Welcome to the third BikeRadar Battle, where we put two similar products head to head in a battle to the death. Or, at least, we give you a fun and informative look at both — and let you know which we prefer.
Zip-up tights are a fairly specific piece of clothing. They are great for cyclocross — where you are often standing for 10 or 15 minutes in the cold before the gun goes off — but not very practical for everyday use, as full-length zippers aren’t exactly the most elastic seams. With that in mind, we set a pair of Vermarc tights against those from Champion System.
Both Vermarc and Champion System use single-sided soft fleece for the tights that zip clean off from ankles up to the waist. The Champion System tights use a slightly thicker fleece, and have double zippers for loosening the top if need be. Champion System’s tights also have a fabric backing behind the zipper to keep it off the skin, which is a nice touch on the cold days when you’d use them.
The comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples however, as the Champion tight is a custom piece, meaning you can get the rear and side panels sublimated however you like, while the Vermarc tight is a straight-forward black piece. But the end function is the same. The rear sublimated panel on the Champion tight seems to enhance the fit somewhat over the Vermarc’s straight, four-panel cut.
|Function as a tight||Not great||Also not great||Draw|
|Function as a warm-up layer for ’cross||Great||Great||Draw|
|Fleece thickness||Light||Midweight||Champion System|
|Cost||$170/£106||From $104/£65||Champion System|
And the winner of the ’Cross Zip-Up Tight Battle is… Champion System!
Since the Champion System tight is a custom piece, the price will vary by the size of your order. For an individual, single-piece order, it might not make sense. But for a club or team looking to get a few pieces of matching gear, we recommend it.