For all your winter needs.
Gore's Bike Wear division is just one part of its outdoor clothing business, and, if you're like us, you use its clothing in multiple sports, not just cycling. You also likely enjoy finding multiple uses for any given article of clothing, and a garment's ability to move freely between activities is a strong selling point. Gore's Element Windstopper Soft Shell Bib Tights Without a Chamois do just that, providing winter protection that fits well on the bike but without a chamois to impede use for running, skiing, or snowboarding. And when you do take them on rides, you can use your preferred summer chamois underneath. Or no chamois at all. It's totally up to you.
As with all Gore clothing, the star of these tights is the fabric. They incorporate three layers in a build more akin to a 2.5 layer construction: an outer shell, a Windstopper membrane, and a lining. In this cycling 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 line'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, we appreciate the Soft Shell's focus on cold-weather comfort.
The bibs incorporate a front zip with a chafe-eliminating underflap to facilitate bio breaks and getting the tights on and off, a process that the ankle zippers help with. The back of the bibs is mesh for ventilation and reflective highlights help keep you visible in the low-light conditions that you'll eventually encounter while using these bib tights.
The Gore Bike Wear Element Windstopper Soft Shell Bib Tights - Without Chamois - Men's are available in five sizes ranging from Small to XX-Large in the colors Black and Black/neon yellow.
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Just put these away for the winter. But man, were they wonderful. I don't have money to invest in 3-5 pairs of tights with chamois, so having these w/o the chamois to wear over my normal bibs was great. They block the wind, fit great, and hold up well. On the super cold days (under 25F) I wear thermal bibs under them.
Too small, too thin.
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
I purchased these to replace my long-loved Girodana tights. I was looking for something extremely warm, as I usually ride year round on my fatbike. It is quite difficult to find bib tights without a chamois, but I much prefer it that way. Not only can you wear a fresh chamois every day, but also you get an extra layer over vital parts. Most of the time, I also wear long underwear under tights once it is below 20 degrees.
Bottom line: these run small, both in length and in the size of the legs. I have muscular quads, but would be considered thin by American standards. By cyclist standards I am a bit bulkier. I wear a medium in almost everything - 31 inch waist, 32 inch inseam, 5' 9", and 160 lbs. The mediums would barely fit over my quads, and certainly would not fit with a layer underneath them. They are also short in length extending only to my proximal achilles.
This is especially unfortunate as the roubaix fleece is not that thick. I am sure that these tights are warm, and they are thicker than some others out there. But compared to my Giordanas, they are thin. I find this to be a pattern with many of the windproof tights out there. They cut the thickness of the fleece when they add the windproofing.
I am sad that I will be returning these because my search for another pair of bib tights without a chamois will surely go on and on.