Choosing the Best Cycling Tights – it’s A Matter of Degree.
We’ve put cycling tights to the test in some pretty extreme conditions from wet road surfaces to frigid temperatures. And while the option always exists for layering a shell tight over bike shorts, our testers favor the integrated, dedicated cycling tights with chamois. The main reason is less bulk and therefore a reduction in the potential for chafing at waist, back of knee and through the crotch where multiple fabric layers can be extra problematic.
Years of development and sourcing have resulted in what we think is a pretty comprehensive array of options – and the best cycling tights for female cyclists. If you’re a serious rider trying to eke out every rideable day possible, you’ll get your money’s worth out of any one of these.
Best Tights for 35º – 60º
Coolweather Tights, the best cycling tights for mostly dry conditions
Not only are these good for a wide temperature range, we make them for a wide variety of riders (petite, regular, tall and plus). They’re not thermal but the fabric is a densely knitted tri blend designed to wick extremely well. These are my personal go-to’s for winter mountain biking where I’m working hard and really need a tight that will provide good moisture transport.
Best Bike Tights for 30º – 50º
Thermal Tights, best cycling tights for mixed weather conditions
Lots of great choices here, all made of a fleece-backed fabric that adds loft and warmth. All three are five-star rated and offer slightly different fits as well as differences in chamois. Of course we’re biased toward our own Thermal Tight, new this season, but the others are great options, too.
Terry Thermal $119
Newly updated this year, outfitted with a handy leg pocket and our ridiculously comfortable soft wing chamois.
GORE C3 Thermo $120
Has an additional layer of thermal fabric in knee area, along with center back wheel spray protection panel; comes in all black or black with high viz neon calf panels.
Super value and sports a reflective print that helps enhance visibility.
Best Cycling Tights for 20º – 50º
Windfront Tights, great for the coldest and/or wettest conditions
These are as good as it gets for the absolute coldest temperatures and the ones we recommend as the best cycling tights for the worst weather.
Gore C3 WINDSTOPPER® $160
WINDSTOPPER® panel in front is totally windproof and highly water resistant so not only are they warm, but they shed the wet.
Craft Ideal Wind $100
A very good value in a thermal tight that has windproof panels at front and reflective print/details throughout.
Additional Ways to Cheat Winter:
One easy trick for on/off road winter riding is to add a fender to catch the road spray before it catches you. Try a shortie for your mountain bike or an easy-add seatpost attachment style fender to your road bike.
Hands and feet down, you have to give it to the development team in Duluth Minnesota behind the 45Nrth brand. No doubt that their location is ground zero for product testing winter products. I can attest that no other gloves have allowed me to ride more comfortably than these and I won’t even try any more without them.