Wednesday, October 28

Another Terribly Biased Product Review

Just about a month ago the kinda people I like to call my "friends" over on that time suck known as Facebook started updating their status as "searching for my arm warmers" or just generally bitching about the change in weather we've been experiencing. The cooler temps are calling for the additional layers that some folks box up, stow away, or misplace during the summer. Mine never leave their established position on second shelf from the top in my bike room. I have to wear them at work and on recreational rides through a decent portion of the year, so I don't take risks leaving them hilly nilly about the house.

I love arm warmers and knee warmers. I don't see why they never took hold with the general populace, as they seem like the most brilliant creation since the penis sock (sorry, I'm just trying to boost the hits I get from the google search for "penis sock"). Removable sleeves and the ability to change any pair of shorts into capris with small garments that fit in your pockets??? Move over sliced bread....

I've been wearing different brands of arm warmers for the last fifteen plus years, but I definitely have a favorite now. While I was in Colorado last summer I received an urgent care package from Swiftwick which was delivered to MOOTS headquarters where I was staying. Apparently they didn't want my twiggly little arms getting cold whilst riding around in the upper stratosphere, so they saw to it to send me not one, not two, but three pair.

I coulda reviewed them some time ago, but that woulda been a bit bogus. I barely wore them more than once while I was at the Breck Epic since the temperatures were always quite pleasant (except for when I was trying to sleep). I decided to hold off my judgment till the weather got cold enough to actually test them in some brisk weather. Otherwise my review woulda read "They sorta look like a missing piece from a Tron costume", and that woulda been that.

Over the last couple of months I've had a chance to test them out at work and on the trail. I've worn them in the rain and the cold, and I've sported them all by themselves in the bedroom (when appropriate). Here's what Swiftwick has to say about them:

"Swiftwick has just put out a great pair of arm warmers made from Olefin. Slide these form fitting sleeves onto your arms and you are going to be thrilled by the comfort and warmth provided. And, Swiftwick products are made in the USA! ....(I skipped the next few sentences after I fell asleep and had a patriotic dream).... As the only Nobel Prize winning fiber (They just don't give out Nobels to anybody, do they?), Olefin retains less than .01% of its weight in moisture – so much so, that it floats! This produces a fast drying, lightweight arm warmer with incredible breathability, superb abrasion resistance and outstanding wear. Another key feature to the Swiftwick arm warmers are the 200 Needle Construction. This is a much higher than any industry practice and equal to medical standard. If you have discovered the world of high thread count bed sheets (I did at the MOOTS apartment, and I can say that I slept like a king while I was in Steamboat Springs, so I went to Walmart and bought some white sheets, replaced the ones at the MOOTS apartment with the cheaper sheets, and now I enjoy high thread count sheets every day in the comfort of my own home), you will understand the smooth, comfortable products Swiftwick offers. These arm warmers are a truly pragmatic (I'll admit I had to look that word up just to see that they musta meant busy, officious, and opinionated) tool for fending off the cold. They are quick and easy to get on and off and are perfect for the rider looking to cut weight and/or have just the right thing to take the edge off a nippy ride."

Those are all the claims the marketing department could think up. I can attest to the fact that they do stay pretty warm when wet, and they do dry pretty fast. I don't necessarily know if they are any lighter than my previous arm warmers, but I can tell you that they did stay in place while riding which would be way more important than weight comparisons. I haven't purposely wrecked my bike to check out the abrasion resistance, but if they are made with the same Olefin material as my socks I can attest to owning a drawer full of unsnagged, unabraded Olefin socks that have held up remarkably well. The arm warmers come in three sizes (17", 19", and 21"), and I happen to have two of the sizes available. The 17" version fits me fine, but I love the coverage of the 19" much better. Both of them stay up equally well, so I would say if you have any doubt as to which size you might wear buy the longer one.

I haven't quite figured out quite why yet, but you can roll the cuff up if you wanna expose some skin to the frigid air.

Rolling the cuff does expose a sizable logo, so if one was a label whore I can definitely see why one would be all over this.

So I'm digging on my arm warmers. These things do what they are supposed to do (warm my arms), and they do it with style. Unfortunately I can't figure out if the gray stripes are style or if they perform some sort of function, but they are the reason that this item only gets my Seal of Semi-Approval.

My Swifwick arm warmers did not come with instructions, and the whole time I've had them I'd been wearing them with the stripes on my elbows:

Imagine my surprise as I was researching this review when I found out I was wearing them backwards.

As you can see in the image of the arm warmer on a cadaver arm the stripes are intended to be aligned with your elbow pit. I think back to all those times I've been wearing them in public, and I could hear faint snickers from onlookers. Now that I think of it my friends were keeping their distance on the trail, and there was a lot of whispering in the parking lot. All that humiliation coulda easily been avoided with the inclusion of a small owner's manual with each pair. The problem is I've gotten so used to wearing them my way I don't know if I can bring myself to do it the way that "The Man" wants me to wear them. I wonder if I voided my warranty by wearing them improperly? I'm gonna have to see if my Swiftwick benefits package includes some therapy sessions.


cornfed said...

double the pressure double the fun

wv: extedegg

zencycle said...

I'm still waiting for the penis sock review

Nerd On A Bike said...

Mmmm....Tron slip-ons.

Chris said...

i've been eyeing a pair of these myself ... any insider info if they'll have some knee warmers in the future?

i would hate to throw vanity out the window and not match, plus my PI knee warmers won't stay up.

Swiftwick said...

Knee warmers are definitely on the radar. Still looking into the manufacturing and what not, but definitely be on the lookout for new products from Swiftwick next season(knee warmers, merino armwarmers, and a few others-can't give away all the secrets.

This review made everyone here break out in hysterics. I want that Tron costume for this weekend!

Cal Tippin' said...

I'm sure really skinny guys can use the arm warmers as leg warmers.

the original big ring said...

Pffffttt ... everyone knows stripes face the front.

Look good with the Misfits jersey - it's like they're a sponsor or something

Enel said...

I can't seem to take off the Swiftwick socks I picked up at Ibike. The things rock amazingly.