While only the very brave – or very mad – ride through the cooler seasons with their knees exposed, most of us prefer to cover up a little more when the weather’s really cold. There are a number of ways to do this, the premier one being a set of quality bib tights, but another solid option is a set of thermal bib shorts with knee warmers.
And as wonderfully pro as shorts with warmers looks, it’s not for everyone and if that’s the case then 3/4 length tights are the way forward. Plus, in all honesty, 3/4 tights are pretty good for year-round riding, whether it’s chilly summer mornings or even deep winter, as that small section on your calves between socks and leg openings isn’t the most important part of your body to keep warm.
Plus, in the rain, 3/4 tights can actually be a good thing. Anyone who’s had the misfortune to ride with insulated tights in the rain knows that wet material against the skin actually makes you colder, and that particular section of the tights is the one that soaks up the greatest amount of water. As such, it’s often better to keep the lower legs uncovered when the heavens open. Of course, tights with waterproof lower legs help there, too.