Company founder and former pro Iris Slappendel has created the Iris Women's Signature Winter Bib Tight Light to answer your needs for all but the coldest conditions. Soft, stretchy, warm and pliable, with a great chamois and easy-to-use buckle system for toilet breaks, these are a well-designed and high-quality pair of tights at a decent price.
These tights are designed with early winter and spring in mind rather than the coldest days, but it's worth bearing in mind that Iris is based in the Netherlands and their idea of 'deep winter' can be a whole lot scarier than the UK version. That said, these are mid-weight rather than heavyweight tights, made from high-quality ThermoRoubaix fabric with plenty of stretch.
The fabric is superbly comfortable to ride in, offering warmth without binding on the legs, plus it wicks moisture quickly and effectively to prevent chilling after working hard. I found the tights exceptionally comfortable, supportive and pliable, and plenty warm enough in temperatures down to about 3°C.
They don't have any wind-resistant panels or waterproofing, but they dry super-quickly, and I tend to find there's a trade-off between the comfort and pliancy of non-wind-resistant fabric and added protection. If you want deep winter options, or you feel the cold, the more weather-resistant and heavier duty Iris Signature Winter bib tights might be a better bet. https
These Light tights feel like they'll accommodate a wide variety of shapes thanks to the level of stretch in the fabric and the design of the bib section. This has broad stretchy straps which fasten at the rear to the lumbar region of the tights via a magnetic catch, to make toilet breaks easier. The bottom section simply pulls down at the back, meaning no undressing is required.
The bib section is very well thought through, not rubbing or irritating on the bust area, and securing the bottoms 'just enough'. One thing I've found with the Iris tights (and shorts) design is that the bottom section isn't totally reliant on the straps, fitting securely over the backside and hips without pulling on the bib. This means the magnetic buckle and strap system works really well because there's little tension in the straps to pull them up your back under the jersey, making it easier to retrieve them once you need to 'buckle up' again.
I did find that the straps have more of a tendency to migrate upwards towards the neck than on the bib shorts I tested earlier in the year, but not so much that it made the buckle fiddly to grasp for re-attachment. The buckle is super-easy to use, and very effective.
There's ample length in the leg for taller riders; on my 31in inside leg there was plenty of extra, though I had no problems with wrinkly excess, but shorter riders might find them a little over-long. Silicone grippers at the ankles help with a snug and secure fit.
Likewise, the bib straps were comfortable and secure with my modest bust, but I'd imagine would still work well for bustier women or those with longer backs. The size large tested was spot on for my size 14 dress size.
While the CyTech Endurance 2.5 HD pad felt quite firm and obvious off the bike, once in the saddle I found it supportive and compliant, giving a really comfortable ride.
Another thing to note is the colour: the clue is in the name, it's not black but a sort of dark brown, designed to co-ordinate with Iris's jerseys and other products, and simply to provide an alternative to the usual standard black tights.
At £135, the Iris bib tights sit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of women's bib tights, but given that they are from a small European designer, and taking into account the quality, comfort and attention to detail, they demonstrate pretty good value for money to me.
They are significantly more expensive than some, such as Van Rysel's Women's Sportive Quick Zip Bib Tights, now £59.99, and Altura's Women's Classic Thermal Bib Tights at £79.99, and they're £35 more than Gore's C3 Thermo bib tights, which have a double zip opening for pee stops. But they're similar in price to Rivelo's Women's Monsal Bib Tights at £130 (a straight bib design with no toilet break wizardry) and a lot cheaper than others – the Assos Uma GT Winter Bib Tights have a front-fastening buckle and are £165, while Rapha's Women's Pro Team Winter Tights, which do offer rain and wind resistance as well as Rapha's version of the buckle-back to the bib, are £210.
The Iris tights are far from the cheapest, but nor are they at the top end of the price spectrum. They offer high-quality fabric, exceptional comfort and an innovative answer to the pee-break problem in a good-looking package. A bit of an investment, but a worthwhile one.
Superb quality, exceptional levels of comfort and excellent innovative details – not cheap, but worth every penny
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Iris Women's Signature Winter Bib Tight Light
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Iris says, 'This bib tight is perfect for early-winter training where warmth is still important but less extreme temperatures allow for lighter and more flexible materials to be used, – ideal for mild conditions.
'The tailored cut gives you total freedom of movement and a perfect fit. The award-winning CyTech Endurance 2.5 HD chamois ensures optimum comfort, and silicone grippers at the ankles keep the tights in place. Like our hugely popular Signature bib shorts, the bib uppers feature a secure magnetic closure system which makes taking them on and off a total breeze!
'For maximum comfort, these tights are manufactured from the softest and most luxurious ThermoRoubaix® materials on the market. The Roubaix fabric is manufactured by MITI, who are one of Europe's leading stretch performance fabric specialists. Unprecedented warmth as well as compression, breathability and durability as standard. The inside face of the fabric is soft and luxurious against the skin.
'And yes, this bib tight is NOT BLACK, but a sophisticated dark brown color that matches really well with the other items in this collection.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Cold weather protection
Leg grippers at the ankle
Luxurious fleece lining
Reflective elements on the backs of the thighs
Anatomical cut with strategically placed seams for comfort in the riding position
CyTech Endurance 2.5 HD women’s-specific chamois with Elastic Interface® technology
Seamless microfiber bib straps for enhanced comfort and fit
Made from Italian Thermoroubaix materials®
Magnetic clip closure for more comfort and easy bathroom breaks
Superb quality fabric, and overall finish is impeccable.
Extremely comfortable – warm, breathable and fast-drying. Bib buckle is just a touch tricky to reach from beneath a jersey (trickier than Iris's own bib shorts with the same mechanism).
High quality fabric and components wash well and should last well too.
The highly stretchy fabric and the design of the bib section mean these are a great fit, and should suit a variety of body shapes. Taller riders will appreciate the length in the legs too.
The size large tested corresponded to the sizing suggested on the company's chart, and was a good fit for a UK size 14.
Beautifully lightweight for their warmth.
These aren't a budget option, but they offer a high quality boutique brand product with excellent features, and are still a lot cheaper than some...
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, washed very well at 30.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Exceptionally comfortable, warm enough for all but the coldest conditions, and with a supportive and effective chamois.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Overall high quality, comfortable and supportive chamois, style, comfort, quick-exit bib buckle, not black.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The buckle is slightly trickier to retrieve than on Iris's bib shorts but still not overly taxing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Significantly more than some that offer no pee-break design considerations, such as the Altura Women's Classic Thermal Bib Tights at £79.99 and dhb Women's Aeron Rain Defence Bib Tights at £100, though they do offer additional rain protection. More pricey too than the Van Rysel Women's Sportive Quick Zip Bib Tights at £59.99 which do give pee-break assistance, as do Gore's C3 Thermo bib tights at £99.99. However, they're similar to the Rivelo Women's Monsal Bib Tights at £130 (straight bib design, no toilet break wizardry), and cheaper than the Assos UMA GT Winter Bib Tights which have a front fastening bib access buckle but are £165 and Rapha's Women's Pro Team Winter Tights at £210.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are high quality tights from a small independent European company, and offer exceptional levels of comfort. The design details are spot on and they look good too. They are far from the cheapest, but are well worth the investment.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.