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review

Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers

8
£77.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Great value 3/4s with incredible fit and only the thinnish fabric and slender chamois being niggly minus points
Price
Excellent fit
Comfy straps
Wide hem gripper
Unsophisticated pad
Sheer material
Weight: 
218g
Contact: 

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The Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers come to you at a price that most other bib-knickers would only be available at in a half price sale; you can easily spend three times as much if you wanted. They're excellent value fluffy-lined 3/4 shorts that are great for the in-between seasons (or most of the seasons these days) when your knees might need a little protection from the chill. Their cut and fit are amazing, too, but the quality of the fabric and cush of the chamois hint at the bargain price.

If you're more of a shorts than a knickers rider, check out our guide to the best cycling bib shorts.

> Buy now: Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers for £77 from Galibier

I'm exactly right for the medium size according to the Galibier size chart, and in a rare instance of the chart corresponding to reality, the Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers were a perfect fit for me, and it's a really very nice fit too. There are no wrinkles or bagginess round the back of the knee, or a flappy space in the front designed to accommodate a bit of MAMIL bulge – which I've noticed appearing in more and more bib shorts of late. They're just comfortably figure hugging all the way over and around, making them among the best-fitting bottom-half garments I've ever shimmied into.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - legs back.jpg

All seams are flatlocked and all are comfortable, none are annoyingly just in the wrong place, and the way the thigh panel wraps around the leg over the top of the knee helps enormously with pedalling ergonomics and is worthy of much praise.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - cuffs.jpg

The bib straps are light, thin, wide, unnoticeable and comfortably supportive, and come with a mesh panel on the rear that extends from the hips to the shoulders which helps with keeping things taut to the body and adds the teeniest bit of warmth.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - straps back.jpg

The front of the bibs extends well up the tummy with an extra panel that adds a bit more support and helps to keep those bits a bit warmer in the chillier temperatures these are to be worn in, but there's enough stretch in the fabric to ensure that comfort breaks are easy enough and don't demand awkward contortionist moves.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - front detail.jpg

The hem ends up a long way down past the knee and is a 70mm-deep section of thin silicone-backed material. It's comfortable, doesn't promote sausage leg and does a very good job of keeping the 3/4s snug to the calf, ensuring there's absolutely no creep or riding up over the course of a pedal.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - cuff gripper.jpg

Thanks to the thought and detailing put into the design of the Galibier 3/4s they were comfortable throughout the length of any ride, with no baggy bits appearing, no annoying wrinkles and no tight spots or rubs. Hurrah.

There are significant reflective tags on the backs of the legs above the hem and there's a large reflective Galibier roundel on the rear of the right calf.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - leg logo and reflective.jpg

For all the quality of the fit and detailing, the Pavé 3/4s are a little let down and show their price by the quality of material used and the refinement of the chamois. Neither are complete deal-breakers, especially for the price, and neither detract horrifically from the ride, but they are nevertheless noticeable.

The fabric of the Pavé 3/4s is a slightly fuzzy inside ThermoRoubaix and it keeps your legs toasty in the 6-16°C temperatures the 3/4 knickers are designed for, but the fabric does become a little sheer when stretched, and has that particular shine to it. From experience it's the sort of fabric that does start to show wear quicker than others, especially with regard to that translucence that only someone who's sat on your wheel can politely warn you about. No one has complained about that yet, but the fabric at the saddle pressure points is already showing a little friction shine.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - back.jpg

Another place the Galibier knickers show their price is in the Seamless RaceDay chamois, which isn't the most sophisticated pad you can nestle into. It's a simple construction with a 2mm-thick main pad and an 11mm and 12mm-thick central section that's split down the middle.

2024 Galibier Pave three-quarter Bib Knickers - chamois.jpg

It's not uncomfortable but it's not particularly cosseting either. Galibier says that the pad is designed for intense rides of two to five hours, which should be long enough for most of us, and I'd go along with that. Not that they suddenly turn into rough cardboard, but towards the end of that time frame the lack of technicality and slenderness of the pad can be felt, so if you're into longer rides look elsewhere, or maybe your weathered nethers are ambivalent towards a chamois and it will all be fine.

Value

You'd think you're going to struggle to find a bib knicker this good value, but the Rockrider Mountain Bike 3/4 Bib Shorts Race from How Do They Do It So Cheap Decathlon are just £44.99. We haven't reviewed them, but they're claimed to be water repellent and to have a pad that's good for up to three hours in the saddle.

Otherwise, though, good 3/4s under £100 (at rrp) are hard to find. The Castelli Entrata Thermal Bibknicker, for example, is £100 (though a discounted pair is a swift google away). They're made from a similar fluffy insides material and Mike found them comfortable and warm, even when wet, and with a good KISS AIR2 pad.

We tested the Gorewear C3 3/4 Bib Tights+ a few years ago and they're still available but a bit pricier now (£109.99). Ed praised them for their fit and chamois, but their thin material meant they weren't very well suited for the chillier weather a 3/4 tight is ideal in. The Endura FS260-Pro Thermo Bib Knickers are also £109.99, but they do come with a Thermoroubaix fabric that's DWR coated to give you an extra layer of protection against the usual elements these tights find themselves in. They're furnished with a 600 series pad which is a computer cut 'Continuously Variable Profile' (CVP) stretch pad with gel inserts.

And you can pay a lot more – the Sportful BodyFit Pro Thermal Bib Shorts (in fact 3/4s) are almost twice the price at £140. They're made from a warm brushed fabric that's heavier up front than in the back and the front of the knee even comes covered with a shaped raw-cut water resistant fabric and there's a storage pocket in the rear yoke which brings them bang up to cargo trend.

Conclusion

Galibier has built up a reputation for really good kit at really good prices and these Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers live up to that. They're very good value compared with most, and the fit and details show they're obviously put together by people who ride bikes a lot. If it wasn't for the fabric feeling a little thin and the slender simplicity of the chamois, they'd be getting full marks.

> Buy now: Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers for £77 from Galibier

Verdict

Great value 3/4s with an incredible fit, the thinnish fabric and slender chamois being the only niggly minus points

road.cc test report

Make and model: Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Galibier says:

3/4 bib tight with excellent warmth, flexibility and extra knee coverage, ideally suited to cooler spring and autumn cycling conditions.

Our Pavé 3/4 bibs: Superb, second skin fit and warm muscles for racing or intensive training days. Crafted from the high-stretch, Italian micro-fleeced ThermoRoubaix fabric by Carvico, these tights ensure ergonomic comfort, preventing any pedalling resistance. The design features a thigh panel that terminates above the knee, complemented by a lighter roubaix fabric to prevent bunching behind the knees.

The bib brace design combines supportive straps with a flexible mesh panel, pre-curved to facilitate easier breathing, ensuring they stay securely in place. Great in dry conditions, and warm in rain and wet roads. Reduced seams for comfort, reflective highlights for visibility.

Features:

Thermo fabric from knee to waist for warmth and comfort

Roubaix stretch-woven fabric with brushed fleece inside at lower leg for splash protection from wet roads

Seamless RaceDay 3D seat pad

High Elastic bib straps

Reflective inserts on for visibility on back and Logo

Features:

Thermo fabric from knee to waist for warmth and comfort

Roubaix stretch-woven fabric with brushed fleece inside at lower leg for splash protection from wet roads

Seamless RaceDay 3D seat pad

High Elastic bib straps

Reflective inserts on for visibility on back and Logo

Construction:

Main fabric : 85%NYLON+15%SPANDEX

Bib fabric : 95%POLYESTER+5%SPANDEX

The Race Day 2 Seat Pad is designed for intense rides 2-5 hours.

1. Seamless skin care layer: A super-soft, brushed microfibre top that maximizes comfort and fit. Seamlessly engineered to eliminate chafing and abrasion. Flexible to move with you. Bacteriostatic treatment to avoid saddle sores and infection.

2. Continuously variable thickness: Dual density and infinitely variable thickness give you the perfect cushioning for every part of the pad. Maximum thickness and density in the ischial zone, tapering to moderate thickness in the perineum, and minimum thickness at the perimeter.

3. Anatomic shape: Comfort is further enhanced by creating a perfect interface to your body during every pedal stroke.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very well made, especially for the money, and no loose threads yet.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Great fit, perfect material for the designed temperature, marked down for the chamois.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10

They're holding up okay so far, but experience of this fabric and wear marks already appearing suggest they might wear out quicker than some.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Amazing fit with some well-thought-through details.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Perfect fit for my usual medium frame, and perfect size guide correlation too.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10

For Roubaix style fabric 3/4s, they're nice and light.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
6/10

Excellent fit all around with no rubs or bunching, but I found the chamois a little lacking.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

For the money they're amazing, with only the look of the fabric and less sophisticated chamois letting them down. They're not as cheap as some Rockriders from Decathlon (£44.99) – which we haven't reviewed – but you're looking at over £100 and rising for most equivalent 3/4s...

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Thrown in with all the other cycling fit at 30 and they've been fine.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I love a 3/4 tight and wear them for too much of the year, and these are a great example of the breed. The overall fit is amazing, and despite it looking thin the material was the perfect weight for its designed operating temperature. The chamois showed the Galibiers' value credentials, and could be an issue if you like more padding down there.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fit, size guide accuracy, all-round comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fabric and chamois could both have been thicker.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It compares very well with most, if not all... The Rockrider Mountain Bike 3/4 Bib Shorts Race from How Do They Do It So Cheap Decathlon are £44.99, water repellent, and come with a pad claimed to be good for up to three hours in the saddle, but you're generally looking at £100 and up.

The Castelli Entrata Thermal Bibknicker, for example, is £100, and Endura's FS260-Pro Thermo Bib Knickers and Gorewear's C3 3/4 Bib Tights+ are both £109.99, while the Sportful BodyFit Pro Thermal Bib Shorts (in fact a 3/4) are nearly twice the price.

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

The Galibier Pavé 3/4 Bib Knickers are excellent value compared with most, and the fit and details show they're obviously put together by people who ride bikes a lot; they'd be getting a solid 10 if it wasn't for the fabric feeling a little thin and the slender simplicity of the chamois.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 180cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.  My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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galibiervelo | 1 month ago
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thanks for the review

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