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The Veloine Rocacorba Thermal Bib Tights feel luxurious and transform grim and nippy rides into much warmer and snugglier experiences. Winter is all about having the right gear to cope with the conditions, and these will certainly keep you warm and comfortable, though I did experience a little bunching behind the knees.
Based in Munich, Germany, Veloine is a boutique brand for female cyclists – it even has a pregnancy collection. The tights I have on test, though, are its super cosy thermal bibs for keeping you warm and protected once the temperature drops.
The tights are made in Italy, the front of the legs from a water-repellent thermal fabric (a polyester/elastane mix) to protect against the elements, while the back panel has been optimised for warmth and is made from a brushed fabric (a polyamide/elastane mix).
All the fabrics used are stretchy and so move very well when you are in the saddle, and the material feels so soft against the skin. The fleecy lining helps retain warmth and also wicks away moisture well.
With the testing period being in autumn, I've not yet had a chance to test in near-freezing winter lows but the snugly warmth has impressed me so far on rides with temperatures reaching lows of 5°C.
The luxurious thickness of the fleece-lined fabric is great in most places, though it continues around to the back of the knee where I found that it tended to bunch and cause hotspots; a thinner fabric here would be my preference.
Hugely contrasting the warmth of the tights, the upper is made of a superfine black mesh. Sometimes mesh can be rough against the skin, but the fabric Veloine has used is wonderfully soft. If you don't tend to wear a baselayer then you'll be perfectly happy riding in these.
At the front the mesh crosses over for 'embracing your tummy' – it's supportive without being too tight – and round the back the mesh starts fairly high so you're still protected from road spray if your upper layers have ridden up.
The breathable upper certainly continues the theme of comfort when you are pushing the pedals up a steep climb.
Comfort is also covered by the chamois stitched inside these bib tights; it's well positioned and supportive for long, steady paced rides that winter miles tend to be all about. The foam used isn't too bulky, which is great, although if it were a little firmer it would knock off more of the vibrations from Britain's unfortunately rough roads.
The length of these tights is good on me, with barely any ankle gap if you're not wearing overshoes, and the hems feature a 1cm-wide band of silicone tape for keeping the tights in place.
There are no zips at the ankles, which I found it makes it a little harder to pull the tights on and even harder to remove post-ride. Durability and riding comfort is a plus of doing without ankle zippers, though, and I know some people don't like them.
On both calves you get 11cm-long reflective stripes to aid visibility on gloomy days and rides that dip into past sunset. Logo detailing on both sides of the thigh isn't reflective, though.
The Rocacorba Thermal Bib Tights are €230, which converts to around £194.71; they are certainly at the premium end of the market, though not right at the top.
Le Col's Women's Hors Categorie Bib Tights are slightly more expensive at £220, but the chamois is slightly more comfortable than the Rocacorbas in my opinion, and the thinner material of the Le Cols is also less irritating at the back of the knee.
I also have Velocio's Women's Thermal Bib Tights on test (review coming soon); they cost a bit more too (£214), but feature Velocio's comfort break FlyFree system that really impressed me on its Ultralight bib shorts. If your winter rides are long (for getting steady endurance miles in) then you're even more likely to need to stop for a pee break mid-ride, so it's a shame this sort of system isn't included on the Veloines.
If you can afford just a little bit more, I'd say the Le Col and Velocio options deliver a little more too.
The overall quality of Veloine's bib tights is top notch; the fabric is luxuriously soft, the chamois will cover you for endurance rides, and the superfine upper mesh is both breathable and comfy, but a thinner fabric behind the knee would go a long way to help reduce bunching and the hotspots this creates.
High-quality, supersoft, premium bib tights, if you can put up with a little bunching behind the knee
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Veloine Rocacorba Thermal Bib Tights
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Veloine says: 'The winter edition of our popular Rocacorba Bib Shorts.
The upper part is composed of fine black mesh, with a cross-over piece embracing your tummy. Elastic straps provide perfect fit without wrinkles.
The front side of the legs are composed of water-repellent thermal fabric to keep you warm and dry in cold conditions. The back side provides optimized thermo regulation. Leg ends with silicon tapes keep your tights in place. Reflective stripes on both calves add some security on gloomy days.
The chamois has a female-specific, ergonomic shape. With its bi-elastic composition it perfectly adapts to your body. The chamois has a bacteriostsatic and breathable surface.
The fit of these bib tights provides a great level of comfort when you need it the most."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Upper part made of mesh
Front side of the legs made of water-repellant thermal fabric (Polyester/Elastane mix)
Back side made of quick-drying, brushed fabric (Polyamid/Elastane mix)
Reflective stripes on both calves
Leg ends with silicone grip
Made in Italy
Very luxurious-feeling bib tights that'll keep you snugly warm into the cold winter months, but a little bunching behind the knee that causes hotspots.
Very well made and quality fabrics used; early days, but seems promising.
Great, apart from the bunching behind the knee.
A supersoft fabric is used on the legs and a superfine mesh is used for the upper – both are very comfy. The fabric is a little bulky underneath the knee, though, and so I found it would bunch and cause hotspots that could be just a little uncomfortable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – these will keep you snugly warm as we head into colder weather, and the chamois is supportive for steady winter miles too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The supersoft fleecy fabric used and similarly soft upper that's also breathable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bunching behind the knees.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price tag of around £195 is certainly at the premium end of the market, although Veloine's offering is cheaper than Le Col's Women's Hors Categorie bib tights (£220) and Velocio's Women's Thermal Bib Tights (£214).
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 a great high-quality option, if you can afford them; the fabric is luxuriously soft, the chamois will cover you for endurance rides and the superfine upper mesh is both breathable and comfy. They're very warm throughout, although a little too much so underneath the knee – a thinner fabric here could prevent bunching and the consequent hotspots this creates, and makes them good rather than very good, overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track