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Rivelo Headley ¾ bibtights review

10 Jan 2017

Rivelo's Headley ¾ bibtights combines quality construction with great fit, but one design flaw seems to let the Headleys down

Three-quarter bibtights are technically known as bib-knickers, but I draw the line at wearing knickers, even for cycling. I also generally draw the line at ¾ length bibtights concept.

After all, can’t the same be achieved with a decent pair of kneewarmers and your regular bibshorts? And if it’s really that cold, a pair of legwarmers or dedicated full-length tights seems to suffice.

However, in the interests of science I am willing to forgo my prejudices. Because there are some excellent things to say about the Rivelo Headley tights, as well as some interesting ones.

Keep it simple

This is the third piece of bottom-half clobber I’ve tested from Rivelo, and one thing unites them all: Elastic Interface seatpads.

These pads have long since been the industry benchmark, and the pad featured in the Headleys performed perfectly. It’s well thought out by Elastic Interface, but also importantly, well positioned by Rivelo, offering excellent cushioning for Messrs Sit-Bones and their fragile neighbour Monsignor Gooch.

The detailing on the tights is nice, if somehow familiar, with a sky blue band around the back of each calf. There are neat reflective elements incorporated too, although for riders on the left side of the road (and remembering Rivelo is a UK brand), a reflective spot on the back of the right calf instead of the left seems to me more useful.

The most apparent design point, though, is that the area behind the knee is made from a lightweight mesh fabric, not the heavier-weight thermal Lycra as per the rest of the tights.

On the one hand this prevented me getting sweaty backs of knees on hard rides, but on the other it did create a cooler feel for easier miles, and its less densely woven, seemingly less elastic nature meant it had a habit of bunching behind my knees.

It’s a real shame because otherwise the Headley tights were an excellent fit, but I struggled to be truly comfortable in them over any considerable distance. They didn’t chafe as such, but that bunching sensation tended to annoy me the more I rode.

As such I remain as unconvinced about the three-quarters as ever before. Though change those mesh panels and I might be swayed otherwise.


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