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Verdict: 
Very comfortable mid-weight tights with distinctive styling, but for the price some details could be improved
Weight: 
309g
Chapeau! Club Thermal Bibtight
8 10

Warm, and very comfortable, these Chapeau! Club Thermal bib tights should see you through the winter, though at the price there are some details I would like to see tweaked.

In particular I was surprised to see that most of the seams, while tidily double-stitched, were not flatlocked. Even most of my budget clothes manage that these days, so Chapeau! could have gone the extra mile in my opinion. That said, there was no rubbing or discomfort, though the snug fit meant I had the impression of the seams pressed into my skin for an hour after I took them off.

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One other area where I thought they could be improved was a cosmetic detail. The left ankle and stirrup are made from white fabric and after just one ride were stained with road dirt and mud that never really came out. It's a shame if you like your kit to look immaculate. Chapeau! offers a crash replacement service, which means if you come a cropper and put a hole in these you can send them back and you'll be sent a new pair, for free.

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - foot straps.jpg

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - foot straps.jpg

The fit was excellent. I fall right into size L on the size guide and these were perfect for me. In particular, there is lots of leg length. This suited me fine but I know some riders would want a bit more width and less length. The stretchy fabric hugs closely without being restrictive. The shoulder straps are decently wide and didn't cut in at all, even though I am 6ft 2in. The short zip means the stomach is covered a good way up.

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - front full.jpg

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - front full.jpg

I've used these tights at every opportunity through November and early December and would describe them as mid-weight – that is, excellent for cool to milder weather. On really cold days I wanted my thicker tights, but on milder ones I never felt overly clad. The pad, from Cytech, seemed perfectly comfortable, at least over the kinds of distances I do in the season when a garment like this is needed. Three hours is usually enough for me at this time of year, and I was well inside my comfort limits at the end.

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - back.jpg

Chapeau Club Thermal Bibtight - back.jpg

Styling is classy in the Chapeau! mould, if you don't mind exclamation marks on your legs, though again I don't know about that one white ankle cuff, which makes it look like you've tucked one leg into your sock.

> Check out our guide to the best winter bib tights and trousers

Overall, I really like these tights, though I had to divert my eyes from the price tag.

Verdict

Very comfortable mid-weight tights with distinctive styling, but for the price some details could be improved

road.cc test report

Make and model: Chapeau! Club Thermal Bibtight

Size tested: Large

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?

Chapeau! says: "Our full length thermal bib-tights with luxurious slimfitting Roubaix fabric and Cytech HP Bastogne pad have been designed to provide absolute comfort.

"Featuring soft touch moisture wicking fabric to keep you dry and UV protection to keep you from unlikely sun damage we've taken care of every detail this winter. With reflective stripes behind the knee and reflective logo detail you can be sure to be seen whilst looking your best. Our foot stirrups are welded flat so you can wave goodbye to fiddling with unreliable zips through heavy gloves."

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

Moisture wicking

Slim fitting

UV protection

Soft touch

Anatomic cut

Reflective (thigh logos, rear badge and double stripes on the back of the knees)

The Bastogne pad offers increased protection for long distance rides thanks to the perfect combination of perforated foams, whilst different foam densities provide breathability and freedom of movement. The pad is engineered to support the rotation of the pelvic bone on the saddle while pedaling with a totally flush top surface providing close and continuous skin contact. Shaped according to specific anthropometrical measurements the pad offers perfect fit, saddle stability and most importantly pressure relief to aid blood flow.

Sizes:

Small (S)

W 30 inches

L 32 inches

Medium (M)

W 32 inches

L 32 inches

Large (L)

W 34 inches

L 34 inches

Extra Large (XL)

W 36 inches

L 34 inches

Extra Extra Large (XXL)

W 38 inches

L 36 inches

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very good, but flatlock stitching of the seams would have been welcome.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Comfortable winter tights; mid-weight so good for mild to cold days, but not for really freezing weather.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Early days, but nothing in the construction or fabrics to suggest an early demise. If you damage them in a crash, Chapeau! will replace them free of charge.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

For my long, thinnish frame, excellent – especially good if you have long legs.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
10/10

Spot-on from the Chapeau! size guide.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

A little heavier than some mid-weight tights, but direct comparisons of warmth against weight are tricky.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

No complaints here. The pad is invisible over three hours, which is about as much as I can get done on a winter ride with a stomach full of mince pies.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

At the premium end of the price scale, which is why I was surprised to see no flatlock stitching.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washed okay except for the white ankle stirrup on the left leg, which soon looked grubby.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Excellent winter tights for all but the coldest conditions. Once on, they become one of those "invisible" garments that just do the job without making themselves annoying in any way. They look good too, in my opinion.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good for comfort and fit; plenty of leg length, good looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The white ankle trim soon looked grubby.

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

The cut, fit and comfort are undoubtedly the highlights of these tights, which in use is about 90% of it. That extends to a pleasant-to-use pad. I would want warmer tights for the coldest days, though I am thin-blooded. At the premium price, I would expect flatlocked seams, though performance wasn't impaired.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 51  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and rising

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking