Vulpine's cycling rain trousers are stylish and ideally suited to cycle commuting. After using them for about one month I fell in love with these trousers. Seriously, these trousers are superb and have become my favourite piece of commuter cycling kit. They are packed full of useful features and because they look like normal trousers they are smart enough to be worn in the office or wherever it is you are going to on the bike.
Why do you need cycling trousers?
Yes, you could just wear a pair of jeans or jogging bottoms and that would be fine for short commutes and good weather. But the further you need to travel on a bicycle and the more often you do it then you will soon discover that 'normal' trousers are not going to cut it. What you need is a trouser that:
The initial thing that struck me about these trousers was the quality of the construction. They feel tough and they look made to last. When I first put them on they felt quite heavy duty, like something you might wear on a building site and when I walked in them they 'swished' noisily. I admit to not liking this at first, but within a few days I got used to it and it was no longer an issue. In fact. I happily wear these trousers on any occasion and not just on the bike.
The trousers come in khaki, forest green, charcoal and blue denim. It was the khaki colour that I wore.
That brings me to the next point, that these trousers look good. To an untrained eye they could be smart casual trousers from the high street, a trouser that could be used as office clothing or pub wear. Vulpine's mission is to offer cycling clothing that not only performs, but looks good off the bike. It is the principal of being able to wear the same gear when you cycle to work or to meet friends and not feel like you 'look like a cyclist.' If you are not a fan of lycra and/or do not want to have the hassle of changing out of cycling clothes when you arrive at your destination then Vulpine clothing is ideal.
Performance on the bike
Vulpine have really excelled when it comes to getting the balance right between a stylish trouser and a practical cycling garment. Some of the features that I love are:
The trousers are made of a material called Epic Cotton. With a name like that you're going to expect something special. It means you get a tough material that is made to last and is water resistant, windproof, stain proof and anti-bacterial.
Possibly the most important feature of a cycling trouser is its ability to deal with rain. I tested them out in light rain and in heavy showers. They performed brilliantly in the light rain, keeping out the water and drying very quickly after the rain passed. The fact that the material is breathable means that you don't get sweaty in the trousers.
In heavy showers I could feel some water coming through, but not enough to make me feel uncomfortable and once I arrived at my destination the trousers dried very quickly. Note that these are not waterproof trousers, but water resistant. It was a 6 mile ride in the heavy rain and I felt that if I had further to go and the rain was prolonged I would need to put on waterproof over trousers. However, the main market for these trousers is the city commuter and they are unlikely to be doing a lot of mileage in the rain.
These trousers currently retail for £140. It is a lot of money, but they are made to last. They also have so many useful features for cyclists that the outlay is a sound investment for a product that you will not need to replace for years to come.
For the purpose of commuting and looking presentable on arrival at your destination these trousers do a fantastic job. If it rains during your ride the trousers will repel the water beautifully. For long distance cycle touring where long periods of heavy rain could be expected these are unlikely to be your choice of garment, but for getting around the city and looking smart whilst doing it these are the trousers to pull on. I have loved wearing them out and about in town and feeling much smarter when I got off the bike at my destination.
Read my reviews of other products from Vulpine:
Merino wool socks
Henley and Polo tops