Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Lady bib tights

 

The Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Lady bib tights are a top of the range offer to help you survive winter.  They have windstopper panels to protect from wind and rain, a lush pad and a zip system that allows for toilet breaks without the need to strip down to your base layer.

 

Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Lady bib tights

 

Don’t be fooled by the sunshine, the tide of winter has yet to fully recede - in fact there is more snow forecast! That means that long road rides still threaten wet road spray in the face, biting wind cutting through to pink-burnt skin and freezing sweat leaching all the warmth from your body as it dries.  Happily there is a tried and tested formula for removing the suffering and making those long winter road rides comfortable and fun.

 

The first, fairly obviously solution, involves hot chocolate, cake and café stops.  The second relies on a good choice of layers for your core, combined with a top quality pair of bib tights, so we have been very snug and rather smug in the Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Lady bib tights!

 

These bibs are pitched at ‘racing cyclists’, but really that is any discerning rider who doesn’t let a bit of winter weather stop them from doing what they want.  They are constructed from tough and thick windstopper fabric, which means there isn’t much stretch around the thigh and there can be some bagging – this is the same with all of the wind and water resistant tights we tried.  Essentially, you trade super stretchy material that lets in wind and wet, for less stretchy fabric that really keeps you warm and dry.  It is, quite frankly, a trade-off that we have no hesitation in recommending, but you do need to pay particular attention to the sizing, because the material is unforgiving and it can pull if you get a size that is too small. 

 

We found the Gore Windstopper soft shell tights supremely warm, with windstopper on the front facing panels of your legs that keep wind and wet at bay.  We would warn you not to be tempted to wear them on warmer days – you will melt! 

 

The leg loops and bib parts are stretchy and combine to give a snug fit to the tights.  In fact we reckon the chest clip is particularly ingenious, pulling the shoulder straps inwards to avoid any irritating off the shoulder action.

 

However for us, the two most impressive features are the chamois and the zip.  The chamois, like all products in the Oxygen range, is plush, multi-panelled and clearly the result of considerable R&D (the mind boggles!).  Given its thickness, however, it is essential that you check the fit of the tights, because if not held snugly against your undercarriage, there is a danger that the pad could feel cumbersome.

 

But, saving the best ‘til last, we come to the zip.  Why other kit manufacturers have not cottoned on to this earlier is a mystery.  Unclip the chest clip and the delicate, silky-smooth zip around your waist enables you to detach the bottom portion of the tights and pee without engaging in the dreadful undressing dance, that is usually required when a bib-tighted lady needs to “powder her nose” mid-ride.  No more grappling with sweaty layers and exposing your body to the full force of the winter weather, just unclip, unzip and you will soon be on your way again.

 

This system adds to the price of these bibs, but if you are keeping properly hydrated on long rides, or perhaps you want to ride a cold weather stage race - where time is of the essence - you will be pleased you invested in these.  

 

The Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Lady bib tights are a really warm option, that keep the chill off your legs and also allow you to take the quickest of pit-stops – a brilliant invention that is perfect for time-conscious, endurance riders who want to keep going (in all sense!) all winter long.

 

Sizes: XS-XXL

Price: £139.99

Colour: Black

Website: www.goreapparel.co.uk - gore-bike-wear-oxygen-windstopper-soft-shell-lady-bibtights

 

Performance: 8/10

Value for money: 8/10

 

Reviewed by Fiona Wilson

 

 

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