Altura Race Line Windproof Bib Tight with insert  £99.99

7/10

Good performance and price, but let down by a couple of details

Weight 275g   Contact  www.zyro.co.uk

by Caven O'Hara   March 25, 2014  

Find a store

The Raceline windproof bib tight with pad is Altura's most expensive set of bib tights and is part of their top end Raceline series. They're snug and warm but they're prevented from being excellent by a couple of details.

First impressions present a sculpted set of bib tights, set in the riding position, with a red trim around the shoulder straps. On the backside and the backs of the calves are reflective logos or trim to add a safety element to the design. To keep the lower leg in place the Raceline tights are equipped with foot loops.

Delve a little deeper and what do you find? The answer is a bit more than you might expect. The mesh material is highly breathable to prevent overheating. The pad is an Ergogel 3D multi density insert. Lower down there are windproof panels on the knees and to complete the make-up you have a stretch Super Roubaix fabric to make sure there is some additional protection in cooler riding conditions.

To make the tights a little easier to fit, there is a three inch zip to make comfort breaks more straight forward. The Roubaix fabric is quite thin but offers a reasonable level of comfort and the knee panels feel heavier as you'd expect them to provide the extra warmth.

The tights fit very snugly offering great shape. Once in place the pad feels deep around the sit bones but thins at the front to avoid feeling too much like a nappy. The insert is quite long finishing just below the bottom of the zip.

Talking of the zip, this isn't the greatest. It's easy to do up but even when you flip the zip pull over it struggles to remain in place when you hunch over in your riding position. Even though the zip is on the small side it does feel a little exposed when the zip drops - not great when you're trying to keep the warmth in.

Otherwise the tights themselves are a good combination in terms of density of material and effectiveness. They've been used in temperatures well down into single figures without letting too much cold seep through. On a commute of over an hour they did a grand job of keeping the cold out and the heat in without allowing this to become unpleasant one way or the other. Even in the particularly windy weather of recent months, they've proven to offer protection where your legs need it most.

However, I'm not a great fan of foot loops; I'd rather have zips at the ankle to stop the tangle factor. That and the failure of the zip to stay closed stop these tights form being a really top flight set of bibs.

Verdict

Good performance and price, but let down by a couple of details.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Race Line Windproof Bib Tight with insert

Size tested: Medium Black/Red

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?

This top of the range tights are aimed at serious commuters looking for comfort and protection but also targeting the racers.

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

The mesh material is highly breathable to prevent overheating. The pad is an Ergogel 3D multi density insert. Lower down there are windproof panels on the knees and to complete the make-up you have a stretch Super Roubaix fabric to make sure there is some additional protection in cooler riding conditions.

To make the tights a little easier to fit, there is a three inch zip to make comfort breaks more straight forward. The Roubaix fabric is quite thin but offers a reasonable level of comfort and the knee panels feel heavier as you'd expect them to provide the extra warmth.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The windproof panels do a good job of keeping the thighs 'weather-proofed' and the mesh is sufficient at keeping the shoulders a bit cooler and able to breathe. After all you don't want to be boiling from the inside out. The Super Roubaix fabric is stretchy but hard wearing despite being put through some serious commuter miles.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Most aspects of the Racelines are exactly what you'd expect. The fact that the zip has been added for obvious reasons but then doesn't perform well is disappointing. The foot loops are an individual matter of choice but I have to say I prefer zips. They do however do a job.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The Racelines have been put through the wind, rain and cold without missing a beat.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Bib tights designed with the elements in mind are never going to be the lightest but there is no noticeable weight penalty either.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Given their pre-determined race shape the tights fit well, there is plenty of stretch should you need it in the shoulder straps. The only negative is the zip.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Given the tights are a penny under £100 you would expect the features provided to work so it's a disappointment the zip failed to do this.

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

Material and construction wise, the Raceline's are well made and fit for purpose.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The Roubaix fabric does a good job of keeping the thighs protected.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A zip that doesn't remain in place and let's the cold in is not of much benefit.

Did you enjoy using the product? On the whole yes.

Would you consider buying the product? If there were some improvements.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? With caveats.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Altura have almost got this spot on but a couple of flaws just let the Racelines down.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 178cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three  My best bike is: As above

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT

 

road.cc reviews

Latest reviews

7/10
£69.00
September 22, 2014
9/10
£79.00
September 21, 2014
8/10
£59.99
September 21, 2014
5/10
£39.95
September 20, 2014
8/10
£26.99
September 20, 2014
8/10
£24.99
September 19, 2014
8/10
£89.99
September 18, 2014
6/10
£9.99
September 17, 2014
9/10
£2506.15
September 17, 2014
7/10
£39.99
September 16, 2014
8/10
£20.00
September 16, 2014
9/10
£70.00
September 15, 2014
4/10
£87.99
September 15, 2014
8/10
£32.99
September 14, 2014
5/10
£25.99
September 14, 2014
9/10
£1.79
September 13, 2014
8/10
£279.99
September 12, 2014
6/10
£55.65
September 11, 2014
8/10
£90.00
September 11, 2014
6/10
£64.99
September 10, 2014
8/10
£70.00
September 9, 2014
8/10
£95.00
September 9, 2014
8/10
£39.99
September 8, 2014
8/10
£254.99
September 7, 2014
9/10
£54.99
September 7, 2014
8/10
£120.00
September 6, 2014
9/10
£63.99
September 6, 2014
8/10
£29.99
September 5, 2014
9/10
£67.99
September 4, 2014
 
1