Club Ride Apparel specializes in bike-centric, functional clothing that is also fashionable and comfortable for everyday living. As the brand’s website pronounces, “Life doesn’t stop after your ride, and neither should your clothes.”
While a change of clothes after a wet, muddy, sweaty mountain bike ride is more than welcome, there are plenty of instances when riding bikes is much less separate from the rest of life than a dedicated trip to the woods. Ride to the party, to work, to the coffee shop or local bar to meet up with some friends or to the grocery store, and most of us don’t want to deal with bringing a change of clothes or let the entire world know that we just rode our bikes.
Club Ride does a nice job of integrating cycling-specific features in “normal-looking” garments that serve a purpose that reaches far beyond the bike. Recently I’ve been rocking the Tour Pants, which look like normal pants but include a number of features that make them comfortable and functional on a bike as well.
The 95% Nylon/5% Spandex blend offers stretch for freedom of movement during athletic pursuits, as well as moisture-wicking, quick-drying and water-resistance properties. The cut features an extra high back to provide sufficient coverage while cycling and prevent them from riding down. The pants have front and rear pockets similar to normal jeans, as well as a side leg pocket that doesn’t cause discomfort or interfere with riding. Other ride-oriented features include a gusseted crotch and reflective accents.
Club Ride offers two different “styles” of fit for all its clothing: Comfort and Sport. Comfort Fit features extra technical features and a more relaxed, loose fit, while Sport Fit is a little tighter and more styled for post-ride pursuits while maintaining great functionality while on the bike. The Tour Pants fit the Sport category and are generally meant to be fairly form-fitting, so keep that in mind when sizing.
Overall, I found that these pants (as well as a few other Club Ride bottoms that I’ve worn lately) run a little large on the waist. For reference, I’m a 27-inch waist and 33-inch hip. According to Club Ride’s size chart, I am solidly a small based on my waist measurement and an extra small based on my hips. I originally asked for a small, but it turns out that the extra small fit way better and wasn’t at all too tight at the waist despite the size chart hinting otherwise. Just keep this in mind when purchasing, but don’t let it discourage you from purchasing, because these pants are awesome.
Sizing snafus worked out, I began turning to the Tour Pants as a daily driver no matter what my activity, from riding bikes around Philadelphia and hanging out at the Philly Bike Expo to riding down the street to the local backwoods bar. They are also great for non-bike-related outdoor pursuits, such as hiking or canoeing. I would even wear the black ones as dress pants and they could pass off as such with a nice sweater for those holiday parties (and, even better, you could ride there comfortably!).
The Tour Pants from Club Ride are versatile outdoor pants for just about any pursuit, not just riding bikes. Water-resistance, comfortable stretch and breathability make them superior to denim for such activities, but they’re stylish enough that no one will ever know you are wearing bike pants, unless they are in the know. There’s a place for these in your wardrobe, even if you rarely wear them on a bike.
Sizes: XS (tested), S, M, L, XL
Showers Pass has been producing rainwear for cyclists since 1997. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, they know a thing or two about staying comfortable in foul weather. New for 2015 are the Metro Jacket and Rogue Pant.
Photos by Emily Walley
Metro Jacket – $199
The Metro Jacket is an Artex 2.5-layer hardshell that’s lightweight and designed to pack a lot of performance on the bike while not looking too bike-geeky off the bike. For me, the fit is pretty trim; I’d say it runs a bit smaller than the sizing chart suggests. Definitely size up if you’d like to have room for insulating layers underneath, or if you’re between sizes. On the bright side, sleeve length is generous.
Two large vents take the place of traditional hand warmer pockets to provide abundant ventilation. Teamed with the “exhaust pipe” zippered vent at the base of the neck on the back of the jacket, there is quite a bit of torso airflow and adjustability. Unfortunately, the exhaust vent’s effectiveness decreases dramatically when wearing a backpack. Large, adjustable cuffs help tailor fit and adjust airflow through the arms, but I would still love to see some sort of underarm ventilation on this jacket as torso ventilation surpases that of the arms.
Waterproofness is excellent with no sign of the face fabric wetting through, and I’ll give the Metro decent marks for breathability as well—for a hardshell. There’s no way around it; if you’re operating at high exertion levels you will be sweaty under even the most “breathable” of hardshells.
Initially, I was a little confused by the Metro Jacket. The trim fit, elastic bottom hem, ventilation arrange and subsequent lack of handwarmer pockets point to the performance end of the spectrum. On the other hand, the subtle color palette and the name Metro imply a certain level of street cred. For me, the end result is a damn fine jacket that I’ll use mostly in performance settings; longer, more dedicated rides where weather protection and ventilation take top priority, both on and off road. For casual spins to the pub on a damp evening, I’d be more likely to spring for the similarly priced softshell Amsterdam Jacket instead.
Rogue Pant – $99
The Rogue Pant is a casual looking softshell trouser made with water resistant stretch fabric and finished with a DWR treatment to further enhance moisture resistance. The tightly woven face of the fabric blocks most of the breeze and a good bit of moisture, while a soft terry interior feels great next to skin. The Rogue pants are styled and fit like a pair of relaxed fit jeans, but offer a gusseted crotch to reduce seam irritation and facilitate movement on the bike. Fit seems to run a little on the large size. I’m normally a 33- to 34-inch waist and the 32-inch Rogue pant fit me comfortably. If you’re between sizes, you should be able step down a size without issue.
Subtle reflective cues increase visibility at night, including reflective chevrons printed inside the bottom of both pant legs that are revealed when you roll up the legs. A buttoned cinch strap is hidden in the hem of the pants to keep them out of your chainrings and to secure the pants when rolled up. There’s a hidden zippered pocket inside the right back pocket for secure storage, and a buttoned utility hook to fasten keys or the like to one of the right-hand belt loops. The only gripe I can muster revolves around the shallow front pockets. They’re a little small for today’s larger smartphones; a little more depth would increase security.
I’ve been looking for a pair of softshell pants like these for a while now because they’re so versatile through the fall, winter and spring. Wear them alone for cool days or layer underneath for comfort in much colder temps. The Rogue Pant’s combo of ample wind resistance and stellar breathability make for an incredibly comfortable pair of pants. I’ve worn them for everything from mountain biking, to rainy commutes home from work, to going out for a date-night drink. There are the rare product that delivers a casual aesthetic to blend in with most any situation, but offer the technical chops to keep you comfy in most any situation short of a heavy, sustained rain—they’re not designed to be waterproof after all. These pants are worth every penny of the $99 asking price. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Though it may come as a surprise to some, women do ride bikes. We’ve all heard that number is growing (Hooray!). They also, sometimes, wear pants. As a lady in the bicycle industry I’m frequently asked by other ladies I know, who ride either occasionally or everyday, where are the women’s specific cycling pants? Pants that don’t look like a riding kit or have a chamois? Does such a thing exist?
Yes it does.
Here are three pairs of women’s pants that I’ve been using on and off the bike this spring that I think are pretty awesome.Tweet Print