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The Monton Men's PRO 21 Winter Bib Tights are great in many ways – the fabric is soft yet protective, they stay warm when wet, they breathe well when you're a bit hot and the fit is excellent. The chunky pad and its stitching really won't suit everyone, though, and they're very expensive.
I usually just find pads either more or less comfortable, and rarely find they cause actual chafing – but this one did. And I'm genuinely sad about that, because everything else about these is lovely.
That's mainly down to the Miti Lombardia DWR fabric, which is four-way stretch for a hugging if not compressive fit that's extremely comfortable. It's very breathable given the useful level of wind protection, too.
The fleece lining feels great against the skin, to the extent that I was aware of it at times – particularly when the air was a little too warm (when all the tiny air gaps stop them feeling oppressive) and when soaked (it stays probably 70 per cent as warm and just as comfy).
Monton recommends these for 0-10°C, and I think that's spot on. At 12°C they felt like overkill, but as I said, they remain remarkably comfortable given the warmth they provide when it's wet and cold.
The mesh back and broad but thin elastic straps help by staying cool and not complicating your layering up top, while the reasonably low front is handy should you need to, erm, comfort break up a tree halfway round.
The legs are a good length and it's easy to stretch the doubled-over ankle cuffs on – these don't have zips and don't need them.
It's important to stretch them right down, though: there's a panel of some other fabric let in behind the knees, and it's a little prone to bunching. It seems worse when very wet, when it can rub if you're not careful.
I frequently have issues with bib straps (I've a long torso relative to my legs), but found these very secure yet extremely comfortable. I tested an EU size large and the fit is ideal (Monton helpfully gives both Asian and EU/US sizes simultaneously – this large is actually an Asian XL).
And so to the PRO pad again, which of course overshadows everything else. It's thick and shaped just like a saddle with a central channel, and steps down to a far thinner section outside that. It's firmly attached around the edges, but it's not sewn down flat – there's another step there to the main fabric.
Actually, I say it's shaped just like a saddle, but where a saddle nose curves to a close, it actually bends outwards and wraps around your actual saddle. I think either the bulk this adds, or the raised edges at the pad's outer seams, cause the chafing.
Monton says the pad is 'carbon fibre lined', but in all honesty I've no idea how or why. It looks and feels like a normal chamois.
On a (literally) brighter note, the whole garment looks normal (ie black) all over, but the reflective stitching down the legs really lights up usefully under lights.
At £190 these are very expensive, and up there with premium offerings from the likes of Velocio, Castelli and Le Col. You can get very similar bibs for less though: the Pactimo Men's Alpine Thermal Bibs are £130 and have cargo pockets, though no wind or water resistance. Iwein found the Elastic Interface pad extremely comfy, though.
The Santini Lava Men's Winter Thermofleece bibs are also £130 and George found them 'relatively windproof' with, again, a comfortable pad.
Meanwhile, the Specialized Men's RBX Comp Thermal bibs are cheaper still at £100, once again usefully wind and water resistant, and the Body Geometry pad is a winner.
It's worth mentioning that Monton is no stranger to heavy discounts, and at the time of writing the PRO 21s were also £100.
The sizing, shaping and fabric choice on these tights is excellent, and so is the performance in their stated temperature range. They really keep my legs extremely comfortable. It's just a shame the pad isn't going to work for everyone – especially if you're paying full price.
Luxuriously protective fabric, a great shape and strongly constructed, but the pad may cause issues
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Monton Men's PRO 21 Winter Bib Tights
Size tested: EU/USA Large
Tell us what the product is for
Monton says: "Water resistant fleece lined material throughout. Miti Lombardia DWR is a 4 way stretch fabric which offers excellent freedom of movement and comfort when pedalling. Brushed interior which provides excellent warmth and thermal insulation from the cold."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Italian Miti Lombardia with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment helps keep your working muscles warm and dry
* Excellent 4 way stretch
* Seamless bib straps provide exceptional comfort
* Mesh back aids ventilation and breathability
* Reflective trim
* PRO carbon fibre lined Pad
* Double layered ankle cuffs seal out the cold
* Italian Lombardia DWR: 86% Nylon, 14% Elastane
* Miti Pianosa: 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane
* 0°-10°C / 32°-50°F
If the pad shape suits you, these are excellent.
The feel and performance of the fabric is lovely, and the shaping is great. Pads are very personal though, and I couldn't get on with this rather chunky one or its stitching.
At full price these are very expensive, and with a pad that won't suit everyone, it's a risk. In reality Monton frequently discounts heavily – at the time of writing these were going for a much more reasonable £100, for instance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The windproofing and water resistance are great, plus the fleecy legs and secure bibs stay very comfortable even if you're rain-soaked or overheated. I found the panels behind the knee could bunch and the front of the thick pad could chafe, though, and both seemed worse once sodden.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Luxurious feel, very protective fabric, great shape, quality build.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The thick, noticeably stepped pad is broad enough at the front to chafe my legs.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Its rrp of £190 is very expensive, and up there with premium offerings from the likes of Velocio, Castelli and Le Col. There are plenty of comparable options for around £100-£130.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, despite the pad issues.
Would you consider buying the product? Sadly, no.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with caveats.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The fabric is protective and very comfortable, the shaping is excellent and the bib section is well judged. The seams feel particularly strong and they're easy to get on. But while the main fabric stays comfortable wet or dry, the thicker panels behind the knees can bunch and chafe if you don't keep the ankles right down, and I found the rather bulky pad chafed my legs too – again, it got worse when soaked. I almost never suffer actual chafing, which makes me think this pad might be a little divisive.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc 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: general fitness riding, mtb,