The one thing that is predictable about the British climate is that it is unpredictable. You could be dressed for the beach and two minutes later it is hailing which is why cyclists always have to prepare for the unexpected and why something like the dhb Amberley over-trousers can be such a useful part of your weather fighting armoury.
So you only need to travel a few miles into work, a journey that makes perfect sense on a bicycle but it's hosing it down outside. A journey that only takes 10 minutes on the bike has now turned into a 40 minute walk in the hissing rain or you can take the last resort and use public transport enjoying that 'interesting smell' that you get on a damp day, something between the moth balls and an unwashed dog blanket, and all because you haven't got the correct rain protection.
Well, all this frustration can be put to rest by purchasing a pair of waterproof over-trousers. Ok, there is still your shoes to worry about and your upper half but even if you are walking you will have to make provisions for this. But how well do over trousers work? Well a good pair should have the same attributes as a good rain jacket, namely that they stop water getting in and they let heat out.
I am someone who builds up a fair bit of heat almost regardless of how much effort I put in on my bike. My worry with over trousers is usually that I am going to boil and be wetter on the inside than I would have been chancing the elements! I've found that the best tactic is to wear a pair of lightweight trousers underneath and keep your distance and your effort low and your damp issue should be resolved. Using the dhb Amberlys II managed about six miles before I got uncomfortable and felt that my legs had been put in the microwave - which is pretty good for me.
The cut of the trousers is fairly narrow, I wear a 32-34inch jean and the mediums were a snug fit over the top. The velcro adjusters at the bottom of each leg made sure my trouser leg didn't get caught in the chain ring. In the heavy rain the over trousers kept my jeans dry which is exactly what was asked of them, the fairly high elastic drawstring waist and the taped seams meant the hatches were well and truly battened down. The material seems tough, it is built using a ripstop nylon and the seat panel is further reinforced and should hold up to several months of soggy commutes which will hopefully see you through a couple of bad seasons without a problem.
Okay, over-trousers aren't perfect, if you want to stay really dry you'll need some sort of waterproof jacket for your top half, and, in really heavy rain there is the problem of water running off your trousers and in to your shoes, road.cc ed Tony, swears by SealSkinz waterproof socks, to combat this. He wears them over ordinary socks and simply changes his shoes (or does without - ed) when he gets to work. Even so, for shorter urban commutes that you'd do in your normal clothes these over trousers are a cracking way to beat the rain.
At £39.99 these are at the budget end of the over-trouser spectrum, but as you'd expect from Wiggle's in-house brand they deliver plenty of value for money. They are fairly basic, there's nothing flash going on here, but they are well made and deliver fuss-free performance and after almost a year's worth of use they look well capable of doing that for some time to come.
Perfect for slow, short journeys that don't justify taking a change of clothes in foul or unpredictable weather. Or can be worn as a wind proof layer on cold nights to stop your knees from seizing.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Amberley overtrousers
Size tested: M
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 dhb Amberley Waterproof Trousers are designed with comfort in mind... they will help keep you warm and dry whatever the weather.
I'd agree with that.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
•Nylon ripstop fabric, fully taped seams
•Reflective dhb logo on the knee
•Elasticated drawstring waist
•Toughened panel in the seat area
•Velcro ankle adjustment
•Fabric Composition: 100% Polyamide(Nylon)
Perfectly adequate, nothing fancy going on here.
For keeping the rain out they worked very well but pedal hard and after a few miles steam will be bellowing from your navel.
They will last as long as you don't slide along the tarmac or snag your saddle too many times or forget to gather the bottom of your trouser leg. Because you don't travel far in them they should last for a few years.
Any heavier and they will feel like waders and any lighter and they will lose their integrity.
The fitted snuggly over the 3/4 trousers I had on. The velcro ankle adjusters kept everything tidy.
You can get very basic over trousers that can do the job but these do it without the fuss. If they get get you to work without using the smelly bus then they have paid for themselves in one trip in my opinion.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you are going to pedal about in them all day, the chances are that you will have wet legs from sweating. If you keep them on for short journeys, these will look after your dry pants and deliver you to your final destination without dampness.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They don't look like you are about to strim a hedge for the council but look more like a pair of trousers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They are an over trouser rather than just a trouser so the selection of garment you wear underneath is important if you don't want your legs to melt.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yeah
Would you consider buying the product? Yep, worth having a pair for emergencies
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 180 Weight: 80
I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time My best bike is: Giant CFR pro. Old school carbon converted to fixed. Kinesis Convert 2.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back