Ekoi Competition9 Gel bibtights review

We've tested the Ekoi Competition9 Gel bibtights. How did the French brand's colourful offering cope with a dark UK winter?

(Image credit: Cycling Studio)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Ekoi Competition9 range is well made, warm and comfortable with a quality pad and good fit. It’s good for cold rides, although there are no reflectives and the bright colours may not appeal to all.

  • +

    Warm fleece fabric fits well

  • +

    Comfortable pad

  • +

    Lots of waist coverage to avoid cold spots

  • +

  • -

    No reflectives

  • -

    Won’t match a lot of your other kit in this colourway

  • -

Ekoi’s winter 2016/17 Competition9 range includes jackets and jerseys as well as these bibtights. They’re designed for riding in colder conditions, down to around 0°C.

The Competiton9 range comes in some very bright colour options, including this Neon Green option, making up for the absence of reflectives. It’s also available in more understated colourways.

The mesh back panel is the only part not made of fleeced fabric
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

It’s made from the cyclist’s favourite fleece-lined Lycra, with quite a few seams in the lower body to ensure a good fit when riding. The red panels at mid-thigh look like bibshorts grippers, but are made of the same fleecy fabric with the lower leg covered by black panels which mimic leg warmers and have silicone ankle grippers and zips. The tights come high up the torso for additional warmth and good overlap with upper body clothing.

>>> Cycling in the rain: how to survive it (video)

The close fit and stretchy fabric mean that the tights are comfortable and didn’t rub anywhere or bunch appreciably when riding, despite the non-flatlocked seams.

Ekoi's pad is comfortable, if a little thick

Inside the tights is Ekoi’s gel technology pad. It’s on the thick side, well shaped and gives good padding under the sit bones, with thinner sections down the centre and around the edges to improve comfort. There are also a series of perforations in the foam to ensure air circulation. It’s a comfortable pad which works well for longer rides.

>>> Buyer's guide to bike saddles (video)

Watch: Bibtights buyer's guide

The bib straps are made of the same fleece-backed fabric as the rest of the tights. There’s a section of thin Lycra fabric between the straps over the back, an area which can get sweaty quickly.

>>> Your first ride: essential kit for beginners

I like the fit and bright colours of the tights, although with the shorts-plus-legwarmers styling, they beg the question why you wouldn’t go for this more versatile option.

Ekoi sells direct and its prices are in euros, so sterling prices will vary. The standard price for the Competition9 tights is €129, but Ekoi often offers significant discounts on the RRP of its kit. There’s free shipping to the UK over a minimum order value.