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The MAAP Team Evo Thermal Bib Tights are a seriously premium product. The fleece-backed material is soft and comfortable against the skin, the fit is excellent, and the chamois is right up there with the best I've used. They're also available in some slightly different colours to usual, such as navy or olive. The only drawback I've found with them is the price.
Not only does that fleece-backed fabric feel comfortable and soft against the skin, most importantly it keeps you warm. MAAP gives these an operating temperature range of around 5-15°C, but I happily wore them on dry rides that touched freezing. (That said, if you're regularly riding in those conditions then you'll probably want to check out the Apex deep winter tights.)
I personally wouldn't deliberately go out wearing full-length tights on days touching 15°C, but I did stay at the café long enough on a few rides to see the temperature touching the low teens and the bibs weren't unbearably warm; they strike a decent balance between wind stopping ability and breathability.
Now if you've already had a gander on the MAAP website for a new set of bib tights then you might end up asking the same questions as I did... just what is the difference between these Evo tights and the standard Team version that we reviewed last year?
Both are available in black and this navy colour (the Evo, as I've said, also comes in a more adventurous olive option), both have the same recommended operating temperature, both are made from 85% polyamide and 15% elastane, both are DWR treated to see off road spray and light drizzle, and both are Bluesign approved.
Having trawled through both website pages I was still struggling to see the difference other than £15, so contacted MAAP who said the following:
"The main difference between the Team Evo Bib Tight and the Team Bib Tight is the Team Evos have a much more supportive and comfortable chamois, compared to the older model (Team Bib Tight). With the Team Evo Tights, you will be able to ride further, more comfortably with the compressive material in the legs as well as the more secure straps, holding the chamois in place and minimising movement/ friction in that area."
In truth then, it seems like the differences are marginal, but that's no bad thing. Stu absolutely loved the older version, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Having managed to get my hands on a pair of the older version to compare directly, the bib straps on the Evos are noticeably different and I did prefer them; they feel more supportive and look better.
As for the chamois, there are some minor visual changes but out on the road I was unable to feel a difference; that's to say they were both very comfortable even on six-hour rides, and these fast became the first set of bib tights out the drawer.
The chamois is quite sizeable, designed for long rides in the saddle rather than short, intense efforts and the thickness is consistent with this. It's pretty plush, well shaped and not so thick that it's uncomfortable when holding an aggressive position.
Keeping the tights in place at the bottom are elasticated cuffs which means no zips to interfere with overshoes, and the MAAP text acts as a silicone gripper. Over the six weeks of testing I didn't have any issues with them riding up.
The lack of zips does make them slightly harder to get out of than others, but this really is the most minor of issues.
As far as visibility is concerned, this has marginally improved over the Team version, with the now smaller MAAP logo on each leg still being reflective, but with the addition of a small strip positioned on the calf. This is a great place for reflective detailing as it's quite eye catching when moving up and down as you pedal along, so is a welcome feature.
I'm not a big fan of saying 'you get what you pay for', as you often find that just because something is expensive it isn't necessarily better. The MAAP Team Evo bib tights are not one of those cases; here you get a seriously premium product that performs excellently, though the price is going to limit the number of riders who can justify this sort of outlay.
We've tested plenty of excellent tights recently and nearly all of them are cheaper than the MAAPs. The Albion Three Season tights, for example, cost £150 and performed really well, while the Santini Lava thermofleece bibs at £130 offer tremendous value for money. Do you get the MAAPs’ luxury and panache, though?
The MAAP Evos are by no means alone up above that £200 mark, with the Castelli Sorpasso ROS tights now coming in at £225 and Santini's Adapt Polartec Thermals at £215. All three are wonderful to wear, but for many will be hard to justify.
Overall, the Team Evos are sublime, the materials are excellent, the craftmanship is everything you'd hope it would be, the seat pad is superb, and now I'm running out of superlatives. The comfort and luxury they offer make it hard to go back to other (cheaper) tights. Whether the price is worth it – only you can answer that.
Premium performance with added panache but pricey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Team Evo Thermal Bib Tight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
MAAP says: "The Team Bib Evo Thermal Tights have been constructed with pre-dyed Italian made thermal fabrication with a brushed finish for warmth retention and a DWR treated main body for water resistance to take on the elements with ease. Utilising our Proprietary 3D Thermo Moulded multi density chamois for all day comfort, with 360 degree reflectivity for visibility in low light conditions, for extra motivation when you'd rather hit snooze." They're certainly very comfortable and made to a very high quality but the price will limit them to riders who either put in many miles or have money burning in their pocket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pre-dyed Italian made thermal fabrication with brushed back finish
DWR treated main body
SPF 50+ Protection
Seamless elastic bib brace straps
White reflective logo transfers
Elastic leg hem band with printed silicone gripper
Claimed weight: 250 g
Main fabric content: 85% Polyamide, 15% Elastane
Main fabric weight: 245 g/m2 - Midweight
Bluesign: bluesign® APPROVED label ensures that our goods are made from materials that are produced only using chemicals and processes that are safe for people and the environment, minimizing the impact on air and water emissions from the manufacturing processes.
Size guide seems accurate but they are designed to offer some compression, so be aware of that.
Good warmth for their weight.
They're really, really good bibs but value is not their strong point; you can get 95% of the performance for half the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – comfortable in a wide range of temperatures (0-12°C in my opinion), chamois is excellent even on long rides and the DWR coating keeps some road spray and drizzle at bay.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are very comfortable, fleece-backed fabric is very soft.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As mentioned in the review, they're some of the most expensive tights we've tested. Luckily they do have the performance and quality to match. We've tested some excellent bib tights for around the £150 mark and these are only marginally better. As with everything, you have to pay to get the best.
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
Excellent performance, comfort, design and quality. However, they're very, very similar to the £15 cheaper standard 'Team' version.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...