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With summer a distant memory, it's time to start considering cold-weather kit. Luckily, there's a new range of autumn/winter clothing from dhb including these very nice Vaeon Roubaix bib-tights.
Specifically designed for riding your bike in cold conditions, these bib-tights are made from a relatively thick style of fabric called Roubaix, which means it's smooth on the outside for a neat look, and slightly fleecy on the inside for warmth and comfort.
After a few recent test rides on some pretty chilly days, we can say they are perfect for autumn weather, and will be fine for all but the coldest winter days as well.
Despite the slight extra thickness, the fabric is stretchy and gives a nice close fit around the legs and rear-end, without being too tight. And if you happen to hit a warm spell of weather while out on your bike (or are just giving it stick on a climb), any moisture from sweat is wicked away quickly.
The bib section of these bib-tights is pretty high back and front, which provides an extra layer of insulation above the waist for those cold days. The straps are made from the same material as the rest of the shorts, with a mesh panel between the straps across the back to help airflow and avoid sweat building up.
The cut is anatomical, meaning the tights have a 'bend' to align with the way your body bends when sitting on the bike. This means a few more panels of fabric than tights from some other manufacturers, and therefore a few extra seams, but they're all neat and don't rub or chafe against the skin.
The Vaeon Roubaix tights are available in several different varieties: male and female cuts, with and without a pad, and with or without bib (the latter called waist-tights). Just for the record, our test pair is the male cut and has a pad.
The pad (also known as the insert or chamois) is the most important part of any piece of cycling leg-wear, and these Vaeon Roubaix tights go for the 'Giro' pad from specialist manufacturer CyTech. This is a medium-range pad, thicker than CyTech's 'Race' variety, but thinner than the full-on 'Tour' variety. It's absolutely fine for several hours in the saddle.
Where the tights fit round each ankle, there's a zip. When we reviewed dhb's previous version of these winter tights (called the Pace Roubaix) we noted that the zips rattled and were clearly audible when cycling. So we're impressed and delighted to see these Vaeons have clip-shut zips which are completely silent.
And wait, zip fans, there's even more good news to report. Rather than being right at the back of the tights , or on the side over the ankle bone, the zips on these Vaeons have been carefully positioned fit between the ankle bone and Achilles tendon; this works well and is a very nice feature.
But there's also a slight downside in this area. At the base of the tights around each hem is a silicone gripper-strip to hold the tights in place. But the fit around the ankle is slightly loose. There is no loop to go under the instep to hold the tights down, as found on some other brands of tight.
This slight bagginess would be expected if the tights were simply too big, but our test pair (size medium) fits nicely everywhere else. To be fair, this loose fit probably won't be an issue for most riders, especially if wearing thick winter socks and overshoes, but those with dainty ankles may want to check this aspect.
Other features of the tights include a zip at the front of the bib to assist with (male) pee stops, with a little bit of fabric over the zip to stop the zipper chaffing against the skin or other items of clothing. There also a bit of reflective piping on the back of the knees, plus a dhb logo and one of those mysterious little orange tabs in the seam on the rear of the tights.
The Veaon bib tights are available in black only, and cost a penny under £50 on the Wiggle website, which is a very fair price compared to similar quality Roubaix bib tights from other manufacturers. At the time of writing this price was further reduced to £39.99 which makes it a real bargain.
Well-designed and very comfortable bib-tights, ideal for cold-weather riding. Excellent quality and a bargain price too.
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Make and model: dhb Vaeon Roubaix 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?
This product is a pair of cycling tights designed for use in cold conditions. Highlights emphasised on the Wiggle website include: 'Anatomical form fit, Breathable and warm, CyTech Elastic Interface Giro chamois, dhb branded elastic leg opening with silicone gripper, Lock-down size 5 YKK ankle zippers,
Reflective dhb logo on backside and right lower leg, Reflective strips on rear calf."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wiggle website goes on to describe the tights in more details, including:
'All legwear in the Vaeon Roubaix range uses 235g Lombardia Lycra Fabric. The fabric is made from 85% Nylon and 15% Elastane, making it a strong compressive fabric, with luxurious hand-feel. ... This fabric is suited for general UK Winter conditions (8-15deg Celsius depending on ride intensity) but not extreme cold. ... The Vaeon Roubaix has taken the Pace Roubaix fitting block and improved it. ... The CyTech Giro chamois (padded insert) is the mid-level protection giving comfort in the saddle for full half day session. The dual density foam, with anatomical 3D shape spreads the load onto your saddle helping to minimise pressure points. ...
The 'no-rattle' lock-down YKK ankle zippers have been strategically positioned to fit into the crevice between your Achilles heel and main ankle ball joint."
Construction is very good. The seams are all straight and stitching is tidy. The zips and pad are sewn in very neatly, with no loose threads.
For autumn conditions and most winter conditions (in the UK) these tights perform very well.
Too early to say after only a few test-rides, but durability is likely to be similar to other dbh products using the same fabric. That is to say, these tights won't be bomb-proof but they'll definitely be good for a serious season of winter riding.
Comfort is excellent around the torso, upper legs, rear-end and knees. These tights would score 10 for comfort, but a point knocked off for the slightly loose fit around ankles.
At the current discounted price of £39.99 these tights are excellent value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, these tights performed very well when riding in autumn conditions. Fit was very good, the only downside being the slightly loose fit around the ankles.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warm fabric, nice cut (except ankles), very comfortable pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The only downside is the slightly loose fit around the ankles, although this won't be a problem for most riders when the tights are worn with thick winter socks and overshoes.
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Looking at the total package of fabric, cut, construction, features, comfort and price, these tights would score a perfect 10, but we're docking a point for the slightly loose fit around the ankles.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,