Each Alé garment is created to be a highly technical item of cycle clothing, designed to do a specific job and to do it well. Yes, I like these winter bibs a lot and simply because of this: they’re really comfortable to wear, they fit where they should and they keep the weather at bay. Best of all though, they make this mediocre cyclist look as though I know what I’m doing, being chic and stylish and fitting in a tailored kind of way. There’s no hiding in these Alé Nordik Thermowind DWR Bib Tights and whilst they’re designed for the coldest and harshest of conditions, the styling is still superb and is cut with specific panelling in key areas, maximising movement whilst creating a truly winter race fit garment.
The body mapping is of course designed to fit closely, with just the right compression where needed and it achieves this. For ultimate technicity, the 3 layer Windtex softshell construction fabric has a soft and insulated inner, making them supremely comfortable, with a waterproofing membrane sandwiched between the inner and the water-resistant outer. The hydrophilic inner works superbly at retaining the body heat, whilst wicking away the sweat efficiently and providing the ultimate in temperature regulation and ride comfort.
Looking at the various panels in more detail, to the lower leg around ankle area, these Nordik bibs have tightly elasticated waterproof and thermotaped cuffs to prevent rain and road spray from entering, whith a light thermal fabric lining on the inside. Around the knee area are ergonomic body mapped panels with a light but slightly heavier stretch fabric, again chosen for warmth and its 4 way stretch qualities which keep it close to the body without restricting necessary movement in this key area. The design and quality of the strong elasticated fabric is so good that there’s none of the usual sagging that can often be found on winter tights.
Heavier fabrics are used for strength and warmth in upper leg and lower waist areas, then combined with lighter and super stretchy fabrics above the waist. This leads to extra wide and strong bib straps that sit so comfortably on the shoulders, with a super light and stretchy polka dot style mesh material to the back, completing the bibs and aiding ventilation and breathability. Yes, they fit where they touch and leave little room for cakes 😉
Ale’s highly regarded Double Ergo HF chamois is chosen to ensure your ride comfort. The honeycombe design has a Bi-component surface in the front and lateral parts in the groin, ensuring that the high-density 120 kg foam covers the necessary contact point on the saddle, whilst breathability is optimised. It’s then significantly lighter and slimmer at the edges, designed to keep you comfortable but not feel over bulky. Stitching and finishing on all the internal panels and the pad is excellent, certainly keeping me comfortable on long and chilly winter rides with a few steep climbs thrown in.
Using the bibs on the roads of North Yorkshire, they fit superbly, with no movement. They’re tight where they need to be around the ankles, close fitting and still flexible around the knees due to the elasticated design. They’ve kept out wind and rain and made sure that I can simply concentrate on riding. I love the close fit, whichalso allows maximum movement. The upper areas are strong and super warm and comfortable, with all elements kept out. The pad performs excellently and I’m chmois cream free, especially on the longer hilly rides. Thankfully, the bibs come up around the chest to a reasonable level and are thinner here, meaning that the jersey or jacket sits neatly on top without bulk.
North Yorkshire winters are unrelenting and harsh. However, all of the technical fabrics used by Alé in these Nordick winter tights ooze quality, which when coupled with the superb finishing means that Alé have a tough and technically excellent winter bib tight that simply performs as intended and which will look good and last you for years. They’re not the cheapest, but they certainly have a claim to be among the very best and the level of detail means that they’re worth every penny.