Northwave Fast Bib Tights Selective Protection – review

Performance-oriented, thermally efficient winter tights

Northwave’s Fast Bib Tights Selective Protection are a great piece of kit if you’re out training on a cold winter’s day. The wind and water resistant membrane does an effective job of keeping winter out and warmth in, while not comprising breathability.

Northwave have designed the Fast Bib Tights Selective Protection with a temperature range of -5 to +10 degrees in mind and they are aimed at long distance winter rides.

And, from the start, the premium packaging and multitude of differing thermal and weather resistant panels in the tights’ BioMap construction make it clear this is not a low-end piece of kit.

Northwave’s Fast Selective Protection tights do an effective job of keeping winter out and warmth in
  • Specification

  • Price: £114.99
  • Sizes: S-XXXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: Black
  • Website: Northwave
  • UK distributor: i-ride

Fit-wise, the BioMap paneling is intended to prevent any chafing, but I was disappointed to find some slightly uncomfortable stitching movement near the rear-left chamois on some long seated climbs.

This could also be related to the H2O Flex membrane that keeps the weather out. Despite claims to the contrary this sort of material isn’t quite as flexible as standard lycra, and off the bike I found bunching occurring at the rear which isn’t a great coffee stop look.

However this slight irritation is forgiven during inclement weather: the H2O Flex membrane does a great job of shutting out cold winds and showers without causing overheating.

The braces are wide and comfortable, while a meshed Roubaix material (that should be an oxymoron, and yet it works effectively) insulates your back against icy tailwinds while remaining breathable when pushing up a long climb.

The tights are fitted with Northwave’s innovative K130 chamois. The padding depth is variable between nine, 11 and 13mm, with the thickest toward the rear. Despite initially appearing to be on the bulky side, the design works well.

The bulk is where it needs to be and not in areas that will compromise circulation.  Again breathability is a feature; beneath the outer surface there are small holes that give the chamois a dimple-effect to the touch. That said this is going to be more relevant to summer shorts; I couldn’t feel a benefit during the depths of winter.

The fabric used to keep winter weather out isn’t quite as flexy or form-fitting as conventional lycra

The Fast Bib Tights Selective Protection rely on generously sized ankle grippers to keep the leg bottoms in place, rather than foot loops. Their width helps to avoid constricting blood circulation to the feet, which is an appreciated touch several hours into a chilly day out on the bike and functions well.

Reflective strips feature on the ankle zips, but that and a reflective logo aside, there hasn’t been a huge effort made for nighttime visibility. While the tights have been marketed for long winter rides, rather than commuting, it’s worth remembering winter training rides often end in twilight.


Retailing for £114.99, the Fast Bib Tights Selective Protection are a solid if premium choice for performance riding during winter. Should the weather turn halfway through a long endurance ride, the H2O Flex membrane will get you home.


  • Warm and very breathable
  • Performance cut
  • Comfortable straps


  • Membrane still not as elastic as normal lycra
  • Minimal reflective detailing

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