Gear Test With Pablo Airaldi, Bike Messenger and Racer
Pants in a Twist? Try Some Knickers
By STEPHEN KRCMAR
Published: May 17, 2007
URBAN cyclists canâ€™t win. Snug-fitting Lycra shorts offer a padded chamois and seams that donâ€™t chafe, but lack style. Regular pants with rolled-up cuffs may be more fashionable but can become clammy for anything longer than a short ride.
Cycling-specific knickers can be a good compromise. These three-quarter-length pants stay clear of a riderâ€™s bike chain and have a rear pocket to carry a U-lock. Some riders choose to wear bicycle shorts under the knickers and others donâ€™t, even on 50-mile outings, said T. J. Flexer, an owner of Orange 20 Bikes, a Los Angeles shop that carries knickers.
â€œUrban cycling is no longer comprised of just bike people and messengers,â€ said Tim Parr, the president of Swobo, the company that first designed casual cycling knickers about a decade ago. The reasons vary, he said. Rising gas prices and the growing cachet of courier culture have more people saying, â€œWhy donâ€™t I just bike?â€
Pablo Airaldi, a New York bike messenger training for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in August, tested knickers while delivering packages.