Keep Your Legs Warm on the Bike with 6 of the Best Winter Cycling Tights

Your leg cover needs to keep you warm when it’s cold, wet and windy. That’s asking a lot, but fortunately we’ve got some tights that are up to the job. We take a look at some different layering options that’ll take you through from autumn to spring and keep you cycling on the coldest days of the year.

The British weather is tricky to predict. A breezy autumn day can often turn out to be unseasonably mild whereas that clear sunny sky that’s warming you through the window can yield a bitter wind that makes you regret leaving your windproof at home.

Unlike your upper body, which can get pretty warm when you’re pedalling hard, your legs bear the brunt of the cold. You may be able to cope with cool temperatures and wind chill, but water adds another dimension. If it’s not falling from the sky, it’s splashing up from the puddles on the roads.

 

5 Ways to Keep Your Legs Warm When Cycling

3/4 Length Tights

3/4 length tights are a great all-year-round option. Perfect for cool summer evenings, spring and autumn outings and mild winter days, 3/4 lengths keep your thighs warm enough to work hard while not letting your legs overheat.

 

Shorts + Leg Warmers

Another versatile option is to combine your summer shorts with a pair of leg warmers. This is a good option for days when cold mornings give way to warm afternoons, or if you like a bit of extra protection from the weather while you warm up. Once you’re feeling toasty, stuff the leg warmers into your jersey pocket and let your legs breathe.

 

Full-length Padded Bib or Waist Tights

When it gets really cold it’s time to break out the thermal tights. Bib tights are often a more comfortable choice, but they can make for cold loo breaks. (Though some models are specifically designed to help with this.) There are plenty of options for those who prefer padded waist tights instead.

 

Shorts + Unpadded Tights

There’s no need to pack your summer shorts away just yet. Combining them with a weather-resistant thermal layer gives you the ultimate toasty combination. Great if the weather turns between your cold morning commute and your cycle home.

If you’re only cycling short distances, the tights can be worn on their own. The lack of padding also makes them a versatile option if you want something for multiple activities.

 

Shorts (or Tights) + Baggy Trousers

When it’s chucking it down with rain you need something that will really protect you from the elements. Our range of water-resistant and waterproof cycling trousers will make the wet commute home that bit more bearable.

If Lycra isn’t your thing then winter means baggy trousers. There are some great options for men and women from Endura and Fox that’ll keep you warm whatever the trails throw at you.

 

>> Stay visible on those darker rides with these Hi-Vis tips <<

 

6 Tights to Keep You Warm This Winter

Castelli Light Weight Bib-Tight

Castelli designed this bib-tight specifically for mild winter conditions. There’s thermal protection on the top half of the leg to just below the knee and a water-repellent panel to protect your lower legs from splashes. The perfect balance of warmth, breathability and weather protection for late autumn and early spring rides.

 

Kalf Club Thermal Women’s Waist Tight

With a built-in chamois pad and a soft feel waistband, these tights are designed for comfort as much as warmth. Perfect for mid-winter rides, the reflective detail on the back looks stylish as well as making sure you’re seen on the roads.

 

Kalf Club Thermal Men’s Bib-Tight

These cold-weather tights will keep you warm from top to toe. The design is articulated and the high-stretch fleece-lined material won’t restrict your movement. There are zipped sections at the torso and legs to help get them on and off and reflective trim on the back of the legs. A classic winter bib-tight.

 

Gore Bike Wear Element Women’s Thermo Bib-tight+

The perfect choice for long cold-weather rides, the patented zipper system means you don’t have to strip off to answer the call of nature. With extra thermal fabric around the knee area and a weather-resistant panel around the crotch and back, these tights are designed to keep your cold bits warm. Reflective piping on the legs adds a splash of colour and visibility.

 

Louis Garneau Stockholm Tights

These unpadded tights offer a good balance between warmth and breathability and are ideal for multiple sports including cycling, running and skiing. The flat-lock seams minimise chafing and the ankle grippers keep the tights firmly in place.

 

FWE Women’s Coldharbour Thermal Padded Bib-Tights

A great-value, well-padded pair of tights. The Italian Roubaix fabric is both insulating and highly-breathable to keep you comfortable and warm. With ankle grippers and zips, reflective trim and a Coolmax chamois pad, you get a lot of features for your money.

 

More Tips to Stay Warm This Winter

>> The best winter cycling shoes and other top tips for warmer feet on the bike <<

 

>> Stay warm and pedal on: 6 of the Best Winter Cycling Jerseys <<

 

>> Check out our round up of the best Women’s Winter cycling kit <<

 

 

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