The Lusso Full Monty Warm Up Tights are a great investment if you're competing in the winter. The thermal stretchy fabric does an excellent job of keeping the legs warm before the start. They're also easy to whip off in seconds and put on again after the racing is done.
- Pros: Whip-offable, comfy, great price
- Cons: Slightly cold zips
Warm-up tights are a common sight on a cyclo-cross start line, but rare on the road; so cue the music and wait for the odd looks for fellow racers. Who knows, you might just have them beaten already...
The idea of these tights is to keep your legs warm before a race, and be removable without having to take off your shoes. It's a solution to a problem that's only really found in the winter months, where standing around on a start line can cause cold muscles right before a big effort. It does, however, happen in a lot of disciplines. I can see these working well not only for cyclo-cross, but also criteriums, time trials and even running.
Lusso has made these tights from a thermal material that is super-stretchy, with a water repellent finish so they don't soak up muddy water. The full-length zippers attach at the waist and zip all the way down to the ankle.
Pulling these out of the packet, there is minimal shape to the fabric. The only shaping is the tapering towards the ankle. This is mostly because of the lack of stitching, which really aids comfort. The material is really stretchy, though, so once on they shape themselves perfectly to your legs.
The only oddity is how high the waist sits. The tights are designed to cover the lower back, just like a pair of bibs, and the front has been made to match. It feels a little high to begin with, but I soon got used to it.
On the bike, these feel just like thermal tights. For my hour pre-ride of the CX course, I felt no discomfort from the zipper touching the skin, and I was also able to remount the bike without the material catching on my saddle. The waterproof coating is very effective, too, keeping my legs dry from rain and surface water.
Washing the tights post-race is pretty straightforward: machine wash at 40°C or below and don't tumble dry. For a thermal garment, the tights dry pretty quickly when hung.
The tights are comfortable enough for wearing to travel to and from races, as well as warming up. The material is soft on the skin, and it's nice to not have to put them on cold in a car park.
In terms of value, there are cheaper options out there, such as the OuterEdge branded tights, which can be found on eBay for £35.99, but in my experience the quality isn't great so I wouldn't recommend them.
There are also more expensive options: Castelli's are £115, Santini's are £69.99, and BioRacer's are £74.50. However, I can't see any benefit to the more expensive brands when the Lusso tights have proved themselves to be so good. To my mind, your money is best spent here.
Great fit, perfect price and good durability – I'd happily spend my own money on these
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Full Monty Warm Up Thermal Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
From Lusso: "This technical easy access/quick exit garment is ideal for training & pre racing without the need to take your shoes off, keeping warm and chill free before your event/race start. With the added benefit of the water repellent finish, keeping the element at bay."
These have been perfect for travelling to races, both cyclo-cross and road, warming up, whipping off at the startline and then throwing on again at the finish. They're nicely thermal for when it's cold and the water-repellent finish means they're dry when I put them back on.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Quick exit pants
* Zipped full length legs for easy access/dismount
* Water repellent
* Thermal 4 way stretch fabric
* Reflective Logo's
* SC9 Lusso Waist Grip
* Made in Manchester
* Machine Washable
The stitching is good and strong, as is the water-repellent finish. The zips are also easy to operate with cold hands.
There's not much more to say than they're perfect. They provide enough warmth for both warming up and also standing waiting for the race to start.
I've felt no discomfort from the zips, like I can get with the OuterEdge version.
I've also got pretty handy at getting them off as the commissaire is doing the pre-race speech about holding one's line, maximising my warmth.
There's a little paint that's worn off the zipper head, but it's not exactly a massive issue. The stitching has held up, and they're still repelling water.
These have to be pulled up high to stop the crotch from catching on the saddle when remounting a cyclo-cross bike. Once you get used to it, it's perfectly comfortable, but it feels slightly odd to start with.
Nice long legs give great coverage at the ankles. There is plenty of stretch in the material too, so there should be no issues for bigger legs than mine.
I'm not fussed about weight when warming up.
No discomfort from the zips while riding, but the metal is a touch cold when you first put them on.
For me, these represent great value as I do a lot of racing in the colder months. I'd also say they'd be great for runners as they seem to do the same startline dance trying to get tracksuit bottoms off.
These won't be very useful for every cyclist, but anyone racing will love them.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They can't be tumble dried. I don't find the need to wash them after every race, as they don't get sweaty.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfectly. The windproofing is minimal, but they keep out enough that your legs stay warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are so comfy that I can put them on at home, then travel in them to the race, and throw them on post-race too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Maybe a lining inside to stop the zipper contacting the skin, but this could get caught when trying to put them back on post-race.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, all cyclo-cross racers should get a pair.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I can't really fault them. They're slightly more expensive than an eBay version, but durability is better.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.