Many cyclists are also interested in alpine sports: skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, ice-climbing — it's all fair game. But when we're on our bikes, we don't want the extra bulk that the gear for these other disciplines often necessitates, nor are we likely to ride in conditions that require that much protection. As such, we recognize that cold-weather cycling gear can be too warm, especially when we're doing intervals or climbing. Sportful understands this, too, and tailored the Grupetto Bib Tights to fit the needs of cyclists, not arctic explorers.
The Grupettos are made entirely of ThermoDrytex Plus fabric, a blend of nylon and Lycra that provides insulation and breathability to regulate your body temperature and keep you dry, which in turn keeps you out riding. The Grupetto's ThermoDrytex Plus grants less wind protection than the ThermoDrytex Double used in the line-topping BodyFit Pro Thermal Bib Tights, but it's also more flexible, more breathable, and lighter. These aren't bib tights for an arctic expedition, but they'll keep you cycling through all but the worst winter conditions.
All of the seams are best defined with the modifier "flat." In the name of comfort, Sportful opted for lay-flat trim on the bibs and flatlock stitching throughout the entire article. Seam ridges are virtually eliminated, so you won't suffer any abrasions. Camlock ankle zippers keep the hems of the legs where you want them: down, covering your lower legs and not exposing any part of your shins to the winter air. The zippers also include reflective piping, which, along with the reflective logo at the top rear, helps keep you visible in low-light conditions.
The tights boast a Bodyfit Pro chamois, which Sportful developed with its stable of pro cyclists and that it bills as its most comfortable long-distance insert. We can report that it is comfortable, thanks in no small part to its seamless construction, a feature that eliminates chafing and which riders who have spent a rough two weeks in November getting used to the chamois on their winter tights will appreciate almost immediately.
The Sportful Grupetto Bib Tights - Men's are available in seven sizes ranging from X-Small to XXX-Large in the colors Black, Black/white/anthracite, Black/white/marine, Black/white/red, and Black/white/yellow fluo.
- Q & A
Much more comfortable than expected
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
I lost a fair amount of weight over the year from cycling so I needed smaller tights. I also wanted a pair that were not as warm as my original tights, which were pretty warm even down to single digits F. I am an exact medium in the waist and hips for Castelli shorts and they fit great. However, for Sportful, my waist is at the upper end of the scale and my hips the lower end for medium. My chest is large according to their size chart. Being 5'6", the legs even in the small size are too long. I have avoided bibs because I felt the straps would be too loose since I was short. However, since my dimensions fell in the medium size range, I thought I'd try them. I even talked with someone at CC, and he agreed that medium would be fine. When the tights arrived, I could barely get them on. The bib straps felt tight and seemed too short. I had trouble zipping up the ankles and having them stay zipped. They felt much better when I was in a riding position but were still quite tight. However, when actually riding, they were really comfortable. My first ride was relatively short, and my second was 60 km. On these and subsequent rides, I hardly noticed that I had them on. No matter what position I'm in on the bike, these bibs are comfortable. I haven't experienced any binding or chafing. While it takes a little effort to zip up my ankles, they do stay zipped. Since I bought the tights, the weather has been relatively mild, but it has been windy and very cloudy. I've worn them more than 10 times in temperatures from 32F to 42F with winds as high as 35 mph, and they have kept my legs warm. From years of winter sports, my legs are used to the cold, so heavier thermal or windproof tights are too warm. These have the right amount of insulation so my legs are comfortably warm, but they don't get clammy from sweating too much. I'll try riding with these into the mid and lower 20's (F). The only drawback is that the legs are too long for me so there is some bunching at the knees.
So, when standing around, these tights still feel somewhat uncomfortable, but on the bike they are great and fit perfectly.
Toasty warm :-)
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: L
Two rides with these so far. A bit long in the leg, but then I have short legs, like 30" inseam. Zippers at the ankle are a good feature. Suspenders are a touch short.......would have preferred them another inch or two longer. Overall a very decent product and they keep the legs nice and warm on a chilly morning. I paid about $85 for these on a special and at that price they were very worth it.