Win­ter tights

Stay warm on the bike with our pick of this sea­son’s bibs

Cycling Weekly - - TECH GROUPTEST -

WHAT

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.

WHY

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.

HOW

We’ve tested six men’s and five women’s tights and as usual have rated them for their per­for­mance rel­a­tive to their price.

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