Back in the summer, I rated the Alé PRR Camo bib shorts very highly indeed – the winter tights that bear the same name are equally strong in all departments.
This time out, we've got the green camo versions on test (the summer bib shorts were the orange), which handily means there's useful fluoro yellow trim and branding included throughout – helpful on darker winter rides.
The thing about these bib tights is they still look like bib shorts, with a black lower leg that, without close inspection, actually looks like you're wearing leg warmers instead of a one-piece system. I think it's a great design – but you do have to like fluoro camo...
It doesn't just share a visual design cue with the bib shorts, either – inside you'll find the same high quality chamois, which is to say it's good for pretty much any length of ride you'd realistically choose to use it for during the winter. Three 100km rides never troubled it, and for me it almost rivals even the excellent Cytech pad Rapha uses in its Pro Team bibs for comfort, without that pad's bulk.
The bib section is incredibly comfortable too, with elasticated fabric used throughout to distribute tension across the shoulders. The biggest compliment you can pay bib straps is that you don't notice them – and that's absolutely the case here once you're in the saddle.
As you might expect from a pair of winter tights, the PRRs feature a thermal Roubaix lining through the whole garment, which is designed to insulate you from cutting wind without overheating you. For me there wasn't quite enough insulation to the upper thigh and crotch area – on more than one occasion I felt a chill in this area; more so than with a set of dhb tights I tested recently.
However, it's only a slight quibble, because other than this the tights are winners. The cut is excellent, with a very comfortable fit around the knee – absolutely key for long rides and damp ones.
The ankles are finished with zippers for maximum adjustability and arguably a little extra venting, although to be honest the main positive is to help you ease your foot in and out.
There's no real DWR treatment to the fabric that I could spot – just a slight beading when the tights are relatively new or freshly laundered – not a huge problem if you tend to avoid downpours anyway, but get splashed in them and you definitely know about it.
As with all Alé kit I've come across recently, the quality can't really be criticised. They return from the wash as new, the Roubaix lining still very soft time and again, and still look as striking as they did the first time I rode in them. The seams are still secure and don't chafe in the slightest, and continue to give a box-fresh feel when I ride in them.
Overall, these anatomical and performance-orientated bib tights are impressive winter companions, for training, commuting or leisure, so long as things don't turn too wet.
A strong style statement from Alé backed up by equally strong performance
road.cc test report
Make and model: Alé PRR Camo Roubaix Bibtights
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?
Ale (Paligap) says: "This bibtight is suggested for a use in temperatures from 4° to 10° since it protects from cold thanks to the thermal fleece fabric."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Reflective zippers on ankles for a higher visibility and an easier wear.
- Bibs fully made of Superoubaix fabric to grant the maximum insulation.
- Security Reflex on the back of the leg for improved visibility.
- Flat seams.
- Back leg insert for an improved elasticity and flexibility during the ride.
All round, the tights feel very well made.
Excellent feel and fit complements strong performance for high-tempo riding.
Not the hardiest feeling pair of bib tights I've ever worn, but then again they are designed with flexibility and maximum useful range of motion in mind, so it's hardly surprising, and nothing to suggest I should be worried about their longevity.
One of the strongest characteristics of the entire PRR range.
Came up just right on me, which is to say a medium.
284g isn't a huge amount for tights, so they feel svelte to wear too.
Alongside the fit, comfort is particularly impressive (except, arguably, for the slight cool feeling around the groin area).
£115 isn't cheap, but you get a good lot of comfortable performance for that money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed through just fine on a delicate, with colours returning bright and crisp.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Design (when teamed with matching jacket), comfort, chamois, short-plus-leg warmer looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bit 'draughty' around the groin, no DWR treatment.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, as long as I could have the set.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Very, very good bib tights – with only a couple of minor flaws.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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