|See how cool these pants would make me? Although I'd have a helmet, |
and I ride a bike with full-sized tires. And there are my panniers.
Water bottles. Headlight. I do at least bike in street shoes.
- They look like I could go bouldering in them. I don’t need all those pockets and zippers and places to hang carabiners; I’m not bivouacking or climbing at Red Rocks. I’m walking into a five-story academic building with a latte stand on the first floor (thank God) and later I’m going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting.
- They make a swishy sound when I walk. If it’s so wet I need truly waterproof gear, I’m putting an outer layer over my work pants anyway.
- The detailing screams “sportswear!” In this category: Big patch pockets, really contrasty stitching, and other design elements that don’t pass the boardroom test.
- The legs flare too much at the bottom so I’m worried that they’ll get caught and rip if I don’t do something to rein them in; that’s an extra step I’d like to avoid if I can.
- Consider that women who wear larger sizes also want to look good and feel comfortable while biking without squeezing into Spandex. You’ll have their undying love and access to their credit limits. Too many of the pants I looked at top out at size 12 or XL.
- I wish the sportswear folks who have a head start on performance fabrics and bike-suitable tailoring could get over the need to hang your reflective logos and feature descriptions on the outside of the clothes. Ann Taylor and Liz Claiborne do not do this.
- I also wish you could disabuse yourself of the notion that large front pockets are somehow flattering for women’s bodies. Um, no. Not good on anyone. Really. Trust me.
- The more you show us your product with photos front/back and the ability to zoom, the more we can imagine the pants on our own butts. This is a requirement when buying online since I don’t have a three-way mirror and my best friend to save me from a tragic mistake.
- If you tell me I can bike in the pants you get Bonus Awesome Points if you have actually designed them with a waistband cut slightly higher in the back, lower in the front, and with a gusset that eliminates seams running straight up the tender girl parts.
- Nau’s Shroud of Purrin Pant. You just have to go read this description. If they weren’t $250 (and if they didn’t have the zipper pocket down low on one leg—not office-y enough) I’d get them; for pants that are waterproof/windproof they look really flattering.
- Outlier Women’s Daily Riding Pant. Shown in photo above. Very exciting—they have added more colors since I last looked and finally have images that actually show the colors. Unfortunately these only run sizes 0-12; kinda funny since they carry an ultrafine merino wool tank top in sizes up to XXL. Pants available in black, gray, slate blue, marine blue, burgundy. $180.
- Ibex Global Wool Pant. Dings for the contrast stitching. Big patch pockets outlined with contrasting stitching Are. Not. Flattering. On. Any. Woman. Only available in charcoal gray. $180. Gulp. May as well bite the Outlier Tailored bullet, get more color choices and not have to look at the contrasting stitching.
- Icebreaker Rio Pant. Hard to see much detail on this site but they're cute and made of wool (which I want for fall/winter). Only available in black. $100.
- Columbia Mumbai Mover. Good user reviews; legs look suspiciously flared at the ankle and may snag on my pedals and chain. Might be worth it though at this price. Available in black or gray, bigger size range than most manufacturers, offers three inseam lengths. $60.
- Sugoi H.O.V. Commuter Pant: Definite possibilities! At first blush these do not look like activewear at all. Right pant leg flips up and snaps out of the way of the chain and has a reflective strip that shows when you do this. Not only that but they have a seamless crotch gusset! Very nice to contemplate as I’m powering homeward up the hill. (Downtown Spokane lies in a bowl. If you have any north/south to your ride at all, you’re doing hills. East/west you have a flatter route since you can follow the river.) $100; available in black/brown/gray.
- I’m sort of lusting over the matching jacket—super cute. Wish they hadn’t slapped a logo on the shoulder patch though. $120; black or gray.
- SportHill Women’s Traverse Pant Plus: For plus-sized women 1X-4X. On the sporty side but some potential for a casual day, and wind resistant which is nice for riding as the temps cool down. May be swishy-sounding when you walk, though; no way to know what some of these technical fabrics are really like. $129.95
- Columbia Anytime Pant. Major points for having a little video clip with someone talking about the pants, holding them up and pointing out the hidden zipper pocket feature. Totally yoga though. $45.
- Lolita Pant by PrAna. Only available in espresso. Totally yoga. $74.95.
- Patagonia Merino 3: Only available in black. Totally yoga. $99.95.
- Columbia Just Right Pant: Honkin’ big zipper pocket on the left thigh, cinch things that raise and lower hem length.
- Columbia Trail Twist Slim Pant: Looked great—straight legs won’t catch on pedals—until I zoomed in and caught the flashy little décor on the backs of the ankles. And I really don’t want my work pants to say “Omni-Dry” on the outside; doesn’t this suggest I’m in need of Depends? $55.
Looking for more options!
This is one of the few blog posts I'm hoping gets plenty of links at the bottom from people hoping to sell me something--that is, if you are the designer of the perfect pair of bike riding/work pants. Better yet, if you're a woman who can match my pickiness and who has a favorite pair of pants you can tell us about, go for it. Please.
- Women's Clothing for Biking that Doesn't Look Like It's for Biking: What to Wear, What to Wear
- I'm Part Dutch, You Know. What Do YOU Wear to Bike?