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3/4 or full length bibs for winter?

boardeauxboardeaux Posts: 3
edited October 2008 in Road beginners
I have a review of winter kit from last decembers cycling plus and it lists 3/4 length bibs as the way to go, as a newb I would have thought full length would be better?

Does anyone have any experience of using 3/4 length throughout winter? Are they warm enough or should I go for full length?

Thanks in advance


  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Well it depends on how cold it is and how much you feel the cold.
    Personally anything less than 15 degrees and I wear knee warmers, then if below 10 full length.
    I would not get 3/4 but it's personal choice.
  • LagavulinLagavulin Posts: 1,688
    Personally I wouldn't buy 3/4s. Knee warmers or leg warmers will extend the usability of your shorts/bib shorts

    That said I feel the cold quite badly (poor circulation on my dad's side of the family) and have already been out in full winter tights a few times, this morning for one.
    While a lot of people were commenting on how mild it was I had two baselayers on, a long sleeve jersey, a pair of woolie boolies plus a pair of assos autumn winter socks, assos 851 early winter gloves, a buff etc. :oops:

    I've recently invested in some Castelli Nano knee warmers to hopefully prolong the life of my bibshorts. They're good and damned effective but I certainly won't be going out in the depths of winters in those.
    In fact this morning was enough to persuade me I need more full tights and have just ordered a couple of pairs of Castelli Gregarios.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I have my 1st pair of full lengths on the way from wiggle.

    A nice pair of DHB Merston's 8)

    Thank god it will be dark in the morning now so i don't get seen wearing tights :oops:
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I've got quite a few sets of 3/4s - plenty good enough for the winter.

    I'm pretty short though, so the longs I've got (even in really small sizes) seem to be too long and the 3/4s are long enough that with overshoes/oversocks none of my leg is exposed.
    I like bikes...

  • When it starts getting very cold on a morning i'd say use full length. Having your shins/calfs exposed with 3/4 makes you feel really cold.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • boardeaux wrote:
    Does anyone have any experience of using 3/4 length throughout winter? Are they warm enough or should I go for full length?

    I commute and ride in 3/4 lengths throughout the winter but then I run on the warm side. YMMV.
  • 3/4 are fine for all but arctic temperatures IME, but I do have full longs too. I just use whatever's clean.
  • brownboshbrownbosh Posts: 602
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    In the UK, I think it is more a case of 3/4 for most of the spring, summer, and autumn with full-length for winter, or maybe 3/4 on a good day. I'm amazed by how many commuters I see in winter riding along with bright red legs poking out of shorts - cover 'em up :wink:!

    I have one pair of lightweight lycra leg warmers and one pair of heavy duty 'roubaix' type. Using some combination of those with shorts or 3/4s caters for everything from hot sunny day to pretty cold winter day. I do have full-length roubaix bibtights for the rare times that I venture out in bitter conditions.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I tend to wear 3/4 lengths on the colder Spring and Autumn days (like the last few days), and then switch to longs when it gets properly cold. Knee warmers and shorts might do a similar job I guess, but I've never tried them.

    Interestingly when I was looking at winter clothing a couple of weeks ago in my LBS, they said they didn't bother stocking 3/4 lengths as they found most people tended to either wear shorts or longs, but I quite like them for when it's cold, but not too cold!
  • Personal preference really. Just use what works for you. This may be vanity kicking in but I look an absolute t1t in regular bibs, frequently scaring young children and frightening the pigeons with my weird knees, but look the business (or acceptable at any rate) in 3/4 length.

    I have a mixture of roubaix 3/4 for winter and regular for summer. I also have a couple pairs of winter tights but it needs to be *really* cold and wet before I use them. I seem to have thremal blood, and my legs dry quicker than lycra.
    Roadie: Focus Cayo - FCN 4
    Commuter hack: Fixed Langster - FCN 5
    Winter hack: Battered Sirrus - FCN 9
  • personally i get wrapped up like a fish supper then go out on the bike find out i've got too much on and have to do a striptease when i hit the hills. the grannys in the local villages love it lol :wink:
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • thanks for all the info, I think I'll go full length!

  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Personally for autumn I go with shorts and leg warmers and winter full length tights.
  • I use full lengths for the really cold days, and anything that is just kinda cold I use 3/4 lengths. :)
  • I leave home just after 7 and return between 6 and 7 so I've been wearing tights for a couple of weeks now. I'd rather arrive at work warm and sweaty than freezing cold.

    FCN : 4
  • Mate of mine recently bought a pair of dhb merston 3/4. Gets on with them fine. I myself have purchased a pair of dhb merston bib longs. Again, I think they are the business. I leave home at 6.30am for my commute to work and have no problems at all. Toasty warm even in the wet. :lol::lol: [/url][/code][/quote]
  • morrisjemorrisje Posts: 507
    I've got a pair of 3/4 bibs. Great for about three weeks of the year. You are better off using knee or leg warmers with shorts and full length bib tights for when it gets colder.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,948
    3/4's or knee warmers...your shins never really feel the cold its your knees that need protecting..

    longs are for weirdos
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • I'm going to brave it with 3/4 this winter (can't afford any new full lengths) but I don't find it too cold down here in the SW.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I go for full length ones. 3/4 length ones can cut into your calves something awful. My Santini are painful, and I'm no Chris Hoy.
  • mickenmicken Posts: 275
    Wiggle dhb Merston bib longs arrived today and worn for late afternoon ride - excellent and more than warm at this time of year. So much so that I'm inclined to go for 3/4 too.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    cougie wrote:
    I go for full length ones. 3/4 length ones can cut into your calves something awful. My Santini are painful, and I'm no Chris Hoy.
    I'm not Chris Hoy either but I do have pretty big calves (hold on while I measure them... okay, they are 17.5 inches) and I don't have a problem with my 3/4s (ON-ONEs).
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