The Caratti Sports are made from Roubaix, a tried-and-tested fabric, lightly fleecy on the inside and with good stretch. This extends to the back panels, making them warmer on the back than tights with mesh fabric in that area, which is good or bad depending on how hot you tend to get.
All the panels are double-stitched and this is upgraded to flatlocking on about half the seams. That's actually more than on the Chapeau! tights I tested recently, which cost nearly £100 more. I wouldn't put the overall finish in the same league, though. It was a bit lumpy in one or two spots, especially where four panels come together on the stomach and the lower back. Not that this translated into any discomfort or rubbing, and the stitching is good and strong.
The pad is shaped to avoid rubbing the inside of the legs and is at the lighter end of the scale, which actually suits me quite well. It comes far enough up the front to improve decency and warmth.
Above that, however, I found my stomach felt a bit chilled in the colder winds of January. Caratti does also produce a windproof pair of bib tights which are £10 more and definitely worth considering if you are looking for something warmer.
The ankles stayed in place thanks to a combination of a rubberised gripper and the short zips, which also have some reflective detailing. The zip tabs are on the small side.
My test tights were a large, and were only just long enough for my 33in inside legs. Like much Italian-styled cyclewear it's definitely worth trying a size or two larger than usual – going by Caratti's size guide I should probably have been in an XXL! They come in six sizes, though, so you should find something to fit.
Overall, then, these are fine for everyday use, which is precisely what Caratti has in mind. However, compared to the Merlin Sport bibs which I tested in the spring, and which are often discounted from their £55 tag, they pale a little in quality comparison.
Comfortable everyday tights at a modest price, good for people who like a light pad
Make and model: Caratti Sport Bib Tights
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?
Caratti says: "This bib tight is made for everyday riding, whether it be road, mountain, leisure or commute.
"Italian designed cut and fit to give an anatomical shape.
"The Chamois is ergonomically shaped with a high density and elasticated foam to give a quality feel to a lower priced short."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Extra panelling to help comfort
Rubber Ankle gripper
Reflective piping lining YKK ankle zip to give you more visibility on the move
Warm, thermal fleeced Roubaix fabric perfect for winter riding
The Chamois is ergonomically shaped with a high density and elasticated foam to give a quality feel to a lower priced short.
S – Height <165cm / Waist <71cm
M – Height <170cm / Waist <76cm
L – Height <175cm / Waist <81cm
XL – Height <180cm / Waist <86cm
XXL – Height <185cm / Waist <91cm
XXXL – Height 190cm + / Waist 96cm +
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Generally good, the stitching seems strong, but it could be tidier and only some seams are flatlock-stitched.
Rate the product for performance:
In use they were comfortable, reasonably warm and well fitting. Some people may prefer a mesh-back.
Rate the product for durability:
If the stitching is a little lumpy it certainly seems strong enough, and I'd expect these to put up with good deal of wear.
Rate the product for fit:
No unsightly sagging or wrinkles, good length in the shoulder straps and legs despite these probably being a size too small for me!
Rate the product for sizing:
Typical for Italian design, you may want to go up a size. Check Caratti's own size chart.
Rate the product for weight:
Very much the median for this kind of non-windproof bib tight. The non-mesh back may add a little weight as well as warmth.
Rate the product for comfort:
Very good on the whole, the pad is quite thin compared to some and I did find myself wriggling in the saddle after a couple of hours, but that's not unusual for me.
Rate the product for value:
Good tights for not much money, but in this price bracket I have found tights with a little more to offer.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
At least a dozen goes through the washer so far with no signs of the transfers cracking or fading.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Caratti describes them as for "everyday riding" and that's just what they are. Given you can have three pairs of these for the price of some high-end bibs you can afford to have plenty for wet winter riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable, good fit and good looking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not much but the stitching could be tidier.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Simple tights at a modest price. The basics of comfort and fit are right. They look good too. These will suit you if you like a light pad. However, at this kind of price, there are other tights that have the edge.
Age: 51 Height: 6'2 Weight: 73kg and rising
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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