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Town Pants

Old 02-29-20, 09:31 PM
  #1  
UniChris
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Town Pants

TL;DR: looking for lightweight wrinkle-tolerant trousers to wear after showering off the ride and wanting to head out to get dinner, in March, in the northeast

Working on plans to make the jump from day rides to credit card touring, which given the oddity of my one-wheeled-ride currently means almost everything has to go in a backpack (yes, I'm thinking of ways to add a rack, no, probably not happening in time for the first trip)

For riding in I'll bring 3 pairs (wear 1 + 2) of chamois shorts and/or tights, plus a pair of running tights I've been wearing over them for extra warmth. And I'll bring a quick drying swimsuit as a pair of "shorts" to wear around a hotel room, down the hall, etc.

But trying to figure out what I can pack in the way of light weight pants for the situation where I've showered off the ride and now want to go outside, in March and get a meal or play tourist. I guess I could pull the running tights back on, but unconnected to a ride, that's a bit much for a middle aged male able to crank out quite a few miles but not appearing exactly "fit".

Currently for day rides I've been packing along a set on Uniqlo "heat tech" lined pants, which have been a real pleasure as something warm and dry to change into when faced with a 90+ minute train ride home. But they're bulky and I need to reclaim some of that space for subsequent day's riding clothes. I almost feel like a pair of jeans would be more compact, though probably heavier. Classic poly dress slacks would meet the weight and volume goal, but aren't really going to recover from spending a day in a stuff sack tied to a backpack.

Sweat pants? But everything seems to be cotton.

Last edited by UniChris; 02-29-20 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 02-29-20, 10:46 PM
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I have a pair of thin polyester wrinkle-free pants that I roll up and use when off the bike if I want to go into a restaurant or somewhere I don't want to stand out. Rolling clothing takes less room to store and seems to minimize wrinkling.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-20, 05:21 AM
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I have a pair of nylon trekking pants that works well. I can use them on the bike on cold mornings. Must be nice not having to worry about a chain.

By the way, two extra pair of shorts sounds like a lot. Shorts are easy to wash and wear, and if they're a little damp that's okay. If you're looking to reduce bulk, that's an area to cut.
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Old 03-01-20, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I have a pair of nylon trekking pants that works well. I can use them on the bike on cold mornings.
That sounds like the right sort of idea (especially the dual purpose, I do want these to at least become my "train ride home" wear).

Any chance you remember specifics of what or where you got?

When I've looked that category seems to quickly bleed over into "tactical" wear, which isn't necessarily unsuited but pulls in a bunch of diverse market goals.
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Old 03-01-20, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
That sounds like the right sort of idea (especially the dual purpose, I do want these to at least become my "train ride home" wear).

Any chance you remember specifics of what or where you got?

When I've looked that category seems to quickly bleed over into "tactical" wear, which isn't necessarily unsuited but pulls in a bunch of diverse market goals.
Sorry can't help. Every few years I get a used pair at a thrift store. Most have zip-off legs which I don't like much but I'll put up with.
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Old 03-01-20, 06:06 AM
  #6  
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Check out the Boy Scouts Of America clothing line / I use the lightweight cargo type shorts often . They are very quick drying and offer convertible style that the legs zip on.
There may be a Boy Scouts store in your city.
Huge thumbs up on touring on a uni cycle.
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Old 03-01-20, 06:07 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
...
Working on plans to make the jump from day rides to credit card touring, which given the oddity of my one-wheeled-ride currently means almost everything has to go in a backpack (yes, I'm thinking of ways to add a rack, no, probably not happening in time for the first trip)
....
Are you riding a unicycle?

If so, I saw the photo of the unicycle below when I was in Iceland four years ago. I wandered off to get a few more photos and missed the chance to talk to the rider so I have no additional information, the photo is all the information that I have. But it may give you some ideas on how to set it up for touring.



It is a bit hard to see in the lighting and background, but it has a disc brake.
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Old 03-01-20, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Are you riding a unicycle?

If so, I saw the photo of the unicycle below when I was in Iceland four years ago. I wandered off to get a few more photos and missed the chance to talk to the rider so I have no additional information, the photo is all the information that I have. But it may give you some ideas on how to set it up for touring.



It is a bit hard to see in the lighting and background, but it has a disc brake.
Indeed, a similar unicycle, so my first goal is to minimize what I bring.

There is an evolving norm of a touring rig that is sort of like that picture but with a fore and after pole to hang things on and a set of fenders supporting the lower side of the bags or at least preventing their wobble, but I'm trying not to go to that extreme. Had been thinking of doing a level rear rack to hold something of similar size to the stuff sack in that picture though maybe should consider tilting it down at an angle like that.

Have been trying to figure out how to make a solid clamp for attaching to the seat tube without access to a machine shop. The ones that hold our seatposts are not permanently attached to the frame, bought some spares but there's not much meat on them to drill into unless I figure out how to use the clamp screws themselves without defeating their clamping. Unfortunately they are a complex machined shape wheras I'd like the simpler union of a cylinder and a cube.

Of course what I'd really love to do would be weld up a fully custom frame...

One advantage the poll rig does have is that in an "oops" the force of the luggage hitting the ground is transmitted directly through its supports and not through a handle bar attached to the saddle. The pole itself can break but if chosen well that is easier to source. Keeping things narrow increases the chance of going around the bars and running to a stop rather than getting tangled up and stumbling.


The hope for the moment though is that by some strategic changes in what I'm hauling for a day ride and its train journey back home like replacing the heat tech pants that split that stuff sack with a polar fleece, I can get in the minimum essentials for a few motel room nights.

At least it gives me something to think about on the D&R towpath today...

Last edited by UniChris; 03-01-20 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 03-01-20, 07:52 AM
  #9  
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there are lots of companies that make quick dry, light weight full length, nice looking, hiking pants. Some are lightweight and roll up nice and small, some are tougher heavier material. Some are zip off short models and some not.
Mine are full length (non zip off) lightweight but still good wearing material, dark tan colour which is great for not showing dirt, look fine walking around and are comfortable in hot weather. Made my Royal Robbins. Got them on sale a few years ago.
Used to have zip off ones, but dont really like the look and prefer a full length.

and yes, two pairs of cycling shorts are all you need.
Arrive at hotel, immediately unpack, shower, wash bike shorts, jersey and socks in shower with you, or sink (I want to get it over with)
Squeeze as much water out as possible, then roll clothes in a towel, step on it a few times, presto, mucho water out , hang in good spot and they'll be dry in morning.
If padded bike shorts arent dry in morning to your liking, put on second set and this one will dry on your bike quickly. Shirts and socks should be dry

using the towel trick is the best method of getting them nearly dry , and getting as much water out of them by hand before towel roll squish
presto, two sets are all you need.

my long pants get worn just walking around after shower, so dont really get dirty, even on long trips, so really hardly ever need to be washed.
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Old 03-01-20, 07:58 AM
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I guess I can cut to two pairs of chamois shorts so I'm not sunk if the worn and washed pair isn't ready. I use the towel trick all the time at home when riding the next day (especially as I only have one long winter pair) but typically follow by draping them over a box fan for a while, and that I probably won't find.

Kind of chicken about things like imperfect hygeine or damp shorts, skin irritation has been challenging even based from home but getting better.

The hiking pants sound perfect.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-01-20 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 03-01-20, 07:59 AM
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ps, Im sure you've figured out by now that jeans are a complete no go. Heavy as heck, bulky, wont dry for ages.
"Off" bike clothes are easy to be compact and light. There are light t shirts that dry quickly, and I even have a button down collar short sleeve shirt that is my to go travel shirt. Light material and like pants, is compactly rollable, and dries quickly after hand washes. Bonus is that along with long pants, I can look totally non "bikey"

my long pants and this shirt is all I need for off bike wear, and both weigh so little its great, and compact.
I do also prefer riding with tights if its cool, rather than using my Royal Robbins pants, which would need a strap for the chainring side not to get on chain, plus I prefer tokeep them clean and only for off bike, so I do bring tights too.

bottom line is that its really easy to have a fairly light set of clothes, and compact which is always going to be an advantage for your unicycle reality.
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Old 03-01-20, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I guess I can cut to two pairs of chamois shorts so I'm not sure if the worn and washed pair isn't ready. I use the towel trick all the time at home when riding the next day (especially as I only have one long winter pair) but typically follow by draping them over a box fan for a while, and that I probably won't find.

Kind of chicken about things like imperfect hygeine or damp shorts, skin irritation has been challenging even based from home but getting better.
Ive done lots of motel riding, so I prioritize the post wash towel to my chammy bike shorts, and proper squeezing and especially letting the bike shorts hang a bit after squeezing will allow a lot more water to accumulate in bottom of shammy, which I then do a last squeeze out, which removes a bunch more water that wont have to air dry.
Use dry towel and or dry end of towel if only one , on the bike shorts.

bike jerseys and socks dry easier than bike shorts, so its never a problem with them, or I use my other pair or biking socks if need be in morning.

and strapping damp stuff to outside of bag with bungee works. Might have to turn them over a few times, but in sun it works.
but in hotels, using lamps, or fans or whatever, using common sense for airing stuff out properly to dry well , ie not bunched up on themselves, and you're good to go.
Or sun and wind if you have a spot outside or whatever, basically using judgement on best spots.

its all doable.
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Old 03-01-20, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
...Had been thinking of doing a level rear rack to hold something of similar size to the stuff sack in that picture though maybe should consider tilting it down at an angle like that.
....
I have never ridden a unicycle, so I probably am the last person you want advice from. But, I am 98 percent confident that if I was going to try one, I would want my load balanced between front and rear, so when I had my cycle loaded, it would balance with the seat above the pedals exactly the same way as if it was unloaded. Thus, a rear rack with no counterbalance weight on the front is something i would avoid.

It is pretty clear that the setup in the photo I posted above that the racks are standard bike racks, thus likely angled because the geometry of the racks are designed that way. If you wanted the racks to be closer to horizontal, a front rack from a bike might have a better shape because the fork of a bike is closer to vertical than the seatstays on the back of the bike, thus a front rack might work out better.

It looks to me like the one in the photo I posted above has just barely sufficient stuff on it for camping as long as food sources were close by, was more stuff than needed for credit card touring. I took that photo in Iceland where camping is inexpensive and there are many places to camp, but indoor lodging is quite expensive. Thus, I assumed that the cyclist was camping.
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Old 03-01-20, 09:47 AM
  #14  
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Uni Chris,
I depends a bit where you tour as to the clothes you need but when I want to travel really light I take the following and use a layering system

1 pair shoes
2 pairs medium weight merino wool socks
1 set of rain booties

2 pairs cycling shorts
1 pair leg/knee warmers
1 pair shell pants

2 pairs jerseys
1 pair UV resistant arm warmers
1 cycling vest
1 cycling jacket
1 light nylon Rain poncho

Hat, gloves, down jacket as needed.

That system is about the bare minimum to take and have the different daily temperature ranges covered from chilly mornings to sunny afternoons and to account for rain, and some sense of hygiene. Almost all of it is nylon/poly based and so, not that heavy. The arm/leg warmers remove the need for long sleeve shirts and tights.
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Old 03-01-20, 10:49 AM
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Would country pants work? My go-to are convertible hiking pants currently wearing a pair from REI as I needed something new and these were on sale. However my favorites have been, ExOfficio pants and that is usually what I will get. You can get them treated by Insect Shield called bugsaway which is bonded to the fabric so it is there and doesn't affect performance or washability but gives the benefit of keeping bugs away from your legs. They look quite nice and are pretty light.

Certainly take two pairs of cycling shorts and wash often and keep everything down there clean as well.

Also check Ed Pratt who did a unicycle tour across the world, he had a really awesome set up for carrying bags so he didn't need them on the back.
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Old 03-01-20, 12:36 PM
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Both The North Face and Columbia make very lightweight convertible pants. (Zip off legs makes them into shorts.) You can find the latter at REI.
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Old 03-01-20, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
...
Also check Ed Pratt who did a unicycle tour across the world, he had a really awesome set up for carrying bags so he didn't need them on the back.
I was curious so I did an internet search. Watched a few youtube videos.
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Old 03-01-20, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
But, I am 98 percent confident that if I was going to try one, I would want my load balanced between front and rear, so when I had my cycle loaded, it would balance with the seat above the pedals exactly the same way as if it was unloaded.
It could well prove that you are right and this is important, but I'm not going to assume without experiment that it is necessary for a limited amount of luggage. The rider weighs a lot more, and it may well be that lowering and extending the handlebar a little could restore balance and maybe create a better riding position, too. Another inch out on the handlebar and I can carry spare spokes in there and not taped to the fork leg (got a longer one, haven't tried yet as I wanted to ride today not mess with gear)

I would keep stuff like water central though.

Of course all of this is in the realm of things to try in short test rides, I've given some thought to PVC pipe and an empty cardboard box just to see what I will or won't collide with while mounting up or stepping backwards down.

The full pole based rig can carry camping gear but is a lot more complicated to manage, to transport, and moderately violates usual clearance areas. I haven't ruled out a mini version though. On the plus side, it does mean that the unique parts of the handlebar attachment can be replaced by something more generic mounting some bar ends or an aero stryke type loop above the forward carry pole.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-01-20 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 03-01-20, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was curious so I did an internet search. Watched a few youtube videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5X979R-JTE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD6JRZzt-vk
Yeah I just finished his cycling across America series and have watched bits and pieces of the other countries. I first heard about him from that GCN video but never looked him up beyond that and like many things I watch these days it popped up in my Youtubes feed. Was pleasantly surprised, it is excellent content and really neat to see someone travel so uniquely.
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Old 03-02-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I have a pair of thin polyester wrinkle-free pants that I roll up and use when off the bike if I want to go into a restaurant or somewhere I don't want to stand out. Rolling clothing takes less room to store and seems to minimize wrinkling.

Cheers
Thereís the correct answer, polyester. Itís like the miracle fabric in space movies, or something. 🤔😁 I scarfed a pair of Columbia Titanium pants in a thrift store awhile back, still had the store stickers on them new, for $5. Theyíre warm when you need them to be, cool when you need them to be, donít wrinkle, and roll up super small for carrying. Sounds like what you want & need. 😎
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Old 03-02-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have never ridden a unicycle, so I probably am the last person you want advice from. But, I am 98 percent confident that if I was going to try one, I would want my load balanced between front and rear, so when I had my cycle loaded, it would balance with the seat above the pedals exactly the same way as if it was unloaded.
As I think about it more, it turns out you might be right. But not really so much for rideability, but rather because it's practically important to be able to walk along rolling the wheel with a moderately relaxed hand holding the middle of the saddle. My guess is configurations where that is workable will also prove rideable.

I haven't had any problems with the tool bag and water bottles and don't even notice when riding if they are full or empty though they are fairly central. But last summer when I realized my fare card was empty only after lifting the unicycle over the subway turnstile handed it off to a friend who had the same model in bare factory configuration and he almost dropped it in surprise at the top heaviness.
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Old 03-02-20, 01:30 PM
  #22  
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This subforum continues to deliver in the most curious of ways. Good stuff here- cant say Ive ever thought of uni-touring and the obvious challenges one faces.
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Old 03-02-20, 04:45 PM
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Do they still make those shiny sweatpants we used to wear in the 80's? Those would fold and unfold pretty well, and they're kind of thin to pack.

I really envy that you do all this stuff on one wheel. Can't even imagine how you ride a unicycle AND balance a pack on your back!
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Old 03-02-20, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Do they still make those shiny sweatpants we used to wear in the 80's? Those would fold and unfold pretty well, and they're kind of thin to pack.

I really envy that you do all this stuff on one wheel. Can't even imagine how you ride a unicycle AND balance a pack on your back!
lordy, I remember those being clammy, kinda gross feeling against the skin.
modern material to me certainly feels a lot nicer, and many of these type of pants really do look nice too, so are great when they are the only pair of pants you own yet can still ride in them a and look reasonable for social situations.
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Old 03-03-20, 06:28 AM
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Good sale prices on some styles and colors:

https://www.columbia.com/mens-convertible-pants/
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