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Thread: Women's "bike to work" pants- finally! (review)

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    Default Women's "bike to work" pants- finally! (review)

    As a female bike commuter who works in an office where better-than-casual clothes are the norm, I’ve often found myself faced with a dilemma when trying to dress for both getting to work and working. Now, I’m one of those lucky bike commuters who has access to a locker room and shower at work, and I have my own office where I can store a lot of clothes and shoes, so this is not an issue on a typical day when I go straight to the office and spend the day there. But there are many days when I have to go straight to a meeting at another location first thing in the morning, which leaves me with a choice of riding (8 miles) in office-wear, which is not too comfortable or practical, or riding in bikewear and then finding a bathroom at the location to change in. There are also days when I’ve got a meeting in the middle of the day across town, and I’d like to bike there as well. What to wear?

    There is a company called Betabrand in California that is known for making “bike to work” pants for men. When Betabrand announced a few months ago that it was designing a pair of such pants just for women, I got on their email list and waited eagerly for them to tell me that they were ready. (Be warned: Betabrand sends a LOT of emails.)

    The pants are available now, in either black or gray, and you can see the black ones here:

    http://www.betabrand.com/bike-to-wor...ork-pants.html

    Mine arrived yesterday, and I decided to test them by wearing them to ride to work today. Here are my observations:

    They are comfortable to ride in. The material, which is cotton, is nice and stretchy, although they do not look like “stretch pants.” The leg openings are not narrow like most bike pants or tights, but they roll up very easily, and stay rolled up. They look cute rolled up too, with snazzy material underneath. They are not high-waisted, but there is plenty of back coverage. The material is rather warm for summer, and since it will be 90 degrees this afternoon I brought some shorts to ride home in. But the warmer material should be good for the other 3 seasons.

    The pants are definitely “business casual.” I think I should be able to dress them up with a nice jacket enough to “pass” for most of my purposes. They have front side pockets, which I am not a big fan of. They have back pockets as well, which are handy.

    One problem: I got the largest size that they offer, 31W 32L. Fortunately, it fits me. But Betabrand, we female bike commuters are not all petite little things! And as my sister bike commuters know, riding a bike unfortunately does not do much to help reduce one’s butt size. Hopefully Betabrand will offer more sizes soon.

    One last note- the pants are pricey at $98. They do seem to be well made, though, and by people right in San Francisco (according to the company). Of course, as most of us bike commuters have learned, you can afford to spend a lot on clothes when you aren’t driving every day!

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    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    nice review! They definitely are oriented towards west-coast style. not sure I could get away with any of their stuff at my workplace. I'll be curious to hear how they hold up in the cooler weather.

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    Nice - thanks for bringing them to our attention! I could wear them in my office, or even around town, bike date night, etc. Of course, I regularly bike in my normal office pants, so I don't feel I need $100 "bike" pants, but that doesn't mean I won't try them. After all, I bought the Merrell biking heels just for that reason - and may buy a second pair... http://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress...1/the-arrival/

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmpressEAF View Post
    After all, I bought the Merrell biking heels just for that reason - and may buy a second pair... http://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress...1/the-arrival/
    ZOMG! Those are the most fantastic shoes ever. And they come in this style too! http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Prod...ens/Evera-Band

    Thanks so much for posting; I never would have known about them otherwise.

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    Default Excellent review!

    I'll definitely be looking into these. Thanks for sharing! (Still bummed that Levis only recognizes men bike commuters with their jeans. We women commute too!)

    I also give high thumbs up for the Merrell biking heels. The Shoe Divas in my office compliment them when I'm wearing them. They had no idea they were bike shoes. Huzzah!

    I have these in black (and I'm eyeing getting all the other colors).

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    acorn, thank you so much for the excellent review.

    A question: I am loathe to admit it, but as a cyclist I must buy jeans by how they fit my leg rather than how they fit my waist. The photos make these look like narrow leg pants, but not too narrow. How is the fit in the leg? Thanks.

    Liz
    Last edited by eminva; 08-17-2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: HTML not my first language

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    Quote Originally Posted by eminva View Post
    acorn, thank you so much for the excellent review.

    A question: I am loathe to admit it, but as a cyclist I must buy jeans by how they fit my leg rather than how they fit my waist. The photos make these look like narrow leg pants, but not too narrow. How is the fit in the leg? Thanks.

    Liz

    I have big calves myself and these pants are just fine. The legs are not wide, but not close-fitting either. If I didn't roll them up while riding, I would have to put a rubber band or velcro strap around them. (They are easy to roll up, and they stay rolled up.)

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    I just bought these Merrell bike shoes in coffee. And, there was a $20 discount, if you purchase through ShoeMall. Enter code AUTUMN20 at checkout.

    They better hurry up and get here...the other style I have, in black, have held up really well and are tres comfortable.

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    Bicycle times had an article about crafting your own bike pants from long pants, don't know how crafty everyone is but they didn't look too bad.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I love Betabrand's wedding dress. Short for my tastes, but super cute.

    Thanks for the tips on the shoes. I need new Merrills. I've had mine for two years, and not only are they worn out, they're starting to get stinky...

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