dhb Vaeon Zero Padded Bib-Tight – £79.99
The dhb Vaeon Zero Padded bib-tight is a full-length offering with an exceptionally high bib, windproof panels, and broad stirrups rather than zips at the ankle.
dhb have deployed their Thermoroubaix lycra: a 45 per cent nylon, 42 per cent polyester, and 13 per cent elastene mix. It’s a fabric they recommend for the coldest conditions, and the addition of polyester to the weave is intended to keep in the heat.
A further defence against the cold can be found in the large ‘Windslam’ panels that start just below the buttocks and wrap around the front of the thigh on a journey that terminates a full 10cm below the knee. We’ve recently reaped the rewards of windproof panels on LOOK’s aptly named Excellence bib-tight and we’re eager to see how those deployed on a more affordable offering perform. The fabric here is Teflon coated, too, in a bid to repel water. We’re less eager to test this facet, but test it we will.
The pad is from Cytech, cut from their Elastic Interface fabric: a model they call the Tour and recommend for rides of up to three hours. It’s a ‘dual density’ unit, 11mm thick beneath the sit bones and 3mm at the sides, intended to place the heft where you need it without impeding movement elsewhere. We’ll find out.
With a width of 50mm, the braces are not especially wide, but in their favour they are lycra and have the same brushed lining as the legs. The back, however, has a mesh panel, presumably to increase breathability. We’re not expecting to overheat in the conditions in which we’d reach for full-length bib-tight, but we’ll reserve judgement on the necessity or otherwise of this feature until testing is complete.
The super-deep bib commanded the top line of this ‘first look’ and it’s worth examining a little more closely. A panel some 200mm deep on our extra-small sample size to keep the stomach warm is likely to be a valuable asset, and we’re hoping this will keep us cosy on our coldest winter rides. It’s fitted with a 240mm zip, a chunky affair with a fabric guard at the top to prevent the clasp from becoming snagged, which should make this tight easier to pull on and take off, as well as providing an obvious benefit for comfort breaks. A similarly sizeable panel at the rear rises from the insert to the braces and this also looks able to provide the coverage the season demands.
At the other end of the garment, we find stirrups, rather than zips at the ankles, some 60mm deep at the front of our extra-small sized test sample. Stirrups represent new territory for us, and we can see one immediate advantage before turning a pedal: the design will neatly by-pass the zip-against-zip clash with overshoes of this design (dhb’s Extreme Weather Neoprene number, to name just one). Will the stirrup keep out the cold? Possibly. In conditions where we pull a full-length tight from the wardrobe, however, we’re almost certain to reach for overshoes, too.
The dhb Vaeon Zero Padded bib-tight is available in black and in six sizes from X Small to Extra Extra Large. It costs £79.99.