Three-quarter length bib tights are a little bit of a Marmite item – some people love them, others hate them. Those that love them would do well to check out this option from Madison which offers warmth and breathability at a comfortable price tag.
Fans of 3/4ers generally rate mid-calf stoppage because the option allows riders to wrap up warm against wintery conditions, whilst still retaining a little breathing room which can help prevent overheating. This middle ground is ideal for spring and autumn conditions as well as hard efforts in winter. The magical mix of perfect body temperature can be achieved via leg or knee warmers with shorts, but for the high majority of women this leads to the “muffin leg” fashion disaster, and three-quarters give us the option of avoiding this.
For Madison’s Sportive Oslo DWR 3/4ers, the number one goal is to provide warmth without suffocation and they’ve used an Italian thermal Roubaix Lycra backed with micro fleece to achieve this.
The fleece feels exceptionally warm and snuggly as I pull these on, and certainly provides a good layer of insulation. The breathing space at the ankles meant I didn’t find I was overheating on mild rides, but I’ve been more than happy combining them with shoe covers now winter has set in.
Madison have dropped in a lovely party trick, by treating the outer fabric with a durable water repellent coating which visibly beads water, and when tested in drippy British conditions this proved its worth by keeping the worst out.
Topping off the bibs, the legs are finished with a silicone gripper which for me sat about ten centimeters from my ankle and did its job in preventing any slippage. I did feel aware of the rather solid gripper when I first put these on, and in an ideal world I might have had them finish a little higher up the calf to elongate the leg (I’m about 5 ft 5).