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These Classic Men's Overshorts from reflective-clothing specialists Proviz are incredibly durable, considering the lightweight nature of the material and their very impressive water resistance. A choice of colours would be a bonus though, especially if you can't tie into the blue theme with your existing kit.
These lightweight overshorts, as you can no doubt tell, are designed to be worn over something else – bibshorts, tights or even liner shorts. That's why they're so thin. This means you can get away with wearing them over summer-weight lycra in the summer, or heavyweight Roubaix style tights in the winter.
I've used them mostly for rides with kids or when out on the gravel trails and, due to that slinky fabric, found they don't affect the breathability of the layer below.
With small sections of stretchy lycra mesh on the outside of the legs, they don't affect the flexibility and freedom of movement of your shorts or tights either. It also means they aren't restrictive should you have large thighs. Those mesh sections get four strips of reflective material each to help you stand out in the darkness.
I normally find Proviz's sizing overly generous, but these overshorts are pretty bang-on. They fit well, leaving room for movement without flapping about in the wind (I'm not as scrawny as the pallid chap here).
There is no adjustment at the waist or any kind of elastication, but should you need to tighten them in a touch there are belt loops. Closure is by way of a zip and popper.
Proviz has covered the shorts with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating, which works very well. Light rain and road spray just beads off for ages, and should it get overrun the material is so light it doesn't absorb a whole lot of water anyway, and dries quickly.
Most coatings wash out eventually, but after a couple of months of riding and plenty of washes I haven't noticed a drop off in performance. You can always recoat them anyway.
Durability looks to be good. As I said, I've mostly been wearing these on the gravel bike and, while I haven't had any spills of late, they have stood up to the constant contact of the saddle and being snagged by brambles and so on.
The price of £44.99 looks reasonable to me. They are well made and should last plenty of miles. A look at our latest baggy shorts buyer's guide shows the Classics are very similar to the £59.99 Alpkit Strada Bikepacking shorts Rachael tested. There is a men's option for the same price, while Proviz does a women's version of these.
Chapeau's Gravel Phantom shorts are also £59.99, but come with waist adjustability as well as the DWR coating. You also get four zipped pockets (the Proviz just has two regular hand pockets), and there's a crash replacement policy should you wreck them in a tumble. They are quite narrow in the leg, though.
For me, these have become a valuable piece of kit. They're great for that extra layer of protection from the elements, or if it's just a non-lycra day.
Good quality, low weight overshorts with good breathability and movement – as long as you like blue
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Classic Men's Overshorts
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Proviz says, "The Classic overshorts are an allrounder that are suited to all surfaces. Country or long open roads and on to the gravel or off road, these will suit all your needs. Slip them over the top of your base-layer and your good to go and you've got that little bit extra comfort and protection.
"The shorts are made from four-way stretch nylon material and also have inserts of lycra material to give you much more flex should you need it so you are not constricted in any way. If you are out late, we've added strategically placed REFLECT360 trim to help you be seen more easily at night."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Popper waist closure
Material: 100% nylon
The sizing isn't as overly generous as some of Proviz's kit, and they tally up well with the size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Countless washes have seen no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They work well with whatever you are wearing underneath, due to their lightweight material and unrestrictive cut.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive water resistance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No waist adjustment.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are a similar style and spec to the Alpkit shorts mentioned in the review, but a fair bit less. An extra £15 generally gets you much more attention to detail though, such as with the Phantom Gravel shorts from Chapeau.
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
This is a good all-round pair of shorts with a good fit and build quality. They lack some of the features of slightly more expensive shorts, like adjustment to the waist, but that is hardly a deal breaker.
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!