The Attacus Thermal Bib Tights are a very warm and practical set of bib tights that perform well in the coldest conditions. Their price puts them up against some established high-quality competition, but they hold their own – although it would be good to have stronger stitching on the reflective strips on the leg.
- Pros: Very warm, high waist maintains core temperature, innovative knee panel
- Cons: Legs a little on the long side, stitching on the chevrons could be stronger
I was testing these in the beast of the east parts 1 and 2, so warmth was always going to be a key factor and I was not disappointed with how they performed. Attacus has used a windproof, showerproof thermal stretch fabric which managed to keep the elements at bay even when I was riding around on frozen roads. I may not have been able to feel my feet, but my legs were well insulated.
Inside, the material has a really nice and soft fleecy feel, which kept warm air pockets against the skin while also allowing for decent enough wicking and breathability. To help keep your legs warm, Attacus has doubled up the fabric on the knees – the area that tends to take the brunt of the weather when riding. Rather than simply sewing an extra layer over the top it has instead created a flap, which I was initially a little sceptical of, but in reality it allowed for more flexibility around the knee when midway through the pedal stroke.
These bib tights are not only for keeping your legs warm, though, they are also extra high, with the waist sitting just under my pectorals, and the fleece-lined fabric goes all the way up, making them particularly effective at keeping your core warm too. They are easily the highest reaching bib tights I've used and this is definitely a bonus in terms of warmth (less so when nature calls).
The straps on the bib tights are comfortable with plenty of stretch and hems along each edge to stop twisting; given that you are unlikely to wear bib tights straight onto the skin this is less of an issue than with bib shorts, but it's still good to see. The material used for the straps and the back is the same as the rest of the tights, so this is also a bonus for keeping you warm.
There are also more reflective elements on these than most other bib tights, with 'Attacus' written in big reflective letters across the lower back and two large reflective chevrons on each leg. Both of these are definitely a good thing when riding in low-light conditions, but there are areas on both legs where the stitching has begun to come away, so the chevrons could definitely do with slightly stronger stitching.
As with any bib tights or bib shorts, the chamois is key and here Attacus has gone with the Cytech EIT Endurance 2.5 HD, which is a top of the range pad that you would expect to find in some top brands – Assos and Rapha, for instance, both use Cytech pads for their shorts. As you would expect from a company that's provided chamois for many Tour de France winners, this one is supremely comfortable, even in the biting cold after a few hours in the saddle. It doesn't have the multiple densities that you often find on modern pads, but this didn't seem to make much of a difference; I found that I was well supported throughout.
Attacus has used silicone gripper at the bottom of each leg, which helps keep everything in place. This helps with the fit, too, although I did find that the legs were a little longer than I'm used to and there was some excess that I needed to smooth out. I am a 32in leg so I was at the top end of the 29-32in leg measurement it recommends in the size guide too. This isn't too much of an issue as the amount of excess was relatively simple to lose, but it's worth noting.
The bib tights have an RRP of £130, which is quite pricey and puts them in the same category as Rapha's Core Winter Tights and Castelli's Nanoflex 2 bib tights. This is strong competition, especially for a relative newcomer like Attacus, but they stack up in terms of quality and warmth.
I was impressed by these bib tights: they are very warm, have some good design features and are comfortable even on longer rides. It would be a bonus if the stitching on the chevrons was stronger, and Attacus could maybe look at the leg length, but that shouldn't take away from a strong pair of bib tights.
A warm and comfortable pair of bib tights with some good design elements and material choice
road.cc test report
Make and model: Attacus Thermal Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
A pair of bib tights for riding in freezing conditions.
Attacus says, "Let's be honest winter can feel like a bit of a chore, particularly if you commute or ride long. One way to make easier is to reduce the amount of kit you have to put on and take off every time you ride. That's where we come in.
"No need for leg warmers. No ankle biting zips. Tasteful visibility. One of the most versatile and comfortable chamois ever made. Our bib tights are also fleece-lined, water resistant and have a special double-layered knee panels to keep you warm and dry."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Attacus lists these features:
Windproof, showerproof thermal stretch fabric that's soft and comfortable. It'll keep you warm on the coldest of days and dry in light showers
Double-layered knee panels specially designed to move effortlessly with your natural riding motion and keep your joints extra toasty
High-waisted bibs to keep your core warm
High-performance endurance chamois provides lasting comfort over long rides
Reflective 'Attacus' logo and chevron bands for visibility in the road
Silicone leg grippers that'll slide over even the biggest feet and keep your tights in place without the discomfortable of rigid ankle zips
Tailor-cut for cyclists so you're comfortable and have full protection against the elements when you're in a riding position
They are well made with strong stitching around the seams and a good material choice, but the stitching around the chevrons at the bottom of the leg could be stronger.
Performed very well throughout the review, keeping me warm even when I was testing during the beast(s) of the east.
Good material choices and stitching, as I said above, but not sure the stitching on the high-vis chevrons is going to last.
Slightly long legs for me, but the excess can be hidden, and aside from that they fit well in all other areas.
Sizing is pretty good in all areas, although the legs are a little longer than I would have expected.
Very comfortable thanks to the fleecy lining and good breathability.
On par with others of this quality, though it doesn't have the same kind of brand recognition as others in this price range.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy: put them through several 30 degree washes with no issues whatsoever.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, they kept me warm every ride, with good support from the chamois.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The high waistline really helped keep my core warm on freezing rides...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
...but makes calls of nature more difficult.
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
They are a warm, well designed, and comfortable pair of bib tights that did everything I needed them to on cold wintry rides. They're slightly long (which might suit you) and a bit pricey, but I think their excellent performance still warrants an 8 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking