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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 10-18-09, 11:07 PM   #1
tripmaster
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Winter bib tights - so much to choose from

Looking to wear a pair of tights for the roughest winter months in the NE. I have an old pair of PI tights, but I'd like something with some water resistance.

Looking at:
Sugoi RS Zero
Castelli Fulmine
PI Amfib

Any recommendations? I'd like to stay <$200 which rules out Assos.

Do folks prefer w or w/o chamois? I mostly have bib shorts, so wearing chamois-less bib tights seems out of the question. But tights on top of shorts seems a might warmer...

TIA!
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Old 10-18-09, 11:29 PM   #2
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I have the PI's - no complaints.

I definitely want them with chamois. I'll occasionally throw on something over them like a pair of nylon shorts for some extra warmth, but I don't think they would be very comfortable with something under 'em.

I strongly prefer the bib version. It's more comfortable and it sorta seals out the wind and cold better.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:24 AM   #3
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I strongly prefer no chamois in my tights. I wear regular bike shorts beneath them.

The reason is that I commute daily in the winter. If I had to wash my tights every day, I'd have to re-treat the waterproofing every week. Plus, it's a pain to have to do laundry daily. The other choice is buying enough sets for the week. That's expensive enough in shorts! Then there's mid-wight and full-on winter weight. I could buy several new bikes for what it would cost me in tights.

Plus it gives me an extra layer where it counts.

I prefer bib tights. My mid-weight ones are from Sugoi and my winter weight ones are from Endura. The Enduras are too warm over freezing, and I don't need to add anything underneath (baselayer, or kneewarmers) until the single digits. Both pair are wind and water resistant.

Avoid anything that's not wind front/proof/resistant. There's not much point to tights that let the wind blow through.

TIP: You may want to make your first purchase at an LBS where you can try them on. By the numbers, I should wear a medium, but windproof tights have less give, and I couldn't get mediums (of either brand) up over my quads. I had to buy large instead.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:41 AM   #4
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Bib shorts and bib tights?

Do you wear em both together?
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Old 10-19-09, 07:18 AM   #5
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Do you wear em both together?
i wear a pair of PI chamois bib shorts beneath PI amfib chamois-less winter bib tights.
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Old 10-19-09, 08:36 AM   #6
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Do you wear em both together?
Yes. The shorts go on first and the tights over the top.
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Old 10-19-09, 08:58 AM   #7
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I bought a great pair of bib tights off of http://www.boure.com/ it's a company run by Ned Overend. I wear them in anything under 32 degs down to the teens and also wear a pair of shorts under the tights. Just gives alittle more warmth in that area.
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Old 10-19-09, 10:27 PM   #8
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I like Voler bib knickers with chamois.
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Old 10-20-09, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripmaster View Post
Looking to wear a pair of tights for the roughest winter months in the NE. I have an old pair of PI tights, but I'd like something with some water resistance.

Looking at:
Sugoi RS Zero
Castelli Fulmine
PI Amfib

Any recommendations? I'd like to stay <$200 which rules out Assos.

Do folks prefer w or w/o chamois? I mostly have bib shorts, so wearing chamois-less bib tights seems out of the question. But tights on top of shorts seems a might warmer...

TIA!
I would say none of the above. They all would work fine, but why not call up Lou at www.foxwear.net. I have his Power Shield Pants. They are remarkably water resistant and work great on their own for my down to about the Teens. For temps in the low single digits I'll add my rain pants as a wind breaker layer. These will set you back less than $100 delivered to your door and will be custom made just for you. The "seat" part of the pants are re-inforced for strength so you don't need padding. I wear just underwear on my short 5 mile commute. For longer rides I'll add my cycling pants or bibs under them.
The modern soft shell materials that Lou uses are fantastic they are:
- Wind resistant
- Breath very well (no build up of sweat)
- Water resistant (will shed snow very well and do fine in light rain for a while)
- Reasonably priced
- Mode to your exact size and shape needs

Happy riding,
André
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Old 10-20-09, 03:24 PM   #10
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Here's another thought. My favorite cold weather thing is Sugoi Espresso pants. They are a lot like sweatpants, but made with some hi tech material. I wear them over just shorts, then knickers, then thermal underwear. I can wear them with
winter tights, but there is a little resistance pedalling.

http://www.sugoi.com/can/eng/Product...-Espresso-Pant

http://www.gearwest.com/sugo-08-espr...r-8905107.html
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Old 10-20-09, 09:43 PM   #11
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For really cold weather, +100 on wind/waterproof rain pants, either breathable laminate or cheap pu-coated nylon.

For above-20, I love my Craft Storm and DeMarchi Countour Race tights, both with wonderful chamois pads. On both of these, my only complaint is I got them deep-discounted (Nashbar and Brand's Cycle), and when I lost major weight and wanted a smaller size, they were GONE. I tried a cheaper DeMarchi model with non-EIT pad, and got chafed.

My PI amfib non-bib tights are more wind-resistant, and I like them, but they require padded shorts, and for me at least, snap-on suspenders to snug them to my crotch and avoid snagging on my saddle nose after stops.

I also have some Gore Bike Wear Windstopper leg warmers whose tops go to above your mid-thigh area under your shorts, and bottoms below your ankles. They work well too.

For really cold temps, Machka, who used to live in Canukistan before settling in balmy Austrailia, found neoprene ankle wraps to be good. I concur 100+/ (I got a pair of zip-up neoprene 5 mm dive booties, and cut the tops off.) If you look at your ankle area, it has very little insulation. Protecting that area can do wonders for your feet, and my ankles are thinner than Machka's.
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Old 10-23-09, 07:57 AM   #12
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Tights

Foxwear doesn't seem to make bibs, and I really like bibs...
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Old 10-23-09, 08:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripmaster View Post
Looking to wear a pair of tights for the roughest winter months in the NE. I have an old pair of PI tights, but I'd like something with some water resistance.

Looking at:
Sugoi RS Zero
Castelli Fulmine
PI Amfib

Any recommendations? I'd like to stay <$200 which rules out Assos.

Do folks prefer w or w/o chamois? I mostly have bib shorts, so wearing chamois-less bib tights seems out of the question. But tights on top of shorts seems a might warmer...

TIA!
Unless you plan on riding in very cold weather or when it's wet, the Amfibs are overkill. I have a pair and only break them out when the temperature is below 20F. They are very uncomfortable above 40 and next to unusable at 50F. Where I live we can have swings in temperature from 20F to 70F in a day. I really hate being caught in the Amfibs on those days when you just need something to protect the knees

The PI Thermafleece have a much wider range for me. And they are cheaper. I don't really find a need for wind blocking but that may be personal preference. If you need wind and/or rain protection, wear the appropriate pants over the tights

No chamois. Don't need 'em and the shorts are another layer to keep the bum cheeks warm
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Old 10-23-09, 09:28 PM   #14
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+1 on the PI Amfib bibs. I prefer no chamois for tights since a pair of bibs/shorts underneath adds another layer to keep the heat in. Amfibs are a bit restrictive relative to PI Thermafleece but are worthwhile if you ride in wet NE weather.
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Old 10-24-09, 02:00 PM   #15
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I like Voler bib knickers with chamois.
Are the fronts wind-proof?
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Old 10-24-09, 03:44 PM   #16
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I just got a pair bib's and a jersey from here and they are very, very, nice (http://www.kucharikclothing.com/wool...eve-p-528.html) i think it will be a warm winter for me...jj
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Old 10-25-09, 08:06 AM   #17
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vqer285 - What kind of tights were you using before for comparison purposes?

How well do they block the wind?

Last edited by dekindy; 10-25-09 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 10-25-09, 07:28 PM   #18
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I was using a pair of performance tights, not sure what model, the wool are much warmer and block the wind just as good or better,
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Old 10-26-09, 03:38 PM   #19
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Unless you plan on riding in very cold weather or when it's wet, the Amfibs are overkill. I have a pair and only break them out when the temperature is below 20F. They are very uncomfortable above 40 and next to unusable at 50F. Where I live we can have swings in temperature from 20F to 70F in a day. I really hate being caught in the Amfibs on those days when you just need something to protect the knees
I use a pair of AmFibs Bibs in the Chicago Area. I wear them 45F and down. I must ride faster.

For above 45F, I make due with knee warmers.
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Old 10-26-09, 09:53 PM   #20
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Great advice here. Sometimes you just have to develop an "experiments" budget. I have Windstopper leg warmers, non-windblocking tights, windblocking tights, breathable and nonbreathable rainpants. Plus three thicknesses of longjohns. Dealing with "I need more than shorts" conditions in Kansas ranging from low-50s to sub-zero, mostly windy ranging from 20 gusty to 40 gusty. I now like really warm (age) over cool or cold. For example, I wouldn't go with PI amphibs in the 30s or 40s, but below, they do a nice job. A very nice job. For sub-ten, I put on longjohns, thin to medium. I haven't gone to -20 windchilll, but I've got the thick longjohs for this exigency/
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Old 10-29-09, 02:45 PM   #21
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I have a sugoi rs zero jacket. This year I purchased the Specialized Therminal bib tight and in my opinion, it's much better than my Sugoi RS Zero material.

Last year I ran (In canada, down to -30 celcius) Sugoi mid-zero, sugoi firewall pants (non-bib) Switching to sugoi firewall over Specialized bib thight this year. Last week i was binking in -5celcius with the bib thigh only, not requiring the firewall-over.

I tend to be colder on the upper half, so I run 3 layers, a sugoi long sleeve shirt, mid zero and rs-zero jacket. I still find this chilly around -20 to -30celcius on windy days. I'm strongly considering (budget allowing) changing my mid-zero hoodie this year for a specialized therminal jacket to wear under my sugoi rs zero jacket to make myself warmer than last year.

I *heart* Specialized.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:56 AM   #22
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The PI Amfibs are great, but make sure you get the bibs. I bought the Amfib regular tights first and they would not pull up high enough; the bib version fits great. Amfibs are too warm for me, however, if temps are above 45-50 F. The PI Thermafleece used to be my favorite everyday tights until they redesigned them. The new design has a seam right in the front of your thigh and lets in cold air; not good. I always wear bib shorts under my tights, so I get tights without the pads. If you wear padded tights, you have to wash them all of the time or need more pairs.

Voler makes very good shorts and tights, particularly for their price. They have their knickers on sale right now as well. I bought some of the Voler Dryline Knickers last winter and they are my favorite bibs now for cool weather.
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