Winter Bib Tights with Pad : Prototype #1

Winter Bib Tight with Pad

Cold weather riding is tricky business. 

I find most RedWhite customers avoid it if they can. While I personally enjoy the romantic notion of suffering, conjuring images of riders bundled up and riding on roads with snow drift on either side, most people don't actually like riding in such weather.

Riding in the cold is dangerous business. It also expensive. If your favourite roads are not properly maintained, black ice is a major threat to your well being. You also need to invest in expensive jackets, gloves, overshoes that get used far less than cheaper summer kit.

The logical choice would be to simply get a ZWIFT subscription and invest in a solid indoor trainer. In fact, I wrote a blog post titled "How Does Indoor Cycling Impact Demand for Winter Cycling Kit" last winter and noted the number of customers who were embracing technology and choosing to ride indoors during winter.

If anything, I fully expect this trend to accelerate. COVID-19 has brought the future forward and sales of indoor bike trainers has increased. ZWIFT subscriptions are also on the rise. I predict that when more people you know start riding indoors, you'd likely also jump on the bandwagon and invest in a turbo trainer with a ZWIFT membership. My own friends are riding indoors more these days (we're all above 30 and many have children and careers that make weekday riding tough. You can spin indoors and watch the kids at the same time).

All this being said, outdoor cycling is very much alive and growing as well. Off-road and gravel riding in particular is growing during the winter months. Black ice is not an issue on dirt.

This brings us neatly to the upcoming Winter Bib Tights with Pad. 

Early this year, I launched a Thermal Bibshort in time for the Australian & New Zealand winter. Sales of that particular product was by no means comparable to sales of my incredibly popular Long-Distance Bibshorts, but they were surprisingly decent in a region that has a (relatively) milder winter than northern US, Canada and Europe.

I've also been receiving emails from customers asking for a full-length winter bib tight with their favourite chamois. While the market may not be large, I do think it is time I developed something for them.

winter bib tight with pad

Prototype #1 of the new Winter Bib Tight with Pad landed 2 weeks ago. I'm really happy with it and am currently making tweaks before starting production. The video below shows me spinning with size M tights on. I think the ankle cuff can be tighter to make these hug your calves better and keep the moisture and wind out.

The ankle area is zippered. There is a trend towards zipper-less designs, driven by the trend in yoga pants, but for a heavy winter thermal lycra, the zipper design works better. You can unzip, slip your feet in (usually wider than your ankles), and zip them back up. 

I've also added 2 reflective tabs for visibility.

Key Features of this product :

  1. Thermal fleece-backed lycra.
  2. Zippered ankle + reflective tabs
  3. Mesh back strap to allow heat to escape
  4. Front straps are fleece backed lycra

 

In the video, I mentioned that I won't be tightening the calves. However, after looking at the way the fabric stretches, I can easily tighten it without impacting the fit for more well-built customers. I also mentioned that I was considering adding cargo pockets to this. Several customers reached out and told me that wasn't necessary as they'll be wearing gloves and usually stop before removing those gloves to fish anything out of their jackets.

If Prototype #2 samples can be made quickly with the tightened ankle and calf fit, I will be manufacturing a small batch of these for launch before Christmas 2020.

Do you like this Winter Bib Tight with Pad as-is? Would you ever get one or do the current Thermal Bibshorts suffice? Is there anything you'd like me to add / remove from this prototype to make it perfect for you? Or is there something else you want me to make for your winter riding?

Leave your comments below.

25 comments

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AndrewVip November 21, 2020

Count me in for the WINTER BIB TIGHTS WITH PAD

Maarten September 30, 2020

Definitely interested in these as the UK can get pretty nasty temp wise. All a question of price and i would probably chuck in an order for the thermal bib shorts at the same time to make it viable with import duty.

James Holley September 22, 2020

I like this idea! Putting on leg warmers and bib shorts separately is not as convenient as this design. One piece instead of three always wins in the deeper winter months.
I’ve been wearing winter thermal full length pants, no pad, for many years. Although it has wind blocking material on the front, it is not waterproof, and that front material is noticeably thicker. It has extra material pleated over the knees, (which doesn’t line up with my knees). I delay wearing these heavy pants as much as possible, adding leg warmers to fleece bib knickers as long as possible.
Although I have your awesome thermal bib shirts, I desperately want a better replacement for my winter pants!

Chris Hereford September 18, 2020

I second what Michael Dul says. While I am happy with the branding, I don’t have any good experience with an additional seam mid thigh. It tends to always rub and irritate. I live in Georgia and ride year round. It doesn’t get too cold, but clearly long bibs that are water repellent are needed for the winter months.

Fabian September 18, 2020

So RedWhite are some having Long winter bib tights with padding able NICE .Here in UK I do cycle all year round and I do use long bibs with and without padding . Normally the long bibs with padding are thermal ,but they are not fully windproof ( I normally use these on a dry cold day ) . For the cold and wet weather the none padded bib’s, ( normally being windproof they are waterproof – not fully waterproof that suits me ) I have the extra comfort of wearing the normal short bib shorts underneath.
I do you 3/4 bibs as well ,Throughout the change of seasons.

Nigel Rudd September 17, 2020

Another vote for DWR or a semi-membrane fabric (Gore-Tex Infinium and other Gabba-like materials). But maybe that’s a separate product for further down the line. It’s so wet in Scotland that kit for dry cold days doesn’t really come out that often, so if we’re only going to buy one pair of tights they’ll always be the water repellent ones.

Zips are good but make sure it’s a good zip that ‘locks’ into the closed position. There are a surprising amount of zipped bib tights on the market that start to unzip themselves once stretched.

Also make sure to do some test-fitting with different combinations of thick socks, high-cuff winter boots, and overshoes. Perfect ankle cuffs would be able to fit flat and frictionless under your overshoes for cold dry days, but could also stretch to fit on top of your overshoes for wet days to prevent wicking moisture down under the shoe covers. Those are really competing design specs so I doubt the perfect cuff can exist, but they are the considerations anyway.

Looks like a great product!

Alex Fthenakis September 17, 2020

Very interested in these. In the Northeast of the US, it gets quite cold, too cold for leg warmers, so these will be great. Leg warmers are a pain in the butt to put on and take off. I agree with many users that cargo pockets are not necessary, especially in the winter when you probably have a jersey and a jacket on so you already have double pockets from your usual warmer weather gear.

Josh Greenfeld September 17, 2020

Yes to longer bib-tights. It’s not unusual to wear two pairs of tights on cold days in Canada. Yes to zips at the ankle. Lukewarm yes to the pockets (sound fun – but I am ok without). I wish I could get a pair sooner, it’s already leg warmer weather here :-p I am happy to pay for a prototype if that can be arranged ;-)

Marc Deshaies September 17, 2020

I want to support -5 ℃
I want to order immediately if it is in time for the Japanese winter brevet season

werner September 17, 2020

I want to support -5 ℃
I want to order immediately if it is in time for the Japanese winter brevet season

werner September 17, 2020

@JAMES G GILBERT, @JONATHAN : Knickers (3/4) is lower priority at the moment because the Thermal Bibshort paired with knee warmers covers this. You can also peel them off as the temps go up.

@COLE CALLAHAN : This is fair enough. I believe there are many companies that make a very decent thermal tight without a pad. RedWhite’s focus is always integrating a great long-distance pad into our products. While it is nice to be able to ride in tights from the same brand, it isn’t a necessity. For this reason, I won’t be developing one without a pad.

@CHRIS COMET : A wider pad is coming in 2021 to address this problem. Few customers actually have this issue by the way, but I am aware of it and am always improving the product. The logic is that is if I can solve problems for the edge customers, everyone else benefits.

@TAZ VISRAM : These can never be waterproof. They can be water-repellent (using a DWR coating), but that washes out after 30 wash cycles and you need to reproof it using something like Nikwax’s Tech Wash. A waterproof material is not stretchy (a hardshell jacket for example), so I can’t use it in bib tights.

@MICHAEL J. DUL, PH.D : Thanks for pointing this out. I included it for consistency sake. Every product will have a certain look to them for branding purposes. That panel also serves a purpose. It split the femur from the calf and makes it comfortable during a pedal stroke. An uninterrupted single panel will stretch and pull at the thighs.

@ROBB FORT, @MARTIN KENDRICK : Really happy the bibshorts work for you two! I will be making these with a windproof and DWR coated material for grimy, wet rides. Do note that DWR is not a waterproof coating, so your bib tights will eventually get soaked after about an hour in the rain.

@WYNTON ROBINSON : Excellent points. I made the Thermal Bibshorts for your particular use case. Many areas have milder winters and you don’t need a full pair of tights.

@MARK THOMSON : It seems like most people want cargo bibshorts, but don’t want the same pockets on thermal bib tights. I suppose this makes sense because you tend to do your long adventure riding in warmer weather. I’m happy the zipper feature goes down well for you. Will be going with it for the production model.

YUVA, FOUNDER @ REDWHITE APPAREL September 17, 2020

OK so some thoughts from a New Zealand rider. There are plenty of rides I do where I am comfortable enough with leg warmers… but the thermal longs are better. If I don’t need to take the leg warmers off then thermal bibs work and the leg warmers work for the shoulder seasons. Auckland weather is cold enough to be unpleasant but not cold enough to do anything with. We are lucky enough to mostly avoid icing on the roads. Doing long early morning rides I will routinely hit negative temperatures and often the temp won’t raise into double digits. A comfy pad in a full thermal sounds like a great answer. Yes zips… much easier to get in and out of. Pockets… For me there is nothing I would carry in a pocket in a bib short. I have other pockets or bags on my bike for that so I’m ambivalent about a pocket.

Mark Thomson September 17, 2020

The long bibs will be great in places where the cold lasts for very long. In Pretoria, South Africa our winter days are cold and dry but temps range widely and can go from -3 when you start out but end at 15 degrees Celsius at noon. I won’t go for full tights but rather use thermal knee warmers and overshoes with your thermal bib shorts. Its easy to stop and take some off when temps heat up.

Wynton Robinson September 17, 2020

I would absolutely wear the heck out of these.

James Townsend September 17, 2020

great. Need them for the winter here

Carl September 17, 2020

Personally I have no use for pockets on bib tights but do prefer a smooth finish on the thighs as bands are restrictive. I have large thighs and calf’s so need some give in the material. Wind proof with some water repelling quality would be the ideal blend for our British winters and having tights with your pad in would be a great choice for me. Keep up the good work Yuva

Martin Kendrick September 17, 2020

Windproof, wicking and dwr. (I’ve lost a lot of weight, and prior to knowing of this project, I took my Goretex Winter bibs for alterations to make them fit, so sadly, my need is filled.) Colorado cyclist year round, including the mountains. We can see rain, snow and sun on a single ride (even in the summer) Last year spent whole winter on trainer w Zwift, but wont do that this year! Had saddle sores early on in my summer of fun training. Armed with a new pair of your bibs (new bike, pro fit, and thorough training plan) the summer of fun included the Denver Century, Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evan’s Hill Climb, The Triple Bypass, and the Broadmore Pike’s Peak Cycling Hill Climb. Age 60. This was my first season of cycling. The only time I even realized that I was wearing bibs was when I got off the bike! Wouldn’t have happened without the bibs!

Robb Fort September 17, 2020

I’m not a fan of the bib-like band at the lower thigh. An uninterupted leg would be more to my liking. Also if possible a windproof front to the leg would be a significant advantage as more heat loss occur due to impingement of wind cooling the front of the leg and causing muscles to tighten. Although I live in Arizona, we have a need for this product. When the temperature is in the 50’s our relative humidity is sometimes in the single digit range causing it to feel much colder.

Michael J. Dul, Ph.D. September 17, 2020

Same here. Knickers are where it’s at.

Jonathan September 17, 2020

Same here. Knickers are where it’s at.

Jonathan September 17, 2020

I would to give these a test as in Canada its gets very cold. In western Canada, besides getting cold, its also wet! So they need to be waterproof

Taz Visram September 17, 2020

I would like to see a wider chamois pad on these as well as your bib shorts as I’m chaffing the stitching on my inner thighs making holes in the Lycra under 1,000 miles of riding.

Chris Comet September 17, 2020

I find thermal bib tights with chamois to be less modular than without a chamois. By having regular bibs, thermal bibs, leg warmers, and thermal bib tights, I can cover much more in terms of temperature swings for less money. Chances are people have regular bibs and thermal bibs to cover summer and shoulder seasons, and they probably own leg warmers too. Tights with chamois can only be worn on their own but without the chamois they can be used with either summer bibs or thermal bibs depending on the temperature. And if it gets to 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) and below, thermal tights can be layered with thermal bibs and legs warmers. With the chamois built in they lack the same latitude.

Cole Callahan September 17, 2020

Love the bib shorts how about knickers? I ride in 30 degree weather in knickers only break out tights when below 30.

James G Gilbert September 17, 2020

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