Whilst we are supposedly coming into Spring it is safe to say the weather does not feel spring like or as if it will be close to that any time soon. More and more training plans are being adapted for indoor cycling because of strong winds, rain and icy conditions. However, when it is safe to venture outside layers are key and aside from indoor turbo sessions I have not had my cycling bib shorts on for outside training for months now. So let’s talk bib tights!
So I have bib tights from four brands that I am rotating as follows:
- BioRacer Tempest – £132 – product can be seen here
- DHB Aeron – £85 – product can be seen here
- FDX TS Womens – £25.99 – product can be seen here
- Sundried Peloton – £60 – product can be seen here
So my riding and experience using some of the above varies from commuting to local rides and club rides to endurance events which I am qualifying as 100 miles or more.
Generally I get the bib tights out post summer months and when I have really gone past the bib short appropriate weather. And yes I am a bib tight girl rather than cycling leggings, however, I was impressed with Anna’s Legs cycling leggings. So I am wanting them to do the following:
- keep me warm in cold weather, wind and rain – my preference would always be for material where the water beads off.
- be breathable – nothing worse than sweating and then getting cold and ending up feeling a chill (don’t assume that because it is a cooler/winter month that you will not sweat still)
- be comfortable – winter training sees more layers and to avoid chaffing and moving of layers comfort is important!
- have a good chamois pad – this is not specific to bib tights to be honest as I would look for the same in bib shorts.
Now I am not generally one who assumes the more expensive the item the better but I am equally happy to pay more for kit that will last. Cycling kit is not cheap and there are so many options too and I would much rather go by a recommendation too. So here is a little review of each of the above:
- Price – £132, which is the most expensive of the four, however, I have had these for five years now so well worth the investment in my opinion!
- Warmth – these are fleece lined, windproof and waterproof with the water beading off when wet so always up to any weather I have experienced.
- Comfort – I’ve used these for endurance rides and they would be my go to. I am a huge fan of the BioRacer kit and would always recommend. They look slightly odd when hung up as there are additional panels on the knee for ease of movement. They don’t move about when riding either which is a huge bonus for me. I have these in custom club kit and they have reflective pixel technology which is great for winter riding.
- Chamois – the BioRacer vapor pad, which uses material that is breathable, friction reducing and remains dry.
- Score – 9/10 – definitely my go to choice for all areas I am looking at and they are tried and tested and still amazing!
- Price – £85, however, these were gifted to me but I would happily pay this price for these.
- Warmth – these are fleece lined, and really super soft with a luxury feel. I did find in the wet my legs still got muddy through the material, which was a surprise as I was toasty warm when riding so didn’t think anything had penetrated.
- Comfort – super soft, although first pair I have had with the cross bib straps but once I figured out how they went was very impressed. They also don’t move about when riding either which as I noted above is a huge bonus for me. Not comfort related but they also have reflective accents on the legs which is great for winter riding.
- Chamois – Elastic Interface® pad, which at first I was concerned with as it is thinner than the pads I usually wear but super comfortable.
- Score – 8/10 – now I think this score could increase but I have not used for any endurance cycling as yet, with 68 miles being the furthest distance and I marked down slightly as the mud/water penetrated the material a bit.
FDX TS Womens:
- Price – £25.99, the cheapest of the four and a chance find at an expo.
- Warmth – not fleece lined and you can tell, but I much prefer bib tights to leg warmers but they are made of a thermal fabric and so serve the purpose just fine.
- Comfort – when I first came across this brand I was slightly worried that they were so cheap they would not be any good but whilst I would not use for long distance riding I have used up to 50 miles and they’ve been fab.
- Chamois – DuPont 3D Anti-bac gel padding, which is very thin but actually very comfortable.
- Score – 7/10 – these would not be my choice for longer distance rides but for shorter rides and commutes these are perfect.
- Price – £60, however, these were gifted to me.
- Warmth – now although these are marketed as ideal for winter and colder climates they are definitely the least thermal of all four if at all. I was disappointed with the material and although it is breathable lycra I would liken it to gym leggings with a pad in it and after using for my 14/15 mile commute I was pretty cold.
- Comfort – I was advised to size up, which I did but actually they are too big and this probably contributed to the discomfort I experienced as there was too much movement including of the pad and lets just say it has left me very very very sore.
- Chamois – I couldn’t find detail on the pad though when I looked on the website I saw some other cycling kit refer to a gel pad. The bib tights are listed as mens but I was told they would be fine, however, the pad felt too big and there was too much movement when cycling.
- Score – 5/10 – this score may seem harsh but when I say these left me sore I really mean it and I would have marked a lot lower but I do appreciate a size down may have had a slightly different effect I am still not sold on the material or the pad so unfortunately would be my last choice.
I should note that the DHB and Sundried bib tights were gifted to me but all opinions are my own.