The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cycling Bib Tights

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cycling Bib Tights

Cycling bib tights are an essential piece of gear for any serious cyclist and they should be a staple item in every cyclist's closet for the colder months of the year. The right pair of bib-tights can make a substantial difference in the comfort and warmth on the bike when the weather turns cold. This guide will walk you through all you need to know about bib tights, whether you actually need them, and if you do, how to go about choosing the right pair.

What are cycling bib tights

The best tights for cycling are in fact very similar to the best cycling bib shorts, however, they are designed to provide full leg coverage and usually incorporate more fleece-like materials. Just like bib shorts they feature a chamois pad, designed to provide comfort all day when sitting on the bike, which is highly important seeing as the saddle is the main contact point between you and the bike. Bib tights are ideal for cooler weather, usually below 10-15 degrees celsius. Some people may have higher tolerances to the cold but the stated range is usually a good guide of when someone should consider wearing bib tights.

Why Choose Bib Tights Over Regular Shorts?

Cycling Bib tights vs. Best cycling bibs for men

While bib tights and bib shorts serve similar purposes, they cater to different conditions and preferences. Bib shorts are the standard go to option for most rides, and more often than not you are probably going to be pulling on a pair of bib shorts, at least until winter arrives. Hence there is a need for a warmer option. That warmer option being bib tights.   

A popular option for colder weather is using bib shorts combined with a pair of leg warmers. Oftentimes this is a great pairing to stay warm, the added advantage of this is that the leg warmers are easily removed if the weather becomes warmer. This is often the case for morning rides in spring or autumn where the temperature rises over the course of your ride to a point where leg warmers are no longer needed. 

On the other hand, the downside of this option is that the combined bib-short and leg warmer is usually not as warm as a comparable bib-tight. Additionally leg warmers are prone to slipping down and the bib short is also prone to sliding up. With material sliding and moving over the course of the ride there is a very probable possibility of chafing or discomfort, and at times it is necessary to stop and re-adjust the positioning of the leg warmers. 

So why choose a pair of bib-tights when there is the bib-short and leg warmer option? Firstly, warmth. A good pair of bib-tights will incorporate a fleece like material all the way down to your ankles to keep you well insulated. The material most commonly used is called super roubaix. Our Elite Waterproof Bib Tights also incorporate a waterproof material at the bottom of the calf down to the ankles, which in combination with a good pair of overshoes aids in keeping your feet dry on wet rides. 

The integrated full length nature of bib-tights also helps to avoid the slipping and sliding of materials like with bib shorts and leg warmers. When wearing correctly sized bib-tights they will stay firmly in place for the full duration of your ride, ensuring comfort and 

Key Features to Look for in Cycling Bib Tights

When looking for the best cycling bib tights for you, consider the following features:


Look for bib tights made from high-quality fabrics, we mentioned prior that a lycra fleece material is the standard option. A material such as the super roubaix material will offer a good combination of warmth and breathability, which is important as to not overheat. 

  1. Chamois Pad

The chamois is a critical component for comfort. It should be well padded, and well formed for your anatomy. This can be hard to know before trying, but many bib-tights will use similar pads to your bib shorts. So ideally try and pick something that you are familiar with already. Our go to chamois pad uses Elastic Interface technology which offers comfort for hours on end. 

  1. Fit

A proper fit is crucial. Like a good pair of bib shorts the bib tights should be snug but not restrictive. Ensure the straps are comfortable and do not dig into your shoulders. It can certainly help to try on before buying, if this is not possible, then purchasing online from a brand with flexible returns such as Velotec is a prudent option.  

  1. Seams and Stitching

The most important thing to consider when selecting is the location of seams. It is inevitable that a pair of bib tights will have seams. A crucial location to look at is the kee, sometimes seams can be found in the knee area, either horizontally or vertically. If these seams are poorly positioned it can lead to chafing behind your knee, as such ensure that if there is a seam it does not run over your knee cap or behind your knee. The ideal location would be a seam that runs vertically on the inside of your leg. Furthermore ensure they are flatlock seams, as they help to reduce friction and prevent chafing.

  1. Breathability and Insulation

Depending on the climate you ride in, choose bib tights with appropriate breathability and insulation. Thermal bib tights with brushed fleece interiors are excellent for cold weather, while lighter, more breathable options are better for milder conditions.

  1. Reflective Elements

This can also be an important consideration. Winter and colder weather generally means lower light conditions. As such a pair of bib tights that includes reflective features will help increase your visibility to other vehicles on the road, helping you to arrive safely at your destination. 


Choosing the best cycling bib tights involves considering various factors such as material, fit, padding, and additional features such as the stitching and reflectivity.  Investing in high-quality bib tights like the Velotec Elite Waterproof Bib Tights or Women's Elite Bib Tights is a wise option to consider and will certainly improve your winter riding experience. 

It’s hard to deny that a good pair of cycling bib-tights is the best winter option, even better than the most comfortable cycling bibs with leg warmers. A high quality pair of tights will make all the difference and will be a great option to have in your closet this winter.