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Waterproof, stretchy, bike-friendly kecks on the High Street

Forget MAMILs, stockbrokers and mass media claims that cycling is the new golf/squash/bar billiards. You know that cycling has finally cracked the mainstream when that most conservative of clothing stores Marks and Spencer introduces day clothes with cycling features.

That’s exactly what’s just happened with Marks and Spencer’s introduction of cycling chinos. The High Street giant describes the new trousers as ‘Tapered Water Resistant Cycling Chinos’ though there are very few other details about the cycling features on Marks and Spencer’s website.

Made from water-resistant cotton with two percent Lycra to give some stretch, the big game-changer here could well be the price: just £39.50 for trousers that look normal, but are comfy on the bike.

You can see them on the Marks and Spencer Website here.

Road.cc forum user ceepeeee drew the chinos to our attention. He got a pair yesterday and wore them for the first time this morning. He writes:

“First impressions are good - they fit well, are stretchy enough, the poppers to tighten the ankles work well, the reflective details are subtle enough. Can't comment on the showerproof-ness as it was dry.

“Two big plus points: they only cost £39.50 and they come in larger sizes. I have no idea how they compare to similar offerings from Rapha or Vulpine, for example, but as I can neither afford nor fit into them it's not a comparison I can make. Maybe one of the cycling magazines or website will review them but maybe M&S haven't sent any out - until yesterday they weren't even being sold as cycling specific even though there's a big label inside that says ‘Cycling Chinos’.”

Unusually for niche trousers, a large range of sizes is available, and two colours. They’re offered in 30in to 44in waist, in 29in, 31in and 33in leg length and in ‘charcoal’ (dark grey) or ‘stone’ (that horrid light brown that’s the inexplicable default colour for chinos).

As yet, though, there is no women’s equivalent.

More details on the Marks & Spencer website.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

45 comments

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Old Cranky [257 posts] 2 years ago
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M&S still haven't realised that the latest generation have longer inside legs than 33".

I wonder how they compare with the latest Levi offering?..
http://www.levi.com/GB/en_GB/collections-home/men/commuter

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Tomarchard [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Need some in 34-35 inch leg please!

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andyp [1460 posts] 2 years ago
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'M&S still haven't realised that the latest generation have longer inside legs than 33".'

nominally, yes. However they also wear the waist of the trolleys somewhere around their knees, so a 33" inseam should be more than enough  3

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jollygoodvelo [1468 posts] 2 years ago
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Mmmm, I spy an active waistband.

I suspect that any waterproofing is applied to the inside of the beige version to avoid embarrassment.

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Jonathing [73 posts] 2 years ago
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What an absolute sizing balls up. No 28x32, I thought cyclists were supposed to be slim.

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WolfieSmith [1326 posts] 2 years ago
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Like them. Don't seem to have a reflective strip which would be nice. Game changer? Not sure how this expression covers M&S making trousers but hey, it's the phrase of the moment. In the past M&S used to kick problems into the long grass, throw the baby out with the bath water and getting back on top has been a big ask. Hopefully all clothing manufacturers will soon be singing from the same hymn book...

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Gashead [33 posts] 2 years ago
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Levis do their Commuter range, almost half the price of Rapha at £85 though some slim fit or dot of shame potential light chinos at £46.

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woollee23 [99 posts] 2 years ago
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Also dark blue cycling chinos. Under a tenner if you can still find them  3

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 2 years ago
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My local M&S doesn't carry anything in a waist smaller than 32in. Complete waste of time for a normal person going in. I hope they fail to sell a single pair.

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StantheVoice [94 posts] 2 years ago
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chokofingrz wrote:

My local M&S doesn't carry anything in a waist smaller than 32in. Complete waste of time for a normal person going in. I hope they fail to sell a single pair.

I'm not sure about anyone else but claiming legs longer than 33" and waists less than 32" as normal. Bloody freaks!  21

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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They are a bit Alan Partridge.
Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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The seam runs under the gusset right in the middle but most decent cycling/touring trousers have some kind of taped seam or different stitching. Anyone know if these have that?

Also, does the big label inside have written in a funky font quotations from a cycling god of yesteryear?

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Goldfever4 [224 posts] 2 years ago
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I've never understood M&S trouser sizing with their odd numbers

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tombourne [21 posts] 2 years ago
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And these PR shots are where M&S go wrong. Put on some decent sneakers, roll up a leg hipster style and team not with a tucked-in white t-shirt that makes it look like they've been made for 60 year olds, but a cool shirt - untucked - and PUT THE MODEL ON A BIKE with some moody black and white urban background. Voila, I'd be all over them and running up to M&S at the top of town pronto. However on the basis of these shots, I will not be going to M&S except to buy a sandwich.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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tombourne wrote:

And these PR shots are where M&S go wrong. Put on some decent sneakers, roll up a leg hipster style and team not with a tucked-in white t-shirt that makes it look like they've been made for 60 year olds, but a cool shirt - untucked - and PUT THE MODEL ON A BIKE with some moody black and white urban background. Voila, I'd be all over them and running up to M&S at the top of town pronto. However on the basis of these shots, I will not be going to M&S except to buy a sandwich.

Nail/head etc.

Those dorky trainers are awful. I think it's a wider M&S issue in that they always appeal to their core market (the average age of an M%S customer is 49 according to the Telegraph). Perfect for a relatively health young grandad though.

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ceepeeee [5 posts] 2 years ago
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The reflective detail is hidden away - both legs have a strip which is revealed when you roll them up and both back pockets have reflective flaps which can be popped out when needed. I would post a picture but I'm worried I'll get strange looks if I start taking photos of my own arse when I'm at work.

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ChairRDRF [309 posts] 2 years ago
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Rapha's strong point is extra material in the crotch area. Not quite padding but extra material for protecting the vulnerable parts.
Do M&S's have this?

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ChairRDRF [309 posts] 2 years ago
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Rapha's strong point is extra material in the crotch area. Not quite padding but extra material for protecting the vulnerable parts.
Do M&S's have this?

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ceepeeee [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Nope. They are definitely chinos without any major structural additions. The back is a little higher than on "normal" trousers so builder's crack is less likely but if anything the fabric is thinner than other chino-type trousers - less canvassy, if that makes sense.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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fatsimonstan wrote:
chokofingrz wrote:

My local M&S doesn't carry anything in a waist smaller than 32in. Complete waste of time for a normal person going in. I hope they fail to sell a single pair.

I'm not sure about anyone else but claiming legs longer than 33" and waists less than 32" as normal. Bloody freaks!  21

Rule of thumb - if your waist size is bigger than your inside leg, you need to lose a bit from around your middle  1

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Dizzy [68 posts] 2 years ago
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I like M&S, they have variable leg lengths in the womens Depts is one of the few places that makes trousers that are long enough for me at 36"
Shame they're not doing that in this line or i'd happily buy a pair

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markyboy007 [22 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a shame they're only available for short people.  2

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andyp [1460 posts] 2 years ago
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'Rule of thumb - if your waist size is bigger than your inside leg, you need to lose a bit from around your middle '

Depends how long/short your legs are

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 2 years ago
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If your waist measurement is less than your inside leg then stick to buying Rapha. The snobbery is then there for all to see and saves you posting on the Web and sticking the vees up to ordinary cyclists.

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Mike Smith [7 posts] 2 years ago
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So you can wear them on your bike. Like, when you go cycling. Wow - that means they're just like, er, trousers ...!

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Glad to see that the model in the picture is wearing regulation prison-white coach tour trainers. Who's betting that if they are wearing Reactolite Rapides and a blue harbour polo shirt as well to complete the ensemble.

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movingtarget [144 posts] 2 years ago
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You know you've been road cycling too long when you feel perfectly comfortable walking around in cafes in full kit and the thought of biking in jeans is uncomfortable. But seriously, how did they manage to make the thin model look lumpy? There's something going wrong with the waistband and front pockets on these trousers.

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arfa [766 posts] 2 years ago
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the 4th photo down looks like the model has wet himself ! some dodgy shadow anyway ! I think I'll go for a zip cardigan before these....

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Wookie [242 posts] 2 years ago
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Jonathing wrote:

What an absolute sizing balls up. No 28x32, I thought cyclists were supposed to be slim.

Some cyclist are on the more rotund size. Not "all" cyclists are slim

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JeevesBath [177 posts] 2 years ago
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On the issue of fit, thin waist I understand - but why is everything 'slim fit' (or in yoof shops 'ultra-skinny') in the leg? I can barely get a pair of trousers over my thighs these days, let alone try to pedal in them.  7
I want to know where Chris Hoy buys his pants!?

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