Hopefully the worst of the winter weather has passed now but its still chilly enough in the morning to need full leg coverage. Sugoi's MidZero bib tights are bang on for this time of year. They are made from a mid-weight fabric that's ideal for temperatures from a couple of degrees above freezing to around 13-15°C.
They get their name from the MidZero fabric, Sugoi's own design of fleece-backed material to provide the warmth. Up top the bibs have a mesh construction that gives plenty of ventilation and breathability.
The MidZero's eight-panel construction is shaped tight and close in a very snug race cut. They're so well cut for riding that they are uncomfortable to walk in because they are short between chamois pad and bibs.
On the bike though the fit is pretty much perfect with no bunching around the knees or tops of the thighs even when you're crouched right over in the drops.
There's a double layer of fabric over the knees, keeping warmth where it's needed most but without any unwanted bulk. At the bottom leg grippers work with seven-inch ankle zips to stop them riding up.
The mesh bib comes up to the bottom of your chest giving plenty of support and warmth for the lower back and abdomen. The bib straps are very narrow though and could do with being wider to avoid pressure points on your shoulders. That's only a minor gripe though.
Inside we see the same RC Pro chamois that is used in the Sugoi Evolution shorts we tested last summer and it's just as comfortable here as it was then. The pad itself contains various contoured areas that mould to the body and reduce vibration, while a centre channel runs the full length for ventilation and pressure relief. Long hours in the saddle are not a problem.
At £90 these are fairly pricy bib tights but their comfort justifies the price thanks to the cut of the fabric panels and the chamois. For all round comfort and performance the MidZero's are tough to beat.
There's a 'but' though and it's a big one. They have not proven acceptably durable. After just 10-12 hours of saddle time the fabric was wearing thin and pilling at rub points and the stitching was coming apart. After another 20+ hours of riding you can see the chamois from outside the tights.
This is a real shame. The Sugoi MidZero bib tights would be getting massive thumbs up otherwise. Their durability really lets them down even though they excel in every area.
Cracking performance and fit, but we found problems with durability.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi MidZero bib tights
Size tested: Black, 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?
"Fleeced high-performance thermal bib short with RC Pro chamois for single layer winter cycling performance" is what it says on Sugoi's website. In terms of cycling performance they are brilliant.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MidZero fabric - fleeced lined for warmth
The actual construction of the garment is good, it's the durability of the materials that is the issue.
Performance in the saddle is brilliant.
Shocking wear rate.
Comfort levels are great thanks to eight-panel fit and the chamois.
90 quid for the tights based on performance alone - brilliant. Add durability to the equation - not good.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
On the bike they are great, comfortable and well fitting.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit and chamois.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How quickly they wear out
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Ribble Gran Fondo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.