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Madison Stellar Women's Tights

9
£49.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Superb value for money – comfort, quality and warmth at a very attractive price
Cheap
Quality fabric
Good reflectives
Sizing is on the generous side
Weight: 
285g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Good warm legwear without a bib can be tricky to find; good warm legwear without a bib or a high price is even trickier, making the Madison Stellar Women's Tights the potential find of the year. They're warm and protective in all but the worst weather, have a comfortable pad, and are a steal at £49.99.

Those not wishing to embark upon the winter pee-stop bib tight struggle are surely, like me, keen to find comfortable, warm waist tights.

> Find your nearest dealer here

While the Stellar Women's Tights are intended for late autumn, early winter and early spring rather than deep winter, they can easily be combined with overtrousers if it's really rough – and they're great.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - waist.jpg

The fabric is a fleecy-backed 85% polyamide/15% elastane mix, with a smooth outer surface. The panels join with flat seams, the elasticated waistband is high and broad, and the ankles have zips and silicone grippers. The female-specific Coolmax chamois pad is designed by Madison.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - riding.jpg

There are large reflective areas at the rear of both ankles too, which is ideal for gloomy days.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - ankles.jpg

Women's cycle clothing seems to either size up just right or too small; these tights from Madison are the first cycling tights I've tested in twenty-some years that are on the generous side!

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - back.jpg

My test pair proved pleasantly roomy for a size 14, with no contortions required to pull them up, so those who like a neat fit might consider sizing down. For me, the slightly looser fit didn't cause any problems at all, though, with no chafing or discomfort even over a full-day of stops and starts, hills and changeable weather.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - stitching.jpg

The fabric is warm enough for all but the most hideous weather, and the stretchiness means no issues with binding at the knees or thighs. The waistband sits towards the natural waist rather than lower on the belly as many do, and as a result it stays put well during riding – even in this loose fit they never slide down.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - ankle zip.jpg

The outer face of the fabric offers little in the way of rain protection, but Madison do a similar product – the Madison Sportive Women's DWR Tights at £79.99 - which would be better suited for this purpose.

2021 Madison Stellar Women's Tights - chamois.jpg

For dry, cold conditions, the breathability and fast moisture transfer of the Stellar tights is great. The chamois pad is mid-thickness, with good compression but plenty of support. It remained unobtrusive throughout the test, giving good levels of comfort without making its presence felt.

> Winter cycling clothing - 49 of the warmest garments you can buy

At this price, there is little competition in full-length cold weather legwear. Only dhb offer anything similar in the £60 Flashlight Women's Thermal Waist Tights.

The Madison tights compare favourably with more expensive products too, such as the Altura Nightvision Waist Tight at £64.99 – although that has a DWR coating for water repellency – and even the Rapha Women's Padded Tights look vulnerable given they're more than three times as much at £160.

For a very serviceable pair of warm, nicely-shaped waist tights, it is hard to argue with £49.99.

Overall

They may not be crafted from finest quality Italian Roubaix, the pad may not be a multi-density Cytech creation and the badge may not carry the cachet, but these winter tights from Madison are a real winner for solid, wallet-friendly performance and cold ride comfort. Just choose the size with care.

Verdict

Superb value for money – comfort, quality and warmth at a very attractive price

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Madison Stellar Women's Tights

Size tested: 14

Tell us what the product is for

Madison says: "When staying warm and high visibility are your priorities on the bike, the Stellar tights are perfect for the job."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

85% polyamide 15% elastane fabric

Fleecy backed

Female specific Coolmax Madison chamois pad

Zipped ankles

Ankle gripper tape

Reflective accents at rear of ankles

Broad elasticated waistband

Available in sizes 8-16

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Good quality fabric and chamois pad, nicely finished flat seams and high quality YKK zips.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Move moisture quickly away from skin, breathe well and offer an unobtrusive but supportive pad.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Fabric is pretty tough and doesn't catch or rub easily. Washes well.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

Nicely shaped: there's length in the legs for all but the very tallest of riders, while the waist sits slightly higher than some and stays put well.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

Sizing is slightly on the large side, but slightly loose fit remained comfortable and didn't cause any problems. Those on the cusp might consider going down a size though.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

Decent given their warmth.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Extremely comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

There's little competition at this price for nicely put-together cold weather longs.

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

Washed very well at 30 degrees.

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

Spot on – warm, comfortable and stretchy.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Price, warmth, quality and the reflective details.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

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

At this price, there is little competition in full-length cold weather legwear. Only dhb offer anything similar in the £60 Flashlight Women's Thermal Waist Tights.

The Madison tights compare favourably with more expensive products, such as the Altura Nightvision Waist Tight at £64.99 – although that has a DWR coating for water repellency – while even the Rapha Women's Padded Tights look vulnerable given they're more than three times as much at £160.

For a very serviceable pair of warm, nicely-shaped waist tights, it is hard to argue with £49.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much indeed

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Lots of them

Use this box to explain your overall score

They may not be crafted from finest Italian Roubaix, the pad may not be a multi-density Cytech creation and the badge may not carry cachet, but these offer all the comfort, warmth and quality you could seriously want at a very attractive price. Only the sizing is off, and even that's not by much – they're fantastic and a nine.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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