I was a spandex rider up until a short time ago. Not in the city of course, not during commutes–but on any ride out of town, even just over the bridge for breakfast, I was in black shorts and a chamois. Enough of that shit.
I’ve been using a pair of City Knickers (hemp) from Bicycle Fixation for the past several months and they have been great. While the pair I have lacks a chamois or extra padding around the crotch, they rode comfortably and styled just as well during a long weekend in Big Sur, biking sixty miles (all in the knicks) and hanging out at the Henry Miller Library for a show. The sleek, somewhat throw-back design is stylish, unique, and functional. While the hemp knickers have been discontinued, they’re selling a range of pants in wool and gabardine with a similar style–get them here.
The swrve knickers I’ve been trying out are grey and cotton. The material bars them from rainy days of course, but for a snug hipsterish fit they’re unparalleled. The sizing has been so snug that while good for occasions when one wants to wear tight pants to a party or around town, their ability to comfortably carry my u-lock or even house keys has been lacking. This isn’t so much a criticism perhaps as a warning to make sure you don’t underestimate your size. I’m torn which of these knickers I like better, the Fixations or the Swrves–it depends on the occasion. And they both beat the hell out of Chrome’s over-priced stretchy stretchiness.