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review

Pearl Izumi Attack 3/4 Bib Tights

8
£114.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Very comfortable 3/4s to bridge the gap in the shorts-to-tights switchover
Soft fabric
Good quality pad
Lightweight fabric can get chilly
Weight: 
190g

The Men's Attack 3/4 Bib Tights from Pearl Izumi use a soft recycled nylon for the bulk of their construction, and it's comfortable. It's not the thickest fabric though, which limits these to early spring, late autumn or very mild winter days.

As the years go by, I seem to feel the extremes of temperature less and less. I remember the early days on the bike, back at the turn of the century and I really felt the cold. I'm guessing I've hardened up over the years with all of those winter commutes where I used to turn up looking like Frosty the Snowman after another ride in freezing fog.

> Find your nearest dealer here

With this in mind I tend to ride 3/4s well into the depths of winter. The pair most of grabbed are the Primal Dawn Men's Bib Knickers I've had since 2018, which cope with a massive range of temperatures from the mid-teens centigrade down to well below freezing.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - back detail.jpg

The Attack uses a much thinner fabric, though which kind of limits them to temperatures at best in the upper single figures. So, you're basically looking at either side of the summer months.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - leg logo.jpg

That aside, they are very nice to wear. The SELECT Transfer fabric contains 80% recycled nylon yarns and 20% elastane to offset your carbon footprint (tyre track?) a bit, and it feels soft and has plenty of stretch. It gives a close fit without feeling restrictive.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - back.jpg

Pearl Izumi has done a good job creating this fit without a huge amount of panels, and therefore seams. Stitching has been kept away from irritation points such as the back of the knees, and for that I'm hugely thankful.

I've ridden the Attacks on rides of various lengths, and always returned home feeling relatively refreshed and unscathed.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - chamois.jpg

The pad is SELECT Escape 1:1 and to look at it's, well, basic. There are no channels, no varying density pad sections; it just looks like a slab of foam with a bit of material covering it. Don't get me wrong though, it really works. The padding isn't overly thick and it's quite firm, so there's not much squidginess, which I like. It avoids hot-spots and doesn't bunch.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - cuff gripper.jpg

Of all of the 3/4s I've tested, these may be the longest. This medium has an 18in leg, so if you're on the tall side, you'll appreciate the coverage. The cuffs are held in place by an elasticated gripper which does the job – I had no issues with them riding up.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - straps front.jpg

Up top, the thin material and wide straps mean that they don't cut in even when you're tucked down in the drops.

2021 Pearl Izumi Attack three-quarter Bib Tights - straps back.jpg

When it comes to sizing, the Attacks are quite generous. I'm towards the top end of the size guide for the mediums, but don't feel restricted or like I need the large. And there's enough compression in the fabric that, if you find yourself at the lower end of the size, they'll still provide a good fit.

So, pricing. The full price is £114.99. Those Primals I mentioned are still available for £75, which is very impressive considering the quality and how comfortable they are. But for some reason or another, 3/4s aren't something we get sent for testing much, so it's hard to give direct comparisons.

> 44 of the best cycling bib shorts — get comfy on longer rides

The Attacks may not be as versatile temperature-wise as the Primals – almost fitting into a different category – but the quality is very high in construction and materials, which goes a long way to justify the price.

Looking around, Rapha has the Men's Classic 3/4 Bib Shorts for £180, and Lusso offers the CoolTech 3/4 Bib tights – which look a similar fabric weight to the Attacks – for £79.99.

Overall

There are some very good, cheaper alternatives out there, but the Pearl Izumis are very well made. While their usage may be limited in the winter months of the UK, anytime you get to wear them will be an enjoyable one.

Verdict

Very comfortable 3/4s to bridge the gap in the shorts-to-tights switchover

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Pearl Izumi Attack 3/4 Bib Tights

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Pearl Izumi says: "We've taken many of the features found in our most sophisticated bibs and combined them in this lightweight 3/4-length bib tight, including comfortable raw-edge bib straps for a seamless feel."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

SELECT Transfer fabric made with recycled Nylon

Reduced paneling and seams, plus raw-edge bib straps, enhance comfort

SELECT Escape 1:1® Chamois provides optimal moisture transfer and breathability

BioViz® reflective elements for low-light visibility

18' inseam length (size M)

Main Body: 80% recycled nylon, 20% elastane Bib: 75% nylon, 25% elastane Made in China

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

For a close-cut garment, the Attack has quite a bit of room for manoeuvre. Follow Pearl Izumi's guide and you'll be fine.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

I followed the wash instructions and had no problems.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Good – the lightweight feel of bibshorts, with a bit of weather protection for the knees.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very comfortable and well made.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Don't quite have the temperature range of some 3/4s.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's a hard one to judge as we haven't tested many 3/4 tights to date. There are some quality options from the likes of Lusso and Primal which cost much less, while Rapha's offerings are much more expensive.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The quality and comfort is high – if they worked down to the same temperatures as their rivals, they could be a nine.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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!

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