Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Bib Tights
First impressions upon opening the item were that the bib tights were “substantial” in that they felt as if they would be warm and protective. The quality of the material felt extremely good and after being a regular user of “entry” level kit such as Wiggles own brand DHB for many years these felt quality and the detailing looked great.
Unlike some brands who insist on putting zips on the front of their bib tights PI have gone for the simple up and over bibs and it works perfectly well. The leg zips with its clever little hideaway zip is a nice touch and adds a little bit of class to the item.
I rode them this morning on a chilly 30km commute and the thermal qualities compared favourably to my somewhat ageing pair of Gore Winter Bib Tights and if anything slightly outperformed them in regulating my leg temperature.
As for the chamois/padding I was initially surprised at the size of it as it seemed to overshadow my Gore and DHB, however I cannot fault the level of comfort during the ride.
On the negative side I would always imagine that Thermal Bib Tights would be predominantly worn from late autumn through unto the spring and more often than not in either darkness or poor light. With this in mind I was surprised at how little in the way of reflective qualities the tights have on them which in the day of road safety could be something for PI to address.
A very different ride wearing the Thermal Bib Tights in that the chilly weather on Ride1 was replaced but a mild but drizzly 30km into a fairly strong headwind but despite being classed as “thermal” these tights actually repelled the rain very well and maintained a very comfortable temperature. With the temperature being considerably higher than Ride1 I was fully expecting to have a “sodden nappy” of a chamois at the end of the ride but it was literally “as dry as a bone” which was a huge bonus.
So after a few weeks of wearing the Elite Thermal Tights I can highly recommend both the comfort and quality to the point that more Pearl Izumi products will be appearing in my cycling wardrobe.
- Great chamois quality
- Water resilience is very good
- Good thermal qualities
- A real feel of quality in the material
- Generous sizing
- Lacks any real “reflective” markings for night riding