Craft Belle Wind bib tights

 

Swedish brand Craft never disappoint with their cold weather kit and the Belle Wind bib tights are no exception.  These fabulously warm tights are made from a 3-layer wind and waterproof material which makes them perfect for riding in cold, windy and wet conditions.

 

Craft Belle Wind bib tights

 

If you are of the opinion that there is no such thing as bad weather you are probably no stranger to buying great quality kit and like us you will instantly acknowledge the craftsmanship that has gone into designing these bib tights.

 

If on the other hand, you are new to cycling, or perhaps have tried to get by with budget pieces, it is likely you will have suffered some horrible miles on the bike in winter, feeling cold wet and thoroughly demoralised.  The good news is, you don’t have to suffer, at least not because of the weather, what you choose to put yourself through physically is up to you!

 

The Craft Belle Wind bib tights use highly technical fabrics which give the very best performance.  The fleece lining is soft against the skin and has excellent insulating qualities to keep you warm, but these tights really come into their own when it is cold and wet, or cold, wet and windy.  We found them surprisingly lightweight considering their effectiveness and you really cannot underestimate the warmth that comes as standard, thanks to the protection from wind and water that these bib tights offer.  We have been wearing them in sub-zero temperatures and freezing fog, we even came back from one ride with frosted eye lashes, but our legs and body temperature were just right!

 

The other thing we have found with Craft kit is that it is exceptionally well designed, so when they say something is women’s specific, you know that it will be cut to accommodate some feminine curves.  That is particularly important with wind proof fabrics, because they tend to be slightly less stretchy than non-windproof options and so the cut must be just right.  In particular we found the Craft Belle Wind bib tights fit beautifully around our calves, the feel is like a second skin and this is achieved thanks to the generous length zip at the ankle, which has the added advantage of making it easier to get them on and off.  Thoughtfully, they have an ergonomically shaped knee as well and this allows for a full range of movement, with no tugging over the knee cap.

 

Craft have added a performance pad, which we liked instantly.  It stayed perfectly in place and kept us comfortable on the longest of our winter training rides.  For what it is worth, we always recommend the use of a chammy cream and Nature’s Kiss Chafe Ease is our favourite.

 

The bib straps on these tights are wide and comfortable, and crucially they sit comfortably regardless of whether you are busty, flat chested or somewhere in between.  With their attention to detail it is no surprise to find that the back section of the bib is mesh, to allow for sweat to move away from the body, and there is a cut away in the middle of the back to optimise ventilation from this area.

 

And finally visibility is optimised by including bright pink panels over the shins – apparently we could be seen for miles! – as well as reflective piping over the glutes and hips, plus a few reflective Craft logos to ensure full 365 degree visibility..

 

They might not be the cheapest winter bib on the market but if you ride in all weathers you will not think about the price, in fact you will congratulate yourself on a very well chosen bit of kit because the Craft Belle Wind bib tights make riding through all weathers possible and even pleasurable.  The brushed fleece backed, water and windproof fabric is awesome.  Add a quality pad, comfortable bibs and a design that really works with the female form on the bike and these have become our go-to tights for winter training.

 

Colours: Black/crush

Sizes: XS-XXL

Price: £100 but we have seen them discounted to £90

Website: craftsportswear - Belle Wind Bib tights

 

Performance: 9/10

Value for money: 9/10

 

Tested by Jan Birkmyre

 

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