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