Just in time for Halloween, the mad scientists at Sportful have offered us the Frankenstein of cold-weather tights: the R&D Bib Tights. With garments like the BodyFit Pro Thermal Bib Tights, we've already seen some impressive stuff from Sportful. The R&D distinguishes itself by offering a little bit of everything, harvesting technology and techniques from every different line of cycling clothing that Sportful offers in order to build a monstrously effective pair of tights. The R&D Bib Tights use a base of ThermoDrytex Double with ThermoDrytex PL+ on the thighs and knees, which is not to be confused with ThermoDrytex Plus, which makes up the back.
ThermoDrytex Double fabric is the trump card of the ThermoDrytex line, so we'll start there. Its outer face is nylon with a water-resistant finish; the inside is lined with fleece made with hollow core yarn. The key to ThermoDrytex Plus' wicking and insulating is found in the center of the yarn or rather, it's not found there. The hollow core traps warm air and wicks moisture away from your body, regulating your temperature and keeping you dry, which in turn keeps you out riding. The back of the R&Ds is made of ThermoDrytex Plus brushed fleece fabric, which offers less protection than the Double but more flexibility. Since the rear isn't leading into the wind, Sportful used a material that offers more flexibility and a bit of ventilation, just in case you start to overheat. The parts that do lead into the wind get a special treatment, the ThermoDrytex PL+. The R&Ds are the only non-hats that use this fabric, and it's limited to the knees and thighs because it blocks wind extremely well while still wicking moisture.
The tights boast a TC Pro insert, which is a more streamlined version of Sportful's Total Comfort chamois, which has a variable geography of dimpled foam thicknesses to conform, support, and transfer moisture. Compared to the Total Comfort insert, the thickness of the TC Pro is reduced in the back and middle, but boosted in the front. This design is meant to accommodate riders who spend most of their time tilted forward rather than sitting upright, benefiting cyclists with an aggressive frame geometry and riding style. The edges of the chamois are """"pressed to zero."""" This translates directly to """"no chafing,"""" a feature that riders who have spent a rough two weeks in November getting used to the chamois on their winter tights will appreciate almost immediately.
The zippered ankles keep the cuffs tight after you've pulled them over your feet. They also include reflective piping to help keep you visible in low-light situations. The Total Comfort bib straps reduce bulk and let you control the type and amount of torso layering, and the flatlock stitching eliminates chafing.
The Sportful R&D Bib Tights are available in seven sizes ranging from X-Small to XXX-Large in the color Black.