Review: B’Twin 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

B’Twin’s 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers are worth a look if you’re looking for protection from the weather and do not want to spend too much. These overtrousers are at their best on shorter journeys when you’re not in a hurry, journeys for which the waterproofing and breathability are adequate. The overshoes are a nice feature for cycling, but make them less useful for non-cycling activities.

Let’s talk about price first: £ 29.99 is not a lot for waterproof trousers, and I have to say my expectation for their performance was low. Pretty soon, though, it was apparent that these are not cheap rubbish. The zips are made by YKK so should last; the seams are taped; and the trousers look well constructed.

> Find your nearest Decathlon store here

> Buy these online here

The cut is good too: they’re not just a bag with holes in them. They strike the right balance between being roomy enough to get on and off without swearing, and not being flappy on the bike.

I tested these over Lycra with winter boots, and over slim fit jeans with normal shoes. With both combinations, getting these on did not require taking off shoes thanks to the zips at the bottom that come up to about knee height.


With the zips done up, the overtrousers were slim enough to stay away from the drivetrain.


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On my upper legs, there was enough room for freedom of movement without restriction even with jeans underneath. If you want to wear these over non-slim-fit trousers, or trousers with thicker material, it might be worth sizing up.

I tested a medium pair – my default size – and they were the right size for me. B’Twin’s sizing chart suggests I’m at the upper end of medium, if that helps.

Features

The waistband is elasticated, but rather than just relying on the elastic, B’Twin has designed a popper at the front and Velcro where you’d find a zip on trousers. While this makes it slightly easier to get them on and off, it also makes it easier for rain to get in where you really do not want it. In a heavy downpour, rain that runs off your waterproof top finds that Velcro opening an all-too-easy entry point. I would have preferred the standard elasticated waist without the front opening.


2021 BTWIN 900 Urban Waterproof Cycling Trousers - button and velcro fly.jpg

These overtrousers also have zips front and back to allow access to the trouser pockets underneath. These zips aren’t waterproof, and provide another entry point for rain if the waterproof top you’re wearing does not extend down enough to cover them. Again, I do not think they’re a useful feature, on balance.


2021 BTWIN 900 Urban Waterproof Cycling Trousers - pocket access opening.jpg

The overshoes that are attached to the bottom of the legs, however, I think are a great feature. They are not removable, which means you have to tuck them in when you do not want to use them. To my mind, removability would have been a better use of those zippers used for trouser accessibility.


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The overshoes are big enough to cover pretty much all of your shoe, only leaving the bottom and a bit of heel exposed, and do a great job of keeping the rain and dirt off your shoes.


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There’s an elasticated band that goes under your shoe to keep them in place.


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There is no reinforcement like you get on dedicated overshoes, so regular use might shorten their lifespan, but it’s early days.

> Buyer’s Guide: 15 of the best cycling overshoes

There is an integrated stuffsack to store the overtrousers in, made from the same fabric. They pack down to the size of an average packed lunch.


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Waterproofing and breathability

B’Twin mentions that the material is resistant to a water pressure of 2,000mm. While we’re used to seeing much bigger numbers on more expensive trousers and jackets, and waterproofing is not impressive, it is adequate. It’ll keep you dry for a short journey in drizzle or non-heavy rain, which is what these overtrousers are realistically designed to do. Even in a downpour, where you might get a bit damp underneath, you’ll still be glad that they are keeping the worst of the rain off your jeans.

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain

It also quotes the overtrousers as having an evaporative resistance (RET) of 12, with 12 to below 20 being ‘breathable’. I’d say the breathability is most suitable for low to moderate physical effort. Take it easy and you’ll be fine; put a bit of effort in and you’ll start to boil in the bag.

Reflectives

The yellow panels are well placed on the lower calves to aid visibility, along with modest reflective detailing, and just below the knee there are loops for clipping a small rear light.


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Value

As I said up top, these are a decent price for what you’re getting. Altura’s Nevis Overtrousers are £ 15 more, with an RRP of £ 44.99. Their waterproofing and breathability sound slightly better than the B’Twins, but you do not get overshoes.

You get excellent weather protection, good breathability and plenty of reflectives with Endura’s Urban Luminite Pant – but then you’re spending more than three times as much. They were £ 89.99 when we reviewed them, and are now £ 109.99.

Conclusion

Overall, these are waterproof and breathable enough for shorter journeys at low intensity, and the overshoes are a nice touch for keeping your shoes clean and dry. There are niggles with potential water ingress through the zips and Velcro at the top, but £ 29.99 is a small investment to make short journeys in the rain less unpleasant. They’ve kept me comfortable on trips into town and, I would argue, have made me choose my bike over the car when the weather’s been suboptimal.

Verdict

Affordable overtrousers with adequate weather protection and useful features

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Make and model: B’Twin 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

Tell us what the product is for

Decathlon says: “With built-in shoe covers, these waterproof overtrousers can protect both your legs and your feet when you’re cycling in the rain.

“The zips at the bottom make these cycling overtrousers easy to put on and take off. The zips at the top mean your pockets are still accessible.”

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

Decathlon lists:

Waterproof

Stay dry for up to 2 hours when cycling. 100% watertight zips and seams

Easy dressing

Quick to put on thanks to the zipped waistband and ankles.

Compatibility

Stand out at night using optional lights that attach to your calves

Compact design

Has the sun come back out? Store your overtrousers in the inside pocket

Pockets

Easily access the pockets of your trousers thanks to the zipped openings.

Cut

Unisex fit adapted to urban cycling.

Built-in overshoes to protect shoes in the rain.

Remember to properly position the overshoe’s elastic behind the heel to ensure a good hold while pedaling.

For greater freedom of movement, if you need to tighten the cuffs of your overtrousers, we recommend using an additional trouser clip.

Waterproofing

These overtrousers are waterproof thanks to the durability and coating of its fabric and sealed seams. The resistance of a fabric to water pressure is expressed in mm of a water jet (test based on standard ISO 811). Our material is resistant to the pressure from 2,000 mm of water. The finished product is approved in a shower test in the lab, where we recreate the conditions of an average downpour: 60 L water per square meter per hour for 2 hours.

Component breathability

Hydrophilic coating (RET = 12): limits condensation inside the garment. To see whether a fabric is breathable, we test its evaporative resistance or RET (based on the ISO 11092 standard). The lower its resistance, the more the fabric lets water vapor produced by the body escape, and the more breathable it is.

For example: RET <9 = extremely breathable fabric. 9 20 = slightly or not breathable fabric.

Warranty

2 years

Rate the product for quality of construction:

8/10

Quality of construction is pretty impressive for this price point: taped seams, YKK zips.

Rate the product for performance:

8/10

Rate the product for durability:

7/10

Rate the product for fit:

8/10

Rate the product for sizing:

8/10

Rate the product for comfort:

8/10

Rate the product for value:

7/10

Compare well with others that cost more.

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

The care instructions say: “Machine wash at 30 degrees max – normal. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Do not dry-clean.”

I would definitely use a technical washing detergent especially designed for waterproofs, though I’d be more inclined to just rinse them off if they become too dirty.

Decathlon also says, “Remember to apply a waterproofing spray after washing.”

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

As a pair of overtrousers designed for the urban cyclist, who wants protection from weather and dirt on short journeys at low intensity, these are great. The overshoes are a particularly nice feature.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The overshoes, and the quality at this price point.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I would have preferred no zips for access to pockets. A simple elasticated waistband would work just as well, leaving less chance for water ingress.

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

This is definitely at the affordable end of the range of waterproof overtrousers designed for cycling. The closest we’ve reviewed is Altura’s Nevis Overtrousers, which are £ 15 more, with an RRP of £ 44.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for short journeys at low intensity.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were looking for a cheap pair of overtrousers for short journeys at low intensity.

Use this box to explain your overall score

These work well as a pair of affordable overtrousers for short rides at low intensity, though there is water ingress in a proper downpour. The taped seams and YKK zips are a sign of quality and should mean the overtrousers themselves should last a decent amount of time, though I do not hold out much hope for the overshoes … Overall, they performed well above my expectations for a £ 30 pair of waterproof trousers.

Age: 44 Height: 1.78m Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc

I’ve been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift

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