With the full affects of winter officially on us, it can become clear quite quickly that those items of clothing we put away all those months ago may be getting a little tired. One item that takes a large brunt of impact are your tights, with the spray off the road along with the elements from up above they get a real test this time of year. Keeping out the cold air whilst locking in all that important warmth makes for a much more pleasurable ride. Along with repelling the rain and road spray you need a good fit with the right features.
Cycling Plus have done a very useful road test on a number of different tights, this is what they have to say:
PBK Exclusive RL900X
These are exactly the same cut as the DHB Merston. They have the same generous upper body covering, the double thickness over the knee. ankle zips and silicone rubber grippers. Plus, they’re made from a similar fleecy fabric, the PBK keeping us just a touch warmer in the environmental chamber both while peddling and when inactive afterwards. There’s little to choose between them in a lot of ways, but we do prefer the PBK’s seatpad. You get deeper, more effective cushioning under seat bones and more contouring throughout, keeping the comfort high and the volume low, plus there’s better airflow to stop the atmosphere getting clammy.
Sound design with a superbly comfortable seatpad, good value too.
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen WS Bibtights+
They might be pricey, but these top quality tights will serve you right through the coldest winter weather. For impressive weatherproof performance, you get Gore Windstopper panels the whole way down the front of the legs and across the butt, and these keep water out admirably as well as halting cold air in its tracks. It’s pretty breathable stuff, so sweat rarely builds up inside and the inner face is as fleecy comfortable next to your skin as the standard polyester used elsewhere. The result is a warm pair of longs – these provided the second highest level of insulation in the environmental chamber. Absolutely everything is flat stitched here so there’s zero irritation as you pedal and, although it’s a little bulky, the Ozon seatpad is stretchy enough to move with your body, while plenty of channels allow air to flow freely. Reflective fabric just above the feet will get you noticed – as long as it’s not covered by your overshoes – stirrups ensure a solid fit with no movement while you ride, and the comfort zip has an underflap so it’s never in contact with your skin. These are some of the best tights on test.
A first class design at a high price but the performance justifies it.