Features: P.R.O. Anatomic 1:1 Chamois, thermal fleece
How Obtained: review sample from company
Available: online and retail
RBR Sponsor: no
Time tested: numerous rides over 2 months
Warmth, Completely Comfortable Fit Hallmarks of 3/4 Bibs
I’m of the genus of cyclists who prefers wearing bib knickers vs. knee warmers to cover my knees on “just cool enough to need something” rides. I also prefer knickers to full-length tights on cold rides when overall leg warmth is an issue. So I have a mix of “knicks” to do the job.
I guess what it comes down to is, I like the comfort and simplicity of knickers and “3/4” tights. To me, if I can get the job done with one garment instead of two, so much the better. And I find knickers more comfortable and easier to put on (and take off) than both knee or leg warmers and full-length tights (which either have an extra ankle zipper to deal with or are a struggle to pull over the ankle if they don’t).
This winter, I’ve especially enjoyed these high-end thermal 3/4 tights from Pearl. The 19-inch (48-cm) inseam (in the medium size), thermal fleece fabric (with 11% elastane for ample “stretchability”) and P.R.O. Anatomic 1:1 chamois provide ample warmth and a completely comfortable fit. The chamois is smooth and seamless, with nothing to rub against the skin, and features multi-density padding underneath that soft exterior to provide support where needed (see photo).
I’ve taken to mating these tights on cool to cold rides with socks of different thickness and length to perfectly match the conditions. If it’s downright cold, I might go with calf-length woolies, leaving just an inch or two of skin exposed. If it’s more moderate but still quite chilly, I’ll go with above-the-ankle merinos. The constant is the tights, which deliver across a broad temperature range.
As with the other gear I’ve used extensively this winter, I see more rides in these tights into the spring as the winter seems reluctant to let go of the hold it’s had on so many of us.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he sees himself as RBR's Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR's great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.