Last year, I started buying my tights from Crazy Legs Tights. Owner/designer Diane Stevens is an endurance rider, so she knows what makes for good tights for distance riding.
I got my first pairs last fall and wrote about my initial impressions here.
I got another pair just before the Fire Mountain ride, specifically designed as more of a winter-weight tight. Living in Arizona, I don’t have much call for “true” winter riding tights. Riding at a distance pace, there is enough body heat generated that thick, fleece-lined riding tights will turn into a toaster oven in short order. But there are enough times where thin lycra just won’t cut it, no matter if you’re wearing half chaps and multiple layers on top.
Enter Diane and her array of custom options. After brainstorming back and forth a few times, she offered up a new performance fabric she had found: a matte lycra top with a brushed lining…not thick enough to be called fleece, but definitely more substantial than standard tights material.
|showing off the latest pair of Crazy Legs
I’d been happy with how my previous pairs had been holding up to the casual use I’d been giving them…but there’s nothing like an actual ride to put them to the test. 30 miles in Ridgecrest, all three gaits, and they were awesome. The weight of the performance fabric was perfect, and even as it warmed up in the middle of the day, I didn’t feel the need to change at the lunch hold and I never got overheated, even doing the death march slog up some of the afternoon climbs.
Of the four pairs I have, my favorites are the matte black lycra with the orange floral side stripe.
|Also put to use at Fire Mtn: Friday’s pre-ride
Those are the tights. Let’s talk about getting them. As mentioned, owner/designer Diane Stevens offers up a ton of custom options. Knee patches, no knee patches. Padding wherever. Different widths of side stripes. Custom sizing.
And a plethora of fabric options. There are options listed on the website, but if you either check Crazy Legs’ Facebook page
or contact Diane directly, she will probably have even more choices to offer.
March 2016 Update
A few more thoughts after a couple of years and multiple orders.
Patterned Lycra can be really slick — know that if you get any pairs that are just a patterned fabric versus a solid performance fabric with side stripes. Not much of an issue if you have a shenanigans-free horse, but if you have one prone to sudden sideways teleporting, just be aware of the lack-of-grip factor.
Expect a longer-than-quoted turnaround time for actually getting your tights…it’s not unusual to wait a month+.
I still like my funky tights and wild colors, especially as a training/conditioning ride option, and they double as good running tights in the winter, but they’ve been nudged out of top contention for competition tights by some of the other high-performance fabric and design options out there.