Rapha 3/4 Bib Tights £130
Latest to join Rapha’s expanding range are these 3/4 bib shorts, ideal for cooler days that might not necessitate full length tights, but not quite warm enough for shorts. It’s important to keep your knees warm and dry, and while the popular kneewarmers and bib shorts combination provide the same setup, proper 3/4’s can offer more comfort.
These 3/4’s are made from a thick Thermo Roubaix fabric, with a soft Thermolite fleece lining that makes slipping into them an almost pleasurable experience. You certainly get the feeling that you’re going to be well protected once you leave the warmth of your home and step out into the elements – and this is certainly the case. The material soaks up your body heat and retains it so you’re warm from the first moment you turn the pedals.
I’ve come to expect an excellent fit from Rapha’s stable of clothing, and the 3/4’s are no exception. The multi-panel design ensures a good snug fit, with a large curved panel enclosing the knee for unhindered movement. The straps are entirely mesh lined, and a small pocket on the back provides a useful place for stowing house keys or other small objects.
The Rapha bib shorts tested recently made use of a satisfyingly comfortable Nalini De Luxe pad, and I had hoped the ¾’s would use the same. Unfortunately, the Cy-Tech pad used, while soft and deeply padded, just didn’t offer the same level of comfort. Which is a shame as the chamois lets down an otherwise excellent product.