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  1. #1
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Convertible Pants?

    Anyone use convertible pants while touring? I've owned them in the past and they are great for travel, but while cycling they bunch up just below the waist and were generally uncomfortable. I'd like to try another pair and found these, which seem nice.
    http://www.altrec.com/mountain-hardw...nvertible-pant

    Anyone suggest a pair or have found some that they really like for touring?
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  2. #2
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    I just can't imagine it... Anything more than 5 miles and I'm wearing bibs. I want flat stitching and chamois between me and my saddle. Plus the chamois can do what convertible pants can't... wick sweat.

    I do know people who can and do ride in all manner of things. At times I wish I could as well. But alas.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    FWIW, I never wear shorts with chamois. I own 2 pair, but never wear them. 5 or 50 miles. I have a couple pair of light weight cargo shorts I bought from J Crew that I wear (not at the same time, of course ) and boxers when riding. Maybe the saddle has something to do with it? I guess it's an individual thing, much like a lot of cycling.
    Last edited by eric von zipper; 01-20-10 at 11:54 AM.
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  4. #4
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    ^^^ agree. It's what works for you.
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  5. #5
    Hooked on Touring
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    I've ridden in convertibles for 15 years.
    (And I've ridden in convertibles, too - - used to own one.)

    Since I have red hair and a very fair complexion I have a choice - gallons of sunscreen with bugs sticking to my skin or long clothes. I opted for the latter and have never looked back. I use boxer brief underwear under convertibles and have not chafed once in tens of thousands of touring miles. At first I would carry two pair with only one set of leggings - but the zipping and unzipping was just too much hassle. Now I just carry two entire pair.

    There are a couple of fringe benefits of convertible pants. I am no youngster anymore and have no desire to parade around Mudville in tight cycling shorts. Also, I have hiked across the Grand Canyon, John Muir Trail in Yosemite, the backcountry in Denali. Long pants are a big plus in the brush. Not to mention fewer places for mosquitoes to bite - but WARNING - they can and do bite thru thin fabric.

    I have never had the bunching problem. I usually buy Campmor brand - cheap and durable. My Columbia's did not hold up as well. The REI brand was really bad. Of course, all are made in China and the batches vary year to year because of poor quality standards - but that applies to almost all clothing these days. One thing that I do is tuck the ankles into my socks. I do it to reduce the grease on my right leg - but you will still get some. This might also reduce the bunching.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member 82times's Avatar
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    I've used them, but the zipper part is annoying to me. You have to go digging into the bottom of your panniers for the zipped-off parts, etc. What I found nicer to use were what I'd call roll-up pants. Or something like that.

    Here's a photo of me lookin' like a normal non-rolled up guy:


    ...and then here they are rolled up:


    They rolled up and were fastened with a cloth strap and button. Maybe the look a little more like cropped pants than shorts. I'm having trouble finding these online now (and can't remember what brand they were). I wore these most days on a coast-to-coast ride a couple years ago.

  7. #7
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Beautiful bike/panniers, 82times. Are those pants made by MUSA?
    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/musa-pants/22-990
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  8. #8
    It's true, man.
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    I have some zip-leg pants from The North Face that also have the roll up-tabs.

    It's 3 - 3 - 3 pants in one!

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    mine double as a tablecloth

    oh sorry - I thought I was in Foo for a second

    but seriously convertible pants are a great idea
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    any idea which model they are? i'm intrigued
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  11. #11
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truman View Post
    I have some zip-leg pants from The North Face that also have the roll up-tabs.

    It's 3 - 3 - 3 pants in one!
    any idea which model they are?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member 82times's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper View Post
    Beautiful bike/panniers, 82times.
    Thanks!

    Nope, they're not the MUSA pants. I've considered those in the past, but can't get past the hideousness of the brightly colored crotch. What a weird design decision. I can understand reenforcing the crotch for durability, but to make it brightly colored in contrast to the rest of the pants? Insane.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I have used convertible pants on all or almost all my tours. I love them!! Not that I always wear them while cycling, but they are a great option when you're going to encounter a range of temperatures on days or evenings when you're off the bicycle. And they dry quickly when it's laundry time. I picked up most of mine at either MEC or Sierra Trading Post.

    However, I have worn them while cycling ... sometimes I wear the convertible pants and underwear, and sometimes I wear them with cycling shorts underneath.

    I am wearing them as I cycle through France here:

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I like the cheap Worldwide Sportsman nylon ones. They are $19.99 and have a built in brief like swim trunks. They are very light weight.

    That said I seldom ride in anything but bike shorts and if it is cold leg warmers or tights. I do like to have some zip off leg pants for around town and camp.

  15. #15
    It's true, man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper View Post
    any idea which model they are?
    I'm afraid not. Looking at their current line, I don't see an exact match. I think the Paramount model is close, but I think that is a heavier nylon. Mine are very light nylon, quick drying, with cargo pockets, elastic in the back and a string tie in addition to a fly button, and velcro pocket flaps. I believe I bought them at Dick's Sporting Goods. Inner pockets are mesh. I always wore them over bike shorts.

    If I could find another pair, I'd buy them again, but in dark grey this time, to hide the dreaded "Brooks Butt"

  16. #16
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    I've toured in convertible pants/shorts for years. I don't find cycling shorts very comfortable except in a very narrow temperature range. I don't have any bunching problem. They're extremely useful for touring in a place like Thailand. I ride in the shorts, but if I want to visit a temple, for example, I zip the bottoms on. I also wear them on airplanes so I can choose to wear shorts or pants depending on the cabin temperature. I got my favorite pair at a shop which is now out of business. I got some others I like at Target, but haven't seen lightweight ones there in the past year or two. I don't like the ones I've seen at REI.

  17. #17
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    I haven't toured yet (hope to start soon) but do a lot of commute riding in convertible pants with cycling specific padded underwear and it works great. They're commonly available in kid's sizes too, which helps those of us who are underheight.

  18. #18
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    I usually take a pair of convertible pants as well as some cycling shorts on tours. The convertibles are great for wearing in camp in the evening and also in the morning when I start riding if it's still a little cold. Then I can zip off the legs as it warms up - or switch to the cycling shorts. Some of them have the zipper tabs on the inside of the legs and I find they tend to hit the top tube and make an annoying noise. So now I make sure to take the pair with the zipper pulls on the outside.

    They're also quick drying and make a decent swimsuit with the legs zipped off.

  19. #19
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    I just got a pair of REI Sahara Convertible Pants on sale for $33 and love them.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
    I just can't imagine it... Anything more than 5 miles and I'm wearing bibs. I want flat stitching and chamois between me and my saddle. Plus the chamois can do what convertible pants can't... wick sweat.

    I do know people who can and do ride in all manner of things. At times I wish I could as well. But alas.
    Yup.

  21. #21
    Member FlaMike's Avatar
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    82times: Man, I love that set-up.

  22. #22
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Pulled the trigger on the Mountain Hardware pant.

    Side note, I was looking at Keith Hallagan's Crazyguy journal and noticed that his convertible pants also helps with balance :
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...v=2&size=large

    Thanks for the input!
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  23. #23
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I'm 6'4" and often have troubles finding off-the-rack clothes. Until recently, convertible pants were unavailable, unless I wanted to wear them capri-style - "high water pants". Well, my sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate to REI for Christmas, and I discovered they have convertible pants with 36" inseams. I snatched up a pair. I haven't worn them yet other than to try them on, but at least they fit. I'm hoping to save some weight on tour this summer.

  24. #24
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    Easy to pack for evening wear and short site-seeing rides during the tour.

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