dhb says its Women's Aeron Rain Defence Bib Tights are perfect for early or late season riding where you just can't always predict the weather, and I have to agree. Not only do they keep out the rain in light showers, and most of it in heavy ones too, they are also both warm and breathable.
Having recently tested the excellent dhb Women's Aeron Rain Defence Long Sleeve Jersey (review to come), I fear I may have expected a little too much from the breathability of these tights. When climbing, I sometimes found a lot of moisture built up inside, which took a while to subside. Generally, though, they performed better for breathability than many of the fleece-lined options on the market, while still being just as warm.
The bib tights do come up a little small and I found myself wearing a 12 when I would usually fit a 10, so do be wary of this. Other than the sizing, the fit is great with no annoying gaps or excess material. I did find the leg length slightly long, but I know I have short legs, and didn't find it an issue at all when riding.
The bib straps on the tights fit relatively wide across the chest and are particularly stretchy. I found them comfortable, though nothing extra special. Initially I was concerned that the chunky seams would cause some chafing but I didn't notice them once I was riding.
The base of the legs feature short zips, which were very helpful when getting the tights on and could also be undone to let a little more air in on a warmer ride. On cold rides, the rubber grippers around the bottom of each leg hold the tights securely in place and stop any draughts around the ankles.
One of the reasons the tights are so lightweight is the minimalist design of the pad. It didn't feel bulky at all and I almost didn't notice it when not riding, which was especially lovely during cafe stops. Given this, I was initially surprised at how comfortable I found it while riding. However, after three hours in the saddle I was a little sore the next day and wouldn't have wanted to ride in the tights for much longer – and certainly not six-plus hours as dhb suggests. It's a subjective area, though, and what suits one person's posterior might not suit another.
At £90, there are cheaper options for bib tights out there, but you're unlikely to find a better deal that has the same combination of warmth, breathability and water resistance. Given all that, I think they're good value, and they perform especially well on those chilly mornings when you just don't know what the weather will do. The pad isn't one of the best I've used for longer rides, though, and be careful of the sizing.
Great fit, protective and warm, but minimalist pad is best suited to rides of up to four hours
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Women's Aeron Rain Defence Bib Tights
Size tested: 12
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?
dhb says: "High performance tights designed to provide additional protection in changeable weather conditions. Perfect for early or late season riding where you just can't always predict the weather."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb Performance level kit
Breathable, water resistant fabric
Minimal seaming for additional water protection
CyTech Comp HP chamois suitable for 6+ hours in the saddle
Mesh back panel for ventilation and breathability
4% Other Fibres
Seams are particularly neat and comfortable when riding.
Generally a really nice fit with no excess material around the bum and hips. Slightly long in the legs, but I know I have particularly short legs and actually didn't find this to be an issue when riding.
I am usually a 10 in cycling shorts/tights and wore a 12 in these. I'd recommend sizing up, but other than that the fit was lovely.
Lighter than many similar products on the market.
The actual garment is very comfortable, but I wouldn't want to be wearing the chamois for more than six hours.
There are cheaper bib tights out there if you're just looking for warmth, but in the realms of water resistant/waterproof tights these are probably about the cheapest you'll find.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Found no issues over several washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Nice fit and generally really comfy when riding, but I wouldn't want to spend all day in the saddle without a better chamois. They keep the rain out and are relatively breathable while still being nice and warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Love the fit and feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not the best pad I've ever used, but equally I was comfy enough to ride in them for 3-4 hours.
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
These tights are decent value, a lovely fit and perform especially well on those chilly winter mornings when you just don't know what the weather will do. The pad isn't the best for especially long rides, but I found it okay up to four hours.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.