You don't need to be told of the importance of keeping your legs wrapped up for winter cycling, and these Primal Onyx Men's Thermal Bib Tights do a fine job of providing warmth and keeping the wind out.
They're made from a thermal fabric called Traverso, which has a brushed back providing softness against the skin, and a good level of insulation and wind protection. I went out on a really cold ride yesterday and the wind was really strong, but I couldn't feel any of it through the tights. Primal says they work right down to -6°C but (fortunately) it never got that cold during testing.
The fit of winter bib tights is really important, and any restriction to your freedom of movement is going to ruin a ride. These tights fit really well. The fabric is very stretchy and along with a smart multi-panel design means there is no tightness around the knees or hips. All very good for comfortable miles in the saddle.
They're comfortable on the saddle too, with an APX chamois (the padded insert) comprising three layers of foam with an anatomical shape and four-way stretch, so it moves with the body when you're wiggling around on the saddle. It's a pleasantly comfortable pad and the level of comfort compares favourably to other bib tights at this price.
Primal has used zipped ankle closures with a silicone gripper tape at the hem, so they're easy to pull on over your feet and legs and stay in place. The zips are flanked by some reflective material, but some of it will be covered up if you wear overshoes.
The bib straps are wide and stretchy and the back panel is a mesh material, which provides an extra layer of material on your back for added insulation, without compromising breathability.
There are a few flashes of white to break up all the blackness and a discrete Primal logo. I'd like to see a bit more reflective material for a product that will be worn primarily in low light conditions, but otherwise these are great. And very good value too.
A very nice pair of tights that will keep your legs warm this winter
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Primal Onyx Men's Thermal Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium, Black/White
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?
Primal says: "Primal Men's Tights are excellent to wear in the coldest conditions. Made from our Traverso thermal fabric with a soft, brushed back these tights will keep you warm while still allowing for a free range of motion. A zippered closure and silicone gripper at the ankles allow for a close fit that will keep cold air from reaching your skin."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Mechanically brushed back thermal fabric with 4-way stretch for accessories that provide a free range of motion and keep you warm in temperatures from 20-75° F.
Primal Tights are excellent to wear in the coldest conditions. Made from our Traverso thermal fabric with a soft, brushed back these tights will keep you warm while still allowing for a free range of motion. A zippered closure and silicone gripper at the ankles allow for a close fit that will keep cold air from reaching your skin.
The APX chamois is ideal for teams and competitive road cyclists. Three layers of density foam, 4-way stretch and an anatomical shape allow for optimum comfort while maintaining a free range of motion. Antibacterial Silver Ion and Visigrid fabrics offer superior moisture transport and will not break down over time.
Ankle Zip Closure
Tagless Label System
Good build quality.
Good comfort, fit and excellent warmth and wind protection for cold winter rides.
The padded insert is as comfortable and nicely fitting as other bib tights in this price range. The stretch of the fabric and multi-panel design provides a good fit around the legs.
Very good tights for not a lot of money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For keeping legs warm in cold, windy, wintry conditions, these work as advertised.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft and warm fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pad is comfortable but it's not the most comfortable I've tested.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably
Use this box to explain your score
A good pair of winter bib tights for the price with nice comfort and excellent insulation.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.