I had the opportunity to test a couple of riding specific trousers. Both walk the line of casual clothing / office into specific riding pant. There are some overall similarities, both are from cycling companies, use synthetic stretchy material and have a water repellant coatings (which work well on both for short durations). They share a similar slightly tapered leg design and have bike specific features. However, the cut of material, weight and certain functional aspects of them are different and can tip your hand to preferring one over the other. Here’s what I found:
Showers Pass – Rouge – $105
The Rouge trouser is marketed as a versatile garment thats suitable for riding or outdoor use, yet equally smart enough for the casual office. The material is notably lighter weight vs the Chrome, which gives it a different , I would say more airy feel. I noticed the water resistant coating on the material was very good and survived a 15min downpour on one of my journeys. The trousers have an adjustable rear waist-band which I thought was an interesting feature although I didn’t adjust it much as the garment fit well without faff. They also have a double waistband closure, a hook and snaps which I could see as being a good thing given on bike positions. Normally I wear a 31 waist and 34 leg, So you can see in the photos how this stacks up. this trouser is size 32 and fits snug / flat in the front. The taper in the leg is great and I didn’t have any issues with the bike chain interference.
Pros & Cons
- Available in Black or Desert Tan/Olive.
- Very articulated and great ride feel.
- Lightweight material, great for normal to warm weather.
- Internal adjustable waist band at the rear and silicone gripper lower back.
- Stretchy additional elastic panel above hip adds for comfort trouser movement when riding (shown as black in middle detail photo).
- Double fly closure, snaps and a hook.
- Mesh pocket liners for breathability.
- Two rear pockets with snaps.
- $105 from Showerspass.com
Chrome Industries – Brennan – $130
The Brennan trouser is marketed as a durable work horse for riding. I noted that it’s smart enough for use as a casual office garment but a too heavy of a material to go hiking in like the ShowersPass ones tout. Chrome have had quite a few trousers in their line up. this one called the Brennan has been in several iterations. The fit is slightly slimmer through the thigh than the SP trouser, the leg is also a bit longer in teh same size.
Pros & Cons
- Available in Black only, which is really a very dark grey.
- A separate right side zippered pocket in line with front pocket for valuables.
- Heavier weight material (compared to Rouge)- great for transitioning into autumn / winter.
- A separate right side zippered pocket in line with front pocket.
- Reflective tab on leg cuffs for visibility when you roll leg.
- Extra gusseting on the crotch with two hidden vents.
- Gusseted pocket details for extra durability. Non mesh pocket liners.
- $130 from chromeindustries.com.
Theres not a clear winner here, the two garments serve slightly different markets. Both are very good and hit functionality and style in a refined manner. If you are used to / like riding in Jeans then maybe the Chrome trouser will feel at home due to the thicker material. but, the season might actually be the decider. If you are riding in warmer weather the ShowersPass trouser will be notably more comfortable and feel better due to the advanced stretch and lighter grade material.
📸 Photos by Jacob Olson