Stay warm on the bike with our pick of this season’s bibs
Until relatively recently, an integrated chamois in bibtights wasn’t a thing. In fact, for those of us who have been cycling for more than 20 years, we’re still half surprised to find them in there, and then we’re still half expecting the sensation of a wet kipper down the back of a pair of Ron Hill Tracksters. Now the bike clothing brands have got to grips with designing tights that balance wind and water resistance, insulation and breathability, and wicking chamois. Not only that, they’ve devised patterns for fabrics that stretch in a specific way to ensure a close fit and to avoid that gap between chamois and nether regions which, as we shall see, is still not always easy. Approaches to winter tights vary: some have zips at the cuffs or up the front of the bibs; for women’s tights it’s also worth investigating how the comfort-break mechanism works. And most have a target temperature range for best performance.
Generally speaking, from November onwards leg-warmers are not enough — you need a more substantial garment to keep out the weather. Not so long ago you had to accept that your legs would get wet if it rained. Now modern tights with technical fabrics and/or DWR coatings even take care of that.
We’ve tested six men’s and five women’s tights and as usual have rated them for their performance relative to their price.