8 Modern Downhill Pants Ridden & Rated

Nov 26, 2018 at 8:27
by Paul Aston  


Gone are the days of heavy, tough, inflexible, and hot pants taken from our motocross cousins – the main reason I gave up wearing them and rode mostly in shorts for a decade. Pants are making a comeback, with plenty of MTB-specific options that are lightweight and cool, as well as stretchy and flexible in the right places for pedaling and wearing all day long.

Modern materials and technology have been integral in this; the pants here feature some interesting materials to help them fit well, protect from abrasion and even assist you in sliding when you hit the ground.

What benefits are gained from pants over shorts? Of course, they keep you warmer, which is especially useful on colder, wet days when puddle splashes can soak your lower legs and quickly cool down your feet. They keep your legs and kneepads cleaner which means one less thing to clean up after a ride. They also protect your skin from abrasions, sun, oily drivetrains, and as I managed with one pair featured here, burning yourself with your disc rotor.

Similar to the helmet roundup, I can't stress enough that fit is key, and heading to a local shop to get the right size is really important. I found there were differences between the sizing across the brands, and the quality of the waist belt adjustment makes a big difference to how well they fit. I'm just over 6' with a 32" (81cm) waist and 33" (84cm) inseam. So fairly tall and slim, but by no means an outlier.





August Aston Product


Troy Lee Designs Sprint
• Closure type: Snap button
• Colors: Black, Red and Grey
• Extra features: Two zip pockets
• Sizes: 28 - 40" (32" tested)
• Weight: 432 grams (actual)
• Made in Vietnam
• MSRP: $120 USD / €150
troyleedesigns.com

Troy Lee's Sprint pants are made from 90% polyester with 10% spandex throw into the mix to keep things flexible. The knee zone has been shaped to work around knee pads, and a tougher fabric is placed on the rear and back of the thighs, as well as on the knee and shin to help to prevent abrasion in a crash. They are one of the few pants here to use an MX-style mesh inner-liner, this stops below the knee.

There are mesh panels on the calves to keep things cool and a black 'sonic welded thermo skin' material is used inside the right ankle to protect against the chain. The fit is controlled by velcro adjusters and a zip and button fly. The fabric is also Bluesign approved, which promises that the material is ecologically sourced and hazardous chemicals and dyes have been avoided in its manufacture.


August Aston Product

August Aston Product


The TLD pants offer a great fit – they are slim but flexible and stretch in all the right places. The velcro waist adjusters fitted securely and two decent sized, zipped pockets mean you can get your phone and car keys secured in a safe place. Unfortunately, during a crash, my pedal tore straight through the shin and the 'sonic welded thermo skin' patch on the inside of the right ankle, but this would have likely torn every pant without an extra-tough fabric. Like nearly all the pants here, they could be a little longer; tailoring pants shorter is easy, extending them, not so much.


Pros

+ Solid waist adjustment and fit
+ Bluesign approved fabric
Cons

- A little short








Alpinestars Vector
• Closure type: Snap button
• Colors: 7x colorways
• Extra features: Interior key pocket and silicone waist gripps
• Sizes: 28 - 40" (32" tested)
• Weight: 596 grams (actual)
• Made in Vietnam
• MSRP: $120 USD / €120
alpinestars.com

The Vector pants from Alpinestars are easily the toughest and heaviest on test, but they also have the most tailored fit for riding. The majority of the pant is made from tough material that doesn't offer stretch, but it is divided by small stretch panels. They are not the most comfortable in general, but when in riding position they move in all the right places.


The external pocket is big enough for a phone and some money.

Secure waistband adjustment provided by velcro tabs.


There is bonus foam in the knee and shin area to act as very light protection (but not in place of kneepads), and the widespread tough material offers the most generous protection for skin abrasions from any pant here. The heavyweight construction and inner mesh liner, which also helps to create a slip-plane between the two-layers to help with abrasions, also make the Vector one of the warmer pants tested.

The one pocket on the left thigh is big enough for a phone and some money, but there is also an internal mesh pocket that could take a couple of coins or a small key. The heavy-duty waist strap, along with some elastic sections and a strip of silicone offers secure adjustment. I used a size 32" which came up short in leg length, but the waist was spot on with the belt open. Next time I would go for the 34" to get a bit more length, knowing there is plenty of security from the fit around the waist to stay in place.


Pros

+ Toughest on test
+ Solid waist adjustment and tailored riding fit.
Cons

- Warmest on test
- Heavyweight








POC Resistance Pro
• Closure type: Snap button
• Colors: Black
• Extra features: Two zip side pockets and small rear pocket
• Sizes: 26 - 36" (32" medium tested) 34" large in photo
• Weight: 538 grams (actual)
• Made in Vietnam
• MSRP: $175 USD / €200
POCsports.com

The POC Resistance Pro was one of my previous favorite pants, which I reviewed two years ago. This new pair forgoes the 'Super Fabric' found on the previous version, but offer some alternative features. There is a panel made from a thicker material that runs from the hip, down the thigh, and over the knee which adds some amount of abrasion protection.


The Resistance Pro had a flimsy waist adjuster

A lower leg zipper can be used to remove knee pads or for ventilation and ankle press studs adjust the fit.


They are the only pants here that offer some adjustment at the ankle in the form of snaps if you need a tighter fit. Pop both of these snaps open to reveal a zip that reaches nearly to the knee, meaning you can take knee pads on or off without exposing yourself to the world or remove the pants without taking off your shoes.

There are two pockets on the thighs, one of which has an internal mesh pocket to secure your phone or money more easily. There is a third small pocket on the back of the waist which is handily sized for a lift ticket or bank card - especially useful for bike park riding to scan your lift ticket through the magnetic barriers.

I initially opted for the L size, which was far too baggy at the waist, with velcro adjustment that doesn't offer much range or security. I then tried an M-size, which was a much better fit, but came up very short in length. They are a super comfortable pant, that feels similar to the Dainese HG1, but thicker and warmer, so suited to cooler temperatures. They also feature internally taped seams above the knee and a waterproof coating to help keep your mid-section dry.


Pros

+ Water resistant
+ Zipped lowers to remove knee pads
Cons

- Short length
- Flimsy waist adjustment








Dainese HG1
• Closure type: Snap button
• Colors: Black
• Extra features: One zip pocket and anti-snag fabric
• Sizes: 30" - 40" (34" large tested)
• Weight: 371 grams (actual)
• Made in Portugal
• MSRP: $160 USD / €150
dainese.com

Dainese is a company that is clearly performance over fashion-focused. These HG1 'High Gravity' pants come from their latest ranges, which have certainly had an update in the styling dept.

The HG1 feel more like a pair of leggings than pants; a very slim fit and stretchy material throughout make them the most comfortable on test. There are patches of 'Super Fabric' on the hips and knees, which is similar to a material used by POC. The material uses tiny dots of ceramic to help you slide along the ground, rather than grip to it.


The waistband adjustment wasn't as secure as I had hoped for.

Clever ceramic 'Super Fabric' helps you slide along the ground in a crash.


There is no zip fly, with just a flap of material and a small snap instead. The waistband is adjusted using elasticated velcro flaps. This minimalist waist design is one of the reasons they are so comfortable, but also meant they were the worst on test for staying up. The velcro adjusters have a small range and stretch material all-around the waist meant they stretched, rather than staying put.

I tested the size large / 34" waist, but the waist was too big. Despite this, they still had a very tight fit around my muscle-free legs. Next time I would choose the medium, but I feel these could be really tight on the thighs.

The single pocket on the Dainese pants was a huge letdown. It is placed almost in the groin/top of the hip area and could take an iPhone sans-case on a good day. This meant there was no space for anything else and the phone sticking into my groin when riding was quite uncomfortable. These are the only pants made in Europe, which made me feel slightly better about my terrible carbon footprint.


Pros

+ Lightest and most comfortable on test
+ Made in Portugal. Makes me feel slightly better about my carbon footprint
Cons

- Flimsy waist adjustment
- Comically small pockets






Aston August tests


100% R-Core-X
• Closure type: Snap button
• Colors: Black / Blue
• Extra features: One zip pocket
• Sizes: 28 - 38" (32" tested)
• Weight: 424 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $150 USD / €160
ride100percent.com

The 100% R-Core-X pants are built mostly from four-way stretch rip-stop material which is tough, yet flexible. The fit is very slim and clearly focused on racing, which is seconded by the styling and colorways.


Aston August tests
Pull cord waistband adjustment.

Aston August tests
Well ventilated with these mesh panels and perforations.


The pants use laser-cut perforations to allow air in and out, similar to the Fox, and mesh panels near the groin and back of the calves for ventilation. A single big pocket on the left thigh can easily store a phone and more, but despite their racy-look, there is no extra pocket for a lift pass.

The waist is secured by a lightweight pull cord system, but could benefit from some silicone grippers for extra hold and to keep your shirt tucked in for race-runs. The 32" size fitted me perfectly, although, like nearly all the pants here, was too short for my lanky legs.


Pros

+ Race cut and styling
+ Well ventilated
Cons

- Short length
- Only one pocket









Fox Flexair
• Closure type: Ratchet
• Colors: Black / Chrome and Midnight
• Extra features: C6 Eco-friendly DWR coating
• Sizes: 28 - 38" (32" tested)
• Weight: 522 grams (actual)
• Made in Vietnam
• MSRP: $170 USD / €150
foxracing.com

Fox Racing is another brand that crossed over from the MX-world, initially simply taking MX pants and selling them to mountain bikers in the early days, but now a huge chunk of the brand is focused on MTB. It is clear that these Flexair pants have been designed from the ground up for MTB racing, but have taken some of their MX experience along for the ride.


Perforated fabric helps keep things cool.

Secure adjustment from the ratchet.


These were probably the coolest pants on test, similar to the 100%, and the laser-cut perforations on the top of the thigh offer much-needed airflow to the nether regions on hot days. The Flexair offers nothing in the way of additional protection, or abrasion resistant materials, but they are incredibly light and comfortable. These are better suited to warmer summer days when you still want a full-length pant instead of shorts. The 'C6 Eco-friendly DWR' coating did add an element of water resistance, enough to ward off puddle splashes and light showers.

There are two useful hip pockets on each hip and a ratchet-style waist adjuster. To secure the fit there is a band of silicone that stretches all the way around the inside of the waist, which helps to keep them in place, and/or your shirt tucked in for aero-race runs.


Pros

+ Secure waist adjustment
+ Well ventilated
Cons

- No abrasion resistant materials








Leatt DBX 4.0
• Closure type: Snap button
• 2019 Colors: Black, Ink, Ruby (2018 Blue colorway featured)
• Extra features: One zip pocket, small rear pocket and silicone waist grippers
• Sizes: 30 - 38" (34" L tested)
• Weight: 465 grams (actual)
• Made in China
• MSRP: $100 USD / €100
leatt.com

From an innovative beginning in the neck brace world, Leatt has expanded to offer a nearly complete line of riding equipment from head to toe. These DBX 4.0 pants are constructed from a similar material to the 100% pants, but this rip-stop style material offers much more stretch than the 100% version. They have a racy look, but the cut is generous enough to wear extra padding underneath. There is also an inner mesh liner that reaches down to the knee.


Zip and press stud closure.

A large range of adjustment is afforded by the velcro tabs.


I opted for the size large, and this offered a good length, but still a great fit at the waist thanks to the velcro waist adjuster that gave the biggest range of any pant here. This is aided by five silicone strips that pass around the full circumference of the waist to help them stay up or your shirt tucked in.

There is one useful pocket on the right thigh, and another on the back of the waist, perfect for a lift pass to reach magnetic scanners that could be on either side.


Pros

+ Solid waist adjuster
+ Tough, but stretchy material
Cons

- Limited colourways








Ion Scrub Select
• Closure type: Snap buttons
• Colors: black
• Extra features:
• Sizes: 28" XS - 38" XXL (34" / L tested)
• Weight: 490 grams (actual)
• Made in China
• MSRP: €189
ion-products.com

The Ion Scrub Select pants are made mostly from four-way stretch fabrics, except for the front of the knee and below the shin, so are superbly comfy in all situations. Thicker neoprene sections on the hips offer a little added protection, but also warmth. The water repellent coating also helped to keep off some spray and rain, but these are not a waterproof pant.


Velcro tabs at the waistband.

Zip and press stud closure.


The Scrub pants had the baggiest fit and biggest waist, compared to the tightly cut race-fit of the other pants. Useful, for err, 'chunkier' riders or people wanting to use extra protection like padded undershorts.

There are two pockets, and the one on the right-hand side has an extra neoprene pouch inside to secure and protect your mobile. Ironically, I smashed my phone while wearing these pants, but when you crush a screen between your hip joint and a rock there is little hope.

I was in between sizes with the Scrub, so went for the 34", which had a decent leg length but the waist was baggy. Thankfully, there was just enough adjustment from the velcro waist belt to secure them.


Pros

+ Water-resistant coating
+ Padded phone pocket
Cons

- Baggy fit
- Limited colors






So which pant came out on top? A range of pants were tested, and all these pants were aimed at downhill and freeride, but some brands do offer other models in their lines that may suit different riding conditions and preferences.

My favorite? Despite everything I said above the Dainese HG1, they were my favorite. The pocket was useless and so was the waist adjustment, but they were super light, comfortable, stealthy, and their medium 'warmth' worked well in most conditions and deflected occasional puddles. The 'Super Fabric' was tough and survived a solid crash with hard-shell knee pads underneath. These pants are very race focussed, hence the lack of pockets, but adding a couple more and a better waistband would make them 'perfect' for me.

For colder, wetter, and harsher conditions, the POC and ION are on the warmer side, deflect some water, but are still supremely comfortable. They are not a full winter pant, but they should be ideal for all but the most extreme winter days, and downhill riding in up to low 20ºc heat.

The Alpinestars were the least comfortable, but are cut well enough with flexy panels that they do not limit movement, and they are still better than anything from ten years ago. The upside of this is they are easily the toughest pants here and will last many seasons, unlike some of the super light materials used on some of these products. Ideal for riders who wants products to last years, or parents that don't want to replace mini-shredders kit all the time.

For hot summer days in the bike parks or racing, the 100%, Fox, and Leatt pants offer the raciest styling and cut. The Fox were the coolest, followed by the 100% and the Leatt. There is little to choose between these three pairs, so opt for the ones that suit your local climate the best.


198 Comments

  • + 138
 You forgot Jeans. All the kool kids where them to backflip.
  • + 97
 *wear
  • + 74
 *kewl
  • + 8
 @bigtim: must be skinny
  • + 2
 I use one from Aldi (£9.99) - 2nd year with it now, still fine, ahahahaaa unbelievable!
  • + 7
 bakfpl*
  • + 23
 * Dey tuk errr jeeens
  • + 1
 AMEN, Denim Dan!!!
  • + 2
 Buffalo David Bitton Moto Jeans are on Sale at Macy’s! $55 Merry Christmas!!
  • + 6
 Bury me in my ROACH trousers.
  • + 1
 @Kimura: kid or jeans?
  • + 2
 Cool kids wear tld long pants, singlet, neck brace+d3+oakley
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Bring back ROACH.
  • + 2
 cool kids ride in Budgie Smugglers
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: Good old ROACH!!! I want to say it was 1999 shuttling Exit 38. David was driving down in full ROACH gear with no seat belt blew off the road into a tree. Broke the steering column with his chest and not a scratch on him.
  • + 58
 Damn Im surely not buying DH pants...Off to motorcross pants for half to price I go.

180€- is this made in a collaboration with Hugo Boss?
  • + 25
 Most of them have only double the material and are wide at the bottom, wonderful to pedal around!
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah my MX pants are a bit hot but durable, cheap and enough room for knee pads.
I only wear the pants when I have a lift available so wide at the bottom isnt that much of a problem.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Never had trouble with that. The chainguide or bashring keeps the pants out of trouble. Never had issues even doing ratchets. Now I only wear long pants when the conditions are really wet or snowy and the nice thing is that you can seal the bottom with your shin wraps so no water or snow gets up there (especially when crashing in snow) and then the outer layer still remains wide for everything to drip down and not drip into the pads.
  • + 60
 @NotNamed: "I only wear the pants when I have a lift available"

Going commando on trails? My man!
  • + 3
 one industries vapor pants. mx pants so half the price and they are super light. i wear them for both fmx and enduro mtb.
  • + 5
 I have to underline the fact that I would never pay 120$ for biking pants. I paid half for last years model on CRC...
  • + 4
 @mtb-jon: hahaha you know me better than I am
  • + 3
 I bought some Endura Singletrack trousers for around 80€ a few years ago and they are still going strong. Magnetic front pockets and one also has an inner zipped compartment, front zipped vents and long zippers for easier pads removing. Now looking at their site I think there is an updated model but have no idea how it compares to the old one.
  • + 2
 Anyone have any good suggestions for winter pants that are breathable and waterproof? These are water resistant at best.
  • + 1
 Scooped some Chinese knockoffs from Aliexpress, they took almost 3 weeks, but pretty legit at 1/4 the cost
  • + 0
 Yup, got no brand moto pants for $50, then tapered for another $8....way better deal
  • + 2
 @rrolly: I bought some Pearl Izumi Summit Amfib Pants. They are almost like a wet suit material but breath really well. I have worn them in -5ºC through to about +5ºC and they have revolutionised my late autumn/ winter riding (also bought some Amfib shoe covers which are real toe savers too).
  • + 1
 How about $40 off Pinkbike buy sell?
  • + 1
 @rrolly: You can waterproof of water resistance NIXWAX your pants for $15
  • + 1
 @alecwalecki: are they rigid like some moto pants, or do they move well?
  • + 1
 @andrewbikeguide: I'm good with my feet. I use the Bontrager waterproof socks and they are incredible.
  • + 1
 Does anyone know about rainpants that would survive some minor crashes? Sometimes when I work from home I take a half hour break to ride the pumptrack nearby that was finished this spring (3 minutes from home). So this is the first fall and winter for me riding it. It is grippy and sustainable for riding in the wet, but obviously your jeans get soaked. Being able to wear rainpants over it would be a quick fix and I can take it off in seconds when back home. One (not so sustainable) solution would be to just get some cheap rainpants and use then 'till they're completely destroyed (probably at the knees and hips) though if there is something stronger available it is worth a look. They have these 400GBP onesies of course that are supposed to be fine for mountainbiking, not aware of a cheaper alternative. These are more expensive than the old BMX I'm riding there!
  • + 1
 @rrolly: yeah, fox attack water pants. Bought those week ago from a sale in local bike store. Done two rides and must say these are the best pants i've ridden for wet and cold conditions here in Finland.
  • + 1
 @andrewbikeguide: revolutionised your riding? I need more than new pants for that sort of impact...
  • + 47
 At 6'3" with a 32" waist it turns out I won't be able to buy DH pants. Paul looks a bit like a kid at the end of the school year with an inch of sock showing in all of these.

I know it adds massively to the cost to do the 32/32 waist and length thing but the could maybe have a short/med/tall for a bit more and make them actually fit?
  • + 16
 Exactly this. Agree that it would add cost, but the tall and lanky build isn't exactly rare in the mountain bike world - surely there's be a market for it.
  • + 9
 I feel you there. At 6'2" with a 29" waist and a 33" inside leg, on a good day, I've settled on never being able to own a set of trousers for cycling.

I even have some trouble with the length of shorts. What a painful existence.
  • + 10
 6', 29 waist, 33 leg. I'll be sticking to shorts, too... don't fancy the growth spurt look. As Paul points out it's very easy to hem something, not so much to lengthen it... come on bicycle world, we're not all short and fat!
  • + 3
 Yeah, almost as bad for me, i have 33" waist.
Only way for me is to buy the biggest size available and hope that it is not super wide.
I am waiting for some brand to start with custom sizing. Have been searching for it but could not find any.
If it cost 3 times more than these standard size pants in this test i would still by it as it would have perfect fit(i can't even imagine having riding pants that actually fit).
  • + 8
 6’4 with 34 waist and 36” inseam. Do I win the longest legs contest?
  • + 17
 @Hardtailhooligan: Yes, the prize is incredibly expensive custom made trousers or shit fitting off the shelf for the rest of your life. Congratulations Smile
  • + 3
 @Patrick9-32: I feel so special, I’ve never won anything like this in my life. I’d like to thank my parents primordial goop that I came from and god.
  • + 8
 @Hardtailhooligan:
Im 6'4 and have 38" inseam and yeah getting pissed off with expensive "shrunk in the wash look" long pants.
  • + 6
 @bigdavehughes: man why’d you have to come in after my early victory speech lmao. Yeah dude I just suffer and wear jeans or shorts. I’d rather wear pants that fit than spend more on a pair of “nice” pants that never fit to begin with. It’s hard enough finding shorts that come past half way down my thighs that aren’t 3x times my waist size lol
  • + 1
 I'm the other way round and would probably have problems with the bottoms of the trousers bunching up and getting caught on the chainring
  • + 1
 I use this special product for that, skinny jeans *insert thumbs up product endorsement picture here*
  • + 7
 Agree, and adding another comment in hopes that companies see that there's a market for 34" inseam guy looking for a full length PANT, not a capri to wear. So frustrating.
  • + 5
 I scrolled down for this comment. AMEN. 32/34 for this guy... Skinny (and stretchy) jeans it is, then!!!
  • + 1
 I don’t know about you guys but I wear American Eagles extreme flex ones. I’m sure you could fit knee pads under em they’re pretty stretchy. I don’t really mess with any of their other clothes (I’m boujee and wear basically Nike everything else) but their jeans are usually on sale especially this time of year.
  • + 1
 I should probably add in I mostly ride street and an indoor park nearest me. In the part of Ohio I live in we only have hills lol so the options are limited to that and xc.
  • + 8
 Nice to see I'm not alone.
32" waist 36" leg, according to manufacturers, we don't exist.
  • + 2
 @iian: same here. Head on over to positiveapeindex.com and pick some up... just kidding!
  • + 6
 This thread is like a support group, helps to know I'm not the only one dealing with this affliction
  • - 5
flag heffernw (Dec 13, 2018 at 10:14) (Below Threshold)
 Sounds like you boys need to hit the gym and the pantry!
  • + 4
 I tried that for many years and couldn’t put on any mass to save my life. To get into the Air Force I literally had to hold in a poop and eat until I felt like I was gonna throw up for the extra weight to meet requirements.
  • + 3
 @samfr1000: 6'2 with 29" waist almost sounds like you need to go to the doctor.
  • + 1
 @austinTRON: cheers for looking out for me. Isn't the Internet a nice place.
  • + 1
 I'm in the same boat, 6'5", 34' waist, 37" inside leg.

The thing is that I don't struggle to find jeans that fit me on the high street but as soon as I want to buy technical clothing where you don't want a baggy crotch then there's no options. Yes I'm a bit lanky but there are a lot of other riders I see with similar builds. And as Paul Aston says, it's easier to shorten trousers than lengthen them!
  • + 1
 Not that I don’t see other riders that are my height or taller but when I do it’s like running into someone wearing the same shirt as you. You slap a couple high fives, complain about having to duck through doorways and other things and you’re best friends now lol
  • + 2
 Small digression but lets not let jerseys get away with anything, I'd love a jersey that actually covered my wrists and not just half of my forearm.
  • + 1
 While we’re at it, helmets could be a little bigger too. Most XL helmets are a tight squeeze (not like safe and snug tight squeeze, more like rip out ear rings if I had my ears pierced) for me. Maybe I just have a stupidly big head lmao
  • + 1
 @Hardtailhooligan: I'm 6'6 36" inseam, I feel you dude
  • + 1
 @FLY1NGF1SH: If you live in Ohio wanna play some basketball sometime lol? A couple more of us and we could destroy a rec league!
  • + 23
 Be nice if someone like Fox, ect, would make DH pants, and dumb down on the graphics a bit. I don't mind a small or even a medium size logo, but looking like a billboard isn't my cup of tea.
  • + 6
 Fox indicator pants are exactly like the flexair but are plain black with small logos
  • + 9
 Fox kit on a Pivot bike. I see logos EVERYWHERE!
  • + 0
 Then why have rim decals, bright contrasting colors and fork lower decals?? We can all see your ride a mile away...
  • + 1
 Fly make a "BMX" specific pant. I believe there is a black/black version for '19
  • + 1
 etc,
  • + 1
 The TLD branding on pants covers about 3% of the fabric space, pretty minimal i'd say.
  • + 13
 Didn't know dh was coming big in Vietnam...
  • + 3
 Agent Orange cleared the way for tracks to be built everywhere!
  • + 9
 Crazy money, badly fitting, over-branded junk. Is brand tribalism really so important in the bike world that you want a 12" fox head smeared across your thighs? You'd think that for £150 you'd at least earn the right not to advertise other people's stuff for them. But then, apparently a lot of people wear underpants with other men's names on. Bizarre.

I'll keep buying my riding clothes at decathlon. I have a pair of walking trousers that are close fitting, wind-proof, abrasion resistant knees, cinchable cuffs, stretch DWR fabric, plain, and cost me £30. Comfy and does the job. And I can buy 5 pairs for one of these.
  • + 5
 link Smile
  • + 2
 @howsyourdad: interested in that as well.
  • + 2
 There is certainly a strong argument to vastly overpriced MTB kit when brands like Decathlon can make a similarly technical trouser for literally a fraction of the price.

Also worth considering the OEX trousers from Go Outdoors for £45: www.gooutdoors.co.uk/oex-mens-strata-trouser-regular-p446514

If you're not a brand snob, these are better than the Fox trousers I have at over twice the price.
  • + 1
 @HobNob: nice - they look decent.
Decathlon ones are here. Changed a bit since I bought my black ones. www.decathlon.co.uk/trek-500-m-dks-trousers-id_8493646.html

My maths was wrong; they're £25. So you could get 6 of them. Or most of a one-up dropper in change. Or, of course, you could buy one of the things above and enjoy all that lovely ill-fitting branding.
  • + 1
 @dominic54: And those are actually long enough legs to negate shants chat up above. Nice find.
  • - 3
 The TLD branding on pants covers about 3% of the fabric space, pretty minimal i'd say.
  • + 2
 @stikmanglaspell: 3 % = A massive logo on either leg...cut you salesman crap.
  • + 2
 Each to their own. Part of the fun for me is choosing kit I like. Yep I spent a chunk of money on kit, but sometimes when you think you look good, you feel good and ride better. Everyone is different, but I’ll save my hard earned pennies and buy fox kit because it’s comfy, fits well and I like the look.
  • + 1
 @dominic54: those look WAY too baggy for my legs. I have a pair of Endura pants that look like those and other than ankle velcro adjustment they dont have the tight tapered leg like the ones in the article, I hate them so much I never wear them. They are super floppy at the calves and are really distracting when they rub against the bike. I think a good bike pant has to hug your calves and ankles. Because DH pants are too expensive and hiking pants are too baggy I just wear thermal tights and shorts.
  • + 1
 I got these for walking in, but have worn them load on the bike recently. www.gooutdoors.co.uk/dare-2b-mens-tuned-in-trouser-p407130
  • + 6
 The use of the lightweight fragile fabrics in these garments for DH prevents me being interested. I want to buy a product that doesn't rip the first time I crash. This is the same for the bin bag rainjacket material, things are made out of these days. I have an old raceface jacket that is thick enough and tough enough that I have crashed in it multiple times without consequence. I havent upgraded it as I dont want to pay 150 for what could be a single use item. The same is true of other items. I have three pairs of fox demo DH shorts bought in three consecutive years and have got incrementally thinner and more fragile. The only pair that hasnt needed repairing is the oldest, thickest, toughest version. Did I miss the declaration to the companies that said 'DH riders want lightweight materials prioritised over items that last and arent damaged in crashes'.
  • + 4
 I was thinking the same thing. Thin, lightweight, stretchy, with basically no added protection sounds like a pair of jogging pants I can buy for $30 at my local sporting goods store.
  • + 7
 I'm not brave enough to put my phone in the pocket while riding dh, regardless of the zip. Maybe i should get an old nokia for dh days
  • + 1
 I find that the pocket on my fox dh shorts is in the perfect spot, I don't fall a ton, but when I do I crash super hard. The pocket seems to be the only spot that doesn't take any damage. I also use a Lifeproof case, that may help.
  • + 4
 Eight pairs of pants, yet not one of them put belt loops on? I wish bike clothing would stop trying to reinvent the wheel with waist fitment: belt loops are far more secure and effective than any velcro strap system (especially in the long term).
  • + 1
 That's exactly what i am complaining as of recent - i have rather long legs but a skinny waist, often have to go with size 34"..... which then is too wide on the waist, a belt would be a nice fit, the velcro wears + tears quite fast and the pant company is happy because you have to buy a new pair...
  • + 4
 My checklist for DH pants:
High tight/no sliding down waist with large dual snap button closure.
Main fabric light breathable... crash contact areas thigh knee etc have 3mm+ thick rubber patch.
Groin, behind knee, lower leg to have ventilation
Looseish fit from knee up tighter lower leg that finishes at just above ankle
Large side pocket
Small front waist water proof pocket. For google case. Nothing worse than sweat on your google case.
Inner lining
Pads here and there...
Cheap AF...
  • + 2
 your answer dude is downhill pants made by Nema or IXS - waterproof still ventilated, long enough, small dots of ceramic on inner knees that streches from above knee to tibia, 2 zip pockets and 1 small in the back,inner dots lining, large pads on the ass and waist, nice beautiful colors and schemes and affordable too ! i paid on mine last year like 75 $ ! that's half the price of these reviewed here and i don't have a problem with them only that i can''t ride them everyday at work because of the wild color scheme. etc Smile ))) btw most of commencal team dh pants are nema pants but rebranded Smile )) www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjvxomgx5zfAhVELBoKHU_RDdQQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vitalmtb.com%2Fproduct%2Fguide%2FRiding-Pants%2C93%2FNema%2FGambler-Race-Pants%2C4897&psig=AOvVaw0WBQ5qvI4R0fdkF6fZoicu&ust=1544781916396588
  • + 1
 @AntN $120 ain't that much man. How much was your M16 build with ENVE wheels??
  • + 2
 @ADGproductions: cheap AF Wink
  • + 1
 Should add washing durability. I'm still wearing Alpinestar MX pant from 2004, the colour has faded and but there intact and survived 100s of washes.
  • + 7
 f*ck off am I paying 150euros for trousers. How the hell can that be justified?
  • + 4
 Enduro innit
  • + 1
 I don't think anybody buys this stuff at full retail. They're pricing it so that there's still a decent profit to be made when it's 50% off at CRC.
  • + 1
 The only way I feel that it is justified, barley, is that they are made out of pretty tough material (I hope) and DH pants are pretty nichey in a really niche sport as it is. The bottom line would be that not a ton of people are buying them. I do think they are pretty pricey though.
  • + 0
 No one asked you to.
  • + 4
 well how about this to all the manufactures out there.......make your DH/long pants with a set length according to the waist
measurements but please give us an extra 100mm on the seam so we can choose to lengthen them if we want to,
at 6'4", 34" waist and 38" inseam im fed up with that "have your trousers fell out with your shoes" look........
  • + 2
 Where the knee bend matters tho. Having a reg/tall option would be better
  • + 3
 Why even considering pockets for dh pants?
You may need to carry keys... that’s all.
I have the dainese pants and I used them for trail riding as long as the temperature is below 90. Best cycling cloting purchease in a long time.
  • + 1
 But if you don't have your phone how can you show your insta followers what you're doing? I mean if you aren't using strava every ride are you even riding?!
  • + 2
 @tornateo: you at least need it on the lift
  • + 3
 I would love to hear any pant recommendations from the longer-legged riders out there (36" inseam in my case).

I end up riding in the cold/snow enough in the shoulder seasons that I wouldn't mind picking up a pair of pants if something actually fit.
  • + 2
 I am a 38 waist 34 inseam. I just picked up a pair of never used Finnish military surplus wool pants for cold (0F and below) riding. They are fairly heavy and I wouldn't wear them above 20F. You may have a different temperature range.

They may be a little short on you. They have under foot loops and fit me perfectly. They have a couple of large cargo pockets with button closures. Perfect for a phone. The down side is that they are pretty stiff, but they may break in. I also plan on wearing them for X-C skiing.

Do a web search for "Finnish surplus pants" and you will find several sources.

Summer I wear knee length pants my wife made from waterproof breathable fabric we bought from "The Rain Shed" in Albany Oregon. If rolling your own is an option, they have everything you could possibly need.
  • + 1
 Agreed! At 6' 6" and 180, it is about impossible to find shorts that cover the enduro gap, and pants at all! Anyone know of any that are 32" waist and 36"+ inseam?
  • + 1
 @Dangerous-Dan: Thanks for the suggestions DD! I will check them out as it definitely gets plenty cold here in Montana.
  • + 1
 Get gaiters to make up the difference. They keep snow out quite well too
  • + 3
 I have a problem with 2 things in mtb pants. Velcro, and mesh on the back of the leg. Velcro will get caught on your jersey and snag it if you aren't careful enough, plus the ratchet system is much better. And mesh because if you are a flat pedal rider, there is a good chance thay it will get caught and make a hole. I'll be holding off on pants until such ones come out that dont cost a ridiculous price
  • + 2
 i hate searching those kind of pants. mostly medium is too short but fit's great and large is long enough but the pant is waaaaay too wide for my skinny body. my jeans size is w32 l34 and i need a belt. for dudes with the same size i can recommend the endura mt500 pants in size medium. they fit perfect and are not too short.
  • + 1
 Totally agree. I'm exactly 6' and 32" waist, I find that DH/Moto pants are always slightly too short too. At least I'll be ready if it floods!
  • + 2
 Only the ION pants are the "right" length, what's all that about?

Can't beat a pair of skinny or slim fit (black) jeans...at the right length...and you don't need to be able to do backflips to look good in them....I'll admit slim fit jeans aren't for everybody though!

I have some ROYAL RACING DH Trousers for when it gets wet and greasy mind but I didn't pay the crazy sum of £120 plus for them.

Dainese HG1 look good....Black!
  • + 4
 Those big logos are annoying AF! We are not in kindergarten! I’m buying and not promoting mg your brand!
  • + 2
 This may be a strange thing to ask, but in future shorts/pants reviews, I'd like to know how "noisy" the fabric is. I can't stand hearing my pedal strokes, so I avoid crinkly-crunchy legwear fabrics at all costs.
  • + 3
 Surely a common con for all would be that they are all a complete and utter rip off. Absolute joke the price of some of this gear.
  • + 3
 All Peaty’s hard work getting dh looking cool in baggy Moto gear has gone to waste.
The modern dh clothing may as well be skin suits again
  • + 1
 I got a pair of biking pants on amazon for $30. They seem to be doing the job well for the price. Plus they don’t have graphics all over them so I can run an errand before or after I bike without looking like I just got done with a race.
  • + 1
 I got the POC pants and the review that they're too big at the waist is entirely accurate. I got the same size waist as the POC dh shorts, but the pants are WAAAAY too big at the waist. I'd say at least two sizes too big. But they're impossible to find/get so I had to sew belt loops on and wear a belt.... haha
  • + 1
 I have the POC pants. I am 6"4 or 194cm and usually have 33" in with and 34" in length on jeans.
I got the POC in size XXL(it may be the previous model, even POC doesn't seem to know).
They are quite wide around the waist, but not so much around the legs. It is actually really tight around my knees with Scott Grenade knee pads.
Lenght wise they are quite good, i use 5 10 high top shoes and there is no overlap neither a gap. Would be a ugly gap if i used low shoes.
The velcro straps on the waist is useless. I use a belt that i ran through the "pocket" where the straps enters to keep the pants from sliding down.
The zip on the back for the lift card pocket is of really bad quality. It derails super easily. I will never open it again.
  • + 1
 Mx pants are not wide at the bottom these days, not for a long time, they're tapered to fit in yer boots comfortably, and as such make cracking mtb pants at a FRACTION of the cost. As long as people keep paying for this shit they will continue to pump you. Suppose the market is quite a high percentage of t5 driving white collar middle aged dudes tho....
  • + 1
 Levi's 511 Commuter jeans and chinos-seriously. they aren't "light" but they are comfortable, you can wear them before and after, they stretch, you can roll them up. They look great when you blast through rock gardens past guys wearing dh race pants.
  • + 1
 I would like to see these pants with inserts for knee pads/shin guard made to go into the pant. This way you could chose to use your own or use the pants with the supplied pads. There is a lot of ways this could be done. Some could be made for inserts, while other could have pad material integrated in it. I am no clothing designer, but I hope maybe this idea has been considered or maybe I put the idea out there to see it in a few years.

I like my Fox Titans. I would like to see a hard plastic like that slide in a sleeve on the pants so they not are so obvious. The titans have saved me so many times. I like how they snap on and off. Makes wearing pads easy. But boy are they ugly asf.
  • + 1
 Really wish someone would make more casual riding pants. Many companies already make casual tech shorts. I love the fit and comfort of slim fit jeans but they could use added protection and ventilation features.
  • + 4
 Still have a pair of Roach Indy pants. I'll stick with those...
  • + 4
 Any of the old Roach stuff will outlast the apocalypse, so bomb proof!
  • + 4
 I'll wear some old jeans thank you very much
  • + 4
 No words about the TLD in the conclusion?
  • + 1
 Does anyone make or can anyone actually recommend a proper decent waterproof pant?. A lot of these and others i've seen are water resistant or "splashproof" but that doesn't account for much in the UK.
  • + 2
 None of these look like they would fit my bulky knee and shin pads underneath. Do you have to wear 'soft' pads underneath them?
  • + 2
 What about the loose riders pants? Likely the most expensive of the group but they look like a good choice. They're Vink approved, so they must work!
  • + 1
 The shorts are nice. Couple of friends have the pants and are using them in India. They seem happy with them.
  • + 1
 Hands down the best DH pants I've ever used. Not too hot during the summer, waterproof pockets, understated graphics, comfy fit (not too skinny), good water- and tear-resistant material, the list goes on.

The shorts are pretty neat too.
  • + 1
 @Verbl-Kint: Do they have dope floral pattern pants like the jerseys? Seriously though, I do really like the look of their gear!
  • + 1
 @tornateo: They have dope galactic pattern pants. And yes, the gear looks rad!

www.loose-riders.com
  • + 2
 @tornateo: in feb the 2019 will be out with new designs, I think there will be a green leafy print.
  • + 2
 WHERE IS FLY?

Fly is the best cheapest gear on the market and you don't mention because they don't pay you.

Just like PBR is popular without ads so is fly
  • + 2
 PBR is popular coz ironic and cheap.

Fly could be the solution to their constant complaint (mine, too after getting short RaceFace pants): 3” longer inseam on sizes 28-38. So no more looking like Millhouse and his high water pants.
  • + 1
 @lwkwafi: they have bmx pants that specifically are longer because they are not boot cut.
  • + 2
 Is this the first time a lot of you have seen the price of downhill pants? I'm not saying the price is well justified, just surprised so many people seem shocked by it.
  • + 1
 It seems to follow the trend in biking altogether. Everything about it is expensive. On the other hand well priced used Moto and DH pants are fairly common on PB buy and sell.
  • + 0
 I find the TLD waist to sit a bit too low, too Much Levis 501 style. It should sit well above the pelvis, especially for fatties. Wouldn’t mind a bit more room for knee guards either.
  • + 2
 2018 Sprint pants, we tuned the fit just a bit than the past pants-little higher rise, more articulation in knee, redesigned the seams and vented panels in the back so the symmetry was more in line with how the legs move on the bike and we added the thermo skin for chain abrasion-perhaps you have a 2017 or before model?
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: yeah I checked it is 2017, now I am a bit bummed...
  • + 1
 Now do winter weather pants. Waterproof, fleece lining, etc. The only reason I'd wear pants while I ride is because my legs are too cold.
  • + 2
 finally ion comes out with pants that don't look like you're ready for a flood
  • + 1
 Why all those perforations on pants with DWR coating? Shorts are the best ventilated pants! If I‘d wear pants mud and water had to stay outside.
  • + 1
 "They also protect your skin from abrasions, sun, oily drivetrains..." also poison oak. Probably most importantly where I live, they protect from poison oak.
  • + 3
 What about the Specialized Demo pants ?
  • + 1
 i love mine. only complaint they would be awesome with a ratchet like the fox pant
  • + 1
 I'm 6'1" with a 32" inseam so i suppose all the ones noticed at short will fit me perfect.
  • + 1
 Literally just in time I’ve been looking for a solid pair for Christmas and this article came out just in time
  • + 1
 Downhill stuff with boring colors and skinny sizin....Motocross section is way better and various
  • + 0
 All you haters, don't get your self all balled up thinking these are DH pants. They ain't. They are riding pants. Lighter and more flexible for pedaling.
  • + 1
 How are 120$ for the troy lee pants 150€ when the exchange rate would make them 100€ ?
  • + 1
 You could ask the same question when looking at fox forks/shocks. Some pricing is just ridiculous.
  • + 2
 Any one recommend any of these trousers for trail riding ?
  • + 1
 I'm wearing some light weight water resistant pants from mec. Bit warmer than wearing shorts, and keeps your legs and pads dry.
  • + 1
 @gnarnaimo: cheers for that, ill check them out !
  • + 1
 One thing to keep in mind is they are meant for dh, or basically any descending stance. So if you are seated, the pants may ride up above your ankles. I found this out in small doses because like many of these, the inseam was almost too short to begin with, so sitting and pedaling even a little made it look like I was waiting for a flood.
  • + 2
 So regular fit is called baggy nowadays?
  • + 1
 Fox Flexair are rad but not so durable. Definitely hand wash only and VERY carefully
  • + 9
 Hand wash dh pants??? Sounds logical
  • + 2
 Who seriously buys these? They're all a complete rip off!
  • + 0
 TLD sprint pants are one of our best sellers, and our customers send us a lot of great comments about how happy they are with them. Lightweight but durable race pants or even trail riding pants.
  • + 1
 I don't sleep in pyjamas let alone ride in them.
  • + 1
 Got nothing on my 2002 Roach pants with velcro pee flap standard!
  • + 1
 Where are the Levis and Carhartts?
  • + 1
 A huge info missing info is if knee-pads can be worn underneath or not...
  • + 1
 TRUMP Tariff will tack on another 25% next year! Merry Christmas!
  • + 1
 What a load of crap. Your criteria changed for every pair.
  • + 1
 *not suitable if you live in Queensland....at anytime of the year
  • + 1
 All motto pants have a "pocket" for knee pads do any of these have them ?
  • + 1
 Made in Asia, well, thanks but no.
  • + 1
 As someone with short legs I put short length as a plus
  • + 1
 Only Super Bruni is allowed to wear his pants on the outside.
  • + 1
 Those ION's look like a solid pair of rave pants
  • + 1
 which one of these would be best for enduro/trail riding?
  • + 1
 They still all look like they're from the '80s
  • + 1
 core rat?
  • + 1
 Nice pj’s bro
  • + 1
 shorts
  • + 1
 Troylee or Leatt?
  • + 1
 star trek anyone?
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