Scott's All Season Helium Minus tights come with windproof panels to boost their cold-weather performance and several other high-quality features that set them apart from the crowd.
The windproof panels extend from the abdomen down the front of the legs to just below the knees... The most exposed areas. There's a polyurethane membrane in there doing all the hard work although the inner face of the windproof fabric is soft, fleecy and warm against your skin. Go for a snug fit and it'll stretch comfortably and bounce back into shape as you pedal. It isn't quite as elastic as the Vuelta fabric used elsewhere but it isn't far off.
How much difference does the windproofing make? Loads. If you've not used windproof tights before, you're in for a revelation. Scott reckon these are suitable for temperatures from -5C to 1C. I've been wearing them at higher temperatures than that - but I always seem to feel colder than most other people (I'm such a delicate flower, me).
I'd say those figures are about right for me if they take the wind chill into account. If you're riding at 20mph on a still day, it'll feel like -5C when the temperature is actually 1C, and it'll feel like 1C when the temperature is 6C. Those are the kind of temperatures I'd be wearing these tights: 1-6C or therabouts. We're all built differently though. It'll all depend on whether you tend to run hot or cold.
The windproof panels are water resistant too. Rain can soak through the fabric and through the seams - and it can also get in around the back - so you're going to get soggy in these if it hoofs down, but it's useful defence against spray when you ride on wet roads.
The only downside to the windproof panels is that they're not as breathable as a standard Roubaix-type fabric so you need to make sure you don't wear these when the weather is too warm. That said, of the places you tend to sweat most when you overheat, the front of your legs isn't high on the list.
The Vuelta fabric used for the lower legs, the bibs and everything around the back has Lycra in it so it's really stretchy. It seems hard-wearing enough too. There are no signs of pilling around the seat yet and that's always the first place for it to show.
Clever panelling makes for really good shaping here. The tights have a cycling-position shape to them even when they're just hanging up, minimizing the amount they have to stretch when you do put them on. That makes for a good fit.
All those panels mean there are lots of seams but they're nearly all flatlock stitched so you don't feel them. Although it's hard to spot in daylight, a few of those seams are reflective, the shiny material behind the contrast stitching gleaming out in nighttime lighting. There's more reflective material alongside the YKK ankle zips too, although a lot of that will be covered up if you wear overshoes.
The final feature to mention is the seat pad. As you might know, loads of the top brands use CyTech Elastic Interface pads these days and the one Scott have gone for is called the Blaze. It varies in depth from 5mm to 10mm and you get channels between the different sections of perforated foam that allow the pad to bend without wrinkling.
It's very stretchy and the microfibre fabric next to your skin is really comfortable. I wouldn't say the pad offers the most effective cushioning for really long rides but you're good for a couple of hours with this.
High-quality tights with windproof panels to keep you comfortable on cold winter rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Scott All Season Helium Minus Bib Tights
Size tested: Black - L
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?
Scott don't do a normal blurb on these tights but they give the key features as these:
"SCOTT +++Performance Padding
6 panel anatomically shaped cut
Protected against wind and water
Flatlock seam for more comfort
Reflective seams for safety
Zipper at ankles"
They're for riding in the cold - training rides, essentially.
Very well made with good pannelling to ensure a comfortable fit.
Really good. The windproofing is very effective. I've used windproof fabrics that offer higher levels of water resistance but these do an alright job on that front.
Looking good. There's no visible wear yet.
The seams are all flatlock stitched and well positioned so you can barely feel them. The pad isn't the best that CyTech do but it's still comfortable for a couple of hours or more.
That's not a bad price for windproofing. Some brands do cheaper windproof tights -dhb, for example -but there are plenty that are considerably more expensive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very impressively. They do exactly what they're supposed to.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The windproofing is really effective and good pannelling makes for a comfortable fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I could have done with ankle grippers to hold the legs in position better.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.