Temporarily setting aside the 'comfort' problems for female riders associated with bib-tights, the dhb Ladies Vaeon Reflex bib tights are still the easiest and most enduringly comfortable option for keeping warm on long winter rides.
Yes, it's hard as hell to take a pee stop, but at least your back stays warm and you're not cut in two at the waist by tights trying to migrate down your legs. So, bib-tights = necessary evil.
The Vaeon Reflex Roubaix bibs from dhb aren't the company's warmest tights (that's the Vaeon Zero tights) but they are definitely the most reflective! Designed to be ultra visible in low light conditions, the smooth outer of their Lombardia 235g Roubaix fabric is covered in reflective taping and accents.
The top bib section is part mesh, while a long zip does its bit to help out on those tricky comfort breaks. This particular incarnation has an integral pad, using a good quality Cytech Elastic Interface Performance Chamois.
I'm not even going to bother talking about the looks of these. They are bib tights, and therefore possibly the world's least flattering garment in the first place. That said, these are at least sleek in their styling, with seams placed in the correct places aesthetically.
On the bike, they delivered a good level of warmth and comfort even at temperatures close to zero (they are suggested for 8-15 degrees), windchill being the only real reason for requiring anything more heavy duty.
The soft fuzzy backing of the Roubaix fabric is pleasant next to the skin and gives good warmth, while still being very breathable and thereby helping to stop overheating or chilling.
The fit is much as you'd expect from bib-tights, but the fabric has a lot of stretch, allowing for some fluctuation in sizes. The size 10 I had for test were perfectly comfortable, although I'm normally a size 12, and I suspect a size 12 would have been comfortable too. The top section of the tights was pliable and unobtrusive as well.
The chamois was excellent, giving just the right level of padding without being bulky or over cushioned, and breathed well. The inclusion of the integrated pad does mean that the tights need to be washed after every ride, which in turn means they will wear more quickly, especially the reflective patches, but the flip side is that they're easier to throw on and more comfortable than padded shorts under unpadded tights. Swings and roundabouts.
£65 is a bit of a bargain for a genuinely warm pair of winter tights, with plenty of versatility and lots of reflective bits and bobs, especially when you consider that with this level of warmth they'll get worn a good chunk of every winter. The quality of the materials used belies their inexpensive price too.
Excellent value for money, extremely comfortable and superbly effective for all but the coldest conditions.
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Ladies Vaeon Reflex bib tights
Size tested: 10
Aimed at female riders for conditions between 8 and 15 degrees (quoted as "average British winter") and particularly low light conditions.
Spot on, but good for a fair bit colder, especially if it's not windy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lombardia 235g Roubaix fabric
Cytech Elastic Interface Performance Chamois
Highly reflective patches
Beautiful quality of fabric and nicely finished.
Spot on for cold weather comfort.
Good quality fabric and components should last well but reduced slightly by increased washing frequency required due to integral chamois.
Sumptuously soft and warm rather than light.
Hard to argue with this sort of quality and versatility for this price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed extremely well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Visibility, comfort, fabric, performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A steal at £65 for good quality bibs versatile enough to wear all winter long.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.