Review: Some Pleasant Apparel Surprises From YT & Enve

Oct 4, 2023 at 13:12
by Dario DiGiulio  
We get a lot of apparel to test, but it's somewhat rare that a piece of clothing really changes your ride experience. I often err a bit too far on the run what ya brung spectrum, but recently a few items have made me realize how good some riding apparel can actually be. These are a few of those pleasant surprises, with more in store.

For sizing reference, I'm 6'3", around 180 lbs., and look like one of the haunting War Boys from Mad Max.



YT Gravity Pant

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YT is probably far from the first name to come to mind when you're thinking about riding apparel companies, but let it be known that you should bump them up a few places on that mental list. These are my new favorite riding pants, especially for rides that include more descending than pedaling.

The Cordura fabric has been smartly specced to feature thicker durable patches where needed, and thin perforated breathable swaths where you're more likely to heat up. The three pockets are well placed, easy to open and close, and just big enough for the essentials without being silly.

Gravity Pants

• Cordura ripstop fabric
• 3 zip pockets
• Black colorway
• Sizes: 28"-38", 32" tested
• Quick-adjust ratchet closure
• Hook and loop waist adjuster
• MSRP: $129 USD
yt-industries.com
The 2/3 leg zip seems odd, but is actually very useful for getting pads on, dumping heat on climbs, and doing some cool MC Hammer dances in the lift line.

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Zips up all the way to the quad, so you can put on your pads without stripping in woods.
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You can also tuck the lower half up into this funny lump.
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These are the best. Use these.
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For fine-tuning.

Most of the pants I've tried recently have moved towards a ridiculously tight racer-y fit, which in addition to looking goofy just isn't that comfortable for pedaling and moving around on the bike. In order to get something to fit my 32" waist, everything below that belt line ends up being tighter than I want, especially in the quad/thigh area. These YT pants fit consistently the whole way down, with enough room to move and provide airflow. Big fan.

It's also worth noting that they make an excellent Trail version of the pant, that uses a lighter weight fabric and simpler construction. Retail on those is $10 less, and they're the option I'd reach for if I were going out for a long pedal, or wanted some extra coverage for just trail riding or zipping around in the woods. The fit is similarly excellent, and the fabric breathes impressively well. Here's a blurry photo for reference.



Enve Composite Long Sleeve Jersey

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Another company fairly new to the clothing world, Enve has released a surprisingly deep catalog of apparel and accessories to flesh out their otherwise resin-impregnated fiber lineup. Luckily, this jersey is a bit less stiff than a set of M7 bars, and has proven to be very comfortable for a wide weather window. It's not wool, but has a similar ease of use in terms of temperature - I've been happy in this when it's chilly just the same as when pedaling in the heat. Stink is somewhat helped by the Ionic+ side panels, which help extend the stank range a bit further than typical plastic jerseys.
Composite Long Sleeve

• 83% poly / 10% lyocell / 4% Ionic+ / 3% spandex
• 3 colors
• Sizes: S-XXL, L tested
• Ionic+ anti-bacterial panels
• Reinforced elbow and drop tail
• MSRP: $90 USD
enve.com

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Comes in two colors other than invisible.

The reinforced areas are nice for avoiding brush snags, and should hold up better than the stretchy fabric in a crash. I'm a fan of the cut, as it's loose enough to look like a good ol' shirt without feeling baggy. The fabric does a great job of keeping you dry and cool, which has a double benefit when it's drizzly out - remember: cotton kills.



Enve Trail Pant

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It feels like pants are really taking over our previously shorts-heavy sport, and I think it's items like this that are to blame. Pants that are too damn comfortable are just hard to say no to, even when the temperature climbs as much as you do. While I still rock shorts on most hot days, these Trail Pants from Enve are a solid ankle-long option, with a light and stretchy fabric and well-placed ventilation. The side pockets are excellent and very easy to use while riding, and the metal snap closure is operable with gloves on.
Trail Pants

• 83% nylon / 17% spandex
• 2 zip pockets
• Black colorway
• Sizes: S-XXL, M tested
• Metal snap closure
• Drawstring waist adjuster
• MSRP: $175 USD
enve.com
The drawstring tie waist adjuster seems unnecessary to me, so I just don't use it. If you're more in-between sizes, then it'll certainly help bring a larger size down to fit more snugly.

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Stretch cuffs are silly, but at least these actually work.

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Easy to open while riding.
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Big enough for snacks, tools, gloves.

While the leg does taper down quite a bit, and they do have a cuff, the Enve pants fit very nicely and don't feel excessively tight. I prefer cuffless pants, just for ease of use and looks, but these have enough stretch to get on and off easily, and don't ride up your leg as you move around on the bike. For the price, I'd probably choose the YT Trail pants, but these are a very good option.



If you want to show off your bulging calves, cool Ironman tattoo, or ankle socks, then you can get all three of these pants in a shorts fit. I've tried all three of those too and my feelings are about the same - just breezier.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
147 articles

116 Comments
  • 91 1
 Those 2/3 length leg zippers also make it easier to stop and pee on the trail.
  • 18 0
 Who said a mountain bike(r) can't have a kickstand...
  • 10 0
 My grandpa would love these then
  • 3 0
 @gspottickles918: also easier to stir the coals around the campfire
  • 58 0
 Enve must be sweating a bit having their pants reviewed next to ones with better features and half the price lol
  • 165 1
 Pretty sure they're used to that feeling.
  • 11 0
 @seb-stott: OK, that made me chuckle.
  • 1 0
 But what about the… “stretchy fabric and well-placed ventilation.”
  • 2 0
 Crazy prices as usual... but wait until the ENVE apparel goes on sale! I got some at a crazy deal at one of their events and its actually the best bit of kit I've ever worn. The jerseys are sweet since I smell like a horses ass after ride but the anti odor (Ioniq+ ?) does its job well, cant smell a thing. The pants dont try to reinvent the wheel an just super comfortable and have plenty of pocket space. I've only worn yeti, specialized, and chromag apparel otherwise though so take that opinion as you will.

In summary, I wouldn't pay full price for this stuff but its damn good in general.
  • 1 0
 imo the enve pants look a lot nicer more flattering. i know many don't care about that, but for those who do...
  • 19 3
 A friend of mine has shorts with that pastic ratchet strap thing. He crashed with both of them and broke the ratchet. You can't replace them. I think it's a dumb idea to have those on clothing. And I told my buddy to stay on the bike.
  • 8 0
 The stitching came out on the ratchet side on my shorts that have that buckle. I restitched but if it happens again I'm going to get it replaced with snaps. They can also dig in if using any pack with a waist belt.
  • 10 6
 I HATE those things. I'm honestly beside myself why Dario or anyone could like them.
1) they dig in to your gut if you have one
2) they are limited in adjustability
3) they almost always mean the pants/shorts will NOT have belt loops
4) We are mountain bikers for god sakes, we all have different sized (quite varied) quads and butts and buy our clothes according to that... not according to our waist size necessarily. Most pants that fit my hockey butt need to be taken in at the waist or worn with a belt... see #3 above
  • 6 1
 Belt loops or it isn't even an option.
  • 8 2
 @bhuckley: I feel the opposite, I find they're the best form of closure for shorts or pants
  • 4 0
 @Whataboutism: Hard yes!
along with an Arcade stretchy belt, and youve got the win.
  • 2 1
 I cant think of a more over engineered way to keep your pants up.
I get ratchets for straps to hold down loads on your truck,
I get ratchets for use in a wrench to turn bolts
I even get ratchets in snowboard buckles

but frigging plastic ratchets to tighten your shorts or pants? How much leverage are you looking for?

belt loops, and a stretchy Arcade belt. Then you can wear the belt off the bike. and it should cost less, and be easily repairable, and use less plastic, and....
  • 12 0
 There must be a substantial amount of R&D that goes into a $175 pair of pants.
  • 3 0
 Does marketing research count as R&D? Have to know what price the market is willing to bear.
  • 5 0
 @k-n-i-x-o-n: I'll give you one guess what the R in R&D stands for.
  • 1 2
 Probably just better quality fabric and especially zippers. I have a hunch that $99 pants are going to see a lot of zippers blow out.
  • 1 0
 @yahmon: marketing?
  • 2 0
 @JustinVP: If you've ever watched Shark Tank, sometimes the company wants premium price for about or exactly the same product. You know, $20 landed, $150 msrp. I bought a pair of Fox Ranger pants and at the same time bought some (now discontinued) Fox mechanic pants, designed as casual pants. Rangers were $50 more, same fabric, same zippers. I still use the mechanic pants, about 20-30 rides a year, bought about 6 years ago, no issues. The Rangers, stitching came out below the fly, zipper issues, kind of restrictive. Pretty disappointed in the quality of an actual riding pant.
  • 1 0
 It'd be easier to justify if they were hecho en Utah like their rims, but I think the rims are all that's left that's made domestically with their logo
  • 13 5
 You should try ankle socks with pants, it feels incredible and looks steezy
  • 3 0
 I ride a YT so I saw an email for the apparel line release. Gravity pants looked rad for the price, but they didn’t and still don’t advertise or show the zip ‘n tuck as a feature on their site! My sweaty self is way more interested now. Might even get me over the self conscious hump of looking like a dork wearing YT while riding a YT.
  • 4 0
 @tomfoolerybackground: is that like wearing the tshirt of the band you going to see?
  • 2 0
 @Flc3344 my bad man I thought I was posting a comment not replying to anyone. But I will absolutely die on the ankle socks hill, scarred shins and all.

@plylawn It’s not not that. But also more of the full kit wanker feel for a soccer or road team.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Deep track there... Can you show me where the campus is?
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Don’t be that guy. Dammit I missed that one…
  • 2 0
 Then your ankles are exposed to poison oak.
  • 1 0
 Pfffft. Gotta go full no-show.
  • 1 0
 @tomfoolerybackground: Could be worse bro, I'm often wearing specialized demo pants whilst riding a Trek Session
  • 8 0
 So who is actually buying a $90 jersey?
  • 24 0
 I buy them. . .on close-out at Jenson for 75% off next season Smile
  • 2 0
 @Pusher5000: Colours have seasons, who knew?
  • 11 0
 @Pusher5000: yep, "clearance clothing > show 100 items on page > order by lowest price first"
scroll till you hit 30 bucks and either checkout or close tab
  • 7 1
 You know what would be a pleasant surprise? Some longer fit options for once.
  • 10 1
 apparently fat bikers are more common than tall bikers...guess the target market is ebikers.
  • 2 0
 @workingclasswhore: It seems like MTB clothing is like airline seats - they fit absolutely nobody comfortably. Every post about clothing has comments by tall slim people complaining how it's impossible to get long enough pant legs or sleeves without stuff getting uber baggy, short stout people complaining how it's impossible to get stuff where they don't have to roll up pant legs or sleeves, and then there are people like me - reasonable waist size, somewhat big shoulders and legs. For me, there's very little out there that fits around shoulders/chest without being insanely baggy around the middle, and there are no pants that I can squat in without busting a seam that don't also have an extra four inches of material in the waist (as in, too much to comfortably cinch with velcro or a belt).
  • 1 0
 @g-42: FYI - NF can put extensions on their pants for an extra $30 (I just ordered a pair so can't comment on fit yet) and also, Dharco offers extensions you can buy separately and have sewn on. Both are quite expensive options though.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: Agree 100%. If companies are going to charge $200.00 for a pair of specialty pants, they should be specialty pants and should be tailored to unique body sizes/shapes and not generic fit for all.
  • 3 0
 I don’t know if you can get them in every country but in the UK the Decathlon trousers are such a good bang for buck, they’re a pretty common sight at bike parks. The best bit is no silly ratchets or anything like that: www.decathlon.co.uk/p/men-s-water-repellent-mountain-bike-cycling-trousers/_/R-p-309674
  • 7 3
 hoping to see fistfights between the dentist and the realtor over rapha vs enve
  • 9 0
 Rapha is so 2021, new hype brands are Maap and Pas Normal Studios
  • 3 0
 @tgr9: HAHA so weird to see that name on PB. I thought PAS NORMALwere just a local roadie freakshow shop 2 neighborhoods away. Now I get it.
  • 2 0
 I bought Rapha pants on sale. Balling on a budget.
  • 1 0
 Realtors? Only some realtors are top producers and make a lot.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: “producers”, lol. They don’t even produce sales, Zillow does that for them. They are literally door openers. The title company does all the real work.
  • 1 2
 @Reno233: "Top Producers" is a real estate industry term for realtors that do a lot of sales. What do you mean realtors don't produce sales? There are referral programs from Zillow and many other companies, but you have to pay for them and they don't always produce sales. Real estate sales is very difficult to get sales because there are very few sales and lots of agents. Real estate sales is a roller coaster of a career because it is so difficult to get sales. FYI: I have still have a current real estate broker's license, but have not been practicing for many years.
  • 4 1
 I keep waiting for a pair of pants with a 36" inseam. Maybe it's a niche market within a niche market, but 32" and 34" are too short for many taller riders.
  • 2 0
 I need 36" inseam as well. The odd time I find 36" inseams advertised, they are rarely 36" inseams. Specialty pants priced in the $100.00 - $200.00 range need to be "engineered" and "fitted" for the intended user. For example, tall, thin legs articulate and move differently than short, stout legs.

I find that, because of my long legs, when I sit or bend my hem rises inches more than a person with "average" or shorter inseam. Also, as was mentioned before, cyclists tend to be thigh-heavy and most manufacturers just add more circumference to account for that, when it would be better to add maybe some wedge-shaped panels and some kind of "articulation" features in the waist/thigh/knee panels to account for "bunching" and "creep". I would gladly pay $200.00 for a pair of pants that used high-quality materials and actually had some of these features designed or engineered in.

Until then, I will continue to ride in shorts, or cheaper athletic pants intended for other activities.
  • 1 0
 NF makes extra tall versions of their pants.
  • 1 0
 YT also has Trail pants that look really good too and are slightly different than the Gravity pants. They are $89.99. YT just needs better pictures to show the features better.

us.yt-industries.com/products/apparel/performance-wear/shorts-pants/568/yt-trail-cordura-pants-men/?number=701466
  • 5 5
 A few years ago someone dropped these pants in the comments. Same ones as one of the commencal teams rebranded but for half the price. They have lasted me two years before one of the zippers started to stick but are still usable.
www.amazon.ca/FORBEMK-Quick-Dry-Lightweight-Breathable-Resistant/dp/B098MT7KX2?th=1&psc=1
  • 2 0
 I've been using these the rare times I go with pants
arioncycling.com/products/pants
  • 1 0
 I like these but the fit is inconsistent on them
  • 2 0
 Still 80 bucks Frown
  • 1 0
 @FaahkEet: you ride with pants???
  • 1 0
 i dont buy dharco pants for the quality. i buy them for the way they make my butt look. for the ladies.
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: Those Arion pants look great. How is the fit with enduro/DH knee pads? Many pants these days are too tight around the knee pad and restrict movement when pedaling.
  • 1 0
 Are you sure that the Commencal ones are exactly the same? When comparing those amazon pants to the YT ones, there is no comparison in my opinion. At $20 bucks more, I guarantee the YT ones are way, way better.

The Arion pants @FaahkEet look like a good deal based on the price point. But yeah @vesania, they do look a little tight around the knee with pads on.
  • 1 0
 I have those too. They're great but quite snug at the knee. I have issues with pads under them so they are now my "cool weather go for a chill trail spin" pants.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: yep exactly the same as a buddies commencal pants. Also worth noting it’s $80 Canadian pesos vs $100 US.
  • 1 0
 Bought a pair of Fox knockoffs at ~30$ recently from aliexpress. Not delivered yet but very interested to see the fit & quality. All pants in local shops are >180.- which is way above my current budget - don't need them often just went for trainers/jeans so far. YT pants look great and reasonably priced though.
  • 1 0
 @vesania: Using iXS carve evo and ion k-lite knees I had no issues pedaling. I make sure the "knee area" of the pants have the pads sitting in them so they don't pull my pants down because they are a snug fit over the pads, especially the iXS. Basically after pulling pants on I pull up legs a bit so the pants aren't taut between knee and pelvis. The material is stretchy though so doesn't bind up in my experience. I do like a tighter knee around pads because it prevents pad slippage in rough fast terrain. I don't have large legs though, so leg size for sure will be a determining factor and wouldn't want to say they will be fine for you. Heavier duty pads or shaped hard shell pads will probably not be very compatible, probably want looser pants for those.
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: thanks for the info! This helps
  • 3 0
 I just don’t understand component brands wanting to get into soft goods. Is it actually profitable for any of them?
  • 5 0
 The margins are likely way higher on soft goods than components.
  • 1 0
 No idea. But the merino shirts I just got directly from an oft-derided "dentist" brand are nice and were marked down to a very reasonable price.
  • 2 0
 Shops are overstocked with the current lineup of accessories, so….. brands get into another category. Easier to sell more to the existing customer base.
  • 2 0
 The markup on apparel is 100% at retail, best margin in the shop.
  • 2 0
 Looking at YT's site - they sell jerseys with a huge logo on them for roughly half the price of the same jersey with only a very small logo displayed in a really subtle way. I'm guessing that these are low-ish margin items that they make for nice impulse purchases for their customers. Adds the perception that you get value for money when you buy DTC ($29 long sleeve jersey with the logo, usually discounted a bit which adds to the value vibe), advertises the brand on the trail, and reinforced the customer's YT-affiliation every time they put it on to go ride. Seems like a no brainer.

As for Enve or such - I'm with you, not sure that makes a lot of sense. But hey - PNW components tried that game and has been blowing out their stuff cheaply on Amazon to clear the decks, and I got a nice pair of riding shorts for cheap out of it, so I'm not complaining.
  • 1 0
 @torontomtb: plus people are paying to advertise your other product lines... though in my case not much of an endorsement.
  • 1 0
 @torontomtb: Lol. Try 300% these days. Clothing mark-up is ridiculous, and I only buy outerwear on Steep N Cheap because of it. Comparatively, hard goods have shit markup, usually only 30-50% so it's difficult to find deals.
  • 2 0
 Are the YT pants you tested not yet released? The Gravity Pants on their website make no reference to the 2/3 leg zip (pics or text).
  • 2 1
 They don't show the features off very well, but they should be the same ones.
  • 2 0
 Yeah this is super frustrating. I looked at those pants months ago and bought different ones. If they had mentioned ANYWHERE on the product page they had a zip-up leg I'd have purchased them for sure.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: sorry if I missed it but what size are you wearing for your 6'3" frame?
  • 2 0
 I just asked YTs customer service and the answer was that the gravity pants with a zipper will soon be updated in the webshop - they are an updated version of the current one.
  • 1 0
 @stewyd: Medium, it's in the details section
  • 1 0
 Does anyone have any of the YT pants or shorts and can help with what size waist they have / normally wear and what size YT they got? The size chart doesn’t come close to what I normally wear for sizing… thanks!
  • 3 0
 I usually wear a 31/32 waist pant, got a 32 in the YTs.
  • 4 8
flag plyawn (Oct 6, 2023 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 @dariodigiulio: tell me you're skinny without telling me you're skinny.

Where's the cycling clothing cut specifically for 6'5" 240lb riders? Never mind - found it at Bass Pro Shops... Frown
  • 3 2
 @plyawn: Tell you? You can see from the photos that he's quite fit and wearing "normal" sizes. Did you think at 6'3" 180lbs he was wearing a 36" waist? lol.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Thank you for that! Do you wear Lycra under them or any under layer with that size? Sorry to get all personal here..lol. Appreciate it.
  • 1 0
 @jgottya1: Just underwear, never chamois.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Thanks brother, appreciate it!
  • 3 0
 East German rain camo from Enve....
What a time to be alive. What's next Rhodesian tigerstripe from Troy lee?
  • 1 0
 Sorry, Strichtarn camo
  • 2 0
 Actually it appears to a recolored version of Wehrmacht Sumpfmuster 44.

Please, Enve, please tell me you didn't use a 1944(!) German camouflage pattern.
  • 1 0
 @CycleKrieg: utah wehraboos confirmed
  • 2 0
 The YT pants are hands down the best Mtb pants I’ve ever worn. The zip feature is a game changer for removing pads without getting half nude in public.
  • 1 1
 Why can't mtb shorts pants just be mesh basketball shorts/pants cut to fit on a bike? with better pocket layouts? gimme a drawstring and mesh any day over belts, buckles, snaps or buttons. No MTB clothing Ive tried breathes better than And1 BBall shorts from walmart and im dead serious.
  • 2 0
 Need a comparison between the ENVE long sleeve and the Wally's hoodie pls thx
  • 2 0
 Wally's hoodie forever
  • 2 0
 The ones on the YT website seem to be missing the 3/4 zipper which is what would make me want to buy these.
  • 1 0
 Zipper version will be released soon - according to their customer service.
  • 1 1
 Stevie Wonder needs to stop designing this stuff, it all looks dreadful, I honestly can't see the point in trousers/pants that hover above your ankle, as for the colours, oh yeah, Stevie can't see colours, or can he?
  • 2 0
 Shots fired with the ironman calf tattoo comments dayummmm lol
  • 1 0
 If they hadn’t have named it gravity pant. Maybe they wouldn’t have to ad a belt?
  • 1 0
 30” waist with 27” inseam. What pants are my trail-riding people wearing? I just wear shorts but pants would be nice.
  • 1 0
 30“ waist wit 27" inseam might just fit me but they would then be classified as shorts.
  • 1 0
 I misread the title as "peasant apparel" and thought "great, cheap clothes."
  • 1 0
 Does YT sell apparel in Canada? I don't see it on their site.
  • 1 0
 Any idea why YT doesn't sell apparel in Canada or when they might?
  • 2 1
 "Colorway" isn't some cool way to say "color" FYI.
  • 1 0
 Can I wear the YT pants if I'm riding my Clash though? Is that allowed?
  • 1 0
 Them some tighty yt's!
  • 1 0
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