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The Moa Gena 3/4-length bib tights are unusual in that they're a lighter fabric than you'd usually expect in winter leggings. They're warm enough for moderate temperatures but there's a design niggle that makes them hard to recommend.
Italian company Moa's history of making cycle gear goes back more than 40 years. They aren't as well known as some of their fellow Italian brands, but you might recognise the logo from the Astana team kit. Moa also makes its own Nalini brand, and manufactures for other companies too. We tested their Asccanio jersey late last year and appreciated the excellent protection against the elements and superb cut.
The Moa Gena is a 3/4-length bib, often known (for reasons I couldn't explain) as a bibknicker. I like a good bibknicker, as they work well as a halfway house between summer lycra and full deep-winter gear. Most such bibs are made of a Roubaix-style material which has some additional warmth from a fleecy inner layer, but unusually, the Gena eschews this and goes with a mid-weight lycra. This means they are noticably less warm than other similar bibs. I found they worked from about 10 degrees up to about 18, whereas I am accustomed to wearing my other 3/4s on colder days.
As with most high-end Italian lycra, the fabric used feels lovely. It's a blend of 80% nylon and 20% elastane manufactured by the Italian giants of lycra, MITI. Our test bibs were red and black, with the other options being yellow/black, blue/black, white/black and all black. If it were me, I'd probably opt for the all black version, not for reasons of tradition or obeisance to rule #14, but simply because they go with a wider range of jerseys.
The pad is a key element to any bibs and I confess my initial impressions weren't that good. The padding felt unusually low-density and thin. On the plus side the surface against the skin is soft and perforated - Moa describe it as a "peachskin" finish. It actually looks like it could almost be a real leather chamois, but thankfully isn't. You can see the specific pad used here. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in use it was more effective than I'd feared, easily comfy enough for 100km or so.
Comfort further up was also good with nice wide straps and a mesh back to help keep you cool. That's another clue that these are 3/4s for warmer days; it's noticeable when you visit Italy that the locals like to wear 3/4s or even full tights on days when most UK riders would be in short sleeves and bibshorts. Only the seams around the edge of the pad are flatlocked, the rest are standard seams, but they're all neatly finished and I had no issues with them causing discomfort.
The one area where I really didn't get on with the Gena was around the knees. There are the standard silicone gripper strips around the leg openings, but - at least on my unshaved legs - they simply weren't enough to keep the legs in place. As a consequence they'd gradually inch higher and after a while would be uncomfortably bunched around the knees, which is the last thing you want. Looking at the grippers, I couldn't really see why they should be less effective than those on other bibs I've got but that was my experience. It's not a problem I've had with other 3/4 bibs. It's possible that they may be more effective on shaved legs.
I was pleased to see the sewn-in reflective slashes on the legs, although a little unconvinced about some of the myriad other graphical details in evidence. The legs have "FT-MED.W TRAINED IN ANATOMICAL FIT" written up them - maybe that sounds better to Italians than it does to me.
At £109.99 these are fairly expensive for lycra 3/4 bibs. They're on a par with similar bibknickers from Gore and quite a bit less than top-end lycra knickers from Assos. The likes of Altura, Madison and dhb have significantly lower-priced 3/4s as you might expect.
In summary, then, these are not warm 3/4 bibs for those days that are just a few degrees above where you'd want full winter tights. Covering the knees does provide a little more protection from the breeze but these are best used when it's reasonably mild out. The pad is effective and the wider bib straps and mesh back all contribute to a comfortable experience. However, I personally didn't get on with the legs and found the tendency to ride up and bunch at the knees to be a regular irritation. At this price I think that's hard to forgive.
Well made Italian 3/4 bibs for warmer days, but issues with bunching around the knees
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Make and model: Moa Gena 3/4 bibknicker
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Moa's translations into English are frequently entertaining. One tag explained that "On the whole collection MOA, with the sole exception of accessories and the local bus service has been applied QR code" - with the original Italian referring to "the urban range" instead of the bus service. Here's how they describe these bibs:
Bermuda shorts in Lycra Performer with close anatomical fit for perfect performance on the saddle.
The high tenacity thread in the fabric guarantees better protection and the fabric structure ensures high performance, perfect fit and long-lasting good shape-retention.
The rear mesh insert means perfect breathability and dry skin during cycling.
With ucn traf pad.
This fit has been designed to give you maximum aerodynamics and guarantee top performance. Thanks to anatomical cut, the garment becomes your second skin.
In-depth knowledge and accurate analysis of the physical anatomy and the posture adopted by the cyclist has enabled Nalini to redefine its garment construction parameters and identify a perfect new wearability moulded around the athlete's body, Slim Fit. Ergonomics on the skin and maximum aerodynamics on the saddle.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Summer-weight lycra with a mesh back.
High quality lycra and a surprisingly effective (thinnish) pad, combined with a mesh back make for generally decent comfort.
Work well on a warmish day - with a lightweight lycra construction these are not for colder days.
Comfortable in all respects other than around the knees, for me at least.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well made high-quality bibs that are generally comfortable for 100km+, although we had issues with the leg grippers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Offers a different option to most 3/4s; giving some extra cover for the knees on warm spring days
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
For some reason the silicone leg grippers simply didn't work well for me - they'd ride up and result in bunching around the knees, which was pretty annoying.
Did you enjoy using the product? So-so
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Doubtful
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.