Winter riding requires proper planning and the right clothing. Based in Waterloo, WI, the folks at Bontrager are no strangers to cold weather. This year, the new Bontrager Velocis Softshell Bib Tights have been my bibs of choice when the weather was at its worst.

Bontrager Velocis Softshell Bib Tights Features:

  • Softshell front panel is wind and water-resistant
  • Thermal rear panel for improved breathability
  • Italian-made Arcus inForm BioDynamic chamois is used with Aircell pad
  • YKK semi-auto lock ankle zippers ensure easy on and off with excellent durability
  • Stretchy silicone-free bib straps offer a comfortable and hypoallergenic fit
  • Fitted cut for enhanced performance
  • MSRP: $200
Bontrager Velocis Winter Bib Tights Review

Always hard to get a decent shot of bib tights, but you get the idea.

Warm and comfortable bib tights

It’s terribly cold outside, but riding is happening. The Bontrager Velocis Softshell Bib Tights were made for just such a ride. Softshell fabrics are inherently warmer and more protective, so the Velocis Softshell Bib Tights are unabashedly built for days when your inside voice is telling you to stay home, next to a warm fireplace.

Due to the softshell fabric, the Velocis Softshell Bib Tights are a little oversized. I am a solid medium top/bottom with Bontrager kits and found the fit to be just about right, but still a little looser than anticipated (wasn’t a big deal). As with most thermal bib tights, these have zippered legs with a snazzy angled cuff design — all in the name of proper coverage.

Santini Svolta Jacket - 3T Exploro

The matched with the Santini Svolta Jacket just fine.

Pulling these on, you’ll immediately notice something a little different — they come up really high in the front. And, even though my wife hasn’t been pregnant in over 10 years, I immediately drew comparisons to maternity jeans (not a good thing). That extra height does provide added support and coverage, but does make the fit a little awkward, particularly where the straps attach in front. That attachment point chaffes my skin something terrible. I could uncomfortably wear these without a base layer, but due to the strap attachment point, a base layer is a must. The straps themselves are wide, stretchy, comfortable and supportive (all good things).

Bontrager Velocis Winter Bib Tights Review

Wide, comfortable straps, but that connection point is chaffe-inducing.

The beauty of the Velocis Softshell Bib Tights is the sheer warmth and weather protection they afford. You can easily ride in these well below my 40-degree comfort zone. I’d say these would be suitable below 30-degrees if you so choose. At the opposite end, anything above 50-degrees does become rather warm. Because of that, I used these on the coldest rides. To improve breathability, the back panel is a more breathable thermofleece.

Bontrager Velocis Softshell Jacket Review

Velocis Softshell Bib Tights and Subzero Jacket kept me warm on the coldest of days.

As with other softshell material, the face fabric does absorb water (better DWR treatment would be appreciated), but it doesn’t penetrate it. Fleece backing provides excellent next-to-skin comfort and the Arcus inForm BioDynamic chamois delivers a high-quality ride across a variety of saddles. And, while the fabric is thick and warm, it does get a little cumbersome during standing climbs.

NOTE: I’m 5’11” and 170lbs and I wore the size medium. 

The Good

  • Ultimate weather protection
  • Killer warmth on the coldest of days
  • Straps are wide and stretchy
  • Chamois is a good one

The Bad

  • Fronts come up pretty high
  • Strap attachment points cause chaffing
  • Fabric thickness is noticeable on standing climbs

The Bottom Line: Bontrager Velocis Softshell Bib Tights

These are definitely warm and suitable for road, MTB or gravel use in the coldest of temperatures. With full coverage, you’ll be sure to stay comfortable and the softshell fabric panels can keep water from chilling you to the bone.

Buy Now: Available at REI (on sale for $139)

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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