A bombproof pair of waterproof trousers, sure fire way to make winter riding a lot less dirty and a lot more fun
Jan 12 2018
Shorts and 3/4s
Waterproof and pretty breathable
Rugged and hardwearing
Great fit and style
Need a little more room at the knees for bigger knee pads
You want to be fully waterproof from the waist down for all day shredding in the rain
The Madison DTE Waterproof trousers have been an epiphany for winter riding keeping me dry, clean and warm through the foulest of conditions. A sure fire way to make winter riding a lot less dirty and a lot more fun.
The DTE Waterproof Trousers are made for riding in the most terrible conditions, the sort of weather where one glance out of the window is enough to make you put your slippers back on and reach for the kettle. Don these trousers though and you’ll soon find, actually it’s not that bad to be out splashing down the trails, in fact it’s pretty fun!
Constructed from a 2.5 layer fabric with 3 layers on the rear panel, knees and ankles for more protection, which along with taped seams make the DTE’s fully waterproof. They are pretty breathable too, outings in these have been in both conditions of ‘raining cats and dogs’ and ‘dry skies but swamp like’. For the former the trousers have kept me dry while the rain batters down and for the latter they have defended me from the mud whilst preventing me from overheating, thanks in no small part to the two zippered leg vents. Which do, in case you were wondering have waterproof zips for when they are closed.
The trousers feature articulated knees, preshaped for a good fit whilst pedalling, when first trying the DTE’s I thought the stiff material might offer a problem when pedalling. It’s not that restrictive though, rather the stiffness provides a robust pair of trousers with tougher fabric in the places that matter (bum, ankles and knees), they proved to be trousers I took out for a hammering time and time again.
The women’s DTE trousers fit pretty well, I’m a size 10 and I wore a size 10. The only place I’d ask for more room is around the knee, with a bulky set of knee pads (Troy Lee Raid’s in a size small) there could do with being a tad more space, it doesn’t affect pedalling too much but a little more wiggle room would be more comfortable over a long day.
To fin tune fit there are adjuster straps at the waistband which have the usual Madison chunky rubber tab on the end, this being the only pair of Madison shorts/trousers where this didn’t get in the way or catch on my jersey. The width of the waistband ensures crud can’t get up your back either – nice. There are also two mesh lined zip pockets on each hip, not good for a snack or a tool or extra ventilation if things are heating up.
As soon as you hit the trails, smash into the first puddle and realise you aren’t sending cold water up your shorts, you’ll fall in love with the DTE’s, I guarantee it and with a lifetime warranty on offer from Madison, it’s likely you’ll be smiling for a long time. I’ve cared for mine by getting them caked in mud, hosing them down, hanging out to dry and repeating the process all over again, three months on they are faring well and in constant use.
At £110, you don’t need to look elsewhere for a robust pair of mountain bike specific trousers that look pretty cool, protect you from the elements and do the job exceptionally well too.
Deputy Editor here ar off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. She's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!