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Donda Principal Bib Tights

8
£65.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Very good for the money – solid quality and performance for not a huge amount of cash
Comfortable pad
Good value for money
Warm fabric
Lightweight bib section will require plenty of layering
Weight: 
263g

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The Donda Principal Bib Tights provide a good level of warmth on cold days and plenty of comfort too. With well-positioned seams there is nothing to irritate, and the pad works well for those possibly longer and slower winter rides. All for very decent money.

Like many brands, Donda has used a Roubaix style fleece-backed fabric for the main part of these bib tights. It works well, trapping body warmth, but manages to be breathable too once the effort rate goes up. The material itself isn't overly thick, which means that your movement isn't restricted in any way, unlike some materials that have waterproofing or windproofing elements about them.

> Buy these online here

The Dondas don't have either of those attributes, but if you do get wet then the warmth remains, as long as you keep moving, and only the iciest of winds make themselves known.

I'd say the Principals work from around 14°C down to zero, for me at least, though it depends on how warm your body runs.

I found the cut ideal, and the sizing realistic for the UK market, and in line with its size guide.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - legs front.jpg

There is plenty of length in the legs, which is good because there is no actual leg retention such as silicone bands or zips. A neat touch is the row of reflective dots on the back of each leg.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - reflective details.jpg

The way Donda has designed the panel layout also means that no seams run directly behind the knee so there is no irritation likely when bending your leg for thousands of pedal revolutions.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - legs back.jpg

The bib straps use a lightweight mesh similar to that you'd find on a pair of summer shorts, so you are definitely going to need to layer up should things get properly cold.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - straps back.jpg

The straps themselves are wide and flat and cause no pressure points as they pass over your shoulders.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - straps front.jpg

The key ingredient in any pair of bib tights is the chamois, and the Principals have a decent one.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - chamois.jpg

It's made up of padded sections of various depths, with the most pronounced being positioned beneath the sit bones. It's not the firmest pad I've used (and that's the way I like them) but nor did I find it too soft, which can cause hot-spots.

2021 Donda Principal Bib Tights - back detail.jpg

My winter riding tends to be a lot of steady miles keeping up the fitness, so I spend most of the time seated compared with the warmer months. The Principals' pad worked well for this type of riding, having that little bit of extra 'squidge' to increase comfort.

Value

Their pricing is very competitive at just £65, and they certainly don't look as though any compromises have been made in terms of build quality.

That's 20 quid cheaper than the Lusso Classic Thermal Bib Tights which I was impressed with last winter, especially the firmer pad.

> Buyer’s Guide: 24 of the best warm winter cycling tights

Altura's Icon Men's Thermal Bib Tights are another pair that I got on well with, but they're even more expensive at £95 (though they do come with a neat little pocket on the rear bib section).

Conclusion

Technically, there is nothing mind-blowing about the design or construction of the Dondas over other bib tights at this point of the market. But they do deliver the qualities of much higher priced bib tights, for a very decent amount of cash.

Verdict

Very good for the money – solid quality and performance for not a huge amount of cash

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Donda Principal Bib Tights

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Donda says, "Our Principal Bib Tights are an all new product fit for the colder months. Our high quality, thermal bib shorts are designed for coldest conditions

Constructed from high density chamois for maximum comfort and compression the tights offer Breathable, Quick dry, Compression and comfort. The breathable upper mesh has been designed to ensure you don't overheat on your ride. Reflective touches on the ankle ensure you're seen on those early evening rides. The Donda brand mark is featured on the side of the leg.

The combination of technology, quality and unique design allows our everyday cyclist to ride the toughest climbs, leisurely tour or the most straightforward of commutes."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Donda lists:

Breathable

Quick dry

Compression and Moisture Wicking

High density chamois

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Sizing is spot on.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No problems after plenty of washes.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They'll keep you warm in typical UK winter conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not much coverage from the bib section.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They are very well priced, cheaper than both the Lusso and Altura bibs mentioned in the review, and neither of those brands are usually classed as expensive!

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

A mix of good quality, great comfort and impressive warmth, at a very good price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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!

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