Best bib tights for cycling reviewed

How to find the best bib tights to keep your legs warm as the weather gets colder

Included in this guide:

cycling around a corner in bib tights
(Image credit: Future)

Once the colder winter months arrive, dedicated winter bib tights become essential. Vital for keeping your lower half warm, the best bib tights will also ensure that your lower back and midriff are also protected against the cold. 

The best cycling shorts and best leg warmers and knee warmers will get many riders through September, October and perhaps November for the warm-blooded, or late season races, but they aren't suited for year-round riding. As soon at the temperatures drop into the low single figures then only a pair of dedicated bib tights will do.

Most manufacturers now integrate a chamois into their tights: not so long ago it was common to wear unpadded tights over padded bib shorts. Using padded tights means fewer seams and fewer straps, but if you regularly venture out into frigid temps it will mean buying more than just one or two of pairs of tights in order to keep up with the wash-wear-dry cycle. However, if you prefer the pad in your favourite bib shorts you can still buy unpadded bib tights.

If you're curious as to what else to wear in the colder seasons then our guide to winter cycling clothing: what to wear for comfortable riding breaks down what to look for when wanting to keep warm on the bike. 

The best bib tights come with a variety of features, each having their own merits for choosing. The simplest tights are made from a fleecy-backed Roubaix-style material and are neither windproof nor waterproof. These are great for milder temperatures, and are often at the lower end of the price scale.  

As with many cycling pieces of equipment, the more you pay, the more you're likely to get. Above a certain price point and the best bib tight manufacturers will select technical fabrics with varying degrees of moisture protection, that are still breathable and ensure unrestricted movement.

The most sophisticated bib tights locate different types of fabric and different numbers of layers in the specific areas where they will be most effective against cold, wind and rain. As you'd imagine bib tights that employ lots of technical fabrics to combat the cold and the wet usually come with a significant price tag.

Of course, if you are selecting a pair of the best bib tights for doing battle with the elements, you'll also want to invest with the best cycling overshoes to ensure that the extremities of your lower body are also sufficiently protected. 

The best bib tights for cycling reviewed - Men's

Read on down the page for information about what to look for when buying your ideal bib tights. But first, here are our favourites.

Best Bib Tights for Cycling: Assos Mille GTO bib tights

(Image credit: Assos)

Best bib tights for luxurious warmth

Fabrics:: OSMOS and SPHERE Ultra hole
Water / Wind proofing:: Yes - Geoprene on legs to repel water
Chamois:: MILLE GTO C2
Temperature range:: Below freezing to 10 C
Sizes:: XS-XXL
Colours:: Black
Reasons to buy
+Stretchy and breathable fabric+Great protection on the ankles against water+Super thick pad that absorbs shock
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive - RRP of £395-Too warm in temps over 10 C

Yes, these bibs really do cost almost £400. But if you're after incredible quality, with a blend of luxurious fabrics and a great fit, then they're pretty hard to beat. 

They use a combination of Assos' OSMOS and SPHERE Ultra Hole fabrics. The former provides the warmth while the latter helps to regulate your temperature thanks to a breathable membrane. The chamois pad is thick, with six layers, that provide bags of comfort including absorbing a bit of road chatter. Other neat details include removable hip pads that aid breathability and the addition of geoprene on the lower leg - a stretchy waterproof fabric that really does a great job of repelling road spray as well as helping to create a tight fit.

On test we found them to work well in the cold, providing plenty of warmth on bitter mountain descents. The downside to this is that over 10 degrees C and you're likely to feel a little 'over-bibbed'.

In short, if money is no object or you've saved up the pennies and are looking for a premium set of bibs to last this winter and many more, the Assos Mille GTO are well worth your consideration. 

Best Bib Tights for Cycling: Velocio Zero mens bib tights

(Image credit: Velocio)

Best bib tights for breathability

Fabrics:: ThermoRoubaix and microfibre fleece
Water / Wind proofing:: Windproof and water resistant panels
Chamois:: Proprietary Signature Chamois developed with Cytech
Temperature range:: Below freezing to 39 degrees F
Sizes:: XS-XXXL
Colours: : Black
Reasons to buy
+High degree of stretch+Extremely breathable+Decent insulation for lower temps+Comfy design and pad 
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive - £233-Despite name not ideal for cold conditions 3 degrees c and below

Velocio's Zero bib tights are some of the very best we've tested. They're both breathable and comfortable thanks to the high level of stretch the fabric and design offers. They provide plenty of protection against the wind too, thanks to the ThermoRoubaix fabric, and we found them to be warm down to around 3 degrees C. 

Elsewhere, the proprietary pad developed with Cytech stays in place as do the bib's straps, while there is also decent reflective detailing on the lower legs and ankles.

At over £200 the Velocio Zero bibs aren't cheap but this is reflected in both the use of materials and the build quality. The only downside is the lack of waterproofing on bib tights designed for the winter. 

Endura Pro SL II Bibtights are great bib tights for multiple sizes, here's an image of a medium sized pair with a pad.

Best bib tights for choice of padding

Fabrics: Thermoroubaix, Four-way stretch windproof
Water/ Wind proofing : Wind proof and water resistant (eco-friendly PFC free DWR coating)
Chamois: 700 series
Temperature range : Below 44°F/ 7°C
Sizes : XS - XXL
Colour : Black only
Reasons to buy
+Constructed for a great race tight fit+Overall comfort of tights and pad +Fabric performance meets higher priced competitors 
Reasons to avoid
-Best suited to really cold conditions

Endura has got it all right with the Pro SLs. The Scottish brand has packed in an impressive number of features – including three pad width options making these one of best bib tights on the market. 

Made from a windproof, breathable fabric, a DWR coating is used down the fronts of the legs and above the bum. The sides use stretchier panels and the Pro SL’s legs are anatomically shaped to avoid the fabric stretching over the knee. Inside, there’s a soft, red, Thermoroubaix lining to trap in the warmth.

Behind the calves are large panels of reflective dots plus white flashes at the ankles for added visibility. The ankles are zipless but the front of the bib does have a short zip above the waist to reduce strap-yank during toilet breaks.

All these features do, however, add up to a rather warm pair of bib tights, so making these an option when the mercury is at the low end of the thermometer. 

They aren't by any means an entry level price point, but a fair amount cheaper than high-end models, such as the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Bibtights, and certainly compete with them performance wise. 

The Castelli LW 2 bib tights in the image show their multiple panal design

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tight for light winter temperatures

Fabric: Thermoflex fabric, Nano Flex Light
Wind / Water proofing : Strategically place wind and water repellence
Chamois: Progetto X2
Temperature range : 50°C / 10°C – 64°F/18°C
Reasons to buy
+Great temperature balance in milder weather+Great un-restrictive pro rider fit+Water resistant lower leg for road spray protonation 
Reasons to avoid
-No reflective detailing-Chamois padding  designed for significant saddle hours, so some might find it excessive. 

We've long been a fan of Castelli's bib tights, finding it's long standing Nanoflex Pro bib tights a firm favourite despite their ageing years.

The Castelli LW 2 bib tights are designed for milder winter conditions, and according to the brand, designed in conjunction with pro riders from Team Ineos Grenadiers. 

While many of us mere mortal riders might still be in bib shorts and leg warmer combos at their specified temperature range, these tights have been specifically designed for riders who want the benefits and comfort of just one piece of apparel, without the associated extra warm. 

To that end, these bib tights have been zoned, with the upper leg featuring a stretchy fleece and the lower leg just water proofing, to protect from road spray - in other words acting like a wearable fender. 

The end result is a fantastically breathable pair of tights, that are perfect for high intensity training, dealing with winter downpours. 

As could be expected with professional level bib tights, the padding has been designed to  withstand several hours in the saddle day after day, and the more armature rider might find it a bit overkill - but it's a personal fit feel. It's also worth noting that there isn't any reflective detailing. One can only assume it's because as a professional rider, you probably aren't using an after dark workplace commute as part of your training regime. 

Price wise, these are middle range, and do make the Santini Adapt Polartec Thermal C3 bib tights seem eyebrow raising high. 

This front on photo of the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Bibtights show their tight flawless fit

Best bib tights for winter weather protection

Fabric : RX Light, RX Heavy and NEOS Ultra materials
Wind/ Water proofing : Both
Temperature range : 41°F/ 5°C - below freezing
Sizes : XS - XLG and TIR
Colour : Black only
Reasons to buy
+Great flawless fit+Warm in the coldest riding conditions+Great water resistant capabilities+Very comfy chamois
Reasons to avoid
-Very high price tag

These bib tights combine excellent protection from the elements with a flawless fit. With the front cut lower than other brands, these really lend themselves to riding in an aggressive, aerodynamic position.

The high degree of stretch from the fabric not only allows for a figure-hugging fit, but it also meant that my pedal stroke felt fluid, without any of the tightness that other winterised bib tights can sometimes induce.

The RX Heavy fabric is so warm and, combined with that NEOS membrane, our testers legs felt as if they were in their own microclimate as they cycled in frosty conditions. 

These are totally the crème de la crème of bib tights and tick every wish list box, but you'll just have to empty your wallet in order to gain this level of performance and protection. 

If you are after a slightly more palatable option, then Endura's Endura Pro SL II Bibtights do put up a really good fight. But as with all things Assos, once you've seen and tried, it's hard to make the compromise, and knowing the quality of the brand, it's often easier to part with your money knowing that they will serve you well for many winters to come. 

Santini Adapt Polartec Thermal C3 bib tights are pictured with the reflective detailing seen on the shins

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tights for cycling either side of deep winter

Fabrics: Polartec Power Wool
Water/ Wind proofing: None
Chamois: Santini C3 Endurance
Temperature range: 44°F/ 7°C - 59°F/ 15°C
Sizes: XS - 3XL
Colour : Black only
Reasons to buy
+Work well across wide range of temperatures+Very comfortable+Fabric includes natural merino+High-quality construction+Made in Italy
Reasons to avoid
-Ankle wrinkles-High price tag

Polartec Power Wool gives the Santini Adapt bib tights a softer, stretcher feel than the type made with 100 per cent synthetic fabrics. The largest proportion of the tights – the legs/hips – is made with 21 per cent merino, so it’s more than just a token twill.

It's worth noting that these aren't water resistant, although their construction means that the shed water rapidly and are quick to dry on the move. 

A really comfortable bib, that felt barely there when riding, is teamed with a superb C3 Endurance pad that balanced the needs of comfort Vs being unobtrusive very well. 

The large rainbow reflective detailing on the lower legs are great at drawing attention to yourself out on the road in low light levels. 

A great fit and are the best bib tights for for either side of deep winter, they’re very comfortable and very well made – but they’re also very expensive coming not far off the price of a pair of  Assos Mille GT Ultraz, which are all singing all dancing feature wise. They're also notably more money than Santini's own Fashion Vega bib tights, so a considered purchase for sure, but if you do decide to make a purchase, you won't be disappointed. 

Lusso Classic Thermal Bib Tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tights on a budget

Fabric: Super Roubaix fleece
Wind/ Water proofing: No
Chamois: 8-hour eco sustainable pad
Temperature range: -2-16 °C
Reasons to buy
+Great price - under £100+Warm thanks to heat-trapping fleece material+Breathable+Comfortable chamois+Use of single fabric means even stretch throughout the bibs
Reasons to avoid
-Cuff size a little big

While it's often true that you get what you pay for, in the case of Lusso's Classic Thermal bib tights you receive plenty more besides. Priced at £95 they offer incredible value - and they're British-made to boot.

Firstly there's the heat-trapping properties of the Super Roubaix fleece that means these bibs are good for temperatures down to zero degrees. The material is also breathable too, which allows them to perform when things heat up a little (although Lusso's top temperature range of 16 degrees seems very optimistic for what is after all winter garment). And unlike bib tights made from a number of fabrics, they offer uniform stretch which aids comfort.

Talking of comfort, the chamois is both well-positioned and supportive and, crucially, doesn't move. Elsewhere there are reflective logos that don't peel in the wash and reflective tabs that sit nicely above your overshoes. All told, these are a great pair of bibs designed for average British riding conditions.

Santini Fashion Vega Bib Tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best big tights for milder temperatures

Fabric: Thermofleece
Wind / Water proofing: Acquazero water repellant coating
Chamois: GITevo pad with gel core
Temperature range: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Great fit with simple but effective panels to allow for knee movement+Wide and soft straps resist rolling+Pad is comfortable over long distance and stays in place
Reasons to avoid
-Ankle cuff lacks gripper-Thinner material than some bibs could limit use on the colder days

While the name may suggest otherwise, the Santini Fashion Vega bib tights are a practical pair of bibs designed for milder winter and autumn days. They feature a thermofleece material that's been coated with a water-repellant coating alongside a comfy pad and wide straps that include silicone grippers to keep them in place.

The bibs do lack a silicone on the cuffs though, although this is fairly minor gripe. Overall the bibs impressed on test, excelling in the most important areas of comfort and fit.

The best bib tights reviewed - Women's

Women's bib tights often have a slightly different upper section, with a halterneck or releasable clasp designed to make nature breaks more easy. Some, however, forgo this and offer a full-body option, which doubles up as a base layer.


(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

Best bib tights for quality of fabrics

Fabric: ThermoGreen - 83% Recycled Polyamide / 17% Recycled Elastane
Wind / Waterproofing: None
Chamois: HD Foundation
Temperature range: None stated but 5-12ºc recommended by CW
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding quality with premium construction and fabrics+Full size range from XXS-XXXL+Made from 100% recycled materials
Reasons to avoid
-Pad lacks breathability for longer rides

On test the Foundation Bib Tights proved to be a top-quality pair of bib tights, benefiting from a genuinely manageable, irritation-free, bio-break system. The chamois didn't prove to be the most breathable on longer rides, but proved comfortable enough for mid-length adventures. 

Velocio's Foundation tights also scored highly due to the use of 100% recycled fabrics and for their full range of sizes that really do cater for everyone.

Best Bib Tights for Cycling: Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best all-round winter bib tights for women

Fabric : Nano Flex 3G fabric, Nano Flex Xtra Dry
Wind/ Water proof: Wind and water repellent
Chamois : Progetto X2 Air seamless seat pad
Temperature range : 32ºF/ 0ºc - 53ºF/12ºc
Sizes: XS - XL
Colour: Black, Pink/black, blue
Reasons to buy
+Warm in cold conditions, yet constantly breathable +Great water resistant properties+Reasonable price for performance
Reasons to avoid
-Would like a comfort break solution-Zipped ankles won't suit all riders

On test we found the Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights to be extremely comfortable, ticking all the right boxes: warmth, water resistance, breathability and fit, gaining them a coveted Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice Award.

Worn on both dry and mild winter rides, as well as dank and cold ones, they've proved themselves capable at both thanks to both the wind and water resistance and high breathability.  As with all of the best bib tights, the Castelli Sorpasso RoS pair manage to do all the above without restriction around the knees or thighs. 

 The pad provides ample comfort for many hours in the saddle, but it's a shame that some form of quick access comfort break feature wasn't designed in. The only other not perfect aspect is that ankle zips don't really serve much purpose, but for some, it might make getting the tights on and off a little easier. 

All in all however, these are a superb pair of women's specific bib tights that will get a lot of wear, and seem a positive bargain when compared to the Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights.

Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tights for quick comfort breaks

Fabric: high Polyester mix fabric DWR coated, Thermoroubaix fleece
Wind /Water proof: Wind and water resistant
Chamois: Rapha women's specific
Temperature range : Below 50ºF/ 10ºc
Reasons to buy
+Drop tail for quick and warm comfort breaks+Water and wind resistant front of legs +Spray-proof rear+High thermal properties for cold conditions+Reflective detailing visible all round
Reasons to avoid
-Ankle cuff quite loose-Magnetic clasp can be fiddly (especially with cold hands)

Wind proof and water resistant with an, almost, handy, dropped tail for comfort breaks - the Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights are a go-to winter riding companion.

Strategically positioning of water and wind resistant fabrics provides protection where it's needed, while more breathable, but super cosy Thermoroubaix fabric helps prevent sweat build up.  It’s worth noting that they perform best below 10º for optimal temperature regulating comfort.

The dropped tail clasp is a little tricky to master, especially if it pings up your back, under your top layers and you've reach peak winter ride immobility, consider it a team mate bonding exercise. 

We really like the fact that the subtle but highly reflective details are visible from the sides,  and it seals the deal on these being one of the most practical pair of bib tights out there, making us over look the too loose ankle fit. 

However, while they are the bee's knees in terms of performance and overall fit, their price tag lets you know it!

Sportful Pro bib tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tights for blend of warmth and breathability

Fabric: Heavier brushed fabric in front and medium-weight fabric in back
Wind / Water proofing: NoRain protection
Chamois: TC Pro W seat pad
Temperature range: 2°+ C
Reasons to buy
+Protects against the wind and the rain+Warm but still breathable+Great attention to detail+Very comfortable pad
Reasons to avoid
-Knee ventilation probably unnecessary-Reflective details covered by overshoes

Sportful's winter bib tights are pro by name and pro by nature. They successfully manage to offer wind and rain repellence, warmth without overheating and comfort delivered via the material, the fit and the pad.

However, there are a couple of downsides to these otherwise high-performing bibs. Firstly the novelty knee flaps seem unnecessary, while the reflective details on the otherwise great ankle closure area are positioned too low and will be covered by your overshoes.

Endura Xtract bib tights

(Image credit: Future)

Best bib tights on a budget

Fabric: Roubaix fleece
Wind/ Water proof: None
Chamois: 400 series antibacterial, multi-density gel pad
Temperature range : Above 46ºF/ 8ºc
Sizes: S- 3XL
Colours: Black only
Reasons to buy
+No frills design+Entry level price point+Ankle grippers nice and tights+Soft fleece inner for super cosy feel+Female and male specific fit options
Reasons to avoid
-Gel padding might be too bulky for some

No frills can still mean no chills with the Endura Xtract bib tights. 

The sumptuously warm bib tights are great as an alternative to thermal shorts and leg warmers, and arguably a lot cheaper in some cases. 

With no wind or water resistance, some riders will find the lack of technical attributes not for them, but on test we really liked their simplicity and found them great for mild dry winter conditions. 

The gel padding is noticeable, and while it will offer a lot of protection, it might feel nappy like, especially if you are reasonably new to cycling and haven't really ridden with padded cyclewear before.  

The fit on the women's specific pair was excellent, and, while we haven't yet tested the men's version, the Endura brand will reassure you that you are really getting a lot of value for money with either pair. 

A fantastic entry level option and probably the best bib tights at the price point. 

The cyclist in this image is wearing bib tights on a damp ride

How do winter bib tights protect cyclists from wind and rain?

Bib tights often use a soft and warm fleece-lined Roubaix fabric to provide insulation. However, some also incorporate windproof panels, and others go further and sew in water-resistant or waterproof elements. The more protection you get from adverse conditions, generally, the more bulky the tights will be; but sometimes a little freedom of movement is worth sacrificing. The very best bib tights will be able to provide waterproof elements with a supple fabric.

If you have opted for a pair of water resistant bib tights, it's highly likely that this is provided from the fabric gaining a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) coating. After time and washes, this will need to be re-treated. It's a really task and there are lots of spray on the market to choose from. Our guides on the best waterproof treatments and how to re-waterproof your cycling jacket are both applicable to re-treating bib tights too. 

How do the best winter bib tights move sweat away from your skin?

Breathability is an important aspect of a good pair of winter bib tights.

Balancing keeping warm vs breathability can be tricky when it comes to winter kit. Although it can be cold outside, you can soon warm up on and bike and if your bib tights aren't breathable, you're quickly going to work up a sweat that will make you very damp on the inside.

The best bib tights will use strategically placed panels of different fabric to take account of where you need rain and spray protection, wind proofing, and where to provide exhaust ports. In general the front of legs get the most weather protection, while the back is more breathable, as is the upper body where mesh is often used to help heat escape.

The image of a Castelli chamois shows the distribution of padding densities.

What is a chamois pad?

At the heart of any pair of bib tights is the chamois. This needs to provide comfort when spending hours in the saddle. In years past, brands often provided tights without a pad, to be worn over your favourite cycling shorts. These days, they can all sew in pad into tights in a way that's comfy and the reduced seam count is preferable. You'll find bib tights offering different levels of chamois pad thickness, some with pads with sections of varying cushioning at different contact points and chamois with anti-bacterial properties.

Should I buy bib tights or waist tights?

We've reviewed bib tights above - these have upper body portions which means they can't fall down, they don't cut in at the stomach and the chamois stays put. It is possible to get waist tights, but we'd always recommend bibs.

We've got a lot more on the subject on our dedicated  waist shorts vs bib shorts: which are better and why page. 

Hannah Bussey
Hannah Bussey

Hannah Bussey is Cycling Weekly’s longest serving Tech writer, having started with the Magazine back in 2011.

She's specialises on the technical side of all things cycling, including Pro Peloton Team kit having covered multiple seasons of the Spring Classics, and Grand Tours for both print and websites. Prior to joining Cycling Weekly, Hannah was a successful road and track racer, competing in UCI races across the world, and has raced in most of Europe, China, Pakistan and New Zealand. For fun, she's ridden LEJoG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, win 24 hour mountain bike race and tackle famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.