Shimano's Evolve Wind Bib Tights offer good insulation and a comfortable fit, but I'd like a lot more support from the Lycra to justify the high price.
- Pros: Thermal, breathable, comfortable pad
- Cons: Lycra not supportive enough, high price
Shimano has designed these tights for cold conditions using a dual layer construction that offers wind and water repellency and a brushed inner for comfort. They're nicely made, with tidy stitching, seamless straps and no points of irritation.
Inside, the Evolve chamois is dense and offers good vibration damping over rough tarmac. Combine this with the decent support from the bib straps and you've got a comfortable pair of tights for long winter rides.
While the Evolve range is certainly designed to offer a more relaxed fit than the S-Phyre range, I think Shimano could have made the lower legs a little tighter. These fit me well around the thighs but are a bit loose around the knee and below, which resulted in quite a bit of bunching around the knees. I'm right on the border between small and the medium, so to have the small fit well around the upper but not around the lower leg is a bit annoying.
The zipper located on the front didn't irritate and it works well, making quick nature breaks much easier. The back panel is a very breathable mesh and this helps to keep the lower back from becoming overly sweaty.
Down at the ankle, you've got a simple elasticated cuff that sits very comfortably. The benefit to this over a zip opening is the lack of any irritation, but it does make these a little trickier to wear over overshoes.
On the breathability front these tights do very well. I used them on rides ranging from 4°C through to 10°C. If you start pushing the pace in milder temperatures then these cope pretty well.
The advertised water resistance is good enough to see off a shower and wheel spray. It has lasted too. I've washed these about ten times now and the water is still beading well. The bit of reflective print adds a little extra visibility in dark conditions and doesn't detract from the performance.
At £179.99, these are right up there with the fabulous Assos LL.milleTights_s7 which cost a fiver less. For me, the Assos are a better fit around the lower leg and they give the support that I expect from a pair of tights. You can still spend more, though: Assos does the ll.habuTights_s7 for a whopping £250 (though even those are beaten by Rapha's Women's Souplesse Shadow tights at £270).
In summary, these work well and offer a soft fabric that is warm and breathes well, but there are better options out there.
Comfortable and cosy but costly, and you might find them a bit loose around the knee
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shimano Evolve Wind Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Multiple layer construction adds warmth where needed, without bulk
Evolve Chamois for comfort, vibration damping, and moisture management on extended rides
Reflective elements for low-light visibility
Premium fabric with luxurious hand feel and softness
Durable water-repellent fabric retains efficiency after multiple washes
Double-slide front zipper for convenience
Brushed interior fabric surface for comfort and warmth
Moisture-wicking quick-drying mesh on back of bib
Ultra-smooth seamless bib straps for added comfort
Sizes: (EUR) XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Main body: 85% Polyamide, 15% Elastane (Polyurethane breathable windproofing & Water repellency)
Front side: 82% Polyamide, 18% Elastane
Back side: 94% Polyester, 6% Elastane
Part: 74% Polyamide, 26% Elastane
The stitching is all very tidy and everything feels well made.
The performance is very good. They're warm, breathe well, resist a bit of rain and the pad is very good.
These have been used for cyclo-cross warm-ups and road rides. They wash easily and still perform well.
A bit too much material around the knee resulted in some bunching.
They're ok, with decent support in the thighs and bibs, but they could do with being tighter around the knee and ankle.
Fine for winter tights.
The soft material is very nice on the skin.
They're okay. For just a bit more money you can get something brilliant though.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 40 or 30 degrees and then hang dry. Easy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are nicely thermal with a comfortable material that breathes well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad is very comfortable for long rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit around the knee, which results in a bit of bunching.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Assos LL.milleTights_s7 are cheaper at £175 and are, put simply, better.
Did you enjoy using the product? They're comfortable but the bunching around the knee is annoying.
Would you consider buying the product? No, the fit is too loose for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, there are too many decent and cheaper alternatives.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They offer good thermal performance and breathe well, plus the pad is comfortable and suitable for long rides, but the cost is on a par with some very good options that are also a better fit for me.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.