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Universal Colours Chroma Thermal Merino Plus women's bib tights review

14 Jan 2022

An excellent pair of deep winter bib tights with a smart comfort break feature

Cyclist Rating: 
Comfortable • Warm • Excellent comfort break feature • Flattering
Nothing unless you can't stomach the price

Universal Colours came onto the scene in January 2020. Since launching, the brand has produced some great quality kit, including the Chroma Insulated Unisex Gilet, and these thermal women's bib tights are another excellent piece of cycling kit.

Made from a mix of nylon, merino and elastane, the Chroma Thermal Merino Plus women's bib tights are an ideal companion for a cold winter ride.

They are comfortable, feel good against the skin, and actually make me want to go riding in the cold, quite a feat in itself.

The Chroma tights keep you warm and have a durable water repellent treatment on them so harsh winter conditions don't infiltrate.

The inner lining is made from merino which the brand says helps retain warmth, is naturally antibacterial and wicks away unwanted moisture.

I have worn these in some grim wintry conditions, with road spray hitting hard, and they haven't disappointed.

According to Universal Colours the highly durable, compressive, woven nylon helps to reduce muscle fatigue.

I can't comment on that, but I will say that the material is excellent, firm enough but not so firm so as to impede pedalling.

Universal Colours Chroma Thermal Merino Plus women's bib tights fit

The chamois is a women's specific Elastic Interface Road Performance Space pad. It's made from recycled and pre-consumer materials, and I found it delivered a pain-free saddle experience.

I have spent at least five hours in these bib tights on several occasions and found the chamois to provide ample comfort.

It also doesn’t bulge massively which appeals to me. The overall cut of the bib tights is flattering, the bib straps are sturdy and I like the cross-body element.

The bib tights also feature ankle zips for easy wear, or simply for cooling down, and have a decent amount of subtle reflective detailing for staying visible in the dark.

My favourite part, though, is the comfort break feature which is a small, subtle zip at the back of tights. Frankly it is brilliant, and I don’t know why more brands haven’t implemented it.

To top things off, these bib tights are made in a Bluesign accredited factory – essentially they are made in a way which is safer for the environment, workers and customers.

There is also a men’s version available which features a supportive mesh upper brace.

If you're looking for winter bib tights which have an integrated baselayer, read our review of the Santini Coral Bengal women's bib tights.

Universal Colours Chroma Thermal Merino Plus women's bib tights bottom line

The Universal Colours Chroma Thermal Merino Plus women's bib tights are an excellent pair of winter bib tights for deep winter riding with a brilliant comfort break feature.

While they are at the upper end of the price spectrum at £220, Universal Colours’ commitment to social and environment good practice may help offset the cost.

These tights are so good I featured them in my 2021 gear of the year.