If you want a pair of tights that'll protect you from pretty much everything the winter can throw at you, then the Lusso Termico Repel Bibtights are a very good option. Thermal, water repellent, with a comfortable pad and blocks of subtle reflectives, they're ideal for dark, dank rides throughout the off season.
On first inspection the Lusso tights felt quite bulky thanks to their thermal fabric, so I was expecting some restriction of movement compared to my current favourites, the Shutt VR Team bibs that I reviewed back in November. Thankfully that wasn't the case. The Lusso Termicos fit brilliantly and feel absolutely great when on.
The fabric itself has a brushed finish which sits next to the skin to keep you warm, and to protect vulnerable knees from the cold this area is double skinned at the front. The only slight issue is that you have a seam running around the top and bottom of the knee panel that's quite pronounced. I never found that they irritated, but every so often they were noticeable when riding.
The rear panels incorporate Lusso's NiteLife reflective detailing, used on various pieces of kit throughout the company's winter range. It incorporates a reflective thread woven into the material, which leaves a close-knit collection of dots. In daylight they just look like a dark grey but in the dark when hit by car headlights they shine bright silver as they bounce the light back. Being such a large block and on a constantly revolving piece of your body, their movement is very effective at catching the eye.
You also get extra reflectives on the calves, plus the logos.
As well as the thermal properties of the fabric used for the lower half of the tights, it also has a decent level of water resistance. Light rain, fog, road spray all bead off until the fabric gets overwhelmed, which usually happens if the rain is heavy or very prolonged. You stay warm, though, so it's not a big issue.
Up top, the bib straps are a lightweight mesh. This is soft against the skin and they are wide enough as they pass over the shoulder to avoid irritation. You get plenty of coverage over your stomach, which I prefer to the dropped fronts you find on some Italian kit. I find it more comfortable and warmer.
The panel positioning and cut of the Termicos is very good, and ideal for those who like to spend time in a racy position. They aren't super-tight but there is a slight compression feel, and they are quite a flattering fit too.
A lot of people don't like loops as a form of retention at the foot and normally I'm one of them; if they are bulky it can create a hot spot between the sole of your foot and a firm carbon fibre shoe. Lusso has managed to keep them very thin, so no issues here.
The pad is claimed to be comfortable for six hours in the saddle, and while I haven't managed that in one sitting I have done a few four-hour treks and back-to-back days wearing them, with no issues. The padding is firm without being bulky, and although there isn't the usual plethora of channels and varying densities of foam, I had no issues with numbness.
The pad is double-stitched to stop it moving around and also incorporates carbon in its construction as an antibacterial barrier.
A price tag of £95 for a pair of bib tights of this quality is very acceptable I'd say, and the Termicos stack up well against the Shutt VRs I've already mentioned, as well as the Kalf Thermal bib tights, in terms of performance, weight and comfort.
Bear in mind they are handmade in Manchester, and looking at the quality of the stitching and overall finish, they are well worth the money.
In conclusion, I'd say the Termicos are an excellent choice for the winter, especially if you ride in the dark a lot too. The fabric works right down below freezing, it's pretty breathable, and the comfort levels are brilliant.
Great bibs for a range of temperatures and weather conditions, backed up with excellent UK build quality
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Termico Repel Bibtights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Bib tights designed for cold winter rides thanks to thermal and water-repellent fabrics. Reflective panels at the rear are great for visibility too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Water Repellent
* Double skinned at the knee for extra protection from the elements
* NiteLife reflective panels at the rear
* Anatomical Fit
* Carbon 6 hour comfort pad
* Made in Manchester
* Temp range -2*c to 15*c
* Machine Washable
Lusso products always seem to offer a genuine UK style fit rather than having to size up like you do with EU brands.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Any road spray and mud washed off fine on the recommended 30 degrees wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Absolutely great at keeping the wind out, plus the reflective panels are very noticeable to following motorists.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The seams top and bottom of the knee panel are noticeable at times.
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 overall score
Another great product from Lusso focusing on a great fit, impressive performance against the elements and top notch reflectives, all at a sensible price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!