I’m a bit torn about waterproof trousers for cycling. The smallest distance I ride is the 13k commute to work, so I always fear a boil in the bag situation. And I remain torn – but not because of the getting too hot part.
First up, the waterproof-ness. I tested these in the rain many times, to and from work. They’re warm, they keep the rain out – and the spray at the cuff and they’re high enough at the back not to cause ‘fleshpeep’. Pleasingly, they don’t get too hot – just a bit sweaty at the back of the knees. Then I took it a step further and performed the soggiest ritual short of going swimming: washing your bike in the bath. I took the bike apart, hopped in and turned the shower on. They stood up to the challenge – not a drop went through the fabric and the cuffs, which are close, but not tight to the ankle, didn’t breach. I haven’t really had enough time to repeatedly test the fabric in the rain, so I’m not sure whether it’ll lose its waterproofing – but I have washed them and they still work.
The cut of the trousers feels immediately odd. I go to the website and check – I think these might be a men’s trouser passed off as unisex. They have a neoprene feel to them and are oddly baggy in a few places – for instance, they don’t have an ‘articulated’ knee, so there’s just more material around the knee that isn’t cut close, and bags. There are seams up the front which is really not flattering (see photos) and some space for a “lunchbox”, ahem. There is one thing that I really, really don’t like about these trousers: the zips at the back are sealed inside the trouser and the plastic rubs and nips at the back of your leg. It’s not just irritating, it’s actually quite scratchy and painful.
If you want a pair of reliable waterproof trousers for riding medium distances, then these would be a good bet – I have to say, I do like the reflective detail, that’s helpful. But they’re not flattering, on or off the bike so you have to be one of those people that doesn’t care – which when you’re too busy safely navigating London traffic like I was, you might just be.
Price: £59.99 (RRP £79.99), available from Tenn.