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The Santini Prime Bib Tights are an excellent choice for rides down to about freezing point. Their fleece-lined fabric is warm and cosy, the high-quality seamless pad is comfortable for rides of any duration and with no fewer than eight sizes from XS to 4Xl, you should be able to find a pair that fits.
Our best winter bib tights will show you the way to keep your legs warm this winter, and with prices ranging from under £80 to over £200, there's something for every pocket.
I've tested a few pairs of Santini shorts over the last year or so, and the Santini Karma Kinetic shorts have become my go-to shorts for long rides. So I was looking forward to testing these winter tights to see if they could live up to my very high expectations.
These fleece-lined tights are designed for cold winter days, with Santini suggesting a temperature range of 0-15°C. I have tested these from the middle to the warmer end of that range and as a result of that I'd say that Santini's recommendation is fair.
I haven't tested them in rides where the mercury hit freezing – a combination of the British weather in autumn and road.cc not stumping up to fly me for a trip to the Alps... – but I have worn them during a ride on a wet and windy day when the temperature fell as low as 6°C, which I think will make it feel colder than a dry, crisp winter's day. The Blizzard thermofleece fabric from Sitip is very comfortable and the shorts feel as warm as my usual tights, which I've worn down to zero, so I've no qualms recommending these down to that sort of temperature.
I went out on a wet morning ride that started out at around 6°C, with the sun warming it up to 14°C by the time I returned. While I felt warm, getting the balance between breathability and protection is always going to be the real test. On some of my rides it was raining off and on for a few hours, and I found the tights offered reasonable protection against moderate rain. However, once it started getting truly miserable they would wet through – but their fleecy material meant I still wasn't too cold.
The thermofleece fabric provides some wind resistance. Okay, perhaps not quite enough to keep out a biting deep-winter northerly wind, but with enough protection for most conditions. If you're looking for tights with a bit more water resistance and better protection against the bitter cold, you could consider Santini's Aldo tights that Laurence recently reviewed.
The GITevo chamois is the same pad I've tested in a few other pairs of Santini shorts – and it's one I rate very highly. It has a seamless construction, with an anti-shock gel core designed to reduce the impact of the road on your more sensitive parts.
During testing I rode these tights in challenging rides in various conditions up to four hours long, but I've also used the same pad in much longer rides in other Santini shorts and never had any issues with comfort.
The shorts come in an impressive range of eight sizes from XS to 4XL, so you should be able to find one that suits you. I'm 178cm tall and weigh 73kg and I'm in the middle of Santini's size guide for medium, and I was happy with the result. The leg length was good for me and would probably also be suitable for someone a little taller than me.
There are no ankle zips, which is something I'm fine with. The material around the ankle is double layered to provide extra protection, but the tights' stretchy material means it's still easy to get them off when you are keen for a warm shower after a long winter ride.
The fit around the stomach area was quite relaxed and the tights came up to a reasonable level at the front, roughly around my belly button. But there's enough stretch in the material to allow for a quick comfort break...
The fit is fairly relaxed, which is standard for winter tights, and while there is some support from the legs, I wouldn't go as far as calling it compressive.
The pink straps are comfortable, and they're nice and wide over your shoulders.
They join up to a fleece-lined upper back area that helps spread the load and keep your upper back warm. Their pink colour has the added advantage of making them easier to find in a drawer full of predominantly black cycling clothing!
A reflective strip on each calf should help you be seen on those grey winter days.
At £150 these are a mid-price pair of tights – but they are up against lots of competition at similar prices.
If you're looking to spend less than £100, one of our top choices is the Van Rysel RCR Sport Winter Cycling Tights. While there were a few little niggles, Ali rated them highly and they're yours for £80.
In short, the Santini Prime bib tights are excellent. Their fleecy material is comfortable, very warm and ideal for almost all winter days until the mercury dips below zero. The relaxed fit is excellent and the high-quality chamois is suitable for rides of any duration.
Excellent tights – warm, comfortable, a high-quality seamless pad and they come in eight sizes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Prime - Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says: "Ergonomically cut winter bib tights created using soft and warm Sitip®'s Blizzard thermofleece fabric. Great comfort for any winter ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made with soft and warm Sitip®'s Blizzard thermofleece fabric. Incredibly comfort and great to keep you warm and with double layered ankle cuffs for extra protection.
Braces constructed using a raw-cut Lycra fabric providing superb comfort.Ergonomically shaped inserts around the knees for a great fit.
Distinctive reflective details on the lower legs.
GitEvo chamois with gel core absorbs shocks steadily and gradually for comfort on long rides."
I am bang in the middle of the size guide for medium and these were true to Santini's size guide. And it's good to see a full eight sizes from XS to 4XL.
Mid-range price in line with competitors.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30°C with the rest of my cycling clothing without issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They performed excellently – they were very comfortable and kept me warm. What else do you want from a pair of bib tights?
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fleecy material was very cosy, the seamless pad was comfortable too.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are a mid-range pair of tights that have a lot of competition in and around this price.
The Stolen Goat Black Bodyline Tights are a tenner more at £160, while the Albion Winter Tights received a very good review for more moderate winter days, and while they were £190 when we reviewed them, they're now £210.
The LeCol Sport Bib Tights II received a good review and are priced at £175 and are often available cheaper.
If you aren't looking to spend as much, the Van Rysel RCR Sport Winter Cycling Tights are a great choice for £80, even if there were a few minor niggles.
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
These are an excellent pair of tights – they kept me warm on cold winter days, the high-quality seamless pad is comfortable and I found the fit perfect. And with eight sizes you should be able find a fit that's good for you too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor