Tights & longs
The Castelli Sanremo Thermosuit has been one of the most talked about pieces of cycle clothing since it launched last October. Why exactly all the buzz? Castelli have taken their Paris-Roubaix winning Speedsuit and turned into into a one-piece winter package that is one of the most innovative cold-weather garments we've seen in some time.
These Rapha Women's Winter Tights are designed for those looking to ride in comfort all winter long, no matter what the conditions.
They're made from high quality Italian Thermoroubaix fabric, which has a soft fleecy backing to it for warmth and moisture wicking properties.
'Maximum comfort in every detail' is certainly a gutsy product description. The Total Comfort Bibtight from Sportful talk the talk but how do they really perform as a winter bibtight, pitched against the UK weather?
I've been impressed by Sportful's material engineering in the past. These tights are no exception.
These Storck Bib Tight Winters come with windproof and water resistant panels and several other neat features, although they're certainly an expensive option.
So, those windproof/water resistant panels are the ones that go over your knees and your quads – the most exposed areas. They're fleece backed and stretchy so they're perfectly comfortable as you pedal. Most of the rest of the lowers are made from a fabric called Notorious which has a fleecy, ribbed inner surface that holds a lot of warm air around your legs.
Rapha's Classic Winter Tights are luxuriously comfortable with a supreme softness next to the skin, provide good freedom of movement around the knees and provide just enough insulation for the winter.
Temporarily setting aside the 'comfort' problems for female riders associated with bib-tights, the dhb Ladies Vaeon Reflex bib tights are still the easiest and most enduringly comfortable option for keeping warm on long winter rides.
Yes, it's hard as hell to take a pee stop, but at least your back stays warm and you're not cut in two at the waist by tights trying to migrate down your legs. So, bib-tights = necessary evil.
Performance is at the forefront of Sportful's design philosophy and this shows in the excellent NoRain bib tights, which rank as the best bib tights I've ever tested.
Key to Sportful's NoRain range, which also includes jackets, arm and knee warmers and bib shorts, is a proprietary fabric with a water repellant technology that ensures rain beads off the surface. What they're not is waterproof, but this finish prevents the fabric from holding onto the water and giving you that soggy feeling.
The Castelli Velocissimo bib tights are good, comfortable bibtights for cold – but not the coldest – rides
The Velocissimos are made from Castelli's Thermoflex fabric which is a soft, brush-backed Roubaix-type material that's very stretchy. It's not as thick as some and there are no windproof areas but it's warm stuff.
High-visibility is a key concern for some cyclists and with this in mind dhb's brand new Vaeon Reflex bib tights are covered with 3M reflective details all over the legs, ensuring you're highly visible whether commuting or training. It's not just at night that they're useful, but when it's a bit overcast and just plain dreary outside.