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The ETC Warm Up Full Zip Tights live up to their name well – great for warming up before an event or just as an extra layer you can add or remove without faffing with taking your shoes or overshoes off first. They are well made, comfortable and well priced against the competition too.
Primarily, the ETCs are designed for warming up or warming down at events like races or sportives. With a zip that runs down the full length of each leg, they can be whipped off in a matter of seconds, like you're in The Full Monty, without the need to remove your shoes first. Ideal if the warm-up area is on wet mud or grass.
Getting them on is a bit more of a challenge, at least the first time anyway, as you try to work out which section of fabric lines up with another. Once you've done it a couple of times it gets easier to master.
There is plenty of stretch in the fabric, which allows you to keep the zip away from your skin as you pull it up or down.
The fleece-backed fabric is very warm and soft against the skin. It also has plenty of stretch for wearing them on the bike, should you want to ride to an event or warm up on the turbo trainer. I tested the ETC Zip Off Leg Warmers recently and found that because of a lack of flex in the zip area they were uncomfortable to wear when actually pedalling. That isn't true of these tights, as the whole lot flexes and moves together. I noticed no discomfort even when riding 20-odd miles in them.
Depending on the brand, I wear primarily a medium but also sometimes a large in bib tights. I found the ETCs to be a good fit in large; I could get away with a medium but as they are going to be going over a pair of bib shorts I liked the little bit of extra room.
Once on, I did find them long in the leg, with quite a bit of rucked-up fabric at the bottom. It's not a massive deal as it's not like these are performance tights where aerodynamics is key.
The ETCs are really quite versatile. Not only are they useful for warming up, I found them handy to stuff in my frame bags on the gravel bike, just in case I stopped to make a brew trailside. They'd be ideal for bikepacking if you wanted something warm to chuck on when not on the bike, while keeping bulk down for travelling.
Priced at £42, they offer good value for money too. Lusso's Full Monty Warm Up Thermal Tights are currently £64.99, for instance, although Liam was very impressed with the Outeredge Full Zip Warm Up Tights when he tested them back in 2015, and they are still available now for around £36.99. But Santini's similar offerings are £85.
For the money, the ETCs are also very well made. All the stitching is neat and well finished and the zips run smoothly in both directions.
Overall, they're top quality, really easy to use and very versatile.
A simple solution to keeping warm pre-event – and when stopping for a brew mid-ride
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ETC Warm Up Full Zip Tights Black
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
They are tights with zips that run fully down each leg, allowing you to remove them before an event without having to take off your shoes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Fleece Lined
* Full length Zip for easy on & off
* Warm up and don't need to stretch over shoes
* Great for MTB and Cyclocross
* Elasticated Top and Ankle
A little long in the leg compared to some tights.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Went through the wash plenty of times with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really simple to get on and off without the faff of removing your shoes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very comfortable on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found the legs quite long, but it's not a big quibble.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are quite a few options on the market at varying price points, but the ETCs are well priced against the likes of Lusso's Full Monty or those from Santini.
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're very good: really useful and versatile, well made throughout, and very comfortable to wear, without breaking the bank.
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!