In regions where the weather and temperature can go from sunny and 102 degrees Fahrenheit to 2 degrees with whiteout conditions in five months, gearing for year-round cycling can be an expensive proposition. You essentially need three seasonal outfits, plus multiples of each so you don't have to do laundry between every ride. As much as we appreciate the tech found in higher-end tights, we also recognize the constraints placed on the self-sponsored cyclist. That's why we supplement our winter riding kit with the Gore Bike Wear Element Thermo Bib Tights.
This entry in the Element line eschews the fabrics found in the more expensive Element Windstopper bibs in favor of conventional synthetic blends that are brushed on the inside and layered twice as thick on the knees, which tend to suffer the most from cold. This means that you'll get protection and extra warmth where you need it and improved ventilation where you don't, all with a soft, wicking lining to keep you comfortable in the saddle.
For the chamois, Gore cozied up with chamois giant Cy-Tech's Elastic Interface division, which has developed a line of multi-density foam inserts for different body types and ride demands. The entire Element line has the women's two hour insert, and the Thermo Tights are no exception, making them just right for cold-weather rides meant to maintain form through fall and winter or start rebuilding a base in spring.
All bibbed models in the Element line have a wide setup for a women's-specific fit. A cross-chest hook closure keeps the bibs in place and offers some support for cyclists with smaller cup sizes. They also have a zipper around the midsection that lets you remove the bibs for easy bio-breaks. We love this feature because it lets us keep our base layer and jacket on, which prevents unnecessary loss of body heat. The back of the bibs is mesh for ventilation; the ankles feature zippers for easy on, easy off; and reflective highlights help keep you visible in the low-light conditions that you'll eventually encounter while using these tights.
- Women's specific bibs for cycling through the cold months
- Stretchy polyamide-elastane blend hugs your muscles
- Easy bathroom breaks with midsection zip
- Ankle zips allow easy on and off
- Cross-chest clip for support
- Brushed inside offers cozy warmth