Madison’s Tempests are essentially the water-repellent version of the company’s popular Flux baggy shorts. They use waterproof/breathable M:Tec 15000 fabric – a light, quite shiny material that isn’t as sturdy as some but makes up for it with low bulk.
There’s thicker fabric on the seat and inside the legs to resist abrasion, and the material comes down just to the knee. That can be distracting, depending on your leg length, with the hems of the shorts constantly shufﬂing across your kneecaps while you pedal. There’s no uncomfortable bunching when you’re seated
There are no hem adjusters, but the relatively slim ﬁt means that’s not too much of a problem, although riders with particularly skinny limbs may have issues. There’s enough room to fit a kneepad in if you want to get a little more extreme. With a zip and double press-stud fastening, these shorts are unlikely to burst open unexpectedly.
The broad elasticated waistband gives plenty of comfort, and twin elasticated Velcro waist straps ensure a good fit that can be tailored easily. There are two useful zipped side pockets with mesh liners. The micro rip-stop, lightweight fabric is surprisingly durable and will take more than its fair share of run-ins with brambles, or even crashes.
Twin them with some decent undershorts and the Tempests perform brilliantly. Rain is kept out satisfactorily, and we didn’t get unduly clammy. You’ll be surprised at what a massive difference that makes to morale. The internal silicone gripper panel at the rear stops them from slipping about, so they stay just where they need to be.
Also consider: Madison Tempest 3/4, £55. These are exactly the same as the Tempests in terms of fabric and effectiveness, but you get more material in the legs for the same price.