rh+ Fusion Wind Out bib tights  £145.00

7/10

The Fusions do a lot of things well and will keep you toasty down into freezing temperatures, but a couple of niggles will hold them back for some.

Weight 290g   Contact  www.veroli.co.uk

by Liam Glen   January 7, 2014  

The Zero RH Fusion Wind Out bib tights are full-on winter tights that make use of a thick, windproof material and a water repellent fabric on the shins to ward off any road spray. The inside surfaces have a fleecy feel to them and provide plenty of warmth while also being comfortable on the skin.

The Fusion tights are extremely warm and this limits them to being used in temperatures below about 6 degrees. A bove that things get very sweaty indeed, which is not helped by the very limited breathability of the material. As such, these are quite a specialist item and not a pair of tights which will get worn day in and day out for most in the UK.

The upside of the poor breathability is that the tights really do a good job of cutting out the wind, making it a non-issue. The water repellent shin material does its job pretty well, but the benefits are limited given than only the shins (and even then, not all of them) are covered. It might have been nice to include the same material on the bum section to protect against spray in that area too; a wet behind is usually a bigger problem than wet shins in my experience.

Given the limited stretch in the windproof material, the cut of the various panels is crucial to the overall fit of the bibtights. In this regard, the Fusion's are on the small side for their stated size, typical of an Italian brand, so I'd recommend most people to go a size up from normal. I was able to just about squeeze into my usual medium, but the fit around the ankle was very tight. In terms of length, the Fusion's are about right – the issue is the width of the legs.

Speaking of ankle fit, the rather stout zips that are used in this area were the source of a little discomfort due to their location. RH have chosen to place the zip right at the back of the leg, which means that tape extension at the top of the zip happens to lie smack dab on top of the calf muscle. Due to the compressive nature of the tights, this caused a bit of a pressure point at this location. It's not a total deal breaker, but worth noting considering the premium nature of the tights.

Up top, the main talking point is the elasticated braces that take the place of traditional straps. Though they distinguish the Fusions from other bibtights, there doesn't seem to be any benefit to them at all – a case of gimmick instead of genuine innovation. The front section is cut low, below the belly button, and includes a panel of very elastic material to provide some give in this area.

The chamois pad is RH's own 'prologic' model and features a number of different thicknesses and grooves to improve ventilation. The thickest padding is designed to support the sit bones and the areas where it's used are spaced about 10cm apart. This may be on the narrow side for some, especially those who don't rotate their hips forwards very much on the bike. The front of the pad is sufficiently extended to provide an extra layer of wind and 'modesty' protection.

Pad design is only one contributing factor to comfort however, the other being pad placement. RH have catered to a more aggressive riding position by placing the chamois quite far forwards. Personally, I found it to be perfectly placed as the areas of thickest padding lined up nicely with my sit bones. The narrow overall pad width does mean that there's less room for error in comparison to more generous pads, so I'd recommend giving these a try before any purchase if you can.

At £145, the Fusions need to be seen as an investment for those who absolutely must get out when the going gets cold. If the pad fits you and you don't experience the same zip/calf issue that my particular body shape caused, then you could do a lot worse for the money.

Verdict

The Fusions do a lot of things well and will keep you toasty down into freezing temperatures, but a couple of niggles will hold them back for some.

road.cc test report

Make and model: rh+ Fusion Wind Out Bibtight

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Full-on windproof winter tights with water-repellent material on the shins.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

*Ultra-flat seams

*Stretch microfiber braces

*Anatomic waist cut

*Back stretch mesh

*Bottom leg with inner antislip elastic

*Reflective bottom leg zipper with camlock

*Reflective appliqués

*Water repellent lower leg

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The attention to detail is very good with different seam types and sizes being used depending on location and function.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Very warm and totally windproof.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Good so far.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
6/10

Most people will need to size up to get the right fit. The overall shaping of the tights is very good, but a small issue with the bottom zip caused some discomfort. The pad placements also suits a more aggressive position

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

If the Fusions fit your particular body shape, then their premium price is repaid with top notch performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The warmth and chamois pad placement.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Issue with zip on the lower leg. The pad placement might be too aggressive for some.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 190cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,

 

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