Just because you’re jumping on your bike, doesn’t mean you have to change your entire outfit. More and more innovative brands are popping up that bridge the gap between sporty apparel and regular, everyday clothes. There’s no prerequisite to dress up in Lycra just because you’re riding a bicycle. Not that I have anything against Lycra, but it’s really not flattering for most of us. Plus, wearing Lycra may mean that you have to carry regular clothes with you and get changed somewhere. Luckily, there are more options than ever when it comes to pants that are both stylish and functional. Here are three of my favorites.
DUER – No Sweat Pants
If you’re a fan of colorful pants, you are probably going to like DUER’s No Sweat Pants. They have pretty much a rainbow of colors available on their site, so whatever your taste – you’ll find something for you. The company, based in Vancouver, confidently states that “We Create the Best Pants in the World” and – in fairness – they’re not far off the mark.
I’ve been lucky enough to wear the No Sweat Pants for the past few months, and it’s hard to over-state how comfortable these pants are. The material is stretchy (but not excessively so), and while they do not boast the shiny cycling features of the aforementioned Resolute Bay jeans, DUER’s pants are the perfect fit for riding around town.
One of the key selling points of these pants is alluded to in the name, “No Sweat Pants” – even in warmer climes, these pants offer plenty of breathability for when you’re on and off bike.
The No Sweat Pants also fit well into the smart/casual landscape, and can look good with a shirt, blazer, polo, or regular t-shirt.
Resolute Bay Cycling Jeans
For the past two years or so, I’ve basically lived in Resolute Bay jeans. I’ve reviewed them twice on Discerning Cyclist, and my views on them haven’t changed. These are primo cycling jeans. Why are they so good?
For starters, they look fantastic. I’ve had many people speak admiringly about them, and that’s before they realize they’re built with cycling in mind. It’s only after closer inspection that you realize that they’re lined with reflective strips up the side of each leg and below the beltline on the rear. And then there’s also the stretchy fit (you can do squats with ease in them) and the raised rear (to prevent “exposure”).
If you’re one of the practical/hip cyclists who roll up their pant legs when riding, you’ll also find a reflective strip to help you be seen. But, more than anything, these jeans are extremely comfortable. I can’t go back to wearing regular jeans after wearing these. They’re snug, warm and breathable, the perfect jean combination.
SPOKE Bulletproof Chinos
Last, but certainly not least in this regular-meets-cycling pants rundown, are the SPOKE Bulletproof Chinos. These pants look a bit smarter than the other two, but they are probably the most functional of the lot.
The star feature of the SPOKE bulletproof chinos is that they are very water resistant. They might let a bit of damp in during a monsoon, but they are more than capable of keeping your thighs dry in a winter drizzle. Indeed, drops of water will actually just sit on the material until you brush it off. And what’s especially impressive about the water resistance of these pants is that just by looking at them or feeling the material, you would have no idea that they would repel water.
These chinos look great with a shirt, and are built with a bit of stretch in the material for riding, as well as having a raised rear.
If you’re cycling at night, you can also give yourself an extra bit of visibility with a reflective orange-buttoned pocket on the rear.
You can buy SPOKE pants direct from the manufacturer, SPOKE London.
And there we have it; three highly-functional cycling pants that don’t look anything like cycling pants. Happy cycling!
Thanks to our Guest Poster, Pete Reynolds
Pete Reynolds is the founder of Discerning Cyclist, a blog devoted to reviewing stylish urban cycling clothes, following the mantra “we don’t want cycling clothes; we want stylish clothes we can cycle in”.
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