View Full Version : non dorky bike pants

11-24-2006, 08:23 AM
I have resisted, fought and struggled. I have stuck with my beloved Jeans and carharrts but now I am stuck. I am planning a trip with my bike to Hawaii and need to bike a lot this winter to get ready, and when I go space and weight are going to be key. So is there something moisture controlling, light weight and wind proof that isnít spandex?

11-29-2006, 03:34 PM
How about wool?

Personally I would recommend you simply quit worrying about what you look like.

Bike clothes are made for a reason. Sounds like you are aware of that but are so busy clinging to your sense of non-conformity (which in Portland, is conformity) that you are afraid to wear what you know you should.

Christ, I have a headache just trying to examine your inner turmoil! It isn't high school anymore sweety. Wear whatever the hell you want...

11-29-2006, 07:08 PM
why dont you take your condesending shit and stuff it?

I am asking because spandex looks like shit no matter how your built. I dont really feel like having my package on display if i want to stop for a beer along my ride. I like to use my bike to go places, places where maybe there are single women, and i like to look presentable when i get there (being a single guy). Unlike you, I think that showing off the package upon first meeting a woman is tacky. If I am up by myself in the hills i dont care what I look like, but wearing spandex in public is uncivilised.

Just because i want something functional yet not aethsteicly displeasing doesnt mean I have inner turmoil, it just means that i care what i look like when i get to the; grocery store, bar, where ever. and speaking of conformity, i don't want to look like every other road biker in portland in black spandex and a yellow jersey trying to look like lance armstrong.

so unless you have something constructibe to add, why don't you just shut the hell up?

And being snooty and condesending when some asks an honest question is also very portland cliche.

Ok to clarify: where do i get wicking but not fowm fitting (ie package displaying) bike pants?

11-29-2006, 07:13 PM

What about wool?

Ibex makes some super swell pants. Oregon Mountain Community on Sandy carries them. I am not sure how your "package" will represent itself to the ladies in them, though they have some female staff there who might critique your, umm... staff.

11-29-2006, 07:16 PM
Starkmojo, I don't know the answer to your question, but couldn't you wear spandex as a layer underneath something less revealing?

11-29-2006, 07:19 PM
Starkmojo, I don't know the answer to your question, but couldn't you wear spandex as a layer underneath something less revealing?

I tried that and I overheated... That was my first thought.

The other problem i have is that I am really tall, so only about 10% of the bike gear out there comes in my size anyway (36" inseam).

11-29-2006, 07:22 PM
What about Spandex, and (non-spandex) shorts over that? Or would that peg the dork-o-meter?

11-29-2006, 07:26 PM
Not to be picky but your first post started with-

"I have resisted, fought and struggled."

That sounded like turmoil to me. Just wanted you to know that I wasn't trying to make s@#t up.

You are going to have fun biking in Hawaii by the way. You will also not want to be wearing much of anything as it is pretty humid and warm. The big island has some sweet Mtn. biking if you are into that sort of thing.

11-29-2006, 07:36 PM
Yeah, um I don't think your going to need long pants in Hawaii, even this time of year.

However companies do make non forming baggy bicycling shorts and pants. See the link below, non spandex bicycling pant.


11-29-2006, 08:13 PM
function or fashion amigo?
wear lycra to ride, have a pair of baggy ( light ) boardshorts to throw on when you stop.
if you think spandex is dorky, what do you think wearing boardshorts and clipless pedals look like?
as for being tall, buy a european chamois, because they are made for actual people, not effing fat americans. an XL will fit a 36" inseam.
stop by Team Sales Cycling in Tualitin. they cary santini clothing which kicks ass and is euro.

rock out with your cock out and down some beahs in the spandex

11-29-2006, 10:20 PM
Spandex makes your ass look good, women like the ass to look good.

11-29-2006, 11:10 PM
Exercise makes the ass look good, not the spandex. I've seen some fat asses in spandex, it doesn't look good. Male or female.

Plus, functionality over looks is always better on the bicycle. I'd rather look like a knob and be the fastest, then look good and ride slow.

11-30-2006, 04:50 AM
Not to be picky but your first post started with-

"I have resisted, fought and struggled."

That sounded like turmoil to me. Just wanted you to know that I wasn't trying to make s@#t up.

You are going to have fun biking in Hawaii by the way. You will also not want to be wearing much of anything as it is pretty humid and warm. The big island has some sweet Mtn. biking if you are into that sort of thing.

Umm, I forgot that west coasters dont get sarcasm... sorry I will try and make it more obvious next time.

Hawaii should be easy, its doing all the biking I need to do this winter to get ready for the trip that is going to be a problem. I have tended to be a fair weather bicylist but with this trip, I am goingto have to tripple my daily ride at a time of year I generaly ride a lot less. I figure that biking to everwhere I go is the best solution.

And I am happy for everyone who is ok with wearing spandex at the bar, but that is just not me.

And for me it isn't so much how fast as how far I can ride, although I did buy a touring bike so I do like speed too.

11-30-2006, 04:51 AM
oh yeah and thanks for the link.. I have it ordered already.

11-30-2006, 11:55 AM
oh yeah and thanks for the link.. I have it ordered already.

your welcome.

12-05-2006, 10:10 AM
Rivendell Cycleworks has a line of pants/ shorts called MUSA that look pretty cool (and comfortable). If spandex shorts are too hot under your other clothes try a pair of padded cycling underwear (boxers or briefs). REI's got em.

12-12-2006, 10:48 AM
i'm originally from hawaii, and you won't need long pants. get some board shorts. they work great... I personally prefer billabong knee-length shorts.

come to think of it, most surf co.'s make their male board shorts at that length. Although I am female, I'm not about to wear some booty board shorts which are the norm these days. it's just tacky.

either that, or make your own f'n pants. cut-offs, wtfevs.

12-14-2006, 03:55 PM
Hincapie stuff is pretty darn tall -- we (Team Veloshop) just finished with the fit kit and the XL stuff is super big. Especially shorts. It's also quite form-fitting, though, so perhaps not your cup of tea.

12-21-2006, 04:11 PM

there is a heap of cycling knickers reviewed at fixed gear gallery. see all of the reviews at


I reviewed the Under the Weather Sit n' Spins. They are lightweight and good with moisture management but I have to say that they have some serious flaws and would not be good in a hot environment. Read my review for more info.

My partner recently bought a pair of Chrome Shins and loves 'em. They may be a bit warm for summer/Hawaii.

I don't like wearing racing-style cycling clothes either. In the summer I usually wear a linen shirt over a light t-shirt on top, and shorts on the bottom. There is a wide range of what I call bike-undies, which basically provide you with a chafe-free padded inner liner, that you can wear under the "normal" shorts of your choice. Check the Rivendell site for some options, and also Swobo seems to come up with a new item of clothing about once a week lately.

Also, our own Portland Cyclewear just released their own quick-drying cycling knicker.

For Portland winters, I have found that nothing beats wool knickers. Check eBay for interesting vintage options, or consider the new lightweight gabardine ones from Bicycling Fixation (reviewed at the Fixed Gear Gallery). I'm getting a pair of these soon!

REI has a wide selection of outdoorsy/climbing pants that may also fit the bill.

yes, I think about this stuff a lot. Also check out my new Flickr group at


for ideas and inspiration, and please feel free to contribute.

good luck and let us know what you find!

all best


12-22-2006, 07:13 AM
I bought the REI Novara Headwind Bike Pants this winter.

I liked them because, while slim-fitting, they aren't like tights.

(I'm a gal - so I don't have the same concerns you do about tights, though).

12-29-2006, 11:53 AM
I like the rain pants I got from cycleworks- although they took nearly three weeks to get to my house (I did order during the xmass season.)

They are close without being sausage-wrappers.

01-04-2007, 10:01 AM
How about trying baggy mountain bike style shorts? Bellwether makes some nice looking shorts that have comfortable liners. You can use leg warmers for the rest of your legs which have the added benefit that you can remove them if you get hot.

01-09-2007, 09:24 AM
These days there are perfomance fabric pants that also allow for some modesty - i.e. they are more like sweats than tights. Pearl Izumi, Sugoi, and InSport all make options, I'm sure there are others. Can't remember what they are all called but the Sugoi pants had coffee or cafe in the name. I'm also a big fan of the Bill Koch tight that Insport makes. It's usually found at outdoorsy places rather than bike shops - warm, and suitable for sports (made for xc skiers) but presentable in public. In a pinch I've worn mine at work with a nice shirt and shoes and I don't think anyone knew that I had "tights" on.

01-09-2007, 12:40 PM
Rivendell has their MUSA (made in the USA) pants - they are normal pants (also shorts and knickers) with a seamless crotch.

01-09-2007, 01:03 PM
I found myself in just the same situation last month. Went and did a 40mi ride down haleakala in maui.

I found baby blue booty shorts worked amazing for exposing as much pale oregon thigh as possible (for the tan of course) as well as having a built in "swimming net" completely managing any "package issues" that could arise in shorts of this length.

You can see a visual of said shorts (along with other essential maui riding gear) here:


the route is here:

and the rest of the trip is here:

Hope this could be of some help.

beth h
01-09-2007, 09:42 PM
Instead of jeans, which are heavy, why not spring for some used chinos (aka khaki slacks) at the Goodwill? The lighter fabric will be cooler in Hawaii, and you can find them cheap-cheap-cheap in shades of tan, slate, navy and sometimes olive. I often switch to these in warm-weather commuting, and roll the legs up when it gets warmer. (During heat waves I wear shorts, but so do most folks.)
Happy riding --

07-21-2007, 09:21 AM
I am looking to move to Portland from Seattle. Most everyone (not all, most of the messengers don't, but they are a breed alone) in Seattle wear spandex and bright colors while riding. Sure it isn't the most flattering but it is designed to be comfortable while riding. While looking for an apt. in Portland this weekend I haven't seen one person wearing spandex and lots of pants rolled up. I guess I might be the one non conformist soon. I will be working from home when I move here and my rides will be more training and even longer than my ones in Seattle since I won't be having to commute.

BTW, it has nothing to do with looking like Lance Armstrong or some other racer. I have no delusions about my riding abilities or lack of them. It is about being comfortable. The colors are about being seen. Especially in the Northwest where the gray makes it even harder for drivers to see someone. I ride and not seeing my fellow riders while driving cause they are in black is scary.

07-22-2007, 08:16 AM
The rainpants from performance bike I got are black with reflective material (looks black in daylight, reflects headlights- pretty darn cool IMHO), and i have one of those tailights that ravers try and try and steel because they make pretty altrenating flash patterns (better trails that way they tell me) so visability isnt really the issue for me (besides the fact that I am 6 and a half feet tall and bike around with a circus dog).

What is an issue is that i bike to go places- places where I want to feel comforable when i get there- and having my cock bulging out isnt comfortable for me, nor is showing up looking like a sub chaser from WW2. Biking is part of my life and my clothes have to work with it. That means that when i get to the resturant, my bike-gear needs to fit in my backpack, and I need to look like a normal (well as normal as I get) person. I have (since I wrote my origanal post) found good work out gear that looks normal (wool blend tshirts from REI, said performance bike pants, etc) that work for me. If your happy looking like the 2 wheeled version of a lowered honda with a spoiler, more power to you. I am happy with my circus dog sidekick. It takes all kinds.

And I would argue that the spandex clads arent prevelent here. they are. Go to the esplanade or Hawthorne Bridge on Monday AM... it like the tour de Paunch. (another reason I dont wear spandex).