Comfortable bib tights with a great close to skin fit that offer excellent value for money, a bonus for those putting in the hard miles through the muck of winter.
Halterneck upper works well
Warm and breathable
Some may want fuller covering of upper body
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dhb's halterneck bib shorts have been a part of its line up for years, but it took them a while to bring the yank-down back to bib tights, with the first versions arriving last year. Here, we've got the second generation: the dhb Aeron FLT Women's Roubaix Halterneck Tights.
The halterneck bathroom break feature looks remarkably simple – a stretchy upper provides plenty of movement but is tough enough to keep the bottom half in place when riding.
Applying the design to tights took a lot of work for dhb – provision had to be made for the heavier fabric involved. However, having brought them out last year it's now expanded the range to include several Blok pairs with cool printed designs as well as these FLT Roubaix tights available in black and navy.
dhb Aeron FLT Women's Roubaix Halterneck Tights construction
dhb offers five key ranges – and Aeron is the name for its performance orientated collection. The FLT component of the title comes from 'Flashlight Technology', and refers to flashes of high vis embedded into key areas – at the hips in this case. There's also a reflective dhb logo on the backside and right side leg (the one facing the traffic).
The primary fabric is an Italian Roubaix brushed fleece that provides warmth which can cater for the deepest winter months, though breathability is still a promised feature.
The bib straps are made from dhb's signature mesh, which offers a high degree of stretch. Unlike some winter bibs, there's no cosy cocooning at the upper body – but you can always add a heavier long sleeved base layer come deep winter and a with a light short sleeved base layer there's plenty of upper body breathability.
At the heart of any pair of bib shorts or tights is of course the chamois. dhb has opted for a Cytech Elastic Interface Tour HP chamois – Cytech is the market leader and the Elastic Interface Tour option offers plenty of flex for comfort and is thick enough for long winter miles.
There's a silicone leg gripper at the bottom, with YKK lock-down ankle zippers.
Having tested last year's dhb halterneck tights, I had memories of finding the need to really pull them up into place before a ride. Not an inconvenience as such, but just something to bear in mind. This time around, I didn't seem to face any such issue.
The chamois pad sat exactly where it should, and provided the comfort required – both on relaxed ambles and much less relaxed sessions on the outdoor velodrome.
One issue which can befall halterneck bib tights or shorts is a strap which pulls on the rider's neck, particularly when walking around off the bike. dhb's does no such thing. The stretch does mean that the straps tend to adopt the 'around the bust' position that some might find annoying, but it's not uncomfortable and in my opinion it beats having a weird clasp holding the straps in the middle.
For a relatively entry level bib tight, the fabric snapped to meet my skin easily and hugged my calves, knees and quads in the cosy fashion that you'd expect from a much more expensive pair.
I tested these tights in colder temperatures, and wore them during a tougher ride at 15°C. Though in an ideal world the latter temperature would have lent itself to bib shorts and warmers, I didn't feel I was overheating and they provided ample warmth in the cold.
I've really never felt the need for zips on the bottom of tights – but though I didn't use them, these did no harm. The legs on dhb's tights are a little bit longer than mine, with perhaps 2cm of overhang. Again, no inconvenience for me, and probably ideal for someone taller.
I opted for a size eight of the eight to 16 range. Perhaps it might be nice to have one smaller option for the whippets of the world but as always, kudos to dhb for sizing their kit using a metric women are used to dealing with, alongside a wide spread of sizes to suit varying body shapes.
Finally, a note on the navy blue. I'm a big fan – though it does restrict jersey choice if you're a bit of a bike wear fashionista – in which case there are plain black bibs which will go with everything.
As always, dhb offers fantastic value for money with its winter ready bibs at just £85. I will add that I have had problems with a couple of dhb items in the past – holes appearing early, seams snapping but in a small minority of cases over the high number of pieces of kit I've reviewed – and dhb will always honour returns.
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