Don't fear the cold. Grab some cycling tights and get on your bike! Cycling in cold weather is only fun if your knees are protected, and you feel comfortable. Performance cycling apparel is worn in layers. Aero Tech Women's bicycling pants are designed to wick away sweat, offer compression to muscles, and keep you warm. The fabrics used for women's tights vary greatly depending on the degree of insulation and compression. Extra layers on the knees are a welcome enhancement to keep warm for peak performance. Another benefit of good cycling tight is the ankle zipper for easy on/off without removing your shoes. The reflective element is excellent for added visibility in low-light conditions. The tights below are ideal for all the seasons you ride.
Several of our tights have a mufti-density chamois pad sewn into the saddle area keep you comfortable on the longest rides. The padded tights are a bonus for commuters as they cushion the bike ride and create a base layer for support and warmth. The padded cycle tights replace the bicycle shorts and can be worn by themselves or as a base layer. The padded spandex cycling tights are our best performance garment for cold weather cycling.
The warmest tights are wind resistant and thermal to insulate and retain heat. The key to warmth in very cold weather is to preserve the heat from the wind through a windproof outer layer that break the wind and insulate the body. This is done through the use of a multi layer fabric. The warmest tights are thermal, breathable and windproof which is accomplished through laminated fabrics like the one illustrated to the left.
Ideal cycling apparel for cold weather is three layers for warmth. Winter tights typically have a face fabric made of nylon or polyester that serves as a windbreak Next to the skin or base layer is the thermal layer. Thermal layers are usually fleece that serve to trap heat in the engineered, hollow-core fibers. Thermal layers work best when they are touching the skin.
The second layer in the laminated fabric is a breathable and waterproof membrane. The membrane helps to pull moisture away from the skin and into the air for evaporation. It makes the fabric waterproof so that rain and wind are blocked from the body's core.
The third layer is on the outside of the garment and functions as the windbreaker face which blocks cold air from blowing through.
A rule of thumb is to cover your knees once temperatures go below 69 degrees. The spandex tights are ideal for temperatures in the 45 to 70 degrees range. They are also ideal for sun protection in the summer, they feel like a second skin. They cling to your muscles like stockings to insulate and help enhance blood flow through compression. It is highly effective touse compression during and after physical exercise. Compression is enhanced with the use of Spandex materials like Lycra.
Some of the tights available are made from a soft, stretchable fleece material. Cycling apparel used for cold weather is usually made from a brushed polyester fleece fabric. The polyester is important because it is hydrophobic. As you cycle, the perspiration (or rain) is wicked away from the skin. This creates a comfortable layer next to the skin. Polyester fabric gives a comfortable, insulating layer that traps heat to keep you warm, while providing a dry surface next to the skin. Stretch fleece is warm to about 30 degrees.
A great fabric that we suggest is a blend of nylon/spandex like the Supplex material. This fabric has rugged nylon face with a brushed inner lining for next to skin softness. The fabric is stretchy and feels fantastic. It is also abrasion resistant because of the nylon surface. It also has Lycra-spandex to give the knitted tricot fabric the feel of a second skin.
Compression tights reduce the lactic acid buildup in working muscles with the gentle massaging action. The spandex fabric gently massages the muscles. A cool trick to help recovery is to keep the compression garment on for an hour or two after exercise. Keeping the garment on will keep the blood flowing and offer substantial recovery effects. The spandex compression also helps to stabilize muscles and vibration which is believed to increase power. A key benefit of compression is enhanced blood flow which fuel the muscles with fresh, oxygenated blood. Fatigue from long airplane rides and sitting for hours can be relieved with compression tights. There are many benefits to wearing a compression garment before and after workout routines.
Reflectivity is important in the Winter where cycling in the dark requires enhanced visibility with reflective products. Several pairs have an added 3M scotch-light reflective element to create highly visible retro-reflectivity. The key benefit of 3M Scotchlite materials is the structure of the high performance glass beads that are all lined up in the same direction for perfect surface reflection. 3M has developed the most efficient method of redirecting light back to the source. Light is directed back to the source and not scattered. The glass beads are spherical shaped with a highly polished surface that is encased into a mirror film that reflects light straight back in the direction it originated.
3M means Brighter Reflective Performance - Imagine a person near a public road in low light conditions. In a garment containing Scotchlite Reflective Material, a large amount of the light is reflected and returned directly back to the driver at the light source. This increases the visibility and in turn the safety of active outdoors men like cyclists and runners. 3M reflective sends back the light rather than scattering it like budget or generic reflective materials. Generic reflective scatter the light in all directions making it much less luminous in the dark.
Levels of warmth and insulation available vary greatly. Be sure to read the details to make sure you get the thermal level of warmth you need to stay warm and dry. The lightest cycle tights are the spandex compression tights that create a light and supportive base layer for chilly rides. These lightweight cycle tights can be worn for multiple sport athletics and as a base-layer in the winter time. You have the option of choosing tights that have a chamois pad sewn into the saddle area and replace the bike short when the weather is cooler. Stretch fleece fabrics like Supplex™ Nylon are thermal yet rugged and can be warm into the 30 degrees. Windproof fabrics have multiple layers with an insulating layer that traps heat to keep you warm in very cold weather.