These all-in-one cycling tights take a bit of getting used to, but itâ€™s worth it, says Neil Braidwood.
Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative has been creating its own Revolution brand of equipment and clothing for years now, and itâ€™s keenly priced, and of a high quality. The company has grown from one shop in the Seventies to eight, including a comprehensive online store selling everything the 21st-century cyclist needs.
I am a regular bike commuter, and I do wear tights on colder days, but I had never tried bib tights â€“ maybe because they make you look a bit funny. Road cyclists swear by them, as they always cover the small of the back when youâ€™re crouched over the handlebars. I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about.
The first thing I noticed about the tights was that the seat had a substantial integral (synthetic) chamois cushion â€“ itâ€™s made from CoolMax Silver fabric, so has antibacterial qualities, which is good.
Pulling them on, I notice they have stirrups (to keep the ankle cuffs in place), but these take a wee bit of getting used to for a first-timer. Theyâ€™re not uncomfortable, but just feel a bit odd. Itâ€™s like the shoulder straps, they have a tendency to pull down when youâ€™re riding â€“ again, not uncomfortable, but just a bit strange and it takes some getting used to.
I really like the laminated front leg panels â€“ they are effective against wind chill, and take a pretty good soaking, too, without letting in any water. The inside of the Thermastretch fabric is fleecy, and quite cosy, but does help wick away any sweat on a longer ride. The back panel is mesh, again, to help with ventilation. They are comfortable on, and the medium size is pretty perfect for my height, 5ft 10ins. The legs are not baggy, clinging snugly, but not too tight to cut off your circulation.
I havenâ€™t tried these in sub-zero temperatures, but you could always wear a pair of baggy shorts over them to increase the wind proofing around the nether regions, and give yourself some pockets, as the tights donâ€™t have any.
When riding, they feel comfortable, and although you eventually forget about the stirrups and shoulder straps, I personally found the chamois didnâ€™t give my bum much cushioning â€“ it felt like it wasnâ€™t positioned properly for me. Thatâ€™s the good thing about a removable chamois â€“ you can always adjust it to suit.
Long-distance rides where you need to stop for a toilet break might prove problematic, especially if you are wrapped up warm on top â€“ but the challenge is outweighed by the benefit of these cosy tights.
Further features include:
â€¢ Vortex laminated front leg panels
â€¢ 3D contoured gel padded CoolMax Silver chamois
â€¢ 2-year guarantee against manufacturing defects
â€¢ Reflective piping and details on legs
The Talia bibtights come in sizes from small to extra extra large, and everything between.