Road Cycling Clothing

howies Women’s Bib Tights 2013 review

Admittedly mainly tested while commuting rather than out on the open road, there’s no faulting these comfy bib tights, especially at the price.

Part of the new range of cycle-specific clothing for women from Welsh outdoors brand howies (yes, that ‘h’ is supposed to be lower case) the Women’s Bib Tights have been a staple of my cycling wardrobe for the past few weeks and I’ve really grown to like the feel of them – they’re thick without being too heavy and have a pleasing matt finish.

The howies Women’s Bib Tights are designed to be worn over your favourite bib shorts for extra warmth (they don’t have a pad) but I’ve mainly been wearing them on their own as part of my commuting outfit.

When cycling, I add knee warmers, thick socks, a base layer and jacket on top, then when I get to the office I’ve been changing the base layer for a normal top, throwing a stretchy mini skirt over the Tights and losing the knee warmers and thick socks, and the Howies Bibs have passed for ‘normal’ leggings. Even some of my more fashion forward colleagues have been won over.

They’re so comfortable I’ve forgotten I’m wearing bib tights – only to remember when I’ve gone to the loo!

With the addition of knee warmers I’ve found the howies Bib Tights to be plenty warm enough in the 5-10°C temperatures we’ve been having recently. They’re not totally wind resistant though (they’re aren’t advertised as such), and without the added protection of knee warmers I’ve felt a little nippy.

The back panel is made from a softer, fast wicking fabric and it’s worked well at keeping my back dry while commuting and carrying a rucksack. The only visible nod to cycling styling is the subtle reflective strips at the back of each ankle – yet they’re very small and don’t seem hugely eye-catching, but a good idea in theory.

The Bib Tights come in just two sizes – S/M or L/XL. As a 5’4” size 10 the S/M is perfectly fine – the leggings come right down to my ankles and the bib isn’t pulled taught over my shoulders. They feel a little stiff to pull on, but then stay in place well and the stitching and seams have been kept to a minimum – I haven’t experienced any chaffing or rubbing.


Working seamlessly from bike to office, howies Bib Tights have quickly become a staple in my winter cycling wardrobe.


– The finish and feel of the material
– The fit
– The price
– The simplicity of the design


– Lack of wind-proofing for winter tights, but not advertised as windproof

Size: S/M, L/XL
Price: £69
More information: howies Women’s Bib Tights 
UK supplier: howies

What Howies says about Women’s Bib Tights:

Seamlessly knitted women’s bib tights, with contoured panelling and a second skin fit. Integrated breathable panels minimise the need for seams and helps avoid chafing. Reflective tape at the hem helps you get noticed at night.

Designed without a pad to be worn over your favourite pair of bib shorts. So you can wear them day in, day out, without needing to put them in the wash.
– 96% Polyamide / 4% Elastane
– Second skin fit
– Integrated breathable, contoured panels
– Bib strap pocket (for keys / emergency cake money)
– Fast wicking back panel
– Ribbed hem with reflective tape
– Flatlocked stitching
– Made in Portugal


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