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The Albion Three Season Tights are a standout piece in the brand's range, offering everything you could possibly want from a pair of bib tights to fend off the worst of the UK's winter weather. The pad is very comfortable, the fleecy fabric is warm and cosseting, and a combination of windproof knee panels and water-repellent treatment keeps your legs well protected. Albion has also priced these quite competitively against similar premium offerings.
Launched late in 2021, Albion's bib tights are a pretty impressive debut. The Three Season Tights – designed to see you through, you guessed it, autumn to spring – feature a brilliant Elastic Interface pad that forms the core of these tights.
The fabric consists of a mixture of panels, each serving a purpose specific to their location. A mid-weight thermal fabric around the waist and thigh keeps you warm without getting too hot, while windproof panels at the knee protect this all-important area from chilling at speed.
Below this, there's a lighter weight Roubaix-backed section covering the lower legs. At the ankle area, a silicone gripper keeps this firmly in place.
The tights also feature a combination of materials, in the majority a mixture of recycled nylon and elastane (aside from the knee panels which use non-recycled nylon and elastane). Some feature a greater or lesser amount of elastane, depending how much stretch is needed. The mesh back and straps feature the most, for obvious reasons. Each panel is connected via flatlock seams to minimise chafing.
Albion has treated the material to a water-repellent coating, to help protect against light rain and road grime that inevitably gets splattered all over your legs in the winter. There's considerable concern about the environmental impact of durable water repellent (DWR) coatings made by the old C8 process, so manufacturers have switched to C6 and, in this case, C0 which is less harmful (the number refers to the length of carbon chain in the precursor chemicals used to make the coating; C8 is also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, a toxic and highly persistent pollutant).
Two generous reflective strips along the rear of the lower legs and two smaller strips in the rear thigh area improve visibility from behind and from the side.
The tights are available in classic black or a very on-trend alternative Dark Slate, which looks a bit lighter in real life. A single Albion logo features on the left leg.
The overall quality of the tights is high – they're really well made, and everything feels as if it's been done for function first, even if they do look great.
In the hands the tights feel quite thin, but they're exceedingly luxurious too. On the inside there's a fleecy backing throughout. The straps are wide and feel very soft, too.
These XL size tights fit me perfectly – I'm slim and not particularly muscled (like a cyclist, then), and they hug the contours of my legs perfectly; there's just enough bite in the fabric without bothering you.
The windproof knee panels sit in just the right place on my very long legs, and the legs finish a couple of inches above my ankle, which I found fine (most tights are a little short on me, to be fair, and they did fit perfectly around this area – so could well be too loose if they were any longer).
The tops of the tights give you just enough coverage around your midriff without suffocating, and there's enough stretch to allow you to do your business at the front when you need to. Similarly, the straps have plenty of give, and this combined with their width ensures a secure but comfortable fit for many miles.
Talking of comfort, the pad is simply superb. Albion says it uses 'ultra pad technology' for long distance riding, but more specifically you're looking at the Liège HP Men chamois from the Elastic Interface range. This pad is designed specifically for rides of over seven hours. For reference, it measures 373x200mm, and features a mixed density construction for adding support where it's needed, along with a central perineal channel. This takes pressure off the urethra and increases blood flow to your bits.
Certainly, I experienced no numbness at any point during testing, and the pad definitely keeps you comfortable for longer rides. What's strange is that the padding is pretty minimal, so you don't really feel it there, but the comfort is next level, and because you don't really notice it there, it doesn't get in the way when you're moving around on the saddle.
Back to the fabric, and the first thing you notice is that while riding it almost feels like you're naked, such is the lack of bulk to the material; it's almost like a second skin. The material stretches in all the right places, at one with your every movement. It's so comfortable, and like the pad, you hardly notice you're wearing it.
Even though there's not much in the way of substance to the fabric, it's incredibly effective in all weathers. I tested these throughout late autumn and through the bulk of winter, and they're brilliant. They're ideal on very cold days (down to about 2°C) where you might normally go for something bulkier, with the windproof panels keeping the bitter chill off your knees. But even on unusually mild weather – it was 16°C during testing in December – they breathe enough to keep you comfortable. The mesh panel behind those windproof panels enables the backs of your knees to stay free of sweat, even when you're putting in some serious efforts.
The DWR coating works well – and keeps the tights looking good even after a severe coating of spray because you didn't bother installing mudguards... They dry incredibly quickly, too.
As premium tights, these aren't ever going to be cheap, but they do compare well against other premium offerings: Castelli's Sorpasso RoS Wind Bib Tights are now £225, and although their performance was very good, with similar qualities to the Albion tights, the overall quality didn't impress Mat when he tested them.
But you can spend less: Stu was pleased with the Orro Pyro Line Aquazero Bibtights. Though there's no windproofing to speak of, the material is water repellent and they're just under £100, which is a pretty good price.
These tights are very comfortable, the pad will keep your backside happy for many miles, and they look great. They also fend off cold and wet weather, and work across a wide range of temperatures – you don't have to worry too much about what to wear on your legs, just stick these on and you're pretty much good to go from almost zero degrees up to the late teens.
Brilliant tights that will keep your legs very happy for many miles, from autumn through to spring
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Albion Three Season Tights
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Albion says: "Versatile legwear for riding in the colder conditions often experienced in Britain.
Our Three Season Tights feature a panelled construction using a mid-weight thermal fabric in the waist and thigh area, windproof front knee panels, and a lighter weight fleece-backed fabric for the lower and back of the legs, all coated with a C0 DWR treatment, to create a warm but versatile pair of tights with plenty of weather protection for riding in colder weather.
The tights use the same premium Elastic Interface pad that can be found across our range of shorts and tights, designed specifically for comfort during long hours in the saddle.
A key feature is two high-reflectivity strips on the lower leg and two reflective tabs behind the thighs, greatly enhancing a rider's visibility in all light conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Albion lists these features:
Panelled construction to combine warmth, wind block, leg articulation and temperature regulation
C0 DWR treatment to provide protection against road spray and/or showers
Premium Elastic Interface ultra pad technology for long distance riding
High-reflectivity strips in the calf and rear thigh area for enhanced visibility in all light conditions
Fabric - Main 83% recycled nylon, 17% elastane; Knee panel 85% nylon, 15% elastane; Lower Leg 80% recycled nylon, 20% elastane; Mesh 73% recycled nylon, 27% recycled elastane
Made in Italy
Very well made.
Warm on very cold days, and cool on milder ones. The pad is seriously comfortable too.
No issues so far despite being used in some pretty bad weather.
A snug fit, though not tight – the material almost feels like a second skin. In an XL they're just long enough for me, but still quite slim. There's plenty of stretch, though, if you're a bit bigger.
Lighter than similar competitors.
The material is very comfortable, with the tights working perfectly in tandem with the movement from your legs. The endurance pad is also very comfortable, and brilliant for long rides.
They're not cheap, but quite competitive with other premium options, given their performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues here, washed at 30°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Albion calls these Three Season Tights, and I'd they are perfectly suited to the varied weather we get in the UK from autumn through to spring.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit and feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're cheaper than similar competitors such as Castelli's Sorpasso RoS Wind Bib Tights, but a little more expensive than Orro's Pyro Line Aquazero Bibtights.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're excellent. They work well in a wide variety of weather conditions and are supremely comfortable in all regards. They fit well, have a high level of finish and look great. It's only really their price that counts against them – and some might find them slightly too short in the leg.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,