The Altura Repel Bib tights are a no-frills, DWR-coated, mid-weight bib tight from the lower end of Altura's range. They’re impressively comfortable all over, and even more so in the saddle thanks to an effective Progel chamois pad. They'd be easy to recommend but for their single downside – the stitching is just too fragile, and they don't last.
With a mesh upper body joining legs cut from midweight fabric, the Repel bib tight fits really well. It sizes up just right, with no uncomfortable bunching or stretching – in fact, it does a great job of feeling almost unnoticable. The straps don’t pull you in too much either.
Outside, the legs are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating for useful resistance to showers and spray. And while fleece panels are almost to be expected inside a winter bib tight, the Repel's lack means they stay useful through spring and autumn, too. It also contributes to their light, unrestrictive feel. Sensibly, there's reflective detailing to keep you visible on dark roads.
One nice touch is the elasticated ankle cuff with silicone grippers to really keep them in place. It does make the Repel slightly more difficult than most to put on, but it’s worth it.
The most notable plus point is that chamois pad. Using Altura's own Progel insert, it gives great cushioning without feeling cumbersome or puffy at all, either on or off the bike. At no point, even on lengthier rides, did I get any pain.
Now, there’s only one downside to these tights (quite a biggie for me), and it’s that the seams aren’t stitched especially well. Upon my first try-on a number of seams gave way a little – yes, I tested the recommended size – and it wasn't long before actual holes began to appear. This is mega disappointing considering how good they are otherwise.
If you can find them at a good price and don’t ride in truly nasty cold or rain too often, the Altura Repels are comfy and warm. They protect from the elements well, but the easy failure of the seams is a huge downfall. Buy them – but only if you’re good with a needle and thread.
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