As a relatively new brand on the cycling scene, Pedaled is certainly out to make a name for itself – competing with brands such as MAAP or Rapha, it could be in the run for some of best gravel bike shorts. These bib tights have been designed specifically for winter adventures or as Pedaled put it, “long rides in harsh weather”. With dual pockets on the back and a pocket on each leg there is plenty of carrying space as well for important things like snacks! Many companies nowadays tailor perfectly for the female anatomy (see our recent review of the Castelli Polare W Bibtights for more female-specific winter bib tights). As a result, the chamois is designed for women and built for ultra-distance riding using the most innovative technology which delivers a perfect fit and greater saddle stability.
With a stealthy black design, these tights are ideal to coordinate with any other kit without risking any color clashes, and the reflective designs printed on the front and back allow adventures to safely continue into the night. The minimal branding keeps the aesthetics simple, but is prominent enough for onlookers to know where to buy their next pocketed bib tights! Twin cargo mesh pockets at the back, a sturdy zip pocket on the right leg and another thigh pocket on the left leg, make for sufficient storage capacity.
The chamois uses Road Performance Space Women which is the road Product of Excellence for extra-long distance rides. It uses the latest chamois technology, with an innovative structure that uses ‘multidirectional curvatures’ for the best comfort on the saddle and better stability when cycling. The most noticeable difference to other chamois is the special slide-shaped material along the edges of the main pad, which helps to smoothly transition from chamois to inner thigh section.
The main fabric used is 85 percent polyamide and 15 percent elastane which allows a nice stretch but also keeps the legs tight against the skin (for all the aero gains!). The windproof panels on the front use DWR treated fabric, keeping the worst of the rain and cold chill away. Although not completely waterproof, the thickness of the material means that it takes a lot longer for wet weather to penetrate through. By adding a tight band of material around the ankle, water takes longer to seep into your socks and shoes, and the longer the feet are dry for, the better.
My initial opinion as I got these out of the packaging was that they were definitely going to be too small in length, however after a bit of shimmying I found they fit nicely, albeit a little snugly. I find a slightly compressive fit quite comforting, especially when the weather isn't glorious and you want to feel cosy in your kit. The main reason to buy these bibs is for pocket storage, and I found myself mainly using the leg pockets as they were easily accessible for things like phones or snacks; however on longer rides the larger rear pockets were ideal for spare clothing or tools. The zip pocket is perfect for keys; if you’re like me and lose keys easily, this one will be a hit with you.
In terms of overall comfort I would say these are some of the warmest bib tights I've ever worn. For me, a warm thermal lining; wide, sleek shoulder straps; and thick, comfortable chamois are the standout features I need for ultimate comfort when on the trails. The laser-cut, sleek finish to the design is very effective and allows the bibs to sit comfortably against the skin without digging in, a key factor when designing good shoulder straps. Although still laser cut, I found the waistline came up very low on the stomach and was slightly annoying because my base layer kept coming untucked. This is probably due to the fact the sizes come up smaller than expected. I would suggest sizing up one size bigger than usual for a better fit in overall length.
The windproof panels were highly effective when out battling the elements, and even when sodden from rain the windproofing worked a dream, keeping the wind chill off my skin. It’s a shame the tights aren't fully waterproof and only DWR treated, but then again, it isn’t really necessary unless you plan on heading out in consistent torrential downpours.
The carefully curated chamois has been well designed, in that the seamless transfer from chamois padding to normal material meant that, for me, chafing on the inner thigh was virtually non-existent. Flatlock stitching eliminates any risk of any further chafe but if in doubt, chamois cream will be your best friend.
As someone who loves a bit of gravel biking on the muddy trails in some miserable conditions, I have put these through it all and can safely say they have handled the British winter well. With a good windproof layer and DWR-treated panels, these are my go-to bib tights for winter training. Although they come with a large price tag, they are definitely worth forking out for. They are your inanimate friend that – even when the going gets tough – allow adventures to continue seamlessly.
As now my go-to winter bib tights, I highly recommend these, especially if you’ve got some big training rides ahead or are simply out on some super-long gravel adventures. They are a worthy investment considering the number of hours in the saddle they will provide. Obviously my favorite feature is the array of pockets but quite frankly I would invest in these whether pocketed or not, due to their outstanding performance in poor weather conditions. I would, however, consider exchanging for a size larger purely for leg length reasons; this is made easy by Pedaled's 15-day free returns policy.
Tech specs: Pedaled Odyssey Women's Cargo Bib Tights
- Price: $280 / £200 / €240
- Components: Windproof, Waterproof panels, DWR treated Panels, Sustainable materials, Pockets
- Color: Black
- Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL
- Materials: Main Fabric – 85% Polyamide 15% Elastane; Windproof panel – 72% Polyamide 20% Elastane 8% Polyurethane
- Available from: Pedaled.com