Anna's Legs is a brand new range of women's cycling tights from designer, rider and presenter Anna Glowinski. The limited edition range, sold exclusively through online retailer VeloVixen, features plain and printed full-length padded tights.
As well as frequent appearances on various online video edits and cycling TV programmes, Anna was also the creator of the Ana Nichoola range of women’s cycling kit, which was immensely popular several years back. Anna’s Legs sees her return to the world of product design, and as any fans of her previous work will attest, these products have been developed with an eye to good design, quality and aesthetics.
The range consists of padded cycling tights available in three limited edition colour ways, and other colour and pattern runs are planned for the future. The colours available include the classic star print, a design Glowinski became known for, plus a plain blue and a striking print inspired by mountain sunsets. We tested the star and sunset print options, both in a size 14 or large, on two different testers.
The construction is highly engineered, with multiple panels of lycra stitched to fit closely and stay in place. We did find the panel at the inner thigh seemed to accentuate any bulk we had in this area a little, but otherwise the fit is firm and flattering.
One feature of particular interest is the high waist. Usually, cyclists who want good coverage over the lower back must opt for bib tights, and some non-bib cycling tights can slip or roll down, exposing the lower back, but the Anna’s Legs tights have a high fitted waist that sits at the belly button at the front, covering the lower third of the back (height dependent).
At the front, a curved panel sits flat against the stomach, so there’s no central seam, and at the top of the back a silicone grip strap helps keep it in place.
"The tights are a unique cross between bib-tights [and tights], to preserve modesty and to avoid 'muffin-top', and that aggressively cut in half feeling.” Glowinski tells BikeRadar. "However, you can still easily pop the tights down for a wee. When you get off the bike and stand up straight you will get an unavoidable cup gap between the back and the fabric."
We did find a little niggle here. The high back will sit out loose when standing as mentioned, but is designed to sit flush against the back when leaning forward on the bike. One tester found that the back still felt loose when in the riding position, while the other didn’t, and this may be down to the first tester having a more hourglass body shape.
One tester also found, when on the road bike, that the lycra of the black tights was slightly translucent on the bum area. This is obviously not ideal, and we contacted Glowinski to see if this was an issue that had cropped up elsewhere and if she was aware of it.
“[It’s} very disappointing to hear the feedback about the see-throughness, as this was something I specifically worked on with the star tights,” she said. "Often when cycle clothing is black with a print on it, it can become see-though because the black is printed on top of white fabric (check it out on some other kit you have) and when you pull the fabric you can see the white beneath. I chose for the stars to be screen-printed, which is rare in cycle clothing due to the expense. It means the fabric is pure black and the stars are [printed] on top.
"Of course, I am taking your comments on board and will discuss it with the manufacturer for next season and probably change the fabric. That's the point of reviews and feedback — working on getting better products and listening!"
Engineered features, comfortable fit
Overall, bar those niggles, we found the fit of the tights very comfortable, and they do look great on. The soft waistband felt great, the chamois pad was supportive and cushioning without being too bulky, and after several hours of riding you barely noticed the garment — bar the occasional admiring comment on the style — which is exactly what you want.
Other features include a little zip pocket at the back that’s just big enough for a card, keys or some change. We also liked the little nod to Ana Nichoola in the form of three coloured circles on the ankle, echoing the branding of Glowinski’s original clothing range.
Finally, we have to mention the packaging. The tights come in a beautiful box complete with washing and wearing instructions, including advice about ditching regular underwear when wearing them.
At £105 / US$137.11 / AU$181.66 these aren’t a budget pair of tights, but then neither is the construction, material or design. The lycra chosen is designed to last well, and the star print pair we tested has been through the wash several times and is still looking more or less like new, though some slight cracking is appearing in the printed stars.
The tights are available exclusively through online women’s cycling store VeloVixen, who are UK-based but do ship internationally. All three designs come in sizes XS to XL, though the tights are sized in UK high street sizing when you receive them, which is a little confusing. We tried a large, which equates to a UK14, AUS14 or a US10.