Having eyed Iladora’s “Perfect Bike Pant” for a while, I naturally jumped at the chance to test out a pair. Designed and made in San Francisco, these pants were carefully created for women bike commuters who want pants that easily transition from bicycle to office. Most of the biking I do is my daily commute to and from work, in my normal work clothes, but let’s face it, my best work trousers are really not the best bike pants. So I am always looking for the perfect pair.
Initially I was a bit worried about picking a size – the website gives measurements yet suggests ordering a size down, given the stretch in the 4-way stretch fabric. I read the reviews on the website, and the women all confirmed this, so I held my breath and requested a size 4 (US sizing), rather than my normal size 8. When the pants arrived and looked *so tiny* I was a bit worried – they are smaller than my favorite skinny jeans! But lo and behold, I was able to squeeze into them! They are pretty fitted, more like yoga pants than dress pants, just dressier. I was also concerned about the length, since I am a bit taller than the “average” woman, and always buy pants with a longer inseam, but they look fine.
Some of the selling points of the pants include the high rise in the back and the reinforced seaming, plus a hidden magnet loop on the right leg to protect the pant leg from chain grease. I definitely like the high rise in the back, and don’t notice any chaffing (although that’s not something with which I’ve ever had a problem).
I haven’t biked much with the magnetic tab to roll the pants up, because my calf is big enough to hold the roll in place without the strap, and I feel that the pant legs are skinny enough to not catch on my chain ring. Nevertheless, the magnet seemed to work well when I tested it out. The water repellent fabric works great; I was amused one evening to see the raindrops bead up on my pants but not soak in. I was also concerned about shrinkage after washing (cold water, line dry!), but unlike jeans, they stretch out right away after being washed.
They are very well made, which I always appreciate, and consider a hallmark of small, local-made products. Honestly, they don’t cost more than a good pair of dress pants, and considering how much use you can get out of them, and how versatile they are, they are a good investment for any woman’s chic bicycling wardrobe.
I wore the Perfect Bike Pants to work as soon as I got them, with a pair of chunky heels and an oversized blouse. One of my younger colleagues pronounced the look “very chic,” although I felt self-conscious about how tight they were, and probably won’t wear them to work again. However, they are chic, and comfortable, and are perfect for on weekends and evenings out. I have worn them to Sunday morning coffee, Saturday running errands, date night with my husband, and actually did a bit of yoga in them, just to see how stretchy they really are. They make me feel sporty and sassy and thinner than I actually am, thanks to the fantastic 4-way stretch. I suspect they are the kind of pants that make every woman look good. I see myself getting a lot of wear out of these, and am currently hunting for the perfect tunic-length tops to wear with them.
You can read more from Elizabeth on her blog, tinlizzieridesagain.