Thermofleece fabric combined with a good fit on the legs and an incredibly soft pad got Santini's Coral 2.0 Ladies Winter Bib Tights off to a great start in testing. Warm, soft and well made, they'll make a good choice for winter riding – if you get on with the slightly unusual design of the bib section.
Although they size up a little small, I found the medium to be a great fit on my (usually small) lower body. The 'innovative front mesh bib' also fitted well, but it's incredibly stretchy and doesn't feel like it offers much in the way of additional support to the tights.
Personally, if I wanted more breathability I'd go for bib straps, and on colder days I'd choose tights with a full bodice section, but this attempt to combine the two didn't really do it for me. Bib preference can be very personal, though, and I certainly didn't find it at all uncomfortable.
The leg length is sensible, although longer than the Rapha Core Bib Tights that I also tested, which are probably better suited for those of us with shorter legs.
The ankles don't feature a zip or fastening, which made the tights a little more awkward than some to get on (Rapha's have a similar design but ribbed, with more give), but it's preferable to having an itchy zip around your ankle when riding. They do feature a reflective strip up both ankles for extra visibility.
The chamois pad is lovely and soft and doesn't feel too bulky. I found it to be really comfortable on my longer winter rides and had no particular issues. I do tend to get along well with Santini pads in general.
Santini suggests a recommended temperature range of the tights of 0-15 degrees. While the tights are certainly breathable enough not to overheat at the higher end of that scale, getting down to 2-3 degrees I started to feel some wind chill and would want something more substantial on particularly cold or windy days.
As for value, £99.99 certainly isn't cheap, though you can pay a lot more, and they are a well-made, cosy pair of winter tights with a very comfortable pad. If you like the design of the bib section they're certainly worth considering.
Personally, I preferred the design of Rapha's Core Tights mentioned above, though they are an extra £20. Alternatively, the Sportful Diva Bib Tights I tested last winter, which were £100, can be found considerably cheaper online now, and came out with similar plus points during testing, along with a nicely fitting bodice bib section.
A really comfortable pair of winter tights, but the front mesh bib section won't be to everyone's taste
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Coral 2.0 Ladies Winter Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
"Train all winter and challenge the cold with the Coral bib-tights! Made of warm and soft thermofleece, excellent thermal balance is assured. Comfort guaranteed with the elastic mesh bib designed specifically for the female contours. The anatomical GIL2 chamois with anti-shock gel core maximizes comfort in the saddle. With reflective details on the calf for added road visibility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fit - Elastic mesh bib designed specifically for the female contours.Warm soft thermofleece covers the body to assure great thermal balance.
Performance - The innovative front mesh bib provides added protection from the cold while remaining breathable. The GILevo Chamois female specific chamois is designed for up to 6 hours of uninterrupted riding. Reflective details at the calf for added road visibility.
Comfort - Santini engineered GIL2 Chamois with twist gel core developed specifically for the female anatomy. The upper layer is made of a soft antibacterial and anti-irritation microfibre, stitched from the inside so that there is no stitching in contact with the skin.
Durability - The fabrics selected have optimal elastic memory that keeps the garment fitting snug every time, just like the first time you ever put it on. Each garment undergoes vigorous quality controls and is made in Italy by our highly skilled staff.
Legs fit really nicely, but the top section felt almost too stretchy and not especially secure.
As usual from Santini, the sizing does tend to come up small. I wore a medium when I would usually expect to be a small, so would recommend sizing up.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy: washed on a 30 degree cycle as expected and had no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept me warm on cold winter days and the pad was lovely and comfortable on longer rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft and fleecy and a good chamois pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The front mesh bib design just didn't do much for me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, the bib style isn't for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Great fit on the legs and a nice pad, but the mesh bib design didn't do it for me.
About the tester
I usually ride: Planet X London Road My best bike is: Bowman Palace:R
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.