11 best men’s winter cycling tights to see you through the colder months
Don’t let the chill get into your legs on the road – we put full length gear to the test
If you’re hardy enough to ride your bike right through the winter months then you deserve a decent pair of bib tights. After all, if you’re warm and dry you’ll be much more likely to stick with a training programme or daily commute.
We’ve ridden in everything from late autumn sunshine through to full-on frosts to test out some of the best designs on the market.
So whether you want the stylish, shorter style to take on a mid-winter trip away to sunnier climes, or need a weatherproof pair to see you through winter storms, you’ll find something that suits your needs here.
Look out for features such as ankle zips, which will help you get them on and off with ease, and water resistant fabrics that will shed moisture. If you’re a fair-weather rider, a pair of cheaper fleecy leggings will see you through the coming months in comfort.
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Stolen Goat climb and conquer: £125, Stolen Goat
If you’re the sort of rider who never stops whatever the weather throws at you then these are for you. Designed for days when the temperature stays firmly below six degrees, they use extra-thick fabric to keep the wind and rain out, with a sumptuous Roubaix lining to make them ultra-comfortable on the skin.
A huge reflective panel across the lower back will help you stand out in the dark and there are more patches on the legs to keep you visible from the sides. With a compressive fit, they don’t give as readily as some designs so it might be a good idea to go up one size from your usual. We found the seat pad to be perfectly comfortable, even on longer rides. Stolen Goat will repair them for you should they suffer any minor crash damage in the first five years.
Endura FS260 pro thermo: £99.99, Endura Sport
We really liked this pair, and if your winter riding is done mainly in cool but fairly dry conditions we think you will too. That’s not to say they’ll let you down if it starts to drizzle as a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating means they will keep you dry. There’s a comfy seat pad, a Thermoroubaix lining to keep you toasty and ankle zips alongside reflective panels for extra visibility. The fit is nicely body-hugging to help you cut through the air and the bib straps are wide enough not to dig in while you are racking up the miles. They’re a great price and wash well too, even after being caked in muck and road spray.
Altura DWR waist tights: £51.99, Altura
Some find bib tights a pain as they can get in the way when it comes to natural breaks, while others find shoulder straps restrictive. These leggings from north Yorkshire-based brand Altura are a great alternative. They have a drawstring at the waist but are stretchy and form-fitting just like a pair of bibs. Reflective stripes at the calves and thighs will help you be seen, and there’s a DWR finish to keep drizzle at bay. The lack of bibs means you should be able to use them well into the spring without overheating.
Rapha pro team winter tights: £210, Rapha
The price of this pair might make you gasp, but they are worth the splurge. They’re exceptional quality with flat-stitched seams, windproof panels in the forward-facing sections and broad shoulder straps. They are a nice tight fit and the seams are all cleverly positioned away from areas where they might rub or press while you’re pedalling. There’s even a pocket for a race radio, just in case you were in any doubt you’re wearing pro-level kit. With no zips at the ankles, we found them easy to get on but a little harder to ease over our huge hooves when taking them off – having said that, you won’t want to take off a pair as good as these.
Proviz pixelite performance: £79.99, Proviz
Being seen is the key to staying safe on the roads, especially on dark mornings and evenings. This pair of bibs has bands of reflective dots plus extra panels at the thighs to pick up headlights and grab the attention of drivers. The fit is more relaxed than many other pairs in our roundup, making them better suited to commuters rather than wannabe racers. They have a lightly fleeced lining, an extended chest panel and windproof and rain resistant fabric to keep the weather out. Ankle zips make them easy to get on and off, too.
Sportful bodyfit pro: from £74.99, Wiggle
Super stretchy material makes this everyday pair of bib tights really easy to pull on and off. The fleece-backed fabric feels wonderful on the skin, and Sportful’s TC pro seat pad is a corker that will see you sitting pretty for hours in the saddle. As usual with Italian-made kit, they size up a little smaller than UK brands and the front section doesn’t come as far up the chest as some designs – so you might need a bit more protection there on really cold days. There are reflective bands right around the knees plus ankle zips to aid entry.
Lusso termico: £99.99, Lusso
There’s a double-thick layer at the knees of this pair to keep your joints protected, and at the back of the knee is a big oblong of the Manchester firm’s nitelife reflective material. It’s a great place to put the safety feature as drivers are more likely to spot the moving parts of your body as their headlights bounce off them. We loved the feel of the slightly fleecy thermal fabric and found the wider-than-average shoulder straps really comfortable. There’s a water repellent coating to keep drizzle out, while the six-hour comfort seat pad is a real winner. Buy these if you want a no-nonsense pair at a decent price.
dhb aeron lab all winter: £150, Wiggle
Polartec’s Windbloc fabric does an excellent job of keeping icy winter blasts at bay in this pair. It’s used in the main forward-facing sections, with a fleecy, stretchier fabric elsewhere, giving the tights a pleasing, almost two-tone look. There’s not much stretch in the fabric – something you’ll notice when pulling them on – but we didn’t find it an issue once in the saddle. We found them a bit looser in the seat area than some others. You don’t get any ankle zips or foot-loops, but you do get a decent Elastic Interface seat pad and a pair of broad shoulder straps.
Le Col pro bib: £180, Le Col
Le Col founder Yanto Barker is an ex-racer, so he’ll know a thing or two about hammering the training miles during the winter. He’s put his experience to good use with this excellent pair. They’ve got broader shoulder straps for added comfort, ankle zips to make them easier to get on and off, plus reflective areas at the bottom of the legs for safety.
You’ll appreciate the water-shedding abilities of the DWR coating on the fabric, especially if you ride without mudguards, and the Blizzard thermal fabric will keep you warm as the training miles tick by. There’s a real high-quality feel to them and – like all the Le Col kit we have tested over the years – they should last you a good few seasons.
Cafe du cycliste Adrienne: £189, Cafe du Cycliste
This green pair will certainly turn heads on your Sunday run. Those three-quarter-length legs will stand out too, and are a great alternative to full-length versions, especially on warmer days. As you would expect at this price, they are beautifully made and really comfortable, with a soft “thermodream” lining to keep you warm plus a water-resistant coating to help you to stay dry. If green’s not your thing then take a look at the navy or black versions.
Giro chrono expert thermal: £90.99, Wiggle
The straps and chest section on this pair are made from a breathable mesh, making them ideal for anyone who finds standard bib tights a little too warm. There are also some handy built-in cargo pockets where you can stash ride essentials. We found the fit a little more generous than other pairs in our roundup, but the Italian-made thermal fabric performed well in cold weather. You also get ankle zips, a few reflective highlights and a decent seat pad from Giro’s own designers, backed up by the brand’s 60-day comfort guarantee.
The verdict: Men’s winter cycling tights
We gave Stolen Goat’s amazing climb and conquer pair our best buy after being blown away by their ability to keep out the winter rain and chills. We’re also big fans of reflective details on murky mornings, and this pair outshone all others in that department. Not everyone will need something able to handle the extremes of our winter weather, though. If that’s you, take a look at the Lusso or Endura pairs if you’re on a budget, or the Le Col or Rapha’s if money is no object.
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