Santini’s Lava Bibtights have an entirely new material that features a so called “Lava Effect”: the black surface turns a fiery hue when flexed. According to Santini the Lava bibtights don’t have a heating property, and the feeling of heat is provided by the thermofleece material. The red color you see “under” is only a design feature, without any functional property.
As far as I go, placebo effect is a big deal in my books, so I really wanted to believe that Santini’s Lava Bibtights truly live up to a general “Lava-Effect”. I wish I could approve this statement but the Lava effect is just an aesthetic statement, a new design. The Lava effect that gives the bibtights their name is a layering method that makes the black surface look red when flexed. Toasty thermofleece fabric takes care of the warmth part of the “Lava effect”.
The fit and shape of the garment stands out every time I use Santini gear. No let down here, the Lava Bibtights are snug and race-fit enough, so that the chamois stays in place and there’s no chafing. Its thermofleece material hugs your legs and creates an optimal microclimate as long as you adhere to its recommended range of temperatures.
I tested the Lava Bibtights on long rides, meaning 5 plus hours at temperatures below zero, and despite some unplanned stops due to mechanicals, I haven’t experienced any nasty chill effects. Only below -5 C in a blowing wind did I need to spin up and keep turning the cranks constantly, otherwise, the thermo effect of the Lava wasn’t entirely able to keep my body temperatures in a bearable range. The recommended temperature range is +5° up to +15°.
The new GITevo chamois is engineered to absorb a certain amount of shock. I guess this comes down to plenty of variables, like what kind of saddle one uses, environment where the bibtights are worn [road, off road]. The chamois did a great job, and I hardly noticed it.
I didn’t find anything exceptional or outstanding in the Lava Bibtights. But what I have found is Santini’s formula and the way it puts together those small pieces and details. The result is a long lasting and comfortable riding experience. Provided, you pay attention to the maintenance details, the Lava might be your long term training companion.
Speaking of which, even though it was a way too short period of time I tested it to make a long term testimony, one of my fellow riders, who came to like the Lava so much that he uses it almost in every training session, swears by its durability.
Personal taste plays a certain role. Its design and applied colour scheme isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. The same is true for the fit. I am totally into the snug, race-tailored-fit design. Hence, it worked for me big time. So, try before buying.
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