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Santini 365 Giove bibtights review

12 Feb 2020
Verdict:

Unassuming but remarkable example of a winter staple done properly

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Incredibly good fit • Supportive • Warm • Proven windproofing
Against 
Any colour, as long as it’s black

The world of fashion has a name for an item that everyone’s wardrobe should contain: a ‘staple’. It’s an example of a garment of a certain style, usually a design classic. Think ‘white T-shirt’, ‘denim jacket’, ‘roll-neck sweater’… Something that’s made to last, which you’ll probably only need one of, and which might cost considerably more than a lower quality equivalent…

The Santini 365 Giove bibtights I’ve been pulling on for every ride since last November are a perfect example of a cycling staple.

For a man of average height, I’ve particularly short legs (29in inside leg, inherited from my Danny Devito-sized father). Consequently, I often struggle to get ergo-designed knee panels to seat neatly over my knee caps, with a hoiking up procedure that often ends with an ankle cuff half way up my shin and a chamois that’s splitting my difference. These Santini 365 Giove bibtights are as close to the perfect length as I’ve ever ridden in.

A number of two-wheeled ‘ejector seat’ moments have left me with mangled collarbones, and bib braces often don’t seat comfortably over them. The Santini straps are thankfully wide enough to accommodate my abnormal skeleton, while a high-rise waist not only keeps post-Christmas cake consumption well hidden but also provides insulation for the torso when riding.

Buy now from Tredz Bikes for £170

Add to all of this a fit that’s snug without being restrictive, and you’ve already a number of essential ingredients for a solid cycling wardrobe staple.

But even the best fitting winter tights are worthless if their form can’t be achieved without sacrificing function. The windproof and water-repellent construction of these is – and bear in mind I like to avoid superlatives – among the best performing I have ever experienced.

Gore Windstopper softshell fabric across the knees, thighs and across the stomach-covering top of the tights provides a three-layer barrier against chills and rain.

The DWR outer layer has proved ample for shrugging off showers, but while heavy rain will eventually make its way through, it’s not claimed to be totally waterproof, and the Santini 365 Giove bibtights’ fleece-backed internal construction ensures warmth isn’t lost while windchill can’t affect your quads thanks to the peerlessly performing windproof Gore membrane.

Buy now from Tredz Bikes for £170

Blizzard thermofleece is also applied to the garment’s back panel for extra warmth. It’s for this reason that I’ve occasionally gone without even a baselayer when combining these tights with a Santini Vega Xtreme jacket. I couldn’t say, hand on heart, that riding in single-figure temperatures for the last two months has been a joy, but for getting base miles under your wheels and in your legs over the more shockingly chilly mornings of winter, I couldn’t think of a better pair of tights that I’ve worn in the last 10 years.

Added bonus: the Next gel core of the Santini Giove’s Nat chamois supplies well padded shock absorption without veering into ‘soaking wet adult-nappy’ territory, too.

Unassuming kit can sometimes be the hardest to part with big money for, but for all its unremarkable appearance, this is a three-season staple that will serve you well for years to come; a garment that will do you for deep winter as well as transitional weather in spring and autumn.

Price: 
£170

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