The Lusso Adventure Repel Bibtights are new to the range, but feature the usual great choice of fabrics, quality manufacturing, sensible pricing and high performance that the Manchester-based manufacturer has become renowned for. With large yet discreet reflectives and two deep cargo pockets, these are some of the most practical bib tights I've worn.
Back in August, Shaun reviewed Lusso's Adventure Bibshorts and on the whole he was very impressed. What with winter being too cold for shorts, Lusso has applied the same concept to a pair of tights, and I really love them.
Over the years I've tested quite a collection of Lusso kit, and the majority of it is stuff that I still grab on a daily basis, especially the winter designs. It's the balance of quality materials and clever details like the reflective panels I like. I know I'm going to be comfortable and (hopefully) visible when I'm out on the dark and dismal roads.
These Adventure Repel tights continue that theme. The fleece-lined fabric used for the lower body is soft against the skin, and while it's not claimed to have any windproofing properties, it's surprisingly warm when the temperature drops. Lusso quotes a range starting at -3°C and I'll go along with that. Some of my rides have taken place with a frost on the car as I leave the house and I've been as snug as bug.
The fit is great too. Lusso tends to be a little more generous than its European counterparts but without losing that close form fit, so you don't get any spare fabric bunching up. When you are on the bike, everything fits close without ever feeling restrictive.
One key area for me is the backs of the knees. I'm not a fan of tights that run a seam behind a joint that is constantly bending, as a ridge of stitching is always going to irritate to some degree. Lusso uses a separate panel for the knees, so the seams sit above and below – perfect. It means you can pedal for hours without any fear of something rubbing and irritating.
Another neat touch is that the rear panel is made from reflective material (as shown in the pic up top) which bounces back a chunk of light to any following motorists. And there are more reflective sections on the pockets. Yes, pockets.
With the increasing popularity of long-distance adventure rides, which might take you on or off-road, the ability to access your kit without having to faff around has become a big consideration.
I'll admit I've caught the gravel bug big time, going down the route of frame and bar bags (something the roadie me of a few years ago would have rolled his eyes at), but there are still things you want to grab without having to stop.
The pockets on each thigh are deep and, thanks to the stretchiness of the fabric, surprisingly secure too. I've used them for storing keys, cards, cash, food, ride notes and a mobile phone, and nothing ever budges. They have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, too.
It's not just off the beaten track they have their uses, either. If you're a commuter, you can stash your locker keys or security pass in there for a quick transition.
It's not all about the pockets, though.
As I've said, the tights are warm, but they are also breathable. On milder days I never felt clammy, and thanks to the mesh bib section I never felt overwhelmed even when layered up.
If you are caught in a shower or light drizzle you'll also benefit from the DWR coating. It'll keep you dry for around an hour, half that if the rain is heavy.
The TMF pad is really good. It feels thicker than many, not something I'm usually a fan of, but a combination of quite firm padding and the shape means it isolates bumps without removing the feedback from the tyres being passed through the bike.
I've done some five-hour rides both on and off-road, and I'd love to tell you about all its little details, but I can't, purely because I didn't notice it. And that, to me is the sign of a good pad.
As for the rest of the tights. The legs are held in place by an elastic gripper which does a very good job…
…and the straps are wide enough to not produce any pressure points as they pass over the shoulders.
The rrp of £135 isn't over the top, in my opinion. The quality of the manufacturing is impressive – very neat and tidy, which is what I want to see for this kind of money. The fact that Lusso can manufacture in the UK and still bring these garments in at this price is great to see.
They certainly look a much more appealing package when it comes to fit than the Gore C3 Windstopper Bibtights, which are just a fiver less.
If it's pockets you want, along with a quality fit and performance, you could go for the 7Mesh TK1 bibtights that Mike was really impressed with, but they'll set you back another £15.
Or there are the Sportful Supergiara bib tights, which come with a thigh pocket and cost £135, the same as the Lussos.
Overall, the Adventure Repels are excellent and likely to become a winter staple. They deliver everything you need from a pair of winter bib tights, with more than just token reflective tabs and surprisingly useful pockets.
Excellent quality bib tights with a great fit and high performing materials – the pockets are a bonus too
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: Lusso Adventure Repel Bibtights
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "After the success of our adventure Bibshorts, we have introduced a thermal winter bibtight. Why not, the UK's weather is 4 months of summer and 8 months of winter!
These bibtights feature a mid-thigh elasticated pocket on both legs for extra storage capacity on those epic rides. They would also be ideal for gravel and touring style riding, along with commuting or general training with the pockets easy access.
We have engineered the tights in a 3 panel design, allowing extra stretch around the knee to avoid irritation. Additionally we have sewn in reflective detailing to the pocket and rear knee panel so you are visible from both oncoming and approaching vehicles.
The pad used is our top of the range comfort option from TMF. Its built to last for as long as you want to ride and is rated for use at over 8 hours, perfect for bike packing adventures.
The durable water repellent DWR coated fabric shields you from spray and showers, unlike other brands, we have included this material on the pocket face too so valuables such as your phone are protected. A soft brushed fleece lining provides exceptional comfort and warmth. After all, we have designed and manufactured these bibs in Manchester so we know a thing or two about bad weather!
Our bib straps utilise a mesh fabric for extra breathability and comfort next to the skin, paired with a low cut front panel to make those natural stops easier to manage..."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2 thigh pocket storage system
8+ hour soft feel performance pad (award winning)
Soft brushed fleece lining
Mesh bib straps
45mm leg gripper
-3° to +14° temperature range
Designed and manufactured in Manchester
The sizing and cut is spot on. They are a bit more generous than some brands while still retaining a performance fit. Stick to Lusso's guide and you'll be fine.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
With lots of gravel rides these got dirty a lot; plenty of washes with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Extremely comfortable tights with the added bonus of some easy access storage.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are just an all-round great pair of bib tights.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing stands out.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Their price is competitive – they stack up well against the likes of Sportful's and 7Mesh's offerings for similar money, both very good tights with a similar focus to the Lussos.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Absolutely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Although £135 isn't cheap for a pair of bib tights, these really do deliver right across the board. Add in the versatility of the pockets and these tights really make sense for a lot of riding disciplines.
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!