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According to Sportful these Bodyfit Pro bib tights are the choice of its pro riders for long early-season rides, and I can see why. They offer a quality fit, keep you warm and come with a very comfortable pad. The only thing I wasn't a massive fan of was the zips to get the bottom of the legs in place.
The off-season – that time of the year when many club riders and racers are out on the winter bike, turning the pedals over for hours on end to build strength and fitness ready for whatever competition and challenges they have planned.
The effort is usually a lot lower than in the summer; you tend to spend a lot more time in the saddle, and with less pressure on the pedals you are going to need a comfortable pad.
The TC Pro seat pad in the Bodyfit Pro is spot on for this. It's quite simple to look at, with very little in the way of layers and channels for pressure relief, but the padding it does have is very supportive.
Out for a 100km gravel ride, I spent probably 95km of it in the saddle, helped by the lower gearing of the Shimano GRX groupset, and suffered no numbness or irritation whatsoever.
The padding is thick enough to soak up most of the bumps and vibrations without being overly so, in a way that it'd be bouncy and could cause hot spots if you didn't get up to release the pressure every so often.
As for the rest of the tights, comfort is a theme that runs right through them.
Sportful uses a mix of fabrics for warmth and breathability. A heavier thermal fabric is used on the panels facing the wind, with lighter materials for those at the rear to allow some heat to escape.
I found the tights comfortable to wear between about 14°C and 5°C, as long as the breeze wasn't too bitter as there is no windproofing as such.
The overall fit is very good, and like all decent clothing it feels better on the bike than off it, because the tights are cut to suit a cycling position.
I had no issues with bunching behind the knees when pedalling, and the bib straps offer just the right amount of tension without digging into your shoulders. Their wide and flat style avoids pressure points and the lack of bulk means they go unnoticed beneath various layers.
Sizing comes up a little small in relation to a lot of other brands found in the UK, and if it was my money I'd probably go up to a large just for a little more manoeuvrability. Sportful's size guide is spot on, though, so if you stick with that you'll be fine.
The ankles are held in position by a zip on the rear of each leg and I must admit it isn't my most favourite of retention ideas. On their own they're fine, the zips stay closed and the legs don't ride up at all. The problem comes when you wear overshoes with rear zips, because the two can clash and catch on each other which I find really irritating. I'd much rather just see an elasticated cuff or possibly even a stirrup wrapping under the foot.
I do like the reflective band on each leg, though. They look quite subtle during the day, but are wide enough to be very noticeable when riding at night as your legs push the pedals, illuminated by following lights.
Priced at £125 the Sportfuls are in a crowded part of the market, but they do back it up with some very good quality. The stitching is tidy and robust and after hours and hours on the bike there is no wear to be found on the seams around the pad.
The dhb LAB Equinox bib tights are £130 and have quite a bit more weather resistance by using technical fabrics for windproofing and keeping light rain at bay. Liam did find the seam position of some of the panels a little odd, though.
It may be over two years since I tested the Shutt VR Team bib tights, but they are still going strong, even if the water repellent treatment is starting to wane a little bit. What I was really impressed with was the pad comfort, and I'm happy to say that the Sportful Bodyfit Pros' matches this. The Shutt VRs are still available for just £99, though, the same price that they were back in 2017.
Even so, I'm a big fan of the Bodyfit Pros. I like the cut and the quality, but most of all I love the pad.
Top quality bib tights especially suited to those long training rides thanks to an excellent pad
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bodyfit Pro Bibtight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful says, "A winter bibtight that provides maximum warmth and breathability at low temperatures, through the use of different materials in different locations. Made of high-stretch fabric to ensure excellent fit and outstanding freedom of movement during prolonged efforts."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists these features:
Made of heavier thermal fabric in critical areas and lighter fabric in areas of higher heat production
Reflective leg band for 360° visibility
TC Pro seat pad
Lie-flat bib straps for maximum elasticity, breathability and comfort
Camlock® ankle zippers
On a size to size comparison to other brands like dhb, Lusso and so on, they come up a little small so it might be worth going up a size. Sportful's size guide is correct though so use that and you should be fine.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues at all by following the washing instructions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A really comfortable pair of tights to wear, especially on longer rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent pad for long jaunts in the saddle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No windproofing on the front panels means your legs can get cold when riding into the wind.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
A lot of the tights around this sort of money, the dhbs for example, are offering water repellent treatments. Others, like the Shutt VRs, are doing it for quite a bit less too.
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
All-round good quality bib tights backed up by a very comfortable pad, though there are some cheaper options out there with better weather resistance.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!