Northwave Blade Bib Tight  £84.99

7/10

Super Roubaix bibs that are warm enough for most off-season conditions, with a decent seat pad to keep you comfy

Weight 306g   Contact  www.i-ride.co.uk

by Mat Brett   January 13, 2012  

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Northwave's Blade bibs are good-quality Super Roubaix tights with enough warmth for most winter conditions and a decent Elastic Interface pad to keep you comfy.

The fabric is Super Roubaix (polyamide/elastane) throughout apart from a mesh section over your upper back. Chances are that you've used Super Roubaix before: it's brush-backed fleecy stuff and mega-stretchy both up and down and crossways so you can get a close fit without any restriction when you pedal. It moves moisture away from your body quickly too so you don't get drenched in sweat.

The legs are a generous length and silicon grippers hold the bottoms in place so it's unlikely these will leave your ankles exposed. The Super Roubaix extends well up your lower back so you're not going to get any chills around there either.

It's not the heaviest-weight fabric out there and cold air can blow through, so I swapped to tights with windproof panels at the front when the temperature dropped below about 5°C although, of course, everyone is different. I know other people who would be happy wearing these down to freezing point, maybe even below. The top end of the temperature range, for me, is about 13°C, so they'll get plenty of spring and autumn use too.

The seams aren't flat-stitched but they're relatively unobtrusive and they're well sited around the knee. The panel that runs along the side of your upper leg sweeps across the front of your knee so there are no seams to irritate at the back as you pedal.

The seat pad is Blaze Air model from Elastic Interface. It's a relatively simple pad but it does a good job. Grooves in the pad mean it doesn't crease when you put it on and a channel down the middle reduces the pressure on your perineum. The foam is perforated so it's fairly breathable and it varies in thickness from 5mm to 10mm. That's a middling depth. I found that it provided enough cushioning for a couple of hours in the saddle. Any longer than that and I wanted a pair of padded shorts on too.

The logos are of the iron-on variety. I thought they'd be flaking off after a couple of goes through the washing machine but they're actually doing okay. The large one on the back of the left leg has cracked a bit already, though, so guessing it'll be the first thing to start looking old.

If you're after reflectives to get you seen at night, you're out of luck here. Well, there is a small tab on the back of the left leg but it's towards the kerb-side if you're cycling on the left, so it's not all that useful for us Brits.

If you're not into the redness of these bibs, they're also available in black/white, black/blue and, surely the correct answer, just black.

Verdict

Super Roubaix bibs that are warm enough for most off-season conditions, with a decent seat pad to keep you comfy

road.cc test report

Make and model: Northwave Blade bib tight

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?

Northwave don't tend to give their products big write-ups. They simply say:

"MAIN FABRIC: Superroubaix

 

PAD: Blaze Air E.I.T.

BRACES: 3D mesh

ELASTIC: Silicon

REFLEX INSERTS: BACK"

You can't really argue with that, can you? These are general-use winter tights. The seat pad isn't particularly deeply cushioned so any longer than about two hours in the saddle and you're going to start to get uncomfortable.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The seams aren't flat-stitched and there are no windproof panels – which you may or may not want – but these are well made from good materials.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

There are no real surprises here; you get a good performance all round. These are made from Super Roubaix fabric with a fairly basic Elastic Interface seat pad.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

The iron-on logos are starting to look a little aged after several washes but everything else is looking good. I can't see any reason why these won't deliver decent longevity.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

They do a sound job. There's nothing remarkable here, I guess, but they do what they're supposed to do.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Useful in a broad range of temperatures, ease of movement, lack of seams to rub behind the knees.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'd prefer a higher-end seatpad for longer weekend rides.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, although I'd usually go for a more cushioned seatpad

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

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, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The tights may be good, but the colour scheme is hideous. Devil

Nic

posted by nbrus [274 posts]
13th January 2012 - 19:15

like this
Like (1)

MY EYES...I HAVE BEEN BLINDED! Cool

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [322 posts]
13th January 2012 - 21:52

like this
Like (2)

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