A no-frills no-nonsense pair of tights, ideal for winter riding, at a fair price
Weight: 283g Contact: www.madison.co.uk
Madison's Shield Protech Roubaix full-length tights have everything you need for riding in cold and wet conditions, and nothing you don't need.
The Roubaix fabric is fleecy on the inside to keep in the warmth, and sheer on the outside to repel wind and rain. This material is not water-proof, so you'll get wet legs in a storm, but it is a half-decent barrier against road-spray thanks in part to an additional water-resistant coating - presumably the eponymous 'shield' - although it's not clear how long this coating will remain effective.
Elsewhere, we've got no worries about durability. The tights seem well-made, with good quality stitching. Most seams are flat, but not - surprisingly - the central seam under the crotch or the seams up the back of the leg and over your rear-end. However, these tights are specifically designed to be worn over a pair of shorts, so you don't notice these non-flat seams when riding.
The cut is good: close-fitting all round, with no loose or over-tight areas. The bib is made of the same fabric as the rest of the shorts, which means a nice warm layer around your lower abdomen. There's no zip in the front for male loo-stops, but the fabric is stretchy enough to do the needful.
There are no zips at the ankle either, but once again the fabric is easily stretchy enough to go over your foot. Whether it will retain its stretch over time is unknown, but rather than silicon grippers around the ankle cuffs, there are loops to go under your instep to make sure the tights stay in place. If they do go a little baggy round the ankle after a year or two, it's no big deal if you're wearing overshoes. (Although overshoes will cover the reflective logos at the lower end of each leg.)
Because these tights are designed to be worn with shorts, they have no pad (or 'chamois') insert. For some cyclists, this is no problem, as many prefer to ride with shorts under full-length tights - either for psychological reasons (it feels like going commando) or for practical reasons (if it's cold enough for one layer over your legs, it's cold enough for two layers over your vitals). If you prefer just one layer from the waist down, then you'll need to look at other brands, or at the version of these Madison tights, which do have a pad insert.
Overall, the lack of features such as pads and zips makes these tights a straightforward garment, and this is reflected in the price. At a penny under £45 this compares well with other tights of similar quality, and you can find them for nearer 30 quid on-line.
A no-frills no-nonsense pair of tights, ideal for winter riding, at a fair price.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Shield Protec Men's Roubaix Bib Tight
Size tested: Black
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?
The Madison website says 'With the right kit you can ride in relative comfort even in cold, wet conditions. Shield Roubaix Protec Roubaix bib tights are designed to be used in such conditions. We use cutting edge fabrics and an 6-panel fit to keep you comfortable all day long." To be honest, although the fabric may be 'cutting edge', Madison are not the only garment supplier to use it, but overall the bit about riding 'in relative comfort in cold wet conditions' is a reasonable claim.
So far, durability seems fine, but we haven't used the tights for long enough to see how they'll cope with a full winter of riding (and washing).
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?
We've given these tights an overall score of 8. They're not a 9, but if 8.5 was an option on the road.cc score-ometer that's what they'd get.
About the tester
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,