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Verdict: 
A really comfortable pair of winter tights, but the front mesh bib section won't be to everyone's taste
Weight: 
279g
Santini Coral 2.0 Ladies Winter Bib Tights
7 10

Thermofleece fabric combined with a good fit on the legs and an incredibly soft pad got Santini's Coral 2.0 Ladies Winter Bib Tights off to a great start in testing. Warm, soft and well made, they'll make a good choice for winter riding – if you get on with the slightly unusual design of the bib section.

  • Pros: Good fit on the legs, comfortable, nice chamois
  • Cons: Mesh bib lacking support

Although they size up a little small, I found the medium to be a great fit on my (usually small) lower body. The 'innovative front mesh bib' also fitted well, but it's incredibly stretchy and doesn't feel like it offers much in the way of additional support to the tights.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Personally, if I wanted more breathability I'd go for bib straps, and on colder days I'd choose tights with a full bodice section, but this attempt to combine the two didn't really do it for me. Bib preference can be very personal, though, and I certainly didn't find it at all uncomfortable.

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - straps front.jpg

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - straps front.jpg

The leg length is sensible, although longer than the Rapha Core Bib Tights that I also tested, which are probably better suited for those of us with shorter legs.

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - riding.jpg

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - riding.jpg

The ankles don't feature a zip or fastening, which made the tights a little more awkward than some to get on (Rapha's have a similar design but ribbed, with more give), but it's preferable to having an itchy zip around your ankle when riding. They do feature a reflective strip up both ankles for extra visibility.

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - ankles.jpg

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - ankles.jpg

The chamois pad is lovely and soft and doesn't feel too bulky. I found it to be really comfortable on my longer winter rides and had no particular issues. I do tend to get along well with Santini pads in general.

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - pad.jpg

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - pad.jpg

Santini suggests a recommended temperature range of the tights of 0-15 degrees. While the tights are certainly breathable enough not to overheat at the higher end of that scale, getting down to 2-3 degrees I started to feel some wind chill and would want something more substantial on particularly cold or windy days.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best winter cycling bib tights & trousers

As for value, £99.99 certainly isn't cheap, though you can pay a lot more, and they are a well-made, cosy pair of winter tights with a very comfortable pad. If you like the design of the bib section they're certainly worth considering.

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - back.jpg

Santini Womens FW Coral 2.0 Winter Tights - back.jpg

Personally, I preferred the design of Rapha's Core Tights mentioned above, though they are an extra £20. Alternatively, the Sportful Diva Bib Tights I tested last winter, which were £100, can be found considerably cheaper online now, and came out with similar plus points during testing, along with a nicely fitting bodice bib section.

Verdict

A really comfortable pair of winter tights, but the front mesh bib section won't be to everyone's taste

road.cc test report

Make and model: Santini Coral 2.0 Ladies Winter Bib Tights

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Santini says:

"Train all winter and challenge the cold with the Coral bib-tights! Made of warm and soft thermofleece, excellent thermal balance is assured. Comfort guaranteed with the elastic mesh bib designed specifically for the female contours. The anatomical GIL2 chamois with anti-shock gel core maximizes comfort in the saddle. With reflective details on the calf for added road visibility."

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

Santini lists:

Fit - Elastic mesh bib designed specifically for the female contours.Warm soft thermofleece covers the body to assure great thermal balance.

Performance - The innovative front mesh bib provides added protection from the cold while remaining breathable. The GILevo Chamois female specific chamois is designed for up to 6 hours of uninterrupted riding. Reflective details at the calf for added road visibility.

Comfort - Santini engineered GIL2 Chamois with twist gel core developed specifically for the female anatomy. The upper layer is made of a soft antibacterial and anti-irritation microfibre, stitched from the inside so that there is no stitching in contact with the skin.

Durability - The fabrics selected have optimal elastic memory that keeps the garment fitting snug every time, just like the first time you ever put it on. Each garment undergoes vigorous quality controls and is made in Italy by our highly skilled staff.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

Legs fit really nicely, but the top section felt almost too stretchy and not especially secure.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

As usual from Santini, the sizing does tend to come up small. I wore a medium when I would usually expect to be a small, so would recommend sizing up.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

Very easy: washed on a 30 degree cycle as expected and had no issues.

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

Kept me warm on cold winter days and the pad was lovely and comfortable on longer rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Soft and fleecy and a good chamois pad.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The front mesh bib design just didn't do much for me.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No, the bib style isn't for me.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Great fit on the legs and a nice pad, but the mesh bib design didn't do it for me.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 21  Height: 164cm  Weight: 56kg

I usually ride: Planet X London Road  My best bike is: Bowman Palace:R

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.