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The Galibier Equipe 3/4s are summer-weight longer bib shorts for keeping the chill off your knees, but their weather window is narrower than some warmer 3/4s, and for me the positioning of the pad isn't quite right. They are well priced but there is some stellar competition even at this price point.
It's hard to put my finger on why 3/4 bibs are such a good thing. They leave a few inches of leg exposed which would be covered if you wore full tights, hardly the part of you with the most nerve endings or sweat glands, and yet for a few months of the year either side of winter there are a lot of days where I find I'd be too warm in full bibs and those few inches are enough to make the difference.
The Galibier Equipe 3/4s are a slightly unusual pair, being made of summer-weight fabric rather than the warmer material more generally used in bib tights and 3/4s. They're not unique in that respect; I tested the Moa Gena a few years ago, and Stu recently reviewed the Pearl Izumi Attacks, both of which are summer-weight knicks, but most 3/4s are made of warmer fabric than these.
So if regular fleecy 3/4s occupy the space between shorts and longs, then these occupy the rather smaller space between shorts and regular 3/4s. I used them on rides between about 6 and 15°C – a wider band than I would expect them to really work for. And yes, at the lower end I would have preferred a fleecy fabric like you see on the dhb Aeron Roubaix or Castelli Nanoflex 3/4s, but to be honest I fared better than I'd expected – keeping your knees covered makes a real difference.
Let's talk about the aero advantage then. Galibier says that an aerodynamically optimised fabric (Carvico Aero) is used on the side panels, to reduce drag. My thesis: this will be an imperceptible advantage and irrelevant to almost everyone who buys these bibs (feel free to tell me I'm wrong in the comments below). Let's move on.
The ProDry SL chamois is a relatively complex shape with three thicknesses, large dimples and a cutout area at the front. The placement of the pad wasn't right for me, though – I needed it further back, as my sit bones were definitely not on the thickest part of the pad. Galibier is an online-only brand, so you can't check whether the pad positioning works for you before purchase, so it's worth checking this before you take the tags off. Most bibs work well on my backside – I can think of only two previous occasions where this has been an issue for me.
The pad positioning was a question mark, then, but that being the case, I was very pleasantly surprised by the comfort on offer. I found rides of five hours went by without me giving a thought to my bibs or my bum, which is exactly what you're looking for from a set of bibs.
Construction quality generally is really good here – the fabrics feel sleek to the touch and the stitching is mostly flatlocked and all neat and tidy. The bib straps are made of a lightweight stretchy mesh which is very comfortable. Fit is good too – lightly compressive and such that the fabric sits snugly on the skin.
At the lower extremity, a wide laser-cut strip of Lycra is used instead of a sticky gripper, with a monochrome greyscale design printed on it. I found it was comfortable and effective in keeping the legs held in place.
Galibier always offers keen pricing and £73 is a good price for well-made 3/4s like these. Decent value, then, if not much less than some other strong alternatives. My benchmark for good value 3/4s has long been from dhb – the Aeron FLT Roubaix 3/4s are £80 in a warmer Roubaix-style fabric. And Stu really rates the Primal Dawn bib knickers at £75.
The Pearl Izumi Attacks I mentioned earlier are a similar lightweight option but at a higher price, £115.
Well-made summer-weight 3/4s aiming at quite a narrow temperature range and with a question mark over the pad placement
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Equipe 3/4s
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says: 'Our Équipe 3/4s are based on our headline bib shorts for comfort and protection during longer, cooler rides. Construction begins with Carvico's Aero fabric on the ergonomic side panels designed specifically to reduce drag. This Lycra is also four way stretch to mirror the pedalling motion and eliminate the stress points at the hip and knee. The fabric stretches and retracts without creating any hotpoints or noticeable compression around the knee. Superlight Mesh at the front and centre back of the bib straps increases breathability and the wider and lighter neck panels eliminate pressure spots and create a uniform feel.
'Our ProDry SL is a high performance chamois, ideal for long hours in the saddle. When you ride all day the chamois function is to reduce friction, remove moisture and protect from vibration. This pad is constructed via a 6 stage process that focuses on breathability, and a superior fit because it adheres better to the body allowing freedom of movement. The highest density support is located in the ischium (sit bones) area and greatly reduces friction and vibration when the pad is under stress. The entire pad is anti-bacterially treated during final assembly and is super soft.
'The 44mm leg grippers are soft and secure silicone, sitting mid calf below the knee. They are 100% flat stitched to avoid irritation.
'Your bike time just got better and your knees warmer.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High performance dual Carvico fabric offers excellent fast wicking muscle support (UPF 50+).
Fully flat-locked seams
Multi-panel, anatomic construction (with seamless inside leg) for strength and comfort.
Soft 5cm Silicone gripper hems
Dual Mesh bibs for secure and comfortable fit.
Antibacterial coated chamois
Medium compression for longer rides
Super light wide top mesh design
Trim : Polyester 82%, Elastane 18%
These are generally very nicely put together shorts, with all of the stitching and other details well finished. Almost all seams are flatlocked and the pad feels like a quality item. My only quibble is that I found the pad was too far to the front.
I wore these for some longish rides and barely gave them a thought, which is exactly what you're looking for (and was quite surprising to me given the pad location didn't seem right on me).
No obvious weakpoints or issues experienced during testing.
This score would be quite a bit higher if the pad was fitted further to the rear. It's not something I've generally found to be an issue in the many bibs I've tested previously, but the thickest part of the pad was emphatically not between my sit bones and the saddle. You may find it works better for you.
I'm an L bordering on an XL in Galibier's size guide, and the supplied L fitted well.
Light for 3/4s, but is that a good thing?
Despite the pad positioning, I found these very comfortable, although I'd prefer a warmer fabric for cooler days.
These are very well priced, slightly undercutting what I'd consider the value-meets-quality benchmark from dhb.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well – I found them comfortable and didn't give them a thought even on long rides. Given the choice at lower temperatures, I'd opt for a heavier fabric but here they fared better than I'd expected too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good pad, well put together.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pad positioning wasn't optimised for me and I'd question whether there's a need for summer-weight 3/4s. No reflectives.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Towards the lower end, up against dhb 3/4s and the Primal Dawn bibs which Stu loved. Significantly less than the similar-weight Pearl Izumi Attack 3/4s we tested recently.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are very nicely made, but for me the point of 3/4s is that they give more warmth than is on offer here thanks to the summer-weight fabric used. I found the pad placement was too far to the front, which was a bit disappointing too.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.