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Verdict: 
Great value tight for chilly or wet days, with high-visibility legs and comfortable pad
Weight: 
340g

Nalini's parent company MOA Sport has a 40-year pedigree in cycle clothing manufacture, and it shows in the Dimaro bib tights. These may well become your go-to winter kit for chilly, fast rides - with a few caveats.

The Dimaro is Nalini's flagship cold-weather bib tight, part of their Pro line and recommended from 6 °C down to zero. It comes in what they call Regular Fit - 'a technical cut that is not too body hugging'. Your typical UK sportive rider might welcome this as a sign Nalini have abandoned the notorious coffee-and-cigarette-for-breakfast Italian sizing crapshoot for something resembling reality.

Sadly, no. At 6ft tall and 72Kg with a 32in waist I'm flattered as a Small by the Nalini size chart. In reality I needed a Large to achieve optimal pad placement and leg length/calf-ankle zip tightness. Thankfully the cut and fabric combine to make a Large feel just right, so as ever size-up a couple when purchasing la via Italiana.

The fabric is a fleecy-lined Roubaix throughout, including the upper body and ample-width shoulder straps. The panels curving above each knee and outside the thigh to meet across the lower back are shiny printed lycra with less stretch than the rest of the garment, but with the same fabric weight and feel on the fluffy side. These panels feature thick printed fluorescent yellow bands around the lower thigh, with matching yellow at the ankle bands. During night rides these bands were remarked upon by other cyclists as being highly visible, resembling 'those snap-on ankle things'.

While Nalini claim the fabric is treated to prevent ingress of oil or mud, in practice after a few winter rides through Hampshire's finest clay/effluent mix the anklebands were in a less-than-pristine state. Repeated washing at the recommended temperature didn't shift the stains - possibly an unavoidable price to pay for built-in enhanced visibility on the lower leg and a reminder why most winter tights are black all the way down. This isn't an issue if wearing overshoes, of course.

The non-shiny fabric comprising the majority of the garment is treated with a water-repellant finish which sheds water when new only slightly less-well than the wet-weather winter tight benchmark, Castelli's £110 all-black Nanoflex bibs. After half a dozen rides/washes the Nalini water-repellant performance hasn't degraded noticeably from new. It's a noteworthy pity the shiny fabric across the lower thigh and back isn't treated with the same water-repellant finish - possibly because it's also printed. A generous 15cm-long locking YKK zip on the outside of each ankle rounds out the legs, with small hanging loops inside the cuffs if you need to suspend them upside down.

On the upper body the panels extend up to between the shoulderblades and level with the ribcage, whilst at the front the panel is level with the bellybutton. There's enough give in the material to allow a slightly-bent-over answer to call of nature numero uno without having to remove jacket / jersey and slip an arm out of one strap. Wee-in-a-hedge sportive/audax types will appreciate this.

The panel seams aren't flatlock-stitched - somewhat surprising in a flagship product but not unexpected for £89 (noting Giordana's £160 FormaRed Carbon bibs aren't flatlocked either). No discomfort was apparent during testing up to four hours, but if you plan to do full-day rides and have sensitive skin in particular places you may find seams an issue.

The pad is MOA Sport's STP Gel Pro, a single top layer divided into four sections. The area beneath each sit bone includes an elongated pencil-thin gel donut underneath the surface. These are aligned so that you are supported either when sitting up or in stem-chewing TT position. There are a further two thin gel sections under the centre of the pad. Overall this reviewer found it to be a very comfortable pad, however with all things nether-region Your Mileage May Vary.

The main reason for a Roubaix tight is warmth and the Dimaro tights score highly in this regard. During multi-hour rides in 6-8 °C at high effort (average 85% of maximum heart rate) the Dimaros were just right - shins and calves were warm, quads felt right and the upper body didn't overheat. Getting out of the saddle generated a few breezes around the midriff, but nothing uncomfortable given the effort being expended and easily managed by a warmer base or mid-layer.

Long rides at lower tempos (60% MHR) in slightly warmer 12 °C temps felt likewise just right, but you probably wouldn't want to do a slow ride closer to zero, unless you normally run a bit warm. (For reference I wear shorts with a padless Roubaix tight over the top when it gets below about 4 °C, so for me the Dimaros are an option for 4 to 5 °C and warmer).

Riding in prolonged rain highlights the previously-noted absence of a water-repellent finish on the thigh material. This isn't a problem at first, but after an hour or so manifests itself as water feeling like it's collecting behind the knee. The ride on which this was apparent was by anyone's account very wet indeed (Met Service amber weather warning, water sheeting off the road), and at around 2 °C any water was always going to be noticeable and cold. I would normally venture out into anticipated hard, cold rain with Roubaix tights over Roubaix knicks, so the fact a single layer could keep things relatively comfortable is a tribute to the overall package.

Overall for an RRP of under £90 the Nalini Dimaro tights are a very good buy. They fit well, are warm all over, have high visibility built-in and the pad is very good. The only real downside is the lack of an overall water repellent treatment.

Oh, and be aware of the typical silly Italian sizing. When I'm King Of The World, mutter, mutter...

Verdict

Great value tight for chilly or wet days, with high-visibility legs and comfortable pad

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Nalini Dimaro Fluorescent Bibtights

Size tested: Medium - Black/Fluorescent

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?

The Dimaro tights are for people who want to ride in cold, wet conditions, want to be dry(ish) and seen at the same time, and don't want to pay a fortune for comfort.

Nalini say: This is a regular fit teamed with a technical cut that is not too body hugging. For fans of classic lines and comfort who still want hi-tech fabrics and tailored construction, Nalini has designed Regular Fit with a technical-cut wearability that is not exaggeratedly tight, allowing cyclists to enjoy their sport with maximum dynamic freedom of movement. Manto W.r.t. The innovative water-repellent treatment rejects water with a drops roll-off effect. Oil and mud are rejected as well so that they can't penetrated the textiles. As result, you'll easily clean & wash your garments.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Water-repellent finish works well, but a pity it's not all over the garment. The Roubaix fabric works well to insulate.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Apart from the non-flatlocked seams, can't fault the build quality.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

In cold weather the Dimaros keep you warm. In light rain, likewise. Only in heavy rain do they begin to disappoint, but then most others will too.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

No signs of excessive wear were noticed during testing, apart from the staining of the fluorescent ankle bands.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

They aren't overly-heavy.

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

Comfort is good. No issues were identified with the fit or pad.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

For £89 these are cracking value.

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

Very well. On a long, cold sportive you'll appreciate the warmth, wide shoulder straps, and forgiving fit.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Overall warmth. The high sides and back meant these were a pretty snuggly garment.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of water-repellent finish on the thighs/lower back. And the rubbish sizing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. But make 100% sure they get the size right or they will hate you.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

If they treated the thigh panels for water repellency, I'd bump these up another star. Otherwise for £89, excellent value.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 183cm  Weight: 73KG

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, MTB, singlespeed and Dutch bike pootling