In terms of features these Madison Turbo shorts may not match the more expensive brands but they don’t match the price either. Yes, you can feel the difference between these and the top brands, but they make owning turbo specific kit a real proposition for most of us and I will certainly continue using them.
Madison was one of the first brands to create dedicated indoor cycling kit (opens in new tab). These shorts, and the accompanying jersey, are part of a comprehensive clothing range made to make your indoor training a more comfortable and enticing experience.
We all know indoor training is a sweaty affair and Madison has addressed this by using polyester Lycra with an antibacterial treatment, not only that, but the shorts can be washed at 60º, plenty hot enough to prevent any residual odours.
The multiple panels are arranged to ensure the seams will not rub where you don’t want rubbing and they are equipped with wide leg grippers - more of which later.
Made by Italian company TMF, the bright orange pad is surprisingly lightweight considering that these shorts are intended for static use, and you’d hardly know it were there.
You’d expect such a thin pad to be a bit of an issue when riding the turbo, but it fitted me perfectly, never moving. The chamois was spot on for me and better than other more cumbersome pads in more expensive shorts.
The performance of the chamois was helped by the fabric which never once allowed me to slide around, even in hard efforts. The antibacterial Lycra doesn’t feel like other shorts though, I felt it was a bit thicker, and while that caused no issues with clamminess or wicking, there was a distinct lack of compression, which felt strange when compared to my usual experience in Lycra.
Though not an issue on the bike, I also found the fit in general slightly inconsistent. For me, the legs were overly long and the body quite short. This was exacerbated by the grippers, which look grippy, but don’t feel it - the legs did ride up whilst I was pedalling. However, as the legs are designed to be long I didn’t feel this was too much of a problem, though it might be if you chose to use the shorts on the road. As always with comments on fit, experiences will vary between individuals.
This is Madison’s strongest suit. The RRP on these shorts is £69.99 (opens in new tab), which represents good value when stacked up against competition. The Le Col x Wahoo (opens in new tab) pair I tested recently came in at £150. Cycling Weekly's tech team has also tested dhb's offering at £65, (opens in new tab) but these are waist shorts which won't appeal to all.
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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
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