FWE Coldharbour Thermal Padded Bib Tights – review

Warm winter tights and excellent value for money

The FWE Coldharbour Thermal Padded Bib Tights are warm and well priced winter tights that perform above their RRP.

Although this winter has, by and large, been significantly warmer than what we’d normally expect, good bib tights will be one of the key bits of kit in any UK cyclist’s wardrobe. Evans Cycles launched their own clothing brand, FWE, back in October and these tights are part of the debut autumn/winter collection. The ‘Coldharbour’ part of the name, if you were wondering, refers to Coldharbour in Surrey – one of the highest and coldest points in the south east, with the road climbing through the forest to the village of the same name.

One of the most important requirements of any item of winter clothing is warmth and, thanks to the fleecy lining on the Coldharbour tights, they offer plenty of warmth down to four degrees – the coldest temperature I experienced during testing.

The fleece-lined Roubaix fabric doesn’t offer anything in the way of windproofing or waterproofing, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect that on a set of £60 tights, and they’re warm for typical single-figure UK winter conditions. They’re  not going to keep you dry in torrential rain, nor will they block out icy 30mph winds, but the fleece lining means you don’t end up with frozen legs, unless the conditions are comparable to most cyclist’s idea of hell – when it’s cold, windy and rainy. Something more specialist might be in order then.

Subtle, stylish branding works well on a set of tights which perform above their RRP

This warmth and the fleecy lining doesn’t have a negative impact on breathability and I found the Italian made thermal fabric to be good at wicking away sweat and moisture generated while riding.

– Evans Cycles launch FWE autumn/winter clothing range –

The pad on the tights is decent for the money, with a reasonably good level of support thanks to the multi-density foam used. I would perhaps like to see a little more in the way of ventilation though, as I found that after a few hours in the saddle, it can start to get a little uncomfortable. Even so, at this price point you can find far worse pads.

At the top of the tights you’ll find pleasingly wide mesh straps which don’t dig into the shoulders. The thick edging also minimises the chances of the straps twisting and causing further discomfort. The straps sit slightly further apart than on most other tights I have used, which can cause them to move a little, but with a base layer on (which you are unlikely to wear these tights without anyway) it’s not something that is particularly noticeable.

Grippers at the bottom of the leg help to keep everything in place and also have a zip to make sure they fit effectively around the ankle. The grippers have the words ‘Since 1921’ on them, which refers to the year F.W.Evans opened the first Evans Cycles shop on Kennington Street, London, in 1921.

The fit across the rest of the tights is fairly good, although the fabric doesn’t have a huge amount of give in it, so riders with larger calves and quads may want to check the sizing (six sizes are available, from XS to XXL).

‘Since 1921’ on the leg grippers refers to the year Evans Cycles was founded

The quality of construction across the tights is good too, with flat lock stitching generally being used (with an exception on the zips at the bottom of the leg). All the bonds seem strong and I had no issue with them making suspect noises, despite the fit sometimes being tighter than I would like around my quads.

A big selling point of these is the price, which at £59.99 is very good for a warm and robust set of tights. You could pay plenty more for tights of a similar quality. They are also tastefully designed, with minimal branding, and it means they don’t look out of place when worn with kit from other brands or with more expensive jerseys.


The FWE Coldharbour Thermal Padded Bib Tights are excellent for the money. They’re warm and have a pretty comfortable, well supported pad which works well for short to medium length rides. While they’ll struggle if it’s particularly cold, wet and windy, and I found the fit a little compressive on the legs, there’s little to really complain about for the price.


– Very good for the money
– Warm, fleece lined fabric
– Comfortable and well supported pad


– Close tight for riders with larger legs

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