Anything but basic basics.
The Gore Bike Wear Element Windstopper Men's Soft Shell Bib Tights are what you're after if you're seeking comfortable, any-weather bib tights for your colder rides without breaking the bank.
As with all Gore clothing, the star of the show is the fabric. It's no accident that nearly every clothing manufacturer uses Gore's technical materials in many of their pieces. These tights use three layers in a build more akin to a 2.5 layer construction: an outer layer, a Windstopper membrane, and a lining. In this sandwich, the two pieces of bread protect the Windstopper so that it can protect you, keeping you warm, breathing to transfer moisture and prevent overheating, and fending-off the elements. The back panel has a more flexible but less protective blend of materials, letting you move freely in the areas that don't need as much wind protection.
The Element's Soft Shell construction is a touch heavier than Gore's similar Active Shell fabric, owing to a difference in lining. Active Shell uses a thin, mesh-like scrim for wind protection without adding undue warmth and weight while the Soft Shell incorporates a plush, soft lining that's thicker for insulation in cold weather. Given that we typically turn to tights for warmth and we have a propensity for soft things, Soft Shell is an easy fabric to appreciate.
For the chamois, Gore worked with renowned chamois engineer Cy-Tech, whose Elastic Interface research has developed a line of multi-density foam inserts for different body types and riding demands. The Element Bib Tights have the men's dual-density insert, making it just right for cold-weather rides of around two hours. Pre-shaped knees, adjustable bib straps, and flatlock seams keep the tights both comfortable and durable, while the reflective graphics hiding all over the bibs come out at night to ensure you're visible to passing cars if you're caught out after dark.
The Gore Bike Wear Element Windstopper Men's Soft Shell Bib Tights are available in five sizes ranging from X-Small to XX-Large and in the colors Black and Black/neon yellow.
- Q & A
My go-to bibs for <50F riding.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
I use these in temps ranging from mid-20F to low 50F comfortably. Above 55F they would probably be too warm. I like that they have very little insulation properties but are totally windproof, otherwise they would get too warm. I found that on very cold rides, in the low 20Fs, my junk would feel the effects, so I started wearing an athletic boxer short under them, This is so comfortable I do it all the time now when the weather is cool. Size large, they at first seemed a little big in the seat, but snug everywhere else, turns out this accommodates the extra layer provided by the shorts perfectly. Worn in conjunction with thermal booties over my road shoes, with a chemical toe warmer and wool socks, and wool shin warmers, I'm riding regardless of the cold, and do not feel overly bulky.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
I ordered these for my husband. He actually tried them on and wore them the day we got them. He absolutely loves them. He says they are very warm and comfortable. Will definitely order again when the time arises.