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The Hoy Vulpine Women's Roubaix Bib Tights are snug, warm and immensely comfortable for long rides on dry winter days – once you've managed to get them on.
On first inspection, they felt lightweight, soft and relatively thin, leaving me concerned that warmth would be an issue. However, I didn't find this a problem at all when riding, and the bodice-like bib section added extra warmth around the core for a really cosy fit. These are not waterproof tights, though, and on wet days the rain quickly seeped through.
They are made of an extremely stretchy material, with extra Lycra content for flexibility, leaving no unwanted sagging around the bum or crotch area when in the saddle. Size-wise, they come up fairly true to the Vulpine guide, but did carry a little extra length in the leg for me.
The pad isn't at all bulky and is easy to walk around in when off the bike. Despite its light weight, it is incredibly cushioning and comfortable for long days in the saddle. It also held its shape and lovely softness every time I put the tights through the wash, and I was thoroughly impressed.
Inside, the tights are relatively fleecy, making them very snug to put on. However, unlike the pad, after a couple of weeks' use and several washes, the fleece lost a lot of its softness. The tights are still comfortable and warm, but less luxurious than I initially found them.
Instead of zips around the ankles, the tights simply have a rubber gripper around the cuff, which holds the legs securely in place. The lack of zips means there is no irritation when riding, but I also found them quite a faff to get on and off.
It might not be obvious from the photos, but the tights come in a dark grey colour rather than the black that most brands opt for, and I have to say I prefer black. They feature a nice reflective logo on the rear of the right calf, which is a nice touch, along with more subtle logos on each thigh.
For £125, you can certainly buy bib tights much cheaper, though I'd be surprised if any had a pad this good. Having said this, you can equally pay a lot more for a lot less. They're currently on offer for £62.50, and for that I'd say you can't go wrong.
Warm and cosy with a lovely pad, but they are pricey and lack water resistance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hoy Vulpine Women's Roubaix Bib Tights
Size tested: 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?
Vulpine says: "Superbly cosy fleece lined bib tights with Italian pro level female specific CyTech pad and large rear facing calf reflectivity for long Wintery jaunts."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Flatlocked seams for against-skin comfort
Thermal roubaix stretch fabric
Female specific CyTech pad with triple needle zig zag stitch for comfort
HOY circle gripper tape to hem opening
Lovely and snug in the cold and a very comfortable pad.
After several washes, the fleecy lining lost its softness and started to bobble.
Legs a little long but stretchy and flexible for a comfortable fit with no unwanted sagging.
Good: come up as expected from the size guide.
Feel thin and light, but still very warm.
Chamois is light, yet brilliant for several hours of riding.
These are nothing extraordinary and you can pay a lot less for some decent bib tights; at their current offer price of £62.50 I would highly recommend them.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed several times on a cool cycle and chamois is still soft and comfy, but they lost a lot of their softness inside.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable to ride in and stayed warm on chilly winter days. Ideal for long, dry rides in the cold as intended, but not so good in the wet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pad is lovely and they are very snug to wear in winter.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of zips at the ankles made them quite a faff to get on and off.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Only if they were on offer.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
Love the style and the pad was really comfortable – an 8 for both of those – but it's a high price considering they're not much good in the rain and lost their softness in the wash, so 7 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.