Cycling to the Office PART 1: Trousers

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This is the first of our three-part series on cycling attire that is perfect for the office. Part 2 – Shirts is now also available, as is Part 3 – Footwear

A rhetorical question usually comes up when talking about stylish cycling clothes: “can’t you cycle in ‘normal’ clothes?”

The answer: Yes, of course you can. The world WILL NOT implode if you do so. I do so regularly.

You can also play football in stilettos, sunbathe in a ski suit and cook topless without an apocalypse in sight.

What point am I trying to make?

The human race has constantly tried to improve on what we already have. If that wasn’t the case, we’d still be living in caves playing with fire and fighting dinosaurs*.

*Humans may or may not (probably not) have fought with dinosaurs.

So, cycling clothes.  There used to be two camps: performance wear and ‘normal’ clothes. Performance was for racing and your normal gear was for your short commute about town. That was okay, although the performance wear required you to carry a change of clothes with you for your destination, while ‘normal’ clothes weren’t built for cycling – meaning the fit, particularly with trousers, could often expose your rear, be a bit tight around the thigh and would come in heavy materials that encourage perspiration.

READ: Best Cycling Chinos for Men and Women [2018]

But then some clever soul thought, “Why can’t I take aspects of the performance wear and still make it look stylish?”

Low and behold, some years later and the number of stylish cycling clothes you can cycle in options are growing and growing. And getting better and better at that – something which has been very clear in the two-and-a-bit years The Discerning Cyclist has been going (check out some examples on our Pinterest page).

You can now get a range of pants that have higher backs for cycling, feature subtle reflective designs, are made from lighter, more breathable materials and more.

So, one of the biggest tests of cycling/style friendliness I come across in my day-to-day life is what trousers can I can wear in the office but also comfortable cycle the 8km commute in (often in pretty warm Mediterranean temperatures). So here is a guide to five of the best trousers you can cycle in – that don’t look out of place in the office.

Upright Cyclist – Division Pants – $129

A mid-weight, durable trouser made from a combination of cotton and spandex is the perfect blend of functionality and looks.

These are very versatile trousers too and look great with a pair of trainers or can be formalised by adding some smart shoes for the office.

With a higher back, a scalloped front waist, darting at the knees, reflective piping on the cuff hems and internal gusseting on the seat, there is no doubt there pants are a pleasure to ride in.

Upright Cyclist Division Pants
Upright Cyclist Division Pants Cycling
Upright Cyclist Division Trousers

Rapha – Touring Trousers – £170

Rapha can never be ignored in the hunt for stylish, functional cycling clothes, although their upmarket pricing can often be a turn-off.

What you undoubtedly get though, is quality.

Another mid-weight number perfect for autumn and wintery conditions, the Touring Trousers are water-resistant and feature a Cordura seat panel for added durability in key wear areas.

Rapha Touring Trousers
Rapha Trousers Cycling

Bluff Works – Wrinkle-Free Pants – $93

One of the staples of my office outfits, I reviewed these pants not so long ago and they remain one of my favourites.

Wrinkle-free, lightweight, comfortable and full of pockets. You can read more about them here.

Stylish Cycling Trousers
Bluff Works Wrinkle-Free Cycling Pants

Vulpine – Cotton Rain Trouser – £139

Water resistant and extremely breathable, these Cotton Rain Trousers are also suggested for cooler climes.

A classic fit filled with cycling-friendly features, Vulpine remain at the forefront of the looking good on-and-off bike market.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Trouser
Vulpine Cotton Rain Trousers Cycling
Vulpine Cycling Trousers

Rohan – Envoy Trousers – £115

Rohan’s Envoy collection attempts to create a suitable suit for travelling, by combining contemporary good looks with functionality.

Cut from a crease-resistant mixture of natural wool and performance fibres and finished with stain-repellent Advanced Teflon, these trousers will reduce sweating and stains.

Two deep front pockets, coupled with an inside zip pocket and a rear buttoned pocket mean these formal trousers will sort you out on two wheels and in your office.

Rohan Envoy Trousers
Rohan Cycling Trousers

Read part two of the series here.

Read part three of the series here.

Comment below with your favourite trousers for the office that you also cycle in.

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