The Sportful Women's Diva bib tights are designed for winter riding in cool and dry conditions. They don't come with any revolutionary new features, but are warm, comfortable and decently priced. They aren't what you'd choose for sub-zero days or riding in the rain, but in the conditions they're designed for, their warmth and comfort are just right.
Their fleece lining is soft and snug, keeping you warm on cold autumn and winter (and spring) rides. I was pleased to find that they never lost this luxurious softness no matter how many times I washed them.
The tights are lightweight and very breathable, meaning you won't overheat on a warmer autumn (or spring) day, but unfortunately this also allowed the cold to creep in when conditions were particularly windy or dropped below zero. Sportful doesn't claim that these tights are at all water resistant and they are designed for 'mostly dry' conditions. While they are fine in a little drizzle, when it really got wet the rain came straight through and made for a very cold and soggy ride.
My favourite thing about the Diva bib tights is the fit. They fit me beautifully, without any unwanted sagging from excess material, and the sizing comes up just as expected from Sportful's size guide. Unlike other tights I've worn previously, the legs aren't miles long and the medium fit my 5ft 4in size 8/10 frame perfectly. The fabric is also incredibly stretchy for a flexible fit.
I love the bodice-like bib section which, like the legs, is soft and fleece-lined up to the bust, with a zip up the front. It added some much needed extra warmth around the core. I also found this style far more comfortable than regular bib straps. They have so far kept their shape and softness through several washes with no problems.
The tights feature YKK zips at the ankles, making them very easy to get on and off, with reflective detailing up the sides to help visibility at night.
The pad felt a little bulky initially, but I was quick to forgive this as it is well padded and really comfortable for at least two to three hours in the saddle, making it perfect for winter rides. It is not the best chamois I have ever ridden in (that title goes to Assos' premium S7), but I certainly wasn't uncomfortable on longer rides of over four hours.
You can get both warmer and waterproof winter tights for a similar price (check out the Dhb Aeron Rain Defence Tights, for example), but I certainly don't think £100 is too much to pay for what you get. Yes, I was a little disappointed with the warmth on especially cold days, but they do, in fact, do just what they are designed for: winter rides in cool and dry conditions.
The Diva bib tights seem pretty average in warmth, performance and cost, yet they are so comfortable that I can't seem to stop wearing them. If you found them at a discount, I don't know how you could refuse.
Not the warmest, but make up for it by being super-comfy and fitting beautifully
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Diva Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Sportful says its Diva Bibtight is "a long-distance tight made for cool and mostly dry conditions – exactly the conditions when you'll do most of your winter riding".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ThermoDrytex Plus fabric
Colored insert with reflective piping
Infinity seat pad
YKK® camlock zip
They're very good at what they're designed for, fleecy inside and warm on cold autumn and winter days. They are slightly limited in use – I would want something thicker in sub-zero conditions, and they're not much good in the rain – but they don't promise to be.
Both leg length and bib length were just right on me, leaving no extra material anywhere and a very comfortable fit.
I fit the specifications on the size chart for a medium, which was perfect.
Relatively light weight, but at the expense of being less protective in below freezing conditions.
Loved the fleecy lining, chamois was thick in all the right places, and I found them really comfortable to ride in.
I have never ridden in more comfortable tights, but for the price I was hoping to be warmer.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well, didn't stretch, and the fleecy lining has kept its softness through several washes so far.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really comfortable and generally warm to ride in, but I did start to feel the cold in sub-zero temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Love the fit, fleece lining and bodice-like bib section, which made them very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as warm as others I've worn and no good in the rain (though they don't claim to be at all waterproof).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
While they are not exceptional, they are wonderfully fleecy and do exactly what Sportful says they are designed for, and I just can't stop wearing them.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.