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Ribble's Nuovo bib tights are the accompanying bottom half to the Nuovo jersey we tested not so long ago. And they're pretty good performers: comfortable, with a good pad and some nice detailing.
The main part of the bibs is a multi-panel construction from a Roubaix Lycra that feels good to wear and is nice and stretchy. The fabric isn't any more windproof than the jersey, save for the ankle sections, which are a much more compressive fabric and keep the bottoms from riding up. The lack of windproofing is much less of an issue on your legs, although if you have sensitive knees you might want a bit more protection from cold gusts.
Up top there's a mesh back layer to help with breathability there, and the straps are a wide, flat elastic that only stretches up and down the strap. That means they lie flat and don't bunch, and they're comfortable over a baselayer or next to the skin.
The 'Cytec Elastic Interface® 7 hour 12mm thick endurance pad' has a front cup to keep everything toasty in the cold. It's a reasonably bulky pad but very comfortable, and I've had no issues with saddle discomfort on some fairly long rides.
The stretchy Lycra of the legs is comfy in use too, and there's a bit of water repellency in the fabric that'll shrug off light rain and road spray for a bit. They wouldn't be your first choice for wet rides but they're good in the cold, and perform better than the jersey in colder weather.
There's a nice reflective panel on each leg that's unobtrusive but gives you a bit of extra visibility after dark.
They're better value than the top as well. At £85 they're a similar price to similar tights in dhb's range, which is probably the most direct competitor here. In terms of comfort and quality they're pretty good, and they feel a bit more thought through than the jersey they accompany, so are deserving of a higher mark.
Good quality winter tights that perform well on colder rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ribble Nuovo Men's Bib Tights Black
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Ribble says, "We've taken a great deal of attention designing the Nuovo bib tights because we recognise they're the most important piece of cycle clothing and that comfort here is the overriding priority.
"The multi panel construction ensures a neat, comfortable fit and the fabric we've selected is thermal, durable of a high density and contemporary. For extra breathability the back panel is a mesh fabric and the seamless braces are designed to be lightweight and comfortable. We have also added an anti-abrasive panel to outer hip and thigh to provide additional protection against any unexpected falls!
"For maximum comfort we've chosen a high quality, tried and tested, 7 hour endurance pad. The pad also has a cupped front for extra warmth and protection!
"A discreet reflective panel incorporated into the legs makes these an essential winter piece."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High quality Cytec Elastic Interface® 7 hour 12mm thick endurance pad with cup
4-Way stretch compressive fit fabric that wicks away moisture
Breathable mesh back panel
2-way stretch seamless braces for added grip and comfort
Discreet design reflective panels
86% Polymide 14% Elastane
Machine wash at 30C
Wash with colours
Do not tumble dry
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Cool wash, come up like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – comfortable and warm with a good pad.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not windproof like Ribble claims.
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
Very good performance, value is decent and doesn't really knock the overall score down.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.