Madison RoadRace Light men's bib shorts - review - Road Cycling UK

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Madison RoadRace Light men’s bib shorts – review

Excellent lightweight bib shorts for warm weather riding

These stripped down bib shorts from Madison offer excellent warm weather performance by using a stretch woven, super-light fabric, and a compression fit with input from the Madison-Genesis pro team. That makes the RoadRace Light shorts a great option for hot days in the saddle.

When you first pull the shorts on, the close, race-focused fit is immediately noticeable – these shorts are cut for use on the bike, with the fabric panels pre-curved to match the riding position. That ensures a close, comfortable fit – boosted by the soft-feel fabric – and helps reduce any bunching of material when riding. The front of the shorts scoop low and the sides are higher to cover the hips and lower back, again contributing to the super comfortable fit. The fabric is mildly compressive, too, and while it’s certainly light, it isn’t especially thin or revealing.

The legs on the Madison RoadRace Light bib shorts are longer than normal, though this is less of a problem on the bike and if you carefully position the grippers
  • Specification

  • Price: £99.99
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Size texted: M
  • Colours: black; black/red; black/blue
  • Website: Madison

However, while the general fit and the shaping of the panels is excellent, the legs to be quite long, and unless pulled precisely into place the grippers could appear a little baggy as the leg shrinks in size towards the knee. That said, once pulled into position and sat on the bike, the fit was good and legs stayed exactly where they should and didn’t ride up – it’s just something to consider if you have shorter legs.

The upper half of the shorts and the bibs are made from a mesh-like, perforated fabric which, like the main lycra fabric, is great for keeping your temperature down and wicking away moisture. At the top of the bibs, which are wide enough to sit flat and comfortably against the shoulders, there’s an additional panel of fabric (the red section in the photos), and while it looks fairly superfluous, it’s designed to keep the straps in the correct place.

Madison have used a chamois from respected Italian firm Elastic Interface and it’s a pad which immediately feels comfortable for long rides. It’s not too thick or thin – just right for hours in the saddle – and performs equally well in warmer temperatures, never feeling overly sweaty or clammy.

As well as the lightweight fabric and breathable chamois, the shorts also have a cut away panel on the reverse which is excellent in keeping your back cooler and in keeping with the general minimalist feel of the shorts. That extends to the leg grippers, too, which are part of the legs themselves and create a smooth, wide area to grip and prevent any pressure points developing.

The lightweight theme continues with the mesh bib straps and cutaway back panel

Madison offer the shorts in three colours: all-black, black with a red leg panel (as tested) and black with a blue leg panel). All have minimal branding but for a logo on either leg and a tab logo on the hip, which seems a little pointless seeing as it’s hidden. Still, these are a subtle, stylish pair of shorts.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a pair of bib shorts which will perform in hotter weather – perhaps abroad or warmer summer days here in the UK – these shorts work well beyond the race circuit. While they’re not cheap at £99.99, they could still be considered decent value for money given performance is on par with more expensive rivals.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent warm weather performance
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Long legs may not work for everyone

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