Altura's Peloton NightVision Windproof bib tights are great for chilly temperatures, especially after dark when those reflectives come into play. You definitely need to try before you buy, though, because their Ergofit cut isn't for everyone.
The Peloton NightVisions are basically the company's most popular selling tights with added reflective detailing, to make you more visible in the dark by bouncing back light from following or oncoming cars.
The reflectives are well positioned without looking too 'safety product', with a couple of long strips down the rear of the thighs and two more on the calves. Perfect for highlighting the cycling movement of your legs to following drivers.
For side-on visibility there are two more strips which start near the buttocks, passing around the outside of the thigh until they stop just above the knee. Again, it's well thought out to make you more visible from various angles at junctions and on roundabouts.
On busy A roads the tights give you a certain level of confidence, working alongside whatever lighting you are using to increase your visibility.
Compared with the regular Pelotons, the model I'm testing here has the thigh panels replaced with Altura's own Shield material, a fabric designed to resist wind and, to a certain extent, rain. It has a shinier and slightly less stretchy feel to it compared with the rest of the leg, which is made from a material called Thermo for insulation.
The weather might be getting warmer, but on a clear evening temperatures are still dropping to 2 or 3°C. Not that you'd notice when wearing the Pelotons – they really do keep you warm, with your thighs noticeably toastier riding into a chilly headwind. Drizzle and road spray from passing vehicles is also kept at bay.
The overall build quality is good too, with tight seams and a tidy finish.
As a commuter, I was always a big fan of Altura's NightVision range for the winter months, using the jackets and plenty of pairs of bib tights. That was a few years ago though, and unfortunately, ever since Altura started using its Ergofit cut I've found the fit far from ideal.
On paper the mediums tested should fit spot on, but in reality they come up quite small. The main problem is the restrictive leg diameter; I'm no Chris Hoy, but my thighs and calves are on the large size – not exactly rare for a cyclist.
With the tights about halfway up my thighs, I knew things were going to be snug, with the less stretchy Shield fabric not helping matters. Once I had the bib straps hauled up into place I was left with the crotch and pad sitting about two inches below where it needed to be. There was still some bunching in the legs, so after another five minutes of stretching and tugging, things were finally in position – even though everything felt very restrictive.
I wouldn't say it's a sizing issue, because once I could get them on, the leg length, torso length and waist size are all pretty good (it's Ash in the pictures, not me – I'm a bit shorter than him); it's just an odd cut, especially considering it's supposed to use 3D patterning to benefit a rider's position.
On the bike and things don't improve. The tights didn't really move with me, especially with regards to leg rotation while pedalling. It made for some long-feeling test rides, when you notice every single pedal revolution.
On the plus side, the Progel pad is actually very good with its channels and gel padded sections offering comfort and support; the trouble was, I didn't spend very much time actually sitting right on it, it always seemed to be floating around underneath me.
Overall, if they fit you I think you'll be very happy with the Pelotons. Their performance is ideal for chilly weather, the pad is rather good, plus the reflectives do a very good job of making you seen.
Something that may still deter you, though, is the price. The Windproof version costs £89.99, £10 more than the standard version, and when you compare them with something like Dhb's brilliant ASV Roubaix bibs (RRP £80) there is just no real contest – the Dhbs offer a superior fit and a non-restrictive range of movement, and superior comfort even if they lack the windproofing of the Pelotons – they were still just as warm thanks to the fleeced Roubaix material.
A great pad and well positioned reflectives for the night rider, but try before you buy for fit
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Peloton Night Vision Windproof 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?
Altura says: "The perfect partner for cooler cycles, offering wind protection and thermal insulation - combined with our new NV360˚ reflectivity to offer all round comfort and visibility."
The reflective panels are well positioned and they are certainly warm considering how thin the material is. I would question their Ergofit cut though.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Altura NightVison™ technology offers superior retroreflectivity. NV360° performance offers 360 degree reflectivity for maximum dark light visibility
* Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water, whilst still offering high levels of breathability
* Altura Thermo™ technology using thermosuede fabrics delivers body warming insulation and warmth, to maintain core thermoregulation, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable
* ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
* Body Mapping mesh zones for enhanced breathability (on bib tight models)
* Altura ProGel™ - strategically placed gel inserts to provide enhanced comfort
They certainly look and feel very well made.
The windproofing works well, as does the reflective detailing. The overly tight fit does hamper your riding movement though.
Can't see any issues here.
Judging by the online sizing guide these should be perfect for me, but the material is just so restrictive I really struggled to pull them up over my thighs. They felt overly tight and short in the leg too.
Too small for my legs, someone with smaller thighs may not have the same issues – try before you buy.
They are very light and thin for such warm tights.
Issues with the fit affected comfort, but the pad is very good.
At 90 quid I think they are a little out of their depth, especially when compared with the brilliant (and cheaper) Dhb ASV Roubaix tights.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Really easy. A 30 degree wash brought them up clean every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They keep the wind out very well and the reflectives do a great job of making you seen in car headlights.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The very comfortable pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The restrictive fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had smaller legs than me.
Use this box to explain your score
As a previous buyer of Altura's Night Vision bib tights over the years, I was really disappointed with what the fit has become. The big shame is that performance-wise the Pelotons are actually really good – the windproofing works without being clammy and the reflectives are well positioned. The discomfort from the fit and the slightly high price takes a big shine off them.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.