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dhb's cycling leg-wear range gives you an impressive list of options - long tights, tights or shorts, with or without bibs, with or without pads, in two fabric weights, male or female cuts - I've been testing the ladies version of the dhb Pace Roubaix Bib Tight with pad (there's a men's version too), and overall I must say I'm impressed. I've used several different brands of cycling tights over the years, and these are among the best I've ever worn.
The Pace Roubaix is aimed at cold weather cycling and made from thicker fabric (245g/m2 - compared to the thinner 190g/m2 on the Pace version), with a nice fleecy feel on the inside. These tights have enjoyed several outings over the past couple of months - including an audax in January when there was ice on the roads with air temp was below freezing - and they've always kept me toasty. The stretchy fabric means the fit is tight with no bagginess anywhere, but not too tight to be restrictive.
Around the waist and lower torso is kept warm too, thanks to the bib, which is quite high at front and back, and made mostly from the same fabric as the rest of the tights, with just a bit of netting at the sides and across the top of the spine (whereas the bibs on dhb Pace tights are made almost wholly from netting). This high bib effectively provides another mid-layer, which was fine on the really cold days, but I found it a bit too warm on the slightly less Arctic occasions. That's not a criticism, just a case of realising the possible need to adjust other clothing accordingly. You can avoid this dilemma by choosing the non-bib version - it's certainly easier when it comes to loo stops, although that of course is more of a girl thing.
So the fabric is cosy and cut is perfect, but what's it like to sit on? Cycling leg-wear can have all the fancy features you like, but if it isn't comfortable in the necessary places, then it's useless. No worries here either. The Pace Roubaix tights come with a female specific pad - the Cytech Tour - and it's simply brilliant. It's thicker than the pad in the Pace tights, and feels quite large at first, but it's stretchy, and provides just the right amount of protection, without anything extra unrequired, and no chafing from the seams.
I usually wear cycling tights without a pad, with padded shorts underneath, but having just the one garment is equally comfortable - maybe more so as there's one less layer of fabric between backside and saddle. Another advantage: tights with no shorts underneath give a much more streamlined profile, with no 'panty-line' around the thighs. But maybe that's just another girl thing.
Moving down to the ankles, the tights have silicon grippers rather than loops that goes under the instep. There are zips are at the back of the tight rather than the side, and I found the zipper sometimes touched the top of the heel of my winter cycling shoe. This is a minor quibble, although the tights are designed for winter riding, and it's easy enough to hitch them up a couple of millimetres round the ankle so the zip is clear of the shoes. And admittedly, my winter shoes have a slightly higher heel, so this won't be an issue for everyone.
Finishing touches include reflective tabs on the back of the leg at the top of the zip, and a nice little cover over the top of the zip on the bib so it doesn't rub on the chest area.
The tights are available in black only, in sizes 8 to 16. The version we tested cost £49.99 from Wiggle - excellent value for the performance they provide. Without a bib they cost £2 less.
Excellent warm comfortable leg-wear, perfect for winter riding, at a great price.
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Make and model: dhb Pace Roubaix Ladies bib tight with pad
Size tested: 10
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The tights are for use in cold conditions. The Wiggle website says: 'The cut and panelling is more ergonometric and allows the rider to attain a lower position on the bike as the freedom of movement has increased.' I can't argue this - the freedom of movement is great - although I don't get down on the drops that often during winter rides. The website goes on to say: 'Offering a womens specific chamois pad means that the comfort is there for the enthusiast Lady rider. The Tour Chamois is built around a female anatomy and is no 'shrink it and pink it' affair.' After a long ride in these tights I can guarantee that there was no evidence of shrinking or pinking.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I have!
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