We might be enjoying the last of a summer of warm weather but soon enough cyclists will be looking out their winter cycling kit. Long-fingered gloves, cycling tights and long-sleeved cycling jerseys are the minimum requirement for enjoyable riding through the winter months. Other items to think about are waterproof and windproof cycling jackets, cycling over-shoes and under helmet ear warmers or buffs. But, for me, the most vital item of winter cycling kit is a warm and comfortable pair of tights.
On test: Altura Progel Cycling Tights
I have tested the women’s waist high version of Altura Progel Cycling Tights. There are also bibbed tights and various versions for men. The most noticeable feature of the tights when first pulling them on is the oh-so-soft inside fabric. The fleecy inner feels immediately warm and snug along the length of your legs. If you usually wear thin tights over cycling shorts you’ll find the fleecy fabric far more comfortable and warm.
Inside out: The fleecy lining of the Altura cycling tights.
The tights have been designed to fit the female physique with multiple panels to provide both structure and comfort. The waist has also been designed to fit neatly against the skin and around your more curvy areas. The fabric is both warming and stretchy, so when you’re riding a bike the tights feel like an extra layer of skin, rather than being restrictive. I found the seams to be soft against my skin as well. The tights are fitted with what Altura call their “award-winning Progel insert”. This is a pad to give you good comfort in the saddle. It’s a nicely cushioned pad and fits neatly in all the right places.
In addition the tights feature:
- Silicone ankle grippers – to keep the hem of the cycling tights in place while you ride
- Reflective detail – for additional sighting of people driving cars with their headlights on.
Most women are not fans of the look of cycling shorts and tights. Thankfully the Altura offer good structure so they hug where things might sometimes be a bit saggy and they actually look pretty good. I’d suggest buy UK12s if you are normally a tall-ish UK10. The tights come up a little smaller than I’d usually expect. Buying a UK12 offers you a bit of extra leg length, too. If you prefer things a little smoother on your waist, invest in the slightly pricier (£10 more) Altura Progel Cycling Bib Tights. People can be snobby about the brand of cycling kit that they buy and wear but I have always found Altura to be of good quality, practical and comfortable. The brand is also reasonably priced. You can buy the Altura Progel Cycling Tights from Leisure Lakes Bikes for £59.99 (or £53.99 with their VIP membership.)