Road Rags Holborn leggings & skirt combination  £90.00

9/10

Amazingly soft, warm and comfy Merino leggings/skirt combination that looks and feels great on and off the bike.

Weight 245g   Contact  www.roadrags.cc

by Caroline Dodgson   December 6, 2013  

The Holborn skirt/leggings combo from Road Rags is possibly the most comfortable item of clothing I've ever worn. The Holborn takes the best aspects of lycra tights - stretchy, form fitting and moves with you - and transforms them into something that you could genuinely enter a pub in without looking like a cyclist.

Knitted in 18.9-micron (fine grade) merino wool, the leggings are heavy enough to be totally opaque, and the integral mini skirt gives just that little bit more coverage rather than exposing you to all and sundry. It also means that there is no VPL (visible panty line for any chaps reading) as the skirt gives an additional layer over these areas.

There is no integral padding as the Holborn is designed for urban use and commuting, not distance, but again the skirt would hide padded shorts should you choose to wear these underneath. The skirt also adds to the urban non-cyclewear look so is pub-friendlier than simply tights would be.

There are changes of texture knitted into the fabric which lift it above boring and basic, and the dark grey colour is subtle and easy to combine with other clothes. With knee-high boots and a shirt these leggings could easily take me from the commute directly into the office without a need to change out of them.

The merino wool is extremely soft, but to make sure there is absolutely no chafing the entire garment is seam free. I have no idea how they make it but the skirt forms a tube which folds down over the legs, none of which have any seams at all.

The Holborn I tested was a Large, and unlike many cycling garments it was actually true to size, fitting my size 16 bottom and waist without being tight. Kudos to Road Rags for making kit which will fit the majority of women in the UK.

Being knitted merino means that there is a lot of give in the fabric, and our size 14 tester also found the L fitted well although she could have also dropped a size to the M. The smallest size is listed as being a 26-28in waist which is a standard size 10-12. The leggings are very long (33in inside leg on the large). At 5ft 6in I needed to turn them up, but as the knit pattern changes around the ankle this looked fine, and when off the bike and at home, I turned them all the way down to keep my feet toasty warm.

The cut suits a relatively upright commuting position and did not show off any of my lower back until I dropped really low on to the handlebars. Because the skirt is integral, it effectively gives the leggings an adjustable height waistline if you spend a lot of time in the drops.

I was very pleased to find that the leggings were machine washable at 30 degrees, and they washed well. The way they had shaped to my knees that showed when I took them off after a ride was banished by the wash and they pinged back into shape perfectly. Being merino of course, they don't need daily washing as the natural anti-pong mechanisms of the wool works a treat.

At £90 the Holborn leggings/skirt are certainly what fashionistas call an investment piece, but considering the extreme comfort, easy care material and style, combined with UK manufacturing I feel that it is a decent price for what you get. I always try and work out a cost per wear to make myself feel better about expensive purchases and as these leggings could take me from the bike to the shops to the pub they were an everyday no brainer to pull on and I can see myself wearing them through Autumn and Winter and up 'till the end of Spring.

I really loved these leggings, and the skirt gave me that extra body confidence when off the bike. They'll be on my Christmas list so I hope Santa's reading.

Verdict

Amazingly soft, warm and comfy Merino leggings/skirt combination that looks and feels great on and off the bike.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Road Rags Holborn - leggings and skirt

Size tested: Large, Grey

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

These limited edition super fine merino leggings have been designed for comfort and style with a fine attention to detail. With the integral skirt they offer you confidence to leave your lycra at home!

For a spring ride or commute they are a perfect balance in breathability and warmth. We have blended 7% bilarex to add a little extra hold. The natural qualities of merino gives you the opportunity to wear and re-wear. Ideal for your weekly commute. Luxurious for a weekend spin through the local streets or lanes.

Versatile, functional, stylish, there are no unsightly seams and no rubbing. I wear mine all the time!! The subtle shades of grey mean they look great with our ladies merino jumper, or one of our mens tops. If you are trying to decide between sizes we would suggest you choose the smaller size, merino wool fibres resemble tiny coiled springs and have a natural stretch.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Seamless

Machine Washable

Integral Skirt

93% 18.9 micron merino wool, 7% bilarex

Beautifully woven textures

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Just lovely, and amazingly seam-free.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

All the qualities you expect from good merino: wicking, warm, and very soft.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The machine washing adds to the product's durability as it doesn't need time-consuming handwashing.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10

Very lightweight without sacrificing warmth.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

Possibly the most comfortable piece of kit or clothing I've ever tried.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

You are paying for British design and manufacture, as well as top quality merino wool, so £90 is a decent.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really well, holding its shape when riding and pretty much feeling invisible to wear - nothing to dig in or constrain.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort and the style of the cut.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing. Perhaps they could print the labels onto the fabric rather than sewing them in.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

This would make a luxurious present for yourself or a loved one, but don't save it for special occasions as it makes great daily wear.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 5'7  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure

 

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

quote .... and transforms them into something that you could genuinely enter a pub in without looking like a cyclist.... un quote.

Wave

perish the thought!!

Interesting product - useful review

cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [114 posts]
6th December 2013 - 21:58

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Like (16)

16 ? never!

andybwhite's picture

posted by andybwhite [158 posts]
7th December 2013 - 1:52

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I'm not the model - I thought my lumps and bumps would distract so got a friend to be photographed. She says she's a 14 but I reckon 12-14. Sorry!

posted by Caroline Dodgson [35 posts]
7th December 2013 - 11:27

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Ha, I also don't like going round Tescos in my horseriding jodhpurs and I'm almost never seen out in my swimming kit...

posted by Caroline Dodgson [35 posts]
7th December 2013 - 11:28

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I wore a grey merino poloneck yesterday while trying to look like a normal person while also feeling like one dressed for an imminent 40 km cycle through snow and fog. I could only pull it off by keeping my lycra-ed legs firmly under the table. Once I stood up to leave my game was up. These would have been an elegant solution, although I'd still have had spectators watching me look for and put on gloves and a buff and a woolly hat and bike lights and thermo socks and arm warmers and a gilet asking me how on earth I was going to get home like that. Weren't there hills in the way? (check, gears!) ice? (check, knobbly studded tyres!) cold air? (check, layers.)

So I'm torn between welcoming this - it really does look good, although the logo can be misread as ROAD RAGE - and just accepting that the only thing that will make cyclists stop looking weird will be more people cycling and weirdness becoming the new normal. Although for that to happen maybe we need more cyclists who don't look weird ...

posted by bambergbike [72 posts]
9th December 2013 - 1:43

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Nice product, and good to see some non-shrink'n'pink women's gear. If only they were a bit cheaper (not saying they aren't worth it, just that I can't afford them) they'd be a good Christmas pressie to coax Ms. Ghedebrav back onto her bike.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [824 posts]
11th December 2013 - 21:39

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