Designed to keep you warm in cold climates, the women's-specific Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights promise to keep you on track and training all winter. So as soon as the temperature dropped, we took a pair out for a ride
Winter on a bike can go one of two ways: either the best most memorable riding you’ll do all year or the most miserable. This 50/50 riding experience will, more than likely, be down to the clothing you wear. Get it right and you can conquer even the coldest of days but get it wrong and you’ll be whimpering to go home within the first mile. So when the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights landed on our desk promising the warmth to train through winter, we were keen to try a pair.
the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights are constructed in two parts: the lower tights and upper bib. The tights are made from Thermofleece, a polyamide/elastane mix that is soft, super stretchy and super dense and which Santini says is perfect for temperatures ranging from 0-15°C.
This Thermofleece continues in part to the upper section of the bib tights, creating a high back and front. The main colour panel on the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights is made from the same fabric, also renowned for its sweat-wicking abilities, but this time in the form of a lightweight and breathable mesh.
Inside the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights sits a intergrated GIL2 women’s-specific chamois. We really rated it when we reviewed the Santini REA 2.0 bib shorts, so it’s good to see the women’s-specific GIL2 chamois again. The twist gel core is sandwiched between two thin layers of foam, which Santini says absorbs shock as well as always returning to its initial shape. Two anti-chafing microfibre wings at the side are paired with an antibacterial and anti-irritation microfibre upper layer, and with all stitching internalised any friction-rubbing is avoided.
Pulling the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights on for the first time, it was noticeable how soft and stretchy they were. The super elasticated nature of the tights has allowed Santini to do away with ankle zips, which in many ways is more comfortable and fitted perfectly round my ankle, but I suspect some riders will struggle to get a foot through the hole. It’s also at the ankle that Santini has positioned reflective detailing. It’s a nice touch, but will be hidden once overshoes are on, so could do with being positioned six inches higher.
The rest of the tights also fitted like a glove for me. The women’s-specific cut allows the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights to follow the female form well to deliver a racy cut. The Thermofleece is incredibly wearable and, even at its most taut, impenetrable, offering reasonable wind resistance to the fabric once out and rolling along.
The upper has been really well designed. I personally loved the way the Thermofleece is continued throughout the bib and part way at the front. It’s very torso warming for the jersey/ tights junction areas that can occasionally suffer from cold draughts. However, the inclusion of a much lighter and breathable mesh at the front negates the base layer dilemma that some high-fronted bib tights create by effectively doubling up on layers, allowing you to dress the tights up or down according to the temperature.
On hilly routes at a temperature of around 9°C, teaming with a lightweight base layer and the corresponding Santini Coral 2.0 jacket was perfect for the Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights. I was warm on the flats and descents, but far from a sweaty mess on the climbs.
As predicted the GIL2 chamois was incredibly comfortable, creating the perfect balance between padding and flexibility. As soon as I was out riding, I instantly forgot about the chamois, with not even slight discomfort or friction rub throughout the first ride or subsequent outings.
My only issue is that they aren’t totally windproof or offer any resistance to water. Once you factor in a wet ride and wind chill, you probably aren’t going to get through the entire British winter, and are more than like going to have to upgrade to a water-resistant pair or sit the wet rides out.
The Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights are a really comfortable, warm and well fitting pair of bib tights that would be a welcome addition to any female rider’s wardrobe and price wise are about right. If you are looking for something to truly get you through a damp, British winter you might have to invest more cash and opt for a wind and water-resistant pair.
The Santini Coral 2.0 bib tights are an warm and comfortable pair of women's-specific bib tights that fit perfectly and are one of the best in class. They are perfect for cold, dry days, but with no water resistance or real windproofing, you might need to invest in a more robust pair to really get you through a cold, wet British winter.