Test: cycling bib tights for the winter

For the cold season with frosty temperatures I present here three winter pants. Two of them are available for both women and men. A bib tight is a women-only model, of which, however, a similar men’s model exists. Seat padding and straps are not included here. From the Castelli brand, the two models enter the race with the manufacturer’s classification of “Extreme cold (winter)”. From the brand Assos I present the GT Ultraz Winter, which was also designed for cold or frosty winter days. For me, the three pants each have a very specific area of application. As already done in the past tests, I advise also here to compare prices of the dealers, whereby quite 40 percent of the original price can be saved.

The Castelli Polare is available as a women’s version CASTELLI POLARE W BIBTIGHT in the second season. The analog men’s version is the CASTELLI POLARE 3 BIBTIGHT. The pants have the same features for both men and women and the posted price is the same. Nevertheless, the Castelli homepage shows a slightly different temperature range for men and women for the use of the pants. Personally, I find both ranges quite high and the pants very warm. The pants falls – as you would expect from Castelli – small. I personally can wear both XS and S at Castelli. In the POLARE BIBTIGHT I would personally only want the larger S, because the pants are slightly thicker and stiffer than comparable pants. On the front of the CASTELLI POLARE W BIBTIGHT, a Gore Windstopper (GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® X-Fast material) protects against wind. The disadvantage of this material is a certain hardness or less flexibility, which sometimes bothers me personally a bit at the knee. In parts of the lower leg and in the seat area Nano Flex G3 material is processed, which is water-repellent and protects against splashing water. The thermal performance of the material is slightly lower than the Thermoflex material on the back of the thigh. The straps of the pants do not absorb moisture even during strenuous intensity. Processed is the KISS Air2 seat pad.

Castelli POLARE W BIBTIGHT, source: www.castelli-cycling.com

The CASTELLI MENO WIND W BIBTIGHT is a ladies-only model and my favorite. A similar but significantly more expensive model for men is the CASTELLI SORPASSO RoS WIND BIBTIGHT, which I have not tested myself, but which is according to male riders a very warm and high-quality bib tight. The women’s version CASTELLI MENO WIND W BIBTIGHT is made of AirFlex Thermo material on the front, which provides wind protection and is also enormously elastic. Unlike the classic Windstopper, it warms very well. On the back is processed Thermoflex Core2, which provides a fluffy warmth and is breathable. Price performance of the MENO WIND W BIBTIGHT is seht good and I personally have never had such a comfortable tight on. Disadvantage is a lack of moisture protection. However, light rain or snowfall are not a limitation.

Castelli MENO WIND W BIBTIGHT, source: www.castelli-cycling.com

The Swiss manufacturer ASSOS offers for the winter, among other things, pants GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIB TIGHTS for men and women. The men’s model ASSOS MILLE GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIB TIGHTS differs from the women’s version ASSOS UMA GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIB TIGHTS only by the gender-specific seat padding and the buckle processed in the women’s version. The buckle is a flat magnetic closure below the chest, which makes it easy to strip the straps. This makes the handsome price a bit higher on the women’s pants. The pants are constructed of several layers. Outside lies with the Neos Ultra-Textil a razor-thin, waterproof and wind-resistant softshell material (water column: > 10,000 mm). The highly insulating roughened RX Heavy material serves as a thermal layer. The back of the leg section is made of RX Light, which is breathable and very stretchy. Unfortunately, in the area of the lower back was saved on warming material and the pants cut a little low. Also with Assos I can wear size XS us S. With the UMA GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIB TIGHTS I would choose exclusively size S for me. The pants fit snugly, but is unfortunately only moderately stretchy, making the pants tense at the thigh and knee, which is due to the waterproof outer material. A size larger (size M for me) does not solve this circumstance, but would cause thicker wrinkles due to excess material in the back of the knee. The thermal performance is good, but is below that of the Castelli pants (see above). However, there is still a higher quality winter pants DYORA RS WINTER BIB TIGHTS S9 from Assos, whose thermal performance can sometimes be higher (not tested). However, the GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIB TIGHTS is clearly superior to the other two bib tights from Castelli by the water resistance in not quite so cold temperatures and wet conditions. The magnetic closure for easier discarding of the pants is a big plus for women on longer rides with break(s).



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