Mavic's Echappée bib tights provide good warmth with windproof front panels that have withstood the coldest winter days.
Mavic's range of clothing is quite extensive, with six bib tights offered. The Echappée sit one rung below their warmest deep winter tights, and that makes them perfect for the typical British winter, where it rarely gets exceptionally cold. These are rated for a temperature range between 0° and 12°C, which just about covers an average winter.
But wet and windy it does often get and in these conditions the Echappée tights are excellent. They're made from an Warm Tech Ultra material with a windproof Carbon Power fabric on the front leg panels stretching from just below the knees to below the crotch. As well as the wind resistance this fabric provides, it also offers extra insulation with the extra layer it provides, therefore keeping you warmer for longer.
Fit is crucial with tights, and the Mavics tick this box comfortably. The legs feature carefully shaped panels, with a wide section of fabric around the back of the knee joint and and a large curved section over the front of the knee. Pedalling restriction was minimal, and freedom of movement on the bike proved excellent. There is some rumpling of excess fabric just below the knee joint when you pull the tights on, but this doesn't impair their performance once you're riding.
The bib straps are reasonably wide but could be a little wider for extra comfort. The opening is quite low on the stomach so there's minimal overlap with the torso, and there's a very short zipper. Mid-ride toilet stops aren't a problem, with the zipper and stretch of the fabric making the necessary action required an easy task. The back of the bib straps are filled with a light mesh that doesn't prevent your base layer from doing its job.
The Ergo 3D chamois is exceptionally comfortable. It's not their top-end insert, but in line with most expensive inserts it has carefully shaped sections and various thicknesses across its width that provide more padding where you need it, and less where you don't. It's a good shape and is slim and flexible enough to be very comfortable on the saddle. It's one of those inserts that you really don't notice after a few miles, but you notice the comfort mile after mile.
Short zipped ankles make pulling the tights on easy and removing them when you're completely shattered after a ride. I like zipped leg openings in preference to stirrups, as it means you can put your socks on after you've put your tights on in the morning.
There's a few reflective details but there's room for far more generous reflective decal and bands, which I would like to see on a product aimed at winter riding. Small Mavic tabs and a snazzy logo-ed stripe up the side of the legs gives the tights a certain air of poshness.
They certainly feel like a high-end high quality product, and perform with the very best bib tights I've tested in the past. £159.99 is a lot of money though (a little shopping around will find some good deals on at the moment), but the fit, comfort and the wind resistance of the fabric does give them the edge over cheaper tights.
Not cheap, but performance is up there with the best and the fit, comfort and wind resistance definitely gives them the edge over cheaper tights
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mavic Echappée bib tight
Size tested: Medium
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?
Close fitting winter tight with enhanced wind resistance and insulation in strategic areas.
Unique construction for highly elastic fit and excellent warmth. Strategically placed Carbon Power fabric overlays combined with brushed Warm Tech Ultra. Ten times more wind resistance than traditional construction with brushed fabrics for warmth without reduced breathability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Carbon Power: Highly supportive, elastic fabric with Lycra®Power and Resistex® carbon fibers for improved muscle performance and moisture management, 62% polyamide, 36% elastane, 2% carbon fibers
They're robust and well built, and show no signs of wear and tear.
These are right up there with the bests from Rapha, Assos and Castelli. They fit really well, provide good insulation down to zero degrees and the chamois is comfortable for long rides.
They've been in service for a couple of months, in the toughest conditions of the winter, and still look brand new. The stitching is all of the highest quality.
Really impressed with the chamois and fit around the legs.
They're priced towards the top-end of what I'd expect to pay for bib tights, and that puts them right in line with similar offerings from Castelli and Rapha. Happy to report they perform as impressively as those rivals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ticked all the boxes for me, and have no hesitation reaching for them on the longest and coldest training rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Has to be the fit really, it's just spot on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If I'm being picky, it's the Mavic repeated stripe down the side of the leg. I'm not really a fan.
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?
Mavic is quietly making a name for itself with some excellent clothing, and these tights just reinforce that. As good as anything else out there.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.