The RH+ Distance Bib Tights are a comfy mid-weight winter option thanks to a good chamois and well thought-out features that include wide, stretchy braces and deep, elastic leg grippers.
The £130 tights sit second-from-top in the Italian firm’s range, below the windproofed Fusion Wind Out (£145) and above the Sprinter (£85) and Shuffle (£105) tights.
The Distance tights are made from a fabric that RH+ call ‘Icedry Gold 200′. That’s an 85 per cent nylon and 15 per cent spandex mix: a typical combination for fleece-lined tights like this.
The brushed lining is soft next to the skin and it performs well in the warmth and breathability stakes, too. It’s a mid-weight fabric, and the tights don’t have any windproof panels (see the top-of-the-range tights for that), and, in our experience to date, is at its most effective in temperatures down to around three degrees. We’ve used the tights when it’s colder than that – this morning, in fact, on a final test run when the temperature was hovering around zero degrees – and the extra chill in the air is noticeable as it forces its way through the fabric when you first start riding, but once you’ve had a chance to warm up the fabric is still effective in retaining that warmth.
The chamois is made for RH+ by Elastic Interface and it’s well padded with a multi-density construction. We’ve found it comfortable on long winter rides. The overall fit of the tights also contributes to that comfort. There’s an array of panels, joined by flatlock seams to avoid irritation, and they follow the contours of the rider’s legs to avoid any unnecessary bunching of material or restrictiveness. RH+’s UK distributor, Veroli, bring the Distance tights into the UK in four sizes, from medium to extra-extra-large, so if you’re smaller then that then you’re out of luck.
The bib tight market is a crowded one, and there’s no shortage of mid to high-end option that command a similar price to these, some of which offer more in the way of windproofing or water resistance. That makes the Distance tights look a little pricey but, in terms of performance, they hold their own thanks to the fit and fabric, also also a couple of well thought out features which contribute to their overall comfort.
We particularly like the wide, stretchy microfibre braces, which sit flat against the body, back and shoulders, and the deep, elastic leg grippers, which have silicone on both the inside and outside to keep everything in place. The ankle zips, with chunky, camlock zippers, mean the tights are easy to get on and off.
The Distance tights are available in two colours, the fuss-free black tested and a black/white/red option. The RH+ logos on either leg are stuck on, rather than printed directly on to the fabric, and while we haven’t had any problems over the course of this test, and several trips to the washing machine, only time will tell if they last the, erm, distance.
All in all the Distance bib tights are a good mid-weight option for cold but not sub-zero rides. They’re the type of tights you pull on and forget about until the end of the ride, which is how it should be, but they’re best suited to typical winter temperatures in single figures, rather than when it’s Baltic.