Stump up a decent amount of cash if you want assurance that you'll be kept warm and can move about as much as you like without the fabric irritating you. A sterling pair of winter tights.
No chafing or irritations
Only for rides above 3 degrees
The Velocio Zero may well be the finest winter bib tights (opens in new tab) around right now, providing almost everything a cyclist wants when they’re riding in the darkest and coldest months of the year.
Breathability? Tick. Stretchiness? Plentiful. Windproof? They repel gusts with ease. Warm? As long as if the mercury isn’t too close to zero, one’s legs won’t feel a single chill.
The only criticism that can really be levelled against the Velocio Zero bib tights is that they're not waterproof - but then they’ve never claimed such a feature in the first place. While testing these tights, I was subject to the odd drop of rain that never penetrated the fabric, but I would imagine that a torrential downpour would seep through the material. But don’t let that take away from a pair winter bib tights that excel in everything they promise.
Velocio Zero Men's Bib Tights: construction
The front of the black tights is made with 85% polyamide and 15% elastane and membrane, while the back of the tights counts 54% polyamide, 32% polyester and 14% elastane. The abundance of polyamide is a smart move as it increases the tights’ durability, essential in these times when we’re all trying to move on from a throwaway clothing culture.
Warmth is ensured in the tights through what Velocio terms the ThermoRoubaix Power that forms the rear panels, while the seat pad is fleece-backed and water-repellent.
The elastane in the Velocio tights permits the huge breathability that enables the tights to form to the rider’s position with ease, while the windproof and water resistant panels are married together with a microfibre fleece that adds additional warmth and protects against the colder temperatures.
Any good tights - winter or summer - ultimately rely on their chamois, and Velocio has developed its grey chamois with Cytech. Not as bulky as other tights, it sits in place throughout the ride and the company claims that it has fewer chafe points.
Winter invariably means riding in the dark, and there are large reflective rear panels towards the lower legs and ankles, giving off a good amount of visibility when a light shines upon the rider.
Seamless microfibres form the stretchy but solid bib straps that always sit over your shoulders where you want them to. Confidence in straps has been a major issue for me down the years, but Velocio’s design is a convincing one.
Velocio Zero Men's Bib Tights: the ride
The American brand claims that these tights have been tested through the challenges of a New England winter, and I can confirm that they dealt with the task on offer in a cold Pyrenean autumn and a brief stint in the north of England.
What’s impressive with these tights is that unlike others on test, they are much lighter, easier to stretch, yet don’t lose their ability to warm the rider; never during a ride did I get colder.
Some winter tights can feel restrictive, but with the Velocio Zero I had never had that problem: I always felt like the tights adapted to my position on the bike and there were never any digging points where the fabric caused an uncomfortable ache.
Being on test, I was hyper-aware to any potentially irritation and chafing, but within 20 minutes of every ride those thoughts exited my mind such was the total belief that it wouldn’t be an issue.
I had one morning ride in the mountains where the temperature was just 2 degrees, and though my legs weren’t cold, there was a noticeable difference between these tights and others I had on test when descending; it wasn’t that my legs got the shivers, but neither did they feel as snug as they did when the temperature was five degrees and up.
Value and conclusion
It’s true that at £233/$299 these are not cheap winter tights, but neither are they as expensive as some others in the same market. Buy cheap, buy twice, so says the maxim; with these tights you’ll be buying once and not again for a very long time.
Overall, there aren’t many better men’s winter bib tights than these, and though the price will be offputting to some, you can be assured that you’d be purchasing a set of tights that will stand the test of time and deal with almost all of winter’s harsh realities.
Sizes: XS - XXXXL
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Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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