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The versatile Santini Aldo Bib Tights provide insulation down to low single digits as well as breathability up above 15°C, plus brilliant comfort and decent protection against rain and dirt. With minimal seams, a sound construction, highly reflective branding on the calves, and a subtle but comfortable pad, it's hard to find negatives in these bib tights. They aren't cheap, but the price is comparable with other well-regarded brands in the market.
The Aldo bibs are one price rung below Santini's Vega Dry bibs, which are for extreme winter riding and incorporate fleece lining and total waterproofing as well as an integrated baselayer. So if you're after an almost totally winter-proof skin suit, those are probably a better option. For more options, check out our guide to the best winter bib tights.
They're made from polyamide and elastane, and the fabric feels seriously thick; even when really stretching it I can't see any leg underneath. It has that luxurious high-thread-count feeling that I associate with premium clothing, as well as a fleecy inner. This thickness worked well to block out the worst of the autumnal chill, but though its optimal use is between -/+ 5°C, I was mainly riding at the soft end, between 2 and 15 degrees.
One of my pet hates is having the front of the bibs drop too low, but that's definitely no issue here as the straps attach via an additional band, bringing the material well above the belly button. Plus it's all super stretchy which makes comfort breaks less of an operation.
The straps are all solid, non-vented material and Santini has decided to jazz up the rear inner panel with fluoro colouring. This might seem purely aesthetic, but as well as being easy on the eye it does actually make it easier to pull the bibs on the right way around from the off. They are wide and very elasticated which is great for comfort.
The fit is pretty tight on the calves, and there is no excessive compression on the thighs. The ankle cuffs – which match the reflective material on the calves – could do with a tiny bit more stretch for my liking. Everything held in position nicely during my rides and they really are a fantastically comfortable pair of tights.
The bibs incorporate Sitip Acquazero fluorine-free water and dirt-repellent technology, which worked pretty well on the whole. Light and medium rainfall didn't settle, and tended to brush off, but once the weather really set in, the bibs did eventually cave and start getting quite damp. Overall, though, I was impressed with the level of resistance. Based on the washing label, the calf branding panel is covered in polyurethane, or PU, which will add some water protection and be less porous – though this would probably be more useful on the shins.
The C3 is Santini's endurance chamois and uses a 'carving' technique, which supposedly improves shock protection and ergonomics because it fits to your rear end better. Eight hours is the recommended ride limit, and while I didn't hit that, I was really impressed with how slim the pad feels through the material and how comfortable I remained on some pretty mixed surfaces. Santini kits out its most premium bibs with the C3 so it is very much its top-shelf chamois.
Where the Aldo bibs excel is in heat retention balanced with breathability. Santini draws attention to the thermal fabric used, which doesn't require a membrane. The addition of a membrane, as per the kind used in jackets, often reduces stretch and flexibility. The Aldo bibs are both very thick and stretchy.
Santini has chosen not to include any wind-stopping panels. I didn't find this an issue, but there is no doubt that blocking panels on the knees would add a protective layer, and perhaps at -5°C would have been appreciated. However, this might compromise the breathability, so it's certainly a balancing act.
How do these compare with other bib tights for similar money?
Well, Matt wasn't backing Albion's £190 Winter Tights to the hilt in terms of their insulation, but he did find them very comfortable, and liked some of their features such as a rear storage pocket, ankle stirrups and a high rise front that zips up.
Albion's Three Season Tights, on the other hand, barely dropped a mark from our tester Hollis. The knees have a special windproof panel, there's similar weatherproofing to the Santini Aldo bibs, and they are slightly cheaper at £165, though they aren't designed for deepest winter.
The Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind Bib Tights, as the name suggests, are specifically made to repel wind so they include windproof panels. Mat was really impressed with them, citing the windproof panelling, good protection against rain, and a fail-safe chamois, but they've gone up from £190 when he tested them in 2021 to £240.
There is a lot of competition out there in terms of winter bibs, so it makes sense to have a clear idea of what you are most in need of. The Santini Aldo bibs are a cracking option that will have you covered from the start of autumn, when days can (especially nowadays) heat up unexpectedly, through to winter and the tough single digits. If I was planning a trip where the temperature was going to be consistently sub zero with a chance of even more punishing wind chill, I would probably look for some better wind protection and panelling. But for the majority of winter riding, especially in the south, I would happily commit to the Aldo's excellent insulation, rain protection and cosy fleece lining. All for a competitive, albeit not cheap, price.
Supremely comfortable bib tights that offer good insulation and breathability, and some rain resistance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Aldo Bib Tights
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says: "Our Aldo bib-tights provides the ideal balance between warmth, performance and comfort enabling you to ride all winter, no matter what the weather."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Aldo bib tights combine the ultimate performance Italian-made thermal fabric with a top-notch construction to guarantee optimal warmth retention without the need of a membrane. It gives extreme comfort and breathability thanks to the 350 gr/mq super-warm material. Featuring the long-lasting Acquazero water-resistant treatment for extra protection from rain and dirt, the Aldo bib tights are ideal to face any weather challenge.
Laser cut elasticated braces are designed to fit comfortably to any body type.
ANTI SHOCK PROTECTION
The C3 chamois will absorb shocks while you pedal, no matter the distance. It features a protective shell and ergonomic 3D surface.
The bold reflective logo on the calves provides high visibility in low light conditions so you can concentrate on your ride and forget it's even cold and rainy!
Well constructed throughout with strong (and minimal) seams accompanying the two-piece brace upper section. The chamois pad is seamlessly integrated and feels subtle rather than boxy.
Flawless ride companion. Brilliant temperature regulation with impressive breathability. I rode above the +5 temperature guide and didn't overheat at all. Even in foul conditions, the bibs did a good job of delaying soddenness setting in and then drying off.
A slackening of the ankle cuff would be my only concern long term, but so far it's held up well. Everything else feels totally secure, though it's early days.
They felt slightly loose as I pulled them on, but the fit was snug and tight where you would expect. Performance fit for sure and very comfortable.
Large sized up as expected, and worked well for me at 6'2" and 83kg. The straps offer a good level of tension.
Unfortunately for the weight weenies, the Aldo bibs are quite heavy: 397g makes them almost 150g heftier than the MAAP Team Thermal Tights, 90g more than the Castelli Sorpassos, and almost 200g more than the Le Col Pro Bib Tights.
The C3 pad was excellent – it's made up of four layers according to Santini and though I didn't go beyond the recommended ride length, it was great. Never any danger of numbness. The fleeced lining feels great too, and continues even in the section on the calf where the reflective patches have been placed.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The instructions are straightforward and I encountered no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Aldo bib tights are designed for everything but the worst winter weather and didn't let me down. The temperature range is from negative to positive 5°C but they were perfectly breathable up to at least 15°C, and toasty down to the low single digits in which I tested them. They are water-repellent rather than waterproof, but the thick material effectively delays any soaking.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The psychedelic inner-rear panel covering is a nice extra touch – as is the reflective ankle branding. But fundamentally the fit is excellent, and the thick, rich feeling of the bibs delightful.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The ankle cuffs weren't the easiest to skip through and could have incorporated some more stretch, but it wasn't a major issue. I'm not too fussed about weight when it comes to apparel, but others might be. No windproofing at the knee could well be an issue at the lowest temperatures.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It seems that just under £200 is quite a popular price point for many premium brands' winter bib tights, though high-end offerings from Castelli and Rapha break the £200 mark.
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 excellent. The only drawbacks are the slightly higher weight than some and the lack of windproof panels – in every other department, I struggled to take issue. The fleeced material is very warm, shifting to breathable at slightly higher temperatures. This means they will be useful into spring and autumn in addition to winter. I loved the way they felt with the plush fleeced lining, and the lack of windproof panels didn't affect my experience, though I might have thought otherwise at -5°C.
About the tester
I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs My best bike is:
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: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance