Review: Crazy Legs Tights

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.


I know, I know. It’s that quiet around here of late.

I’d admit that I’m kind of a horrible, inconsistent blogger. But y’all knew that anyway.

I’ve been a combination of busy and not-busy. Busy with things like work, and the holidays. Not so busy with things like actually riding my horse.

And truth be told, I can only make endless circles in the arena sound exciting so many times. So this weekend, we took a walk around the neighborhood. I think the pony enjoys seeing me hoof it next to her sometimes versus toting my butt around all the time.

The neighbors across the street had a new addition to the front of their property: Goats!

The Pony Who Stares At Goats

Mimi would like a goat. Her best friend at one of the boarding stables was Trixie the pygmy goat. Trixie would, when she was allowed out of her pen, hang out in Mimi’s stall and shared the pony’s hay.

Four-legged weed whacker

Then we came back to the barn and ate grass next to the driveway for about .5 seconds. (It’s non-existent in the pasture right now, so I’m paranoid about her level of exposure to too much green stuff. )

Fortunately my work life is keeping me busy. There’s some days I scratch my head and wonder how in the world I got so lucky as to be one of those people who actually gets their dream job?! Seriously, I love what I do. I enjoy talking with people, especially hearing their stories about their horses.
Two weekends ago, I went up to the McDowell ride. My purpose there was two-fold: Friday, I was working, available as a Renegade representative for anyone who had questions or needed help. Saturday, I was volunteering as one of the in-timers, the same job I did at the ride last year.
It was so awesome to be a part of the endurance community again. My goal for this upcoming year is to attend all of the in-state rides that I can as a company rep. Until I’m actually competing again, this will serve as second-best, and it’s still keeping me involved and social.

Saturday morning ride start. 75s out on trail, waiting for the
50s to start checking in.
(One perk of not riding: I was up at 5:30 instead of the 3:30
wakeup I would have gotten had I been riding and had to
get ready.)

Color-coordinated. And cold.

The ride went really well, as far as I could tell. The weather was perfect. It was downright cold up until about 11 in the morning, at least for me sitting at the timing table. Around 2:00, the clouds blew out and it warmed up enough to where I was comfortable in a t-shirt…which meant I was sufficiently re-heated to be able to handle the oncoming cool evening.

The last of the 75s were in at 11, which was awesome. I barely had time to break out the hot water, ramen noodles, and cocoa.

Despite what the photo shows, it’s actually a
lovely matte cocoa color. I added the custom
Renegade orange racing stripes.

And my one impulse buy at the ride was actually useful: new helmet. I looked at my old one and realized it was about two years past its “best by” date (which is approximately 5 years past the date of manufacture). That’s not ideal…

Of all the things out there to purchase, this is one of the more justifiable ones. I’ve yet to test it out — it’s so pretty and I don’t want to mess it up! — but it’s the same as what I already have, the Tipperary Sportage 8500…just about 6 years newer and a different color.

a tights review; part one

L-R: Black with ‘Sunrise’ Racing Stripe; ‘Paisley’;
‘Orange Tie-Dye’

Part One of a product review: The Initial Impression. Part two will come when I actually ride in them.

Crazy Legs Tights is run by owner-operator-designer Diane Stevens, a fellow endurance rider.
I got them in the mail today; I’ve already got one pair on. So far, I’m really, really impressed with them. The attention to detail is superb with smooth, even stitching and no bothersome seams. I like the wide elastic waistband — I’ve been sitting in them and no problems with the waistband rolling. The ankles have gripper elastic on the inside, which is an awesome little detail to keep them from riding up. The leg length is more than sufficient — plenty of fabric to keep my ankles covered all the way down to my feet.
The fabric options are endless — I had a hard time pinning down my final selections. I’m so pleased with the choices I made; they’re absolutely gorgeous. And I will definitely be noticed going down the trail. :)
Part Two of the review will come after I actually climb in the saddle and ride in them, but just based on how I already feel about them, I’m sure they’ll be awesome!

A long post with a lot to cover

As mentioned earlier, Yay, I got to ride out today!!!

Pre-trailer loading snack time

We had a really nice ride…in typical Memorial Day fashion, the weather gave us a brief reprieve…it was only in the 80s today, and just a light breeze.  Perfect riding weather.  The trails were shockingly uncrowded.  I really expected more people to be out enjoying the weather, but maybe people actually traveled out of town this weekend?

Trail buddies for the day: Kenda & Spirit (chestnut);
Chris (Barn Owner) & Tuudy (grey)

Spirit is a big, experienced goofball that walks out at 5mph (*is jealous*) so he was in the lead the whole time.  Tuudy is young and green, so we sandwiched her.  Tuudy was also testing out a pair of Mimi’s Renegades on her hind hooves…first time trail test.  Even though I was really confident in how the boots would would stay on after seeing her work in them, it gave me a chance to keep an eye on them and watch how Tuudy did in them.  

Before, bare in the rear, she was pretty tentative on downhills, weighing her front end and protecting her bare back feet.  Today, she planted those rear hooves, tucked her haunches under her, and flew down the hills.  Very cool to see such a difference.

Rear-guard pony and surprisingly happy about it today

I was really tickled with how Mimi did today.  She’s been somewhat…strong of late when we’ve gone out, giving me a bit of an attitude about slowing down, pushing her limits with the s-hack, and she was disturbingly strong against it a couple weeks ago riding around the neighborhood.

Enter remedial training:
Myler Eggbutt MB27PB

This is a Myler Eggbutt MB27PB mouthpiece.  It’s a Level 2-3 mouthpiece, I picked it up about a month ago on a crazy-good deal, and have been playing around with it in the arena ever since.  I won’t go so far as to call in a miracle bit…nothing will ever make Mimi love a bit…but she goes surprisingly well in it.  The port is low enough it doesn’t interfere with her palate, and for the first time ever, she’s actually light in the face.

The upper level bit is also making her extremely conscious of what I’m doing with my hands, and it’s forcing me to ride lighter, to rely on seat and legs first, then the bit.  Maybe there’s a correlation between my lightness and her lightness?
Whatever the case may be…I had BRAKES on the trail again today.  All it took was a couple of light finger taps on one side or the other when she’d start rushing, and she’d back off.  The real test will be speed work, but we kept it pretty much to a walk today.  (Except for a few times she snuck in a bit of a trot.)  But we did a ton of up and down hills and gullies, and she did really well.  No head tossing, no fussing, and minimal pulling weird faces when we’d stop.
Happy Pony
So now I’m convinced there is something to the Myler levels and the fact that giving an advanced horse who understands and respects cues and signals a more advanced bit is a good thing.  (Bit dealers across the country just sent up a rousing cheer…)
And then these got put to the test:

Don’t judge my bathroom unless you wanna come clean it

They’re the new Tropical Rider tights I got…”PrixTec” variety, in Mango.  They’re also the first pair of full-seat tights I’ve ever gotten or worn.  I really liked the grip and security of the full seat.  I got the microsuede patches versus deer or sheepskin…I don’t know if it makes much of a difference or not.  I wasn’t as wild about the fact that the full seat isn’t quite as cool and breathable.  But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means extra stickiness in the saddle.  But it wasn’t so sticky that I felt like it interfered with my posting or ability to get out of the saddle.  Also, the full seat means the mango color doesn’t end up giving the “pumpkin butt” effect.

Photo from barn buddy Angela who was hiking with us

As much as I love pictures, I rarely get ones of myself riding, unless it’s at an event.  Since pics are a great visual feedback of what you’re doing wrong, this is both a good and bad thing.  Looking at the above…*cringe*  

Could I be any more unbalanced?  Scrunching my left side, but weighing my right?  Wonder if that’s related to spending more time on the computer?  I don’t know what my right arm is doing, flailing off to the side like that.  I alternate between riding one-handed and two.  I know two-handed is more balanced and effective, but sometimes I like to switch it up…sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes it’s the need to fish something out of the saddle pack or grab my camera.
But riding posture aside…I love my orange tights!  And they color-coordinate nicely with all my Renegade shirts.

Appropriate Shirt is Appropriate

I found the best shirt today.  It’s one of those hi-tech, synthetic, “supposed to keep you cool” moisture-wicking fabrics from Under Armour‘s HeatGear line.  And it’s one that isn’t cut to fit skin-tight.  I like to be comfortable when I ride, thank you.  Having grown up in the desert, I’m a firm believer in the cooling power of cotton…but I’ll give this one a try.

The writing on the back was what sold me.

(By the way, do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself in a mirror and have the writing not be backwards?  This is the first mirror reflecting onto a side mirror.)

Most sports gear with any kind of slogan on it is usually geared towards a specific sport…none of which are endurance-applicable.  I finally found one that is.

And if the miracle fabric really does do what it’s supposed to do and keep my cooler, this might just be a good ride shirt, since my belief in the power of cotton does not extend to what happens when you get caught in a rainstorm.  (Which has happened to me at rides far more frequently than I’d prefer.)

Synthetic = Much better idea than cotton for getting soaked when it’s cold.  When it’s hot is another story.  You’re talking about the girl that deliberately dunks her head in her pony’s water bucket (that long, thick hair holds a lot of water) and has been known to dump a bucket on herself before hitting the trail in an effort to stay cool in the summer.

Yes, I’ve heard about cooling vests.  I own one.  It doesn’t work anymore, dries out in about 20 minutes, then becomes another heat-trapping layer.  Very disappointed.