C. This basically means almost never in the Low Countries. And a lot of professional riders will start a race with them on, and only take them off once the racing gets up to speed.

Cutural differences: German rider Tony Martin in the red three-quarter leggings, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde chooses full black leg warmers with overshoes. Belgian Tiesj Benoot opts for no leg-warmers and bare hands. The choice, as they say, is yours. (Photograph: Getty Images)

However, if you want to get your legs a bit brown, and insist on exposing your (shaved or unshaved) legs to the elements, make sure your core is well-protected. An extra layer or even two, on your upper body will keep your core temperature consistent, and your body free from the chills. Knee warmers are an interesting half-way house. These are either for people who specifically like to keep their knees warm (duh) or those who simply can’t decided between fully covered or bare. Certainly on longer rides in unpredictable weather, just having your knees covered up can make the whole experience more comfortable. If you ride to local races and back, the normal procedure is leg warmers and an extra shirt or two on the way out and back, and bare legs during the race.