British cycle clothing company Rivelo's Winnats bib tights are great quality, stylish, and perform really well in the cold.
Cut in such a way that the form fit is perfect, without any constrictive or uncomfortable compression, the Winnats are made from Thermo Roubaix fabric for warmth and have external panels that are fortified with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating.
This combination works very well to keep you warm in freezing temperatures (I made sure to get out during our recent sub-zero cold snap), and to keep spray at bay. The DWR aspect isn't hugely durable when exposed to a lot of rain, but it's a nice extra that'll deal with puddle spray when needed.
Up front, the zip does right up to the bottom of the sternum, which provides that extra bit of coverage when the wind gets up, but also gives easier access when nature comes calling. Likewise, there's decent length in the legs so your ankles are well covered, and you can ride assured that they won't pull up thanks to silicone grippers around the hems.
Should the weather warm up a touch, the base of the tights are fitted with zips that undo to halfway up the calf muscle. This adds a spot of ventilation, as well as making them a little easier to get into.
The shoulder straps are comfortable, if a little tight when standing. Naturally, they're designed to be worn in a riding position, so should you come to try on a pair without sitting on a bike, don't let this put you off. They're supplemented with a mesh back for a smidge of breathability too, but as the name of the game is warmth with the Winnats, I can't say I'd have really noticed the difference if it was meshed or not.
The pad is also premium quality, featuring 'Oeko-tex' stretch fabric for optimum fit. I had no complaints in this department – even when tested on an 80-mile ride without much prior 'saddle time', I stayed comfortable and free of pressure fatigue. For which I was very grateful.
These top features make the Winnats bib tights a really great pair to own – in the black and red colourway featured on my test sample, and the full black. The only downside to the red/black is that the red panel sits on the inside of the lower leg. It looks great, right up until the moment you accidentally rub your dirty chain against it... The result: a tattoo that I've yet to be able to remove.
That's not to say they don't wash well – it's just that chain oil is particularly tough to remove. Sizing remains consistent, and washing delicately maintains the Roubaix fabric brilliantly.
On the value front, £130 is probably about what you'd expect to pay for these premium tights, but sign up to Sport Pursuit (the online active sports discount store) and you'll find much of the Rivelo range at a discount. Currently, the Winnats are available for £59.99, which represents great value.
Overall, these are top quality bib tights, which I would argue are only just shy of the very best on the market in terms of quality, and currently available at a fantastic discount online. Highly recommended.
Top quality bib tights that keep you warm even in sub-zero temperatures, and dry for at least a while
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rivelo Men's Winnats Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
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?
Rivelo says: "Premium winter cycling bib tights designed to support you through the longest, coldest winter rides. anatomically cut for comfort & performance whilst on the bike and using Italian Thermo Roubaix thermal fabric with strategically placed DWR panels. these bib tights have been designed, tried and tested by cyclists, so you can just focus on the ride ahead no matter what the weather."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Italian MITI Thermo Roubaix Thermal fabric, with DWR (durable water repellent) leg & seat panels to keep you warm and dry, even in the coldest or wettest weather
- Male specific high density chamois pad covered with Oeko-tex certified antibacterial stretch fabric – suitable for any length of ride
- Upper leg and seat pad DWR panels for wet weather protection
- Ergonomic panel construction gives the perfect fit whilst in the riding position
- Breathable mesh brace section, with YKK zip front for easy comfort breaks
- Reflective visibility details
- Long, accessible cuff zips with reflective detailing
- Soft flat locked stitching on all seams for comfort
- Soft silicone Rivelo gripper at cuffs for a secure fit
- No scratchy labels – care label is made from a soft fabric and sewn flat
- Fabric is not compressive, so if you are between sizes you may wish to size down
Lovely fabrics used, with flatlock stitching ensuring good quality and comfort – and, I daresay, good longevity.
Excellent warmth and comfort – only the DWR feature is slightly lacking in testing rain.
These aren't falling apart any time soon, despite the luxurious 'delicate' feel of the fabric.
Not lightweight, but that's not what these tights are about.
Extremely comfortable – perhaps the pad could be slightly more plush, but I'm being picky.
At £130 RRP, they're not bad value compared with similar quality garments. At the discount available online at the moment, they're great value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Leaving out my careless mishap with my chain, they wash perfectly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Some of the best bib tights I've worn.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and style stand out for me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not much, but the red panel on the lower legs looks great until you get a dirty chain mark on it. Consider the full black option if you have a tendency (like me) to lean your bike against your leg by accident.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They fit beautifully, are extremely comfortable, and keep you warm on sub-zero days. They'll even deal with a bit of rain. Superb.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding