The lightweight dhb Aeron LAB Equinox bib tights add just enough insulation to keep legs warm on cool-to-mild days. The fit is close but less restrictive than deep winter tights, and although a change in fabric below the knee creates a slightly odd stitch, overall, they're very good – for a limited number of days.
Riding through autumn, winter and spring presents us with a huge range of conditions and there is a really annoying, sweaty gap in between jersey/shorts weather and the conditions that warrant deep winter kit. These dhb bib tights have been designed to bridge that gap, offering legs just enough coverage without feeling bulky.
Now I know what you're thinking, what about leg warmers? There are water resistant options, windproof varieties and lightweight designs. So plenty of coverage levels, and if you're happy with leg warmers from around 8°C to 15°C then I don't think you'll find much benefit in spending £130 here. But many riders hate leg warmers. They can be very uncomfortable, slip down while riding and bunch behind the knee. If you're in this camp, the dhb tights are for you.
The Equinox tights feature a multi-panel construction that brings different levels of insulation to the upper and lower leg. Up top is a lightweight and breathable material from Taiana. It's tightly woven, giving you a little bit of wind resistance, and there's a water resistant treatment for wheel spray and light rain.
The lower leg is made from a lighter Flash fabric from Schoeller. It is highly stretchy, giving a very close fit with about the same protection that you'd get from a pair of leg warmers. There's no zip at the ankle to worry about; thanks to the stretch in the fabric, it's just not needed.
Inside, an Elastic Interface Road Performance chamois provides good comfort for longer rides and everything is stitched together well.
The bib straps offer good support, too, and the tights stayed in place when out of the saddle.
Out on the bike, these bib tights are brilliant given the right conditions. Even for a rider like me who likes leg warmers, tights are much more comfortable and you get the best of both worlds here: the lightweight feel of leg warmers with the comfort of bib tights. It really is a winning combination.
These are definitely reserved for mild temperatures, though. Heading out much below the lower end of the recommended temperature range showed how little insulation these have. On the flip side, the breathability allows you to wear them slightly over the 16°C temperature limit. Now, I wouldn't be setting off on a ride in these if the temperature was 17°C, but on rides that start off chilly you won't suffer when the sun warms things up.
The water resistance is pretty good when the rain or wheel spray is very light, but these quickly soak through in a heavier shower. Also, the material on the shin offers no protection at all, so this soaks through instantly.
Sizing is rather like Castelli, in that a Medium fits me quite well, but I could also go for a small for a closer fit. The legs are very generous in length and everything is snug and very comfortable. Around the waist and shoulders, the fabric and bibs are tight and supportive but still comfortable.
The big issue that I have with these tights is the number of times that I actually picked them out of the wardrobe. As our lovely weather is rarely as straightforward as a simple temperature reading, I seemed to always opt for tights with better water resistance or better thermal properties. And any chance of sunshine saw me reaching for the trusty leg warmers in the hope that I might be able to take them off and give my pasty knees a tan.
As a result, I can't see myself spending £130 on these. Also, if you are interested then you've got a very good alternative in Castelli's LW Bib Tights. They're the same price at RRP, but are easy to find discounted online.
In conclusion, the dhb Aeron LAB Equinox bib tights are comfortable and provide great performance in certain temperatures, but whether their limited window of use is enough to justify the price tag I'll leave you to decide.
Great comfort and breathability but usability is limited
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab Equinox Bib Tight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "The Aeron LAB Equinox Bib Tight is designed for rides in transitional weather conditions before you need to reach for true winter kit. This addition to dhb's top-level Aeron LAB Collection lets you keep riding like its summer, well into the cooler months"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Bib straps: 80% Polyester, 20% Elastane(Spandex)
Leg: 71% Polyamide(Nylon), 29% Elastane(Spandex)
Lower Leg: 62% Polyamide(Nylon), 21% Polyester, 17% Elastane(Spandex)
Comes up small, quite like Castelli.
Same price as Castelli rivals. Quite pricey for the range of weather that you can use them in.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. Just don't tumble dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They protect just enough in cool weather to allow the legs to generate their own heat. The breathability is great and they're comfier than leg warmers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort compared to wearing leg warmers is really good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The limited number of days you get to use these – they're just too few to justify the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Same price as their direct rival from Castelli, which can be found much cheaper online.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, when I could actually use them...
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not really.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They score well on performance, breathability and comfort, but their narrow window of use makes the price hard to justify.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.