Best Winter Cycling Bib Tights – Keeping Your Legs Warm And Efficient

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Winter has come, and you want to continue riding your bike but needs to find a way to keep warm and comfy without over heating? Cycling bib tights are the best option to keep the wind chill off your legs through the winter months. It’s natural that your legs won’t perform as well when they are cold as when they are warm, so it becomes important when cycling in winter to keep your legs warm and to continue maximising efficiency from your legs, so I have written this post to help you find the best winter cycling bib tights along with some guidance.

What Are Bib Tights

Cycling bib tights are basically longer versions of cycling shorts. These are designed to cover all of your legs to keep them warm and comfortable by keeping the wind chill off.

These are made from similar Lycra fabrics to cycling shorts, yet they may be slightly thicker for warmth. There are 2 types of cycling bib tights available on the market, one is with straps which loop over the shoulders and the other is with a waist band. The choice between which ones you should wear is really down to your own personal choice but when people usually refer to bib tights, the most popular option are the ones with the shoulder straps. These are usually known to be the more comfortable option due to the fact there is no waist band digging into to your hips as you ride, which you can imagine would be very annoying and irritating on any ride especially on long distance rides.

Bib tights also come with or without a padded insert which sits against your skin just like cycling shorts. Some people wear un-padded bib shorts over their padded cycling shorts as this can provide extra warmth during the very cold days around the top of the legs.

Most bib tights are made from a stretch type fabric with Lycra to provide a tight snug comfortable fit. These are also made from thicker and more insulating type fabrics too, such as Roubaix and Super Roubaix along with windproof and fleece backed fabrics too. You can also get bib tights which are waterproof too to stop any rain leaking through onto your legs which will in time suck out the warmth from those hard-working legs.

Bib tights with shoulder straps can vary a lot but cyclists tend to find the wide seamless straps provide the best comfort and avoids any irritation on the top of the shoulders.

Some bib tights will come up high over the chest and back acting as an extra layer which can be very useful during the coldest of the winter days.

Buying Guide

Of course with any cycling clothing, it is important that bib tights are a comfortable fit. There are two things bib tights manufacturers focus on to ensure comfort around the legs and not interfere with performance of your legs. One is a design with pre bent legs with a multi panel design, the other is that they use a stretchy fabric throughout the whole leg to conform with the pedaling.

The main thing is you want to make sure there is no restriction around the knees and that they generally feel comfortable on. As with many sports clothing, it is always best to try on clothes inside a cycle shop first as a size which fits with one manufacturer might not fit you with another manufacturer. Once you have found the size and the manufacturer you like, get online and shop around for who has the best deals on to save you some money.

In terms of how they should fit in length, you want bib tights to fit nicely around the middle of your ankle where they form a nice comfortable seal around your socks.

Benefits Of Wearing Bib Tights

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Bib tights are hugely beneficial to wear during winter. Purely down to the fact they will help keep the heat in for your legs and the cold wind chill out. Have you ever tried cycling in shorts during a very cold day and feeling your legs just wanting to stiffen up? We all know your muscles need to be warmed up in order to perform more efficiently in any sport, so with a big wind chill hitting your legs, your muscles will be cold and tight resulting in a lower performance, same goes for in the cold wet also, that can be even worse for your legs, so having a good pair of waterproof bib tights would soon solve that issue!

For myself having a pair of these through the winter is essential, as after having ruptured my ACL in the past, the cold can irritate my knee causing a pain and an ache, so having these on will keep it dry and warm and have no negative effect on my cycling performance.

My Pick Of The Best Bib Tights

Here is some of what I think are the best bib shorts on the market today. These aren’t in any particular order.

1. Castelli Sorpasso 2 Bib Tights

Castelli_Sorpasso_2_Bib_Tights

These are an Italian brand and said to be their best-sellers. These are on the pricey side but they are known to be one of the best bib tights perfect for cold weather.

These bib tights provide insulation against cold winter air but allowing excess moisture to escape to their hollow fibre design thanks to their Thermoflex.

They have also been engineered to support your muscles with their performance-orientated cut.

Check out the latest prices on Amazon UK

Or here for Amazon US

2. Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit Bib Tights

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If you are looking to go fast in a pair of winter bib tights, then these are ideal for you. These are waterproof to a certain point but they are more ideal in dry cold weather conditions.

Check out the latest prices on Amazon UK

Or here for Amazon US

3. Gore C3 Women Thermo Bib Tights+

Gore_C3_Women_Thermo_Bib_Tights+

For the women looking for bib tights, having read reviews, these are up their with the best you can buy. They contain a two zip system at the rear to make it easy for those toilet breaks. These perform best in cold dry weather conditions and are said to be very comfortable. They also contain a double layer protection at the knee.

Check out the latest prices on Amazon UK

Or here for Amazon US

4. Sportful Luna bib tights

Sportful_Luna_bib_tights

These are another pair of bib tights designed for women. These are made from a nylon/Lycra mix with high stretch. These are highly breathable and warm, they have more of a race type fit with slim chamois. These seem to be up there with the best and most comfortable bib shorts on the market for women.

Check out the latest prices on Amazon UK

Should I Be Wearing Cycling Bib Tights?

Do you ride or plan to ride during the winter months? Find that your legs want to seize up on your ride or struggle to enjoy it? Then my advice would be to invest in bib tights. You can buy leg warmers if you wish, but bib shorts are by far a more comfortable way of cycling through the cold keeping warm and comfy and you are more likely to enjoy winter on your bike.

There are plenty of more bib tights out there, check out Amazon UK or Amazon US for hundreds more that you might like.

I hope this post has helped you have an understanding on bib tights. If you wish to comment below with questions or even any reviews of your own, please feel free to do so below.

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4 thoughts on “Best Winter Cycling Bib Tights – Keeping Your Legs Warm And Efficient”

  1. Hello Lee!

    Great post about the various types of bib tights you can wear during an intense riding session! I live in New York State and if I rode a bike during the frigid winter months, I would definitely be getting a pair to stay warm. Sometimes it’s hard enough to stay warm while inside a house! 🙂

    I would be a little worried about chafing but it sounds like these are specifically manufactured for optimum performance of cyclists in cold weather. LOVE the details you’ve provided on the tights and the best options.

    Great timing for the post too. 😉
    Have fun,
    Ben

    1. Thank you Ben. If you have padded bib tights, you shouldn’t really wear any underwear to help reduce the risk of chafing. The manufacturers to design these around reducing any risk of chafing. That would be interesting wearing them to stay warm inside the house ha ha.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I had never even heard of bib tights! We don’t see many cyclists during the winter around here, but I’ll keep your new information in mind. This is an awesome sight for the dedicated or even newbie bicyclist. 🙂

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