Winter riding requires a good set of bib tights. And, while you’re at it, why not add a few extra pockets to stash gels and such? The new Santini Gravel Bib Tights not only crush cold-weather riding, but have extra pockets to stash whatever you need to stash for long gravel tracks.
Santini Gravel Bib Tights Features:
- Utilizes Sitip®’s warm Blizzard thermofleece
- Features water repellent Acquazero® treatment
- Laser-cut back panel with longitudinally ribbed straps
- Santini C3 multi-density gel chamois
- Elastic, raw-cut cuffs
- Two thigh pockets and two back pockets
- Reflective touches on sides
- MSRP: $230
“Gravel” bib tights that rock everywhere
Everything is “gravel” these days and with both the UCI Gravel Worlds and Strade Bianche happening in Italy, the Italians are really embracing the discipline. But, in many instances “gravel” just means adding pockets and maybe a little more color to an existing piece of kit. With the Santini Gravel Bib Tights, you get a great pair of winter tights that happen to have extra cargo capacity.
Outdoor riding has been difficult in Utah this year — with Alta receiving nearly 650 inches of snow so far. Our neighborhood routes have been cold, frozen and mostly snow-covered since November. As you can see, snow depths are clearly preventing any true gavel testing of these bib tights, but I’ve got no complaints with these on the road.
First, let’s talk through the fit. Unlike most European brands, I don’t feel the need to size up. The medium bib tights fit me perfectly-snug. I have to work them up my legs a little, but that size offers outstanding compression without being overly-tight. And, the thermofleece material just feels amazing next-to-skin. Outside of that, the laser-cut rear panel disappears and the thin straps breathe and stay put (thanks to the vertical ribbing). I appreciate that the thin uppers don’t create an extra layer to work around, so I can optimize my layers without having to consider the added thickness of the uppers.
Earlier this winter, I reviewed the Trek Circuit Thermal Bib Tights and noted that the fabric didn’t stretch as much as I’d like. I’m happy to report that the Santini Gravel Bib Tights stretch nicely and never feel restrictive. No matter how aggressive I’m riding, these bib tights move with me. I’m not surprised, really. Santini knows how to make great winter kits.
The overall fit is optimized using long panels that run the length of the bib tights. With that, there are no added seams above or below the knees where materials change. The seams largely go unnoticed as well. I appreciate the height of the uppers as they hit above my navel and have delivered excellent coverage with the Santini Alpha Trail Jacket and Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey.
I’ve been perfectly-comfortable down into the upper-30’s in these bib tights, but anything colder than that, you may want something warmer. You can feel the chill at lower temps, so I’d say these are really optimal for 40 to 50-degree riding temperatures. Santini’s Acquazero fabric treatment offers long-lasting water-repellency and the water just beads up and rolls off.
Moving onto the C3 chamois, there’s more accolades to be said. My backside loves this liner and I’m comfortable for as long as my body can handle the cold weather. While seated, it conforms perfectly with my anatomy and the Bontrager Verse Short Pro and Ergon SR Comp saddles I’ve ridden it with. During standing efforts, the tights keep the chamois locked in place so I never have to re-adjust after standing efforts.
Sometimes, bib tights feature zippered cuffs, but I’m glad Santini chose to go simple here. Yes, you do have to bunch the legs up to accommodate longer or thicker socks, but I much prefer that over the added thickness of a zipper. If you have monster calves and are using really thick socks (like the Endura Humvee II), it may be initially difficult, but trust me, you won’t care one bit once sorted for your ride.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs wearing the size medium for a perfect fit.
- Stretches with every movement
- Zipper-free leg cuffs
- Thin uppers breathe well and don’t add warmth
- Excellent weather protection
- Warm and cozy
- Extra pockets to stash fuel or other small items
- C3 chamois is awesomely-comfortable
- Mesh leg pockets are vulnerable to sharp objects
The Bottom Line: Santini Gravel Bib Tights
Gravel, schmavel, these are great winter bib tights for road, gravel or MTB. Those pockets only add to he versatility without detracting from the overall function. The C3 chamois is bonkers and the Santini Gravel Bib Tights have become my go-to for winter riding (I just wish the gravels were rideable for my testing.)
Buy Now: Available from Santini