At first glance these Altura Ergofit bibs look like a typical pair in the mid-range price bracket. Quality gel pad? Check. Reflective patches? Check. Flashes of colour? Check. Sadly, once you put them on, things start to go downhill.
The first thing you notice is that getting in requires a bit of a wiggle as the mesh upper section is cut very high. This gives a little extra warmth but also means that stopping for a wee is even more of a trial than usual.
The silicone leg grippers are almost non-existent, just some tiny Altura logos, and they simply don't do the job. I have proper fat boy randonneur calves, that is to say they're chunky and have all the elegance of a boiled ham. Even so, the legs occasionally popped up over the top of them, which is annoying.
What was even more disconcerting was the way the pad folded itself in half and made itself known to my most intimate crevice whenever I got out of the saddle to honk uphill. Oh, and the reflective patches are the stick-on type and they're already starting to come loose at the edges. As a final grumble, the Lycra is starting to bobble where it has rubbed on the saddle.
On the plus side, the pad is comfortable enough while in the saddle and the brushed fleece lining is cosy and warm.
All in all, none of the flaws is fatal in its own right, but combined they add up to a piece of kit that irritates more than it pleases.
WIth Altura what you lose in panache and flair you usually gain in quality and reliability. I'd like to say that these Ergofit 3/4s uphold that reputation but sadly they have too many flaws. My favourite 3/4s are the Endura FS260 Pro bibknickers I tested last year which are the same price as the Alturas but spank them for quality, fit and performance.
Hard to recommend these - too many irritating flaws.
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Make and model: Altura Ergofit 3/4 bib knicker
Size tested: Large
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?
"Ergofit garments are constructed in a multi panel, pre-shaped design, sculpted to fit in the riding position using the highest quality fabrics for no compromise performance. Mid weight stretch bib 3/4s provide warmth where you need it most over the thigh and upper calf without any restriction."
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really - too many niggles
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Age: 40 Height: 5ft 8in Weight: 86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,