Warm, and very comfortable, these Chapeau! Club Thermal bib tights should see you through the winter, though at the price there are some details I would like to see tweaked.
In particular I was surprised to see that most of the seams, while tidily double-stitched, were not flatlocked. Even most of my budget clothes manage that these days, so Chapeau! could have gone the extra mile in my opinion. That said, there was no rubbing or discomfort, though the snug fit meant I had the impression of the seams pressed into my skin for an hour after I took them off.
One other area where I thought they could be improved was a cosmetic detail. The left ankle and stirrup are made from white fabric and after just one ride were stained with road dirt and mud that never really came out. It's a shame if you like your kit to look immaculate. Chapeau! offers a crash replacement service, which means if you come a cropper and put a hole in these you can send them back and you'll be sent a new pair, for free.
The fit was excellent. I fall right into size L on the size guide and these were perfect for me. In particular, there is lots of leg length. This suited me fine but I know some riders would want a bit more width and less length. The stretchy fabric hugs closely without being restrictive. The shoulder straps are decently wide and didn't cut in at all, even though I am 6ft 2in. The short zip means the stomach is covered a good way up.
I've used these tights at every opportunity through November and early December and would describe them as mid-weight – that is, excellent for cool to milder weather. On really cold days I wanted my thicker tights, but on milder ones I never felt overly clad. The pad, from Cytech, seemed perfectly comfortable, at least over the kinds of distances I do in the season when a garment like this is needed. Three hours is usually enough for me at this time of year, and I was well inside my comfort limits at the end.
Styling is classy in the Chapeau! mould, if you don't mind exclamation marks on your legs, though again I don't know about that one white ankle cuff, which makes it look like you've tucked one leg into your sock.
Overall, I really like these tights, though I had to divert my eyes from the price tag.
Very comfortable mid-weight tights with distinctive styling, but for the price some details could be improved
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau! Club Thermal Bibtight
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Chapeau! says: "Our full length thermal bib-tights with luxurious slimfitting Roubaix fabric and Cytech HP Bastogne pad have been designed to provide absolute comfort.
"Featuring soft touch moisture wicking fabric to keep you dry and UV protection to keep you from unlikely sun damage we've taken care of every detail this winter. With reflective stripes behind the knee and reflective logo detail you can be sure to be seen whilst looking your best. Our foot stirrups are welded flat so you can wave goodbye to fiddling with unreliable zips through heavy gloves."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Reflective (thigh logos, rear badge and double stripes on the back of the knees)
The Bastogne pad offers increased protection for long distance rides thanks to the perfect combination of perforated foams, whilst different foam densities provide breathability and freedom of movement. The pad is engineered to support the rotation of the pelvic bone on the saddle while pedaling with a totally flush top surface providing close and continuous skin contact. Shaped according to specific anthropometrical measurements the pad offers perfect fit, saddle stability and most importantly pressure relief to aid blood flow.
W 30 inches
L 32 inches
W 32 inches
L 32 inches
W 34 inches
L 34 inches
Extra Large (XL)
W 36 inches
L 34 inches
Extra Extra Large (XXL)
W 38 inches
L 36 inches
Very good, but flatlock stitching of the seams would have been welcome.
Comfortable winter tights; mid-weight so good for mild to cold days, but not for really freezing weather.
Early days, but nothing in the construction or fabrics to suggest an early demise. If you damage them in a crash, Chapeau! will replace them free of charge.
For my long, thinnish frame, excellent – especially good if you have long legs.
Spot-on from the Chapeau! size guide.
A little heavier than some mid-weight tights, but direct comparisons of warmth against weight are tricky.
No complaints here. The pad is invisible over three hours, which is about as much as I can get done on a winter ride with a stomach full of mince pies.
At the premium end of the price scale, which is why I was surprised to see no flatlock stitching.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed okay except for the white ankle stirrup on the left leg, which soon looked grubby.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent winter tights for all but the coldest conditions. Once on, they become one of those "invisible" garments that just do the job without making themselves annoying in any way. They look good too, in my opinion.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good for comfort and fit; plenty of leg length, good looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The white ankle trim soon looked grubby.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The cut, fit and comfort are undoubtedly the highlights of these tights, which in use is about 90% of it. That extends to a pleasant-to-use pad. I would want warmer tights for the coldest days, though I am thin-blooded. At the premium price, I would expect flatlocked seams, though performance wasn't impaired.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking