The perfect touring trousers

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Barbelier, 29 Apr 2010.

  1. Barbelier

    Barbelier Senior Member

    Would really appreciate some advice on the perfect trousers for a LEJOG trip this summer.

    I don't like shorts or lycra (if you saw my legs you'd understand why!) so the idea trousers would be:

    1. Loose fit
    2. Totally breathable
    3. Totally waterproof
    4. Shorter leg length available
    5. Long lasting/quality

    Realise I'm expecting far too much here, but want to try for the best compromise I can. Also don't mind paying for quality so long as it does the job and lasts.

    Looking at the previous discussions on here and CTC the Paramo Velez seem to be highly rated (although very expensive and only 1 leg length). However, there were a couple of comments about them being too warm for the summer. Anyone got these?

    I quess an alternative is breathable trousers (the Groundeffect Ranchsliders seem to be highly rated, but not waterproof) + a pair of over trousers for the wet days, although concerned this maybe too warm/bulky?

    All help very gratefully received ;)
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    You are seeking the impossible.
    If you give us a detailed report of the weather you will encounter throughout your trip we may be able to help a little, but we offer no guarantees.:smile:

    I found an ordinary pair of breeks from M&S fitted the bill adequately, and during rain showers pulled a pair of loose fitting Paramo waterproofs over the top.
  3. Norm

    Norm Guest

    I use 3/4 length baggy poly-cotton shorts nearly all the time. If it is cold and wet, I'll wear waterproof over-trousers but if it is warm and wet, they dry quickly so I don't worry about water-proofing.

    I bought a pair of these about a month ago and they, or jeans, have been the only trousers I've worn on the bike since.

    If you want to do it the proper way, rather than a pair of shorts from Next :smile: something like these from Rohan would be my weapon of choice. I have some similar to those which, with a base layer and / or waterproof layer, are usable on the bike all year round.
  4. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    you can get breeks from M&S?!? Which branch?

    as to the OP +1 on the ranchsliders. If it pelts I put my waterproofs on over them. sometimes in the mornings I tour in tights and baggie mtb shorts but I don't really care how I look. when it warms up tights come off and farmers tan gets topped up.
  5. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Sorry:sad: In my local parlance breeks are just trousers,:smile: On my annual foray to the smoke I find the Oxford Street branch has an adequate range for my needs.:girl::laugh:
  6. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    When you say "I don't like shorts", do you mean you don't like people seeing you in shorts or you don't wear them, full stop?

    Are you going to wear a pair of 'insert' cycle shorts underneath?

    Here's what BikeRadar say…

    The Ranchsliders are designed for urban mountain biking but we've been using them for scooting about town when it's too cold for shorts and have developed a strange fondness for them. They're made from a heavy-duty nylon that dries fast if you're caught in a shower, while the flat fronted design minimizes bulk when you bend forward to the bars. The articulated knees are lined for added warmth and Velcro tabs keep the lower legs out of your chain. Padding simply comprises a layer of fleece so you'll want bike shorts underneath for longer stints in the saddle.

    Are you trained fully for the LEJOG? Are you doing 100km per day?
    Have you ridden 100km+ in baggy trousers with no insert and been ready for another 100km 16 hours later?

    Any pair of trousers that grab the knee when they get damp will either be junked en-route or cut down with scissors at the first hardware store.

    Any pair of trousers that look like leg parachutes will be junked en-route because as we all know, energy saving is done best by reducing aerodynamic drag.
  7. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    I just wear lycra and ignore the fact I look like a fool. I now take along a pair of water-proof over-trousers I can wear in really bad weather or when walking around a supermarket.
  8. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Totally waterproof = a sauna! (Unless you can afford Goretex)
  9. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Baggy trousers on a bike.

    The rider is trying to hide an embarrassing deficiency.
  10. OP

    Barbelier Senior Member

    Thanks for the responses.

    Bit more info:

    Yeap I wear padded insert cycle shorts under a pair of cheaper altura waterproof trousers and perfectly comfortable. Worked very well in the colder months (with additional base layer when it got really cold). Last couple of weeks this arrangement has been too warm. Just don't like wearing only shorts. Also like to have at least some protection if I come off.

    So far up to day trips of 100km on a weekend and doing 2-3 shorter trips of 40-45km weekday evenings. Haven't done 100km runs on consecutive days yet.

    Haven't had this problem, because the waterproof trousers I have worked well and kept me dry. Current trousers are not that baggy and no serious wind resistance (just slowly cooking me). Remember I'm touring and not racing - quite happy to plod along at an average 12-15 mph (including breaks, map checks, etc).

    Seems like the ranchsliders would be a good option if I had a pair of suitable over trousers for the downpours?
  11. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    Odd that. I know two mercian owning racing snakes who wore ranchsliders on their LEJOG and JOGLE. Twas them that recommended 'em to me. I've done back to back 100m days in mine without a problem and if I was that bothered about my aerodynamic efficiency I'd buy a recumbent.

    So far as I'm aware, and there have been no complaints to date, I'm in no way deficient below the belt btw :evil:
  12. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Ranchsliders?? Never heard of em, where do you get them from? Do you mean these??? :evil:
  13. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    TKMaxx is your friend!

    Lots of varieties of Craghopper trousers at low prices. These are fin for wearing with padded shorts for touring
  14. OP

    Barbelier Senior Member


    Thanks for a sensible response (don't know how this ended up as discussion about adequacy of rider "equipment". In my case you'd have to ask the missus, but I certainly haven't had any complaints;))

    I like the look of the ranchsliders. Couple more questions:

    1. What's the sizing and leg length like on the ranchsliders?
    2. What over trousers would you recommend? Appreciate they will never be totally breathable, but don't want to cook on those days when it might be pouring all day long.
  15. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    Mine are these ones, but in black. They've updated the design I think since I bought mine. Currently they have 'normal opening waist band and belt loops' so look more street and less cycling specific.

    On me for normal street/pub wear they seem a tad short in the leg when looked at from above anyway, but no one else has ever commented on this. Trust me, in my house/pub, they would. On the bike they're fine. Waist wise they are quite generously cut, I can take them on and off without undoing the waist, and dead comfy. Did I mention they have a fly? Important to me that one. A few reviews here

    Based on my experience of EBC 'Revolution' brand Trail Baggie shorts, which are lovely, brilliant, and which despite reminding me I need to lose a few pounds every time I put them on, are all day/night comfy (I've ridden 24 hours in them), I'd also consider a pair of these as a cheaper alterative to Groud Effect. A review of the EBC Trail Baggie Trousers can be found here

    Touring overtrousers? I use Altura Night Visions. along with a jacket and overshoes from the same brand. They are OK. My main tactics are slow down and let the rain cool you down so you don't boil in the bag. But you won't stay dry if it rains all day unless you have more money to spend on something you only wear on occassions than me. My secondary tactics are regarded by some as odd. Put my shorts on and get wet, it's H20 after all not H2SO4, and it won't kill me. My tertiary tactics are find a museum, cafe, or somewhere else indoors and avoid the rain, so I plan my plans accordingly.
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