You can achieve the best results in sports when you have proper equipment. For cycling, wearing functional cycling tights makes sitting in the saddle for long periods much more comfortable than without them. Cycling tights are long trousers that snuggle firmly around the legs and cover them fully and choosing the right ones is important.
Cycling Tights Material
The most common material for cycling tights is stretchy Lycra. Quite often, manufacturers also use technical fabrics that wick moisture and breathe well in order to provide you with maximum comfort. Some tights are water-repellant or even water-resistant, thus being suitable for rainy weather. For colder weather, you can opt for tights with double-layered and insulated fabric. Some designs also have double layers only around the knees.
Cycling Tights with Padding
A padded insert makes long rides comfortable as sitting becomes softer. Without padding, you could soon feel sore and unable to continue, although your body gets used to long sitting after a while. If the cycling tights do not include padding, you could even wear padded shorts underneath the tights.
Cycling Tights Fit Types
Manufacturers use several different fits for cycling tights and this actually plays an important role in comfort and functionality. All in all, the tights should facilitate pedalling, not impede it. The knee should be free to move. The two main approaches to tights design include very stretchy fabric that conforms to the leg throughout the entire pedalling range and multi-panel tights with pre-bent legs. In terms of perfect fit, it is also worth noting that the sizing and length may vary for each manufacturer and therefore you should always check the sizing chart, if possible.
Cycling Tights Designs
Generally, there are two main designs for cycling tights: with bibs and shoulder straps or without. The former is popular amongst many cyclists because they have no waistband that could start digging in on longer rides. Bib tights could come up very high on the chest and have a full back panel, thus acting as an extra base layer, perfect for colder days. Seamless straps are the most comfortable because they help to avoid any irritation on the top of the shoulders that could occur with long wearing time. Tights without bibs are similar to running trousers and have a waistband that you could adjust. Both types of cycling tights could have zippers at the ankle, allowing you to take the tights off or put them on more easily as you unzip and zip them. Some tights also come with a stirrup, a loop under the foot that stops the tights from riding up and seals them around the ankle firmly.