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Like much of dhb's Classic range, these Thermal 3/4 bib tights focus on delivering decent performance and comfort at an affordable price point. The material choice makes them quite versatile, covering a wide temperature range, and the pad is okay comfort-wise for rides of around a few hours.
For years I've lived by the advice of an ex-pro who said that you should cover your knees to protect them from temperatures below 15°C and that's where 3/4s come into play. At milder temperatures they can fill that gap between bib shorts and having to go to full tights.
The Classics are a little thicker than some, like the Pearl Izumi Attacks I tested recently which were much thinner, almost like bib shorts for summer use. This means that the dhbs have, for me anyway, a comfortable working range of about 5°C to just above 10°C.
The Miti Spa Roubaix Lycra used has a fleece backing and I found that it holds onto warmth well and does a decent job of keeping out the cold air as you ride. Breathability seems fine too, although it's not as big an issue with your legs compared to your upper body. The bib section has a mesh panel over your back which helps in that regard.
The fit is good. Using dhb's performance cut, they sit snug and feel relatively supportive for your muscles. The multi-panel design means that the Classics move with you well when you are on the bike, and I didn't suffer with any bunching of the material, even if the legs did ride up a touch sometimes.
Elastic Interface provides the Giro Air Custom pad and it offers decent levels of comfort. dhb says it is suitable for up to three hours in the saddle and I'd say that isn't a bad guideline, depending on how you ride. I have various loops that range from an hour's blast to longer four-to-five-hour treks and I'd say the Classics are better suited to the shorter end of the scale.
The padding is a bit thicker than I've been seeing in various shorts and tights lately, which I found a little too much for harder riding as there is a fair amount of material there; two to two-and-a-half hours would be about my limit. Riding slower and a bit more upright meant that I could extend that out to around three hours or so in decent comfort.
I've never had any real issues with quality on any dhb products I've tested or bought, and I don't expect to see any here as the miles creep up. The Classics aren't showing any signs of wear from the saddle, and all of the seams remain taut and neat.
All in all, it's not a bad package for the £65 asking price.
That puts them in the same sort of area as the Galibier Equipes at £73. Jez had a few quibbles with them, though, and their lighter weight material means they won't bridge as big a weather gap as the dhbs.
I really rate the Primal Dawn bib knickers that I reviewed back in 2018 and are still going strong. They use a similar weight fabric as the Classics but have a slightly better pad for long distance riding. They're still available for £75, so a bit pricier than the dhb offering.
Overall, the dhb Classics are competent 3/4s that will cope with most winter riding temperatures, and will come into play for early spring and late autumn too. The pad was a bit of a miss for me, but it might well suit you. Basically, they're a good pair of 3/4s for the money.
Well made and comfortable 3/4s that are thick enough to deal with winter temperatures
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Classic Thermal 3/4 Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "With the exceptional insulation of super soft Roubaix fabric, these dhb Classic Thermal 3/4 Bib Tights will deliver the boost of warmth you need during the cooler months. Fast-wicking and breathable, they won't hold you back when you up the tempo."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
THERMAL fabric technology from Miti Spa
Lombardia 235gsm Roubaix Lycra
Elastic Interface® Giro Air Custom chamois
Seatpad designed for up to 3 hours in the saddle
Bluesign approved Italian fabrics
Elasticated leg gripper
The sizing is in line with the dhb guide, and the multi-panel cut gives a good fit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I simply bunged them in on a 30 degree wash over and over again with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The fabric covers a wide range of off-season temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good quality and performance for the money.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Legs can ride up a bit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are well priced, coming in cheaper than the 3/4s from Galibier and the Primals, neither of which are exactly expensive in the first place.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, especially for shorter rides.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good overall performance from the dhb Classics. They use a quality fabric and are cut well, and while they don't use a pad that I'd consider my favourite, if it suits you then they are a bargain.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!