The Rivelo Honister Bib tights are very well designed, both in the way they fit and in all of the small details that help keep you warm and comfortable. There is a bit of a premium price for this, although judging by the quality, these could make up part of your cycling wardrobe for many years to come.
The Thermal Stretch fabric that Rivelo has used for the majority of the Honister's construction is made up of 25% elastane mixed with 75% nylon. This gives excellent freedom of movement.
While all Lycra bib tights will move with you, these feel like a second skin, with no 'pull' or anything even when you are stretched out in the drops and your leg is at full extension.
The Honisters almost feel like a compression garment because of the close fit, but without any of the restrictions.
Even the use of a membrane fabric, which has less stretch, for the seat and the lower leg doesn't affect the comfort levels.
These sections keep road spray at bay for a decent amount of time, especially if the spray levels are light. Rivelo mentions the use of a PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the Honisters for increased water resistance, but I didn't find it that effective in anything but the lightest of drizzle.
One massive bonus to overall comfort is that Rivelo has designed the panels used in the Honister tights to completely avoid having any seams running behind the knee.
However, it has used long zips and silicone grippers on the cuffs; I had no issues with the legs sliding up when riding, but I'm not really a fan of zips. I find that they don't always let the bottom of the legs sit right, and I did get a bit of bunching of the material. Thankfully – despite what most of our photos show! – Rivelo has positioned the zips so they sit slightly towards the side of the leg (as you can see below), so you don't get any irritation as you pedal, which can happen if they're at the rear.
Next to the zips you'll find some decent size reflective panels, which is a nice touch.
When it comes to their optimum temperature range, I'd say the Honisters will go down to just below freezing with ease, and around low double figures at the upper end.
When things warm up a bit, they offer decent levels of breathability, and even if you do overheat a bit, say on a climb, they'll soon dry on the descent.
For the bib section, Rivelo has gone for a lightweight mesh which I like. When layered up with a long sleeve baselayer and a jersey or jacket above, this thin layer maintains an even temperature for your upper body. There is a large opening across your back, too, which aids breathability.
All of which is a bit irrelevant if the pad doesn't work, but thankfully it does. It's made by Cytec, Elastic Interface, a brand chosen by many manufacturers.
Specifically, it's the Bastogne HP. It's not overly complex in its design, but I found it to work well on both short, hard rides and longer adventures.
The padding isn't too thick and compresses nicely, reducing bunching of the material and producing no pressure points when riding in the saddle. Even when riding off-road on gravel tracks there is enough shock absorption in the padding to keep you comfortable.
As you'd expect on a pair of bib tights costing £150 (though currently available for less than half that; follow the link near the start), the finishing quality is very high. All of the seams are flatlock stitched, meaning there is very little to irritate, and it's neatly done. It's robust too. With the weather still in two minds as to whether it's winter or spring, these tights have seen a lot of miles and the stitching, especially that around the pad area, is showing no signs of wear and tear.
The Honisters are certainly worth considering alongside the likes of La Passione's Prestige Winter Tights at £152. If it wasn't for the zips I'd say they are very similar in comfort to the MAAP Team Thermal Bib Tights, which will set you back £215.
You can get very good bib tights for less, though. I've been wearing the Orro Pyro Line Aquazero tights, quality all-rounders that delivered everything I'd want from a pair of longs, and they come in at £99.99.
The Honisters are very high quality bib tights that I really recommend – if you don't mind the use of zips at the bottom of the legs. It would probably stop me from buying them, but if zips don't bother you then there is little else to fault.
Excellent comfort levels and a great fit – if you don't mind zips for leg retention
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rivelo Honister Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Rivelo says, "The winter version of our best selling men's bib shorts, which includes the ever popular Bastogne HP Cytech pad. We've incorporated large reflective leg panels for increased low light visibility, brushed thermal fabric for warmth, and PFC-free DWR coating for water resistance to make these our ultimate bib tights."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
75% Nylon 25% Elastane Thermal Stretch fabric
PFC-Free DWR coating to aid water resistancy
Male specific high density Chamois Pad from Cytech (EIT) in Italy, with bacteriostatic, quick drying and cooling fabric covering - suitable for any length of ride (Read More)
Seat & lower leg panels are made from membrane fabric to offer protection from road spray
Reflective panels on legs to aid low light visibility
Breathable mesh brace section
Understated Rivelo logo
Long cuff zips for easy on-off
Soft flat locked stitching on all seams for comfort
Elastic silicone Rivelo gripper at cuffs for a secure fit
No scratchy labels - care label is made from a soft fabric and sewn flat
Sizing is realistic to the UK market and in line with Rivelo's size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They've been through the washing machine countless times without issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for any ride, long or short, when it comes to comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut and fabric used creates a very comfortable pair of tights.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'm not a fan of the zips.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For the quality and comfort levels I'd say the Rivelos are sensibly priced at rrp (and currently available for less than half that). La Passione's Prestige Winter Tights are similar at £152, while the MAAP Team Thermal Bib Tights will set you back £215. The Orro Pyro Line Aquazeros are only £99.99, though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, purely because I'm not a fan of the zips.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A high-quality pair of tights that perform brilliantly regardless of how long you ride. The DWR coating doesn't really deliver, though, and the zipped legs aren't as forgiving as elasticated options on differing leg lengths, which nudges the score down a touch. They are still very good, though, and the zip criticism is a personal one.
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!