As a Swedish brand, Craft knows how to build foul weather cycling gear — and I’ve now independently proven that fact with the Craft Storm Bib Tights. The unique blend of fabrics has won me over.
Craft Storm Bib Tights Features:
- Wind and waterpoof Ventair X-Wind panels
- Thermal, brushed fabric at back for warmth and ventilation
- Ergonomic design for a perfect riding-position fit
- 4-way elasticity for optimal freedom of movement
- Ergonomically placed flatlock seams
- 360 degrees visibility
- Ergonomic bib construction
- Side zipper at bottom leg
- Men’s Performance Pad
- Price: $149.99
Storm Bib Tights Deliver Weather Protection
When selecting a good pair of winter-weight bib tights, it’s not only important to have warmth and wind protection, but certainly don’t forget about foul weather protection as well. It’s that kind of combination that makes Castelli’s Gabba products some of the most sought-after on the market. Not to be left out, Craft delivers a great combination of fabrics that gives all-around protection at a reasonable price with the Performance Storm Bib Tights.
To achieve the proper protection, Craft opts to use a combination of fleece-backed materials for warmth and adds a softshell outer layer of Ventair X-Wind on top of critical panels. Both fabrics feature a nice 4-way stretch, but the outer material does end up looking a little wrinkled since it doesn’t have quite the same stretchy properties as the fleece-backed Spandex used throughout.
The Elite Bike Tech Bib Shorts in a size Large fit me perfectly with a very Euro fit. The Performance Storm Bib Tights are also size Large and certainly fit just fine, but I think I could go with a Medium for a more supportive fit (I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs.). So, just know that you could likely size down in these to get a more streamlined, performance-oriented fit without being turned into a human sausage.
With FlatLock seams throughout, the Storm Bibs deliver some of the best next-to-skin comfort I’ve found. Nothing feels awkward, bunchy or scratchy and the minimized seams turn these into a cohesive unit. The bib uppers offer excellent comfort with or without a baselayer underneath. While the straps on some bibs feel like cheese graters, these are nice and soft.
Something that I love seeing with winter-weight bibs is the side zip at the ankle. Anyone who simply puts a zipper on the back of the Achilles hasn’t thought through the cycling motions well enough. Craft realizes that the side zip is a much better experience and I can’t thank them enough as the locking zipper stays out of the way of booties and doesn’t dig into my Achilles with every pedal stroke.
Instead of a zipper in the back, these bibs feature a huge reflective tab going up to the back of the knee — a nice touch for added visibility.
The performance of the Ventair X-Wind fabric has been excellent. I broke these bibs in on a cold, rain/snow mix ride with temperatures hovering in the mid-30’s. It wasn’t a steady rain or snow, but just enough to showcase how protective the outer layer of these bibs is. Both rain and snow just beaded up and off these bibs and continued to do so throughout the ride.
Like any winter bibs, the backside of the legs doesn’t deliver the same weather protection as the front. You’ll notice the cool air passing by at first, but once warmed up, you’ll appreciate the airflow and breathability. This becomes particularly true when temperatures get into the upper 40’s. I’d say the temperature range for these is from the low 30’s up into the low 50’s without being too cold or too hot.
- Keeps the water out — even after extended rides
- Excellent next-to-skin comfort top and bottom
- Size leg zip — kudos
- Huge reflective strips on the backside of the legs
- Nice chamois with comfort you can feel
- Bib straps are nice and soft on bare skin
- Easily stretched when nature calls
- Separate outer/inner fabric makes for a bit of a “baggy look” — especially when wet
- Not a ton of compression support (size down for a more performance fit)
The Bottom Line: Craft Performance Storm Bib Tights
The Storm Bib Tights deliver on winter-weight performance and weather protection by utilizing an excellent combination of fabrics. The Ventair X-Wind outer panels shed rain and snow aplenty and the fleece-lined Spandex panels make for a cozy next-to-skin experience. You can comfortably size down for a more performance fit.
Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com