Road Tested: Beat The Spring Chill

  • By Geoff Nenninger
  • Published Mar 11, 2013
  • Updated Mar 9, 2015 at 10:04 AM UTC

Keeping your legs warm while cycling is not only a necessity for comfort, but also to help prevent injuries. A good pair of winter tights (or knickers or even fleece shorts, as we found in our testing), can go a long way toward keeping you on the road, and happily warm, through cold morning rides during the early spring.

A good pair must provide adequate insulation while remaining relatively snug, which is a tall order. Many times manufacturers don’t take into account the inflexible nature of many insulated fabrics, and they do not adjust their patterns or sizing charts to accommodate. As a result, many cold-weather pieces fit differently than their Lycra-only counterparts intended for warm weather later in the season. Paying a visit to your local bike shop to try early-season clothing in person can help to ensure you get a comfortable fit.

We scoured the landscape in search of the best cold-weather cycling bottoms. Here are a few of our favorites.

G.S. Panache Fleece Bib Short, $200

One of the best things about an insulated bib short is that, when worn with knee or leg warmers, they can double as a bib tight suited to low temperatures or by themselves as weather starts to improve. We reached for the Panache Fleece Bib Short over and over, as the fit and chamois were great, and the short length made them one of the most versatile pieces of cold-weather kit in our test. The Roubaix fleece kept our quads warm and able to function in cold conditions. The elastic on the bottom of the short was snug without being too tight, and silicon grippers helped to keep warmers firmly in place without reducing blood flow to the legs. The stretch chamois provided the perfect amount of cushioning without feeling bulky. We also appreciated the stylish graphics of the bibs, something present throughout the Panache line.

RELATED – Road Tested: Winter Running Headgear

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