Bibtights that perform well in the wet are few and far between. We see how Sportful get on with the Fiandre NoRain bib tights
If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money bombproof cycling jackets are fairly easy to come by, but it can be much harder to provide your legs with the same level of protection. The Sportful Fiandre NoRain bib tights go a significant way towards solving the problem, keeping your legs warm and relatively dry on those days where an afternoon on the sofa would have been a better idea.
The main body of these bibtights is made up of the thermal version of Sportful’s NoRain fabric. This comes with a brush-fleeced inside that provides excellent warmth, with a water-repellent finish applied to the exterior. Although this doesn’t mean the Fiandre NoRain bibtights are completely waterproof, it certainly keeps your tights from becoming waterlogged through a few hours of persistent rain. Most importantly, even when the water did penetrate, this never affected warmth.
Sportful produce two versions of the NoRain bibtights, a standard version for £95 and this Fiandre version. What sets the Fiandre bibtights apart from their little brothers is the silicone layer that is strategically positioned on the lower back knees and thighs. Unlike the NoRain fabric, this is properly waterproof (and windproof) and makes a real difference when the weather really closes in. There really are very few other bibtights that can offer this level of protection.
You may be asking that if the silicone layer is really that good, why haven’t Sportful used it on the whole of the Fiandre NoRain bibtights. The main reason is that it doesn’t cope well with being stretched. After only a couple of rides small cracks were beginning to appear where the material stretched over the knees, and although this didn’t seem to have too much of detrimental effect on waterproofing over the course of our test period, we were worried by the tights’ durability in the long term.
In terms of fit and comfort we were generally pleased with the performance of the Sportful Fiandre NoRain bibtights. As well as improving warmth, the brush-fleeced inner was extremely comfortable, as were the mesh bib straps and the slim Bodyfit Pro chammy. The ankle grips and zippers also ensured the bibtights were kept firmly in place, not riding up while pedaling. Our only complaint about fit again stems from the lack of stretch in the silicone layer, which we found was liable to bunching.
For more details visit the Sportful website.
The Sportful Fiandre NoRain bib tights offer superb protection that will keep you fairly dry, but most importantly warm in the worse of conditions. They also offer good comfort and fit, but we have concerns about how long the waterproof silicon coating will last.