Fall-Winter Essential review: Capo’s Roubaix knee warmers

Sixty degrees? Cover your knees.

Sure, it rhymes, but there’s a lot to that old saw.  Knees are among the hardest working of cyclists’ joints- and the most often troubled.  Being kind to your knees by keeping them warm and protected on chilly days pays off in reduced stiffness, soreness, and injury.

But all of us have suffered from knee warmers that, to put it simply, suck.  As simple as a pair of footless socks should be, there’s little as irritating as poorly-placed seams, bunchiness behind the knees, or bulky grippers that pull shorts down while rubbing uncomfortably on the saddle.  All reasons why is why the Roubaix model from Italianate clothiers Capo are standouts.

Pre-formed from several pieces of hollow-core Roubaix fabric into a knee-like bend, Capo have nailed the warmers’ fit.  Despite the numerous seams, none cross the knee or make themselves known while pedaling.  Sewn-in reflective tabs at the calf add a measure of security at dawn and dusk.  Black, red, and white versions are available in two sizes (S/M and L/XL) and stitched together right here in the USA.

Ultimately, it’s the extremely thin thigh gripper’s that make the Roubaixes work so well.  With tacky silicone on both the inside and outside, they hold fast to both leg and shorts, remaining comfortable for several hours on road and off.  No pulling, no bunching, and no unnecessary bulk. Until it’s time to pull them off, they’re easy to forget the Capos altogether.

Given the overly simple construction, far-Eastern manufacture, and annoying slippage to which $30+ knee warmers are prone, the Capos easily justify the jump to $50.  If they hold up even half as long as others we’ve tried, they’re well worth the asking price.

marc

www.capocycling.com

Comments

Metar - 11/28/12 - 11:03am

May I ask, what exactly makes a USA-made garment “Italian”?

Meta - 11/28/12 - 1:04pm

Capo is flaccid, trying to be ballsy and, italian artsy. But in reality everything they make is hideous and overprices. I’m tired of companions hijacking all things Italian. Hey Capo stop putting italian flags on everything.

MOXYMOJO - 11/28/12 - 1:24pm

My Capo stuff is awesome. I wouldn’t exactly say they’re “hijacking all things Italian” since all of items say “Made in Italy” on them. Kind of cool to see that they are incorporating some US manufacturing as well. I like clothing from smaller companions with their own style.

designmath - 11/28/12 - 1:26pm

new design looks like they removed the vertical seam from behind the knee. Old style rubbed me raw and were too tight. Replaced with trusty defeet kneekers for under $20.

Psi Squared - 11/28/12 - 1:33pm

@Metar: just the slightest bit of research can be very illuminating. This is directly from the Capo website:

“Capo products are designed and developed in the US with the majority of manufacturing taking place in northern Italy. “

Lucas - 11/28/12 - 1:38pm

If one were to do some research you’d find out they are an American company with Italian roots. They are based in the USA and do their manufacturing in Italy. So yeah. It is definitely a garment that is “Italian.” Well made, advanced and technically sound. It is no more expensive than any other high-quality clothing company. Guess what? Fabric and production are expensive. Deal with it or ride in crap.

As for aesthetics of design, to each their own. I think their stuff is great and leading edge. If you don’t have anything nice to say, or if you have to second guess whether your comments really have anything beneficial to add, do everyone a favor and walk your fingers to your bike and go ride off some of your pointless angst.

ApeEscape - 11/28/12 - 3:22pm

gotta love the haters that can’t afford it!

Meta - 11/28/12 - 8:47pm

Now this Italian you lousy capo defenders ;) http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671318/this-novel-handmade-bike-is-17-pounds-of-sexy#1

Marc - 11/28/12 - 9:25pm

Metar et al,

Sorry for the confusion- I used the word “Italianate” to suggest that Capo aren’t Italian so much as Italian in character or appearance- which really does capture Capo’s style. Add in the fact that much of the line is, in fact, made in Italy and you’ve got more than superficial ties to the country. In any case, their knee warmers are badass.

marc

Bikecharlie - 11/28/12 - 9:44pm

Best knee and arm warmers out there.

Must not be too Italian because I didn’t see the word passion anywhere in the article. Marc, bonus points for that.

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