Choose the right kit for cycling through the winter. FionaOutdoors reviews the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper bib tights.
Cycling in winter is not just for the hardy types. If you choose your kit wisely, you can continue to ride during the chillier weather. One vital item of clothing is cycling tights. I prefer bib tights because you don’t need to worry about a gap between the top of the tights and your torso layers. Bib tights keep you warmer and snugger in my experience.
What Gore say about Oxygen Windstopper bib tights
The tights are made from Gore WINDSTOPPERÂ® Soft Shell. This offers “total windproofness with maximum breathability”. Itâ€™s also claimed that the fabric offers:
- The comfort of a soft mid-layer
- The water resistance of a shell-in-one garment
- Comfort and freedom of movement.
Other features include:
- Reflective flag, piping on legs and front logo
- Elastic braces
- High-cut back
- Flat-lock seams.
In addition there are womenâ€™s and menâ€™s features of the Gore Windstopper bib tights.
- Brace construction made of thermal stretch fabric for women
- OZON LADY seat insert
- Patented one-zip system for easy opening.
- Front zip with semi-lock slider
- Elastic braces
- Mesh insert in back for optimum ventilation
On test: Gore Oxygen Windstopper bib tights
The first thing you notice when puling on the tights is how super soft they feel. The inside is like fleece against the skin. The flatlock seams also prevent the sewn together sections feeling rough against skin.
The outside of the tights is more robust feeling and not as soft as other bib tights I own but it shouts “good quality” and “weather resistant”.
The fit is good, too. I wore the womenâ€™s size 38 (I am a UK10/12) and they felt comfortable but not too restrictive.
Out on the road with the cold wind whistling around my head I still felt wonderfully cosy on my legs. These tights are for very chilly days or for people who find themselves very cold on a bike. In Scotland we often face bitingly cold days in the saddle and the tights work a treat in these conditions.
The fabric does as it says it will, being flexible enough to give a good freedom of movement. They keep the wind out but do not make your legs feel too sweaty.
The high bib section keeps the lower torso warm and there are no concerns about having an exposed gap at your lower back.
Other features I like:
Having a padded insert makes time in the saddle comfortable. I found the Gore pad a little too thick but this is personal preference. I prefer something a little less padded and rely instead on a good-fitting saddle. This is a small quibble, however, because most people like a decent amount of padding.
The footstraps keep the tights in place and prevent them from riding up.
The reflective detailing is a great addition to winter tights because days can be dark in winter. Any extra visual awareness for other traffic is to be welcomed.
Easy access for toilet stops
Bib tights are not the most convenient, especially when stopping for a pee. Most men and women need to take the top layers off to allow them to strip down the bib straps. For men, the solution to this problem is a zip at the front, while for women Gore has come up with a patented zip off access system.
The womenâ€™s Gore Oxygen Windstopper bib tights have a zip at waist height that almost circles the body. When you need access to go to the toilet you unzip this zip. The bottom and top of the tights are still attached at the side but it gives enough of a gap without the need to strip off your top half.
Rezipping does take a bit of shoogling around and body twisting but itâ€™s not too much of a chore. If youâ€™re stuck you can always ask a friend to help you to re-zip!
Few brands have come up with a useable system for bib tights and toilet breaks and I like Goreâ€™s innovative approach.
The Gore Oxygen bib tights are available with and without a padded insert. Prices start at Â£139.99.