I've had a couple pairs of Cordarounds Bike to Work Pants since my birthday and been wearing them to work pretty regularly. I highlighted these back in September, but it occurred to me today that I hadn't adquately reviewed them yet, so your wait is over!
First, let's start with the look of the pants. When I was at the Phil Keoghan event here in Columbus I was wearing a pair of the pants. I was talking to fellow bike blogger Joe Biker of Cincinnati, and we got to talking about biking to work a bit. I showed him the pants and some of their features, and he was impressed with them - especially by the fact that they didn't LOOK like they had all the features. They look like a normal pair of khakis, no questions asked. They come in khaki, olive, and brown, though I've only got a couple pairs of the khaki ones.
The features of the pants are also pretty amazing. I'm going to break the features down into two categories: the bike-friendly features and the heat-friendly features.
The bike-friendly features include reflective tape sewn into the inside hem of the pants and along the inside of the back pockets. And for approximately 10 inches up the inside of the pant legs is a teflon-based fabric that repels grease and road grime for easy cleaning and also avoids your pants getting caught in your chain, front derailleur, etc..
The idea here is that you roll the legs up so that the reflective tape is showing and the teflon fabric is covering the khaki fabric to avoid its getting dirty. And you know what? IT WORKS! The reflective qualities are pretty amazing - people see you coming for a long way. And because the flaps are on your legs and moving as you pedal, cars slow down to see just what the heck you are.
The back pockets are lined with the teflon fabric and reflective tape, and add another level of reflectivity if you pull them inside out and let them hang out like a pair of mudflaps. Pictures are available at the Cordarounds website.
The heat-friendly features are just as great. The fabric of the pants is a very strong but lightweight fabric, and breathes wonderfully while you ride. Cordarounds describes it as a brushed pebble cotton, if that means anything to you. The inside waistband and the front pockets are seersucker and also breathe very nicely. These pants are made for you to ride in and be comfortable. And when you get where you're going, they dry out quickly as well.
I have only one issue with the pants. The front pockets are not very deep. If you're a person who carries lots of stuff in your pockets you may be a bit uncomfortable. I used to carry a small notebook with me and it doesn't fit into these pockets well. They're not shallow to the point that things fall out while you're riding, it's just a little bit to get used to.
But as a functional, good looking piece of clothing that is perfect for cyclists as well as the typical business casual environment for work, you can't do much better than these pants for your commuting needs! I highly recommend them to everyone who rides to work regularly!
People, not speed.