The aptly named Wickham over-trousers continue dhb’s reputation for high specification and keen pricing. Every commu-tourist should have a pair of over-trousers in their cycling wardrobe but traditionally, the PU coated variants are very inefficient at moisture management, membranes might guard against driving rain but can leave you feeling like a mobile sauna-even with ventilation flaps.
The Wickhams are made from eVent which, like Gore-Tex, has pores that allow the fabric to breathe while still remaining fully water and windproof. However, in my experience a technical garment is only as effective as its construction – the Wickham has tapered seams and inverted zips to lock the elements out yet let you get them on and off easily while wearing winter boots/ overshoes. They also pack down very compactly when not in use, occupying nominal space in a pannier – a must, especially on tour.
Cut high in the back, the elasticated waist provides good protection to the your liver and kidney (not a nice place to catch a chill), while Velcro tabs around the calves and ankles prevent bottoms getting snarled up in the transmission or necessitating a John Wayne pedalling style.
There’s a reinforced seat for durability but I would wear under-shorts beneath normal clothing to avoid discomfort on rides beyond a mile or two. Prolonged, freezing rain hasn’t revealed any apparent weakness (even around the crotch where water can eventually get through cheaper designs) while the windproofing protection they give means I've been able to wear bib shorts in preference to winter weight tights.
The now industry standard reflective piping and logos are positioned for maximum effect when illuminated by car headlamps, yet don’t overly attract attention round town sans bike. Care is very straightforward- just add a jot of re-proofing fluid with your low temperature wash and allow to dry naturally.
road.cc test report
Make and model: DHB Wickham eVent overtrousers
Size tested: L
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?
Aimed at commuter and touring cyclists, the Wickham are a waterproof overtrouser made from eVent- a three layer material that traffics moisture from the skin whilst remaining 100% waterproof.
The eVent fabric with taped seams manages to keep the rider completely wind and waterproof. Inverted zips continue this theme whilst allowing hassle-free fitting/removal of boots/over/shoes. Cut high at the rear to protect the vital organs against chill whilst soft padding is designed to prevent chafing around the crotch.
Made to a very high standard
In the main excellent, although Velcro ankle tabs proved tricky to adjust on the fly
Follow washing/care instructions to the letter.
lightweight but have a robust, high quality feel
Excellent worn over shorts, tights and three quarter lengths but no integral seat demands the use of undershorts when riding in civvies for trips longer than a couple of miles.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Superbly, the cut is excellent allowing freedom of movement, mosisture is evaporated immediately with none of the warm, clammy feeling of less sophisticated fabrics-even after considerable effort. Freezing rain and sleet have had no impact, water lierally cascades from the material.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It lives up to its promise with excelent levels of comfort, thoughtful deatailing and a genuinely cycling specific cut. I have worn them on fast paced training runs without feeling remotely restricted.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product?: Immensely
Would you consider buying the product?: Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend?: Unreservedly
Your overall verdict of the product taking everything into account
A superbly designed, high performance garment with smart detailing.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset. My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years. I ride: Most days. I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)