13 January 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Descente Shelter Tight

I bought these tights as an impulse on a cold day at my local bike shop – anticipating some very cold riding that week. Although the rest of that week wasn’t that cold, I am glad I did buy them because I use them quite often.

The Shelter tights are made with a windproof/ waterproof material that covers all of the front legs from ankle to waist. The backside of the tight is made from standard Lycra with fleece lining. They have no chamois of their own - which makes them much more versatile (which I prefer). I typically wear them with a padded Lycra short underneath.

Anyone who has ridden in cycle clothes with “wind-block” type materials can tell you: they can get sweaty underneath real quick, especially if the temperature goes up, or the ride is harder than anticipated. The Shelter tights are no different in this respect. The Descente’s seem to wick moisture well for a “wind-block” type material but its hard to tell– my legs just aren’t that sensitive you know.

They were comfortable in the dressing room and also on the trail. I also like that they stay in place and don’t bunch-up behind the knee like some tights can. I have a 34/35ish waist and a 30in. inseam- I bought a Large and it fits very well, but has enough length for longer legs than mine. It should be comfortable for someone with a larger waist too- maybe up to a 37. Toughness doesn’t seem to be an issue as they have lasted through many miles of mountain and road rides now.

These tights definitely filled a niche in my winter cycling wardrobe, especially now that I road-ride a fair amount. This should sound familiar to most riders: The more I rode, the more I became addicted to riding, which meant I rode even more, and henceforth found I needed (wanted) more and more clothes to cycle in– to cover all the little gaps in my wardrobe, or as doubles (and triples) for stuff that was still in the laundry. As I was saying, the Descente tights are a great addition to my cycling wardrobe because they are ideal for rides from a sunny, calm 25˚ F day to a dark, nasty 45˚ F day. I bet many people have a hole in their cycle-wear at about those temperatures. I can be comfortable in them when it’s warmer than that, but I’m a freak in that way- most people will probably be too warm.

The materials and the finish are high-quality but they don’t ooze it like some clothes do. They retail for $130.00, but I have seen them for less quite often.



1 comment:

Matt said...

Charlie -

Been hoping to run into you before we leave. Have a good one amigo, and good luck with the new shop! Dan & Dan and classic and I'm gonna miss those two. You picked out a winner and we'll be back when we can make it!

Matt & Jeni