A pair of casual capris can be a handy addition to the arsenal of any cyclist who may, at some point, want to ride their bike without necessarily looking like a cyclist. The Mountain Hardwear Women's Dynama Capri isn't a cycling-specific design, but it's stretchy, looks good, breathes well and dries quickly, and it's definitely versatile enough to consider using for recreational riding and summer bimbles.
Manufacturer Mountain Hardwear is not a cycling brand, nor are the Dynama Capri intended to be a dedicated piece of cycling-specific clothing. These three-quarter-length pull-on trousers, made from a lightweight nylon/Spandex fabric with durable water repellency treatment, are aimed primarily at walkers, climbers, runners and pretty much anyone with an active lifestyle who wants a comfortable stretchy pair of trousers for everyday use.
Features are low-key, keeping the style uncluttered, with two side pockets and two rear pockets. The rear pockets are obviously not that useful on the bike. A zip pocket would be handy – especially on the bike, but also off it.
The fit is slightly forgiving, with the stretchy nature of both waistband and fabric allowing for an extra slice of cake now and then, and the waistband fits nice and high on the waist, yet not obtrusively so.
On the bike, they're airy and superbly breathable, giving exceptional levels of comfort from the point of view of moisture management and temperature control, as well as having oodles of stretch.
The lightweight nature of the fabric makes finding padded undershorts that don't show a bit tricky, but it is possible, and they work well in tandem with these for slightly longer rides.
I found them fine without liner shorts for shorter to mid-length rides, but given that the seams are not finished with cycling in mind, there's a possibility that chafing may result on longer journeys, although it didn't for me. They would make a brilliant pair of trousers to pack for touring – light, comfortable and good on or off the bike.
All in all, considering they aren't intended to be cycling-specific, these function very well. A small zipped pocket somewhere – maybe at the rear of the lumbar area – would be useful, and a gusseted crotch area would help, though that's asking a bit much for non-cycling-specific wear. Just flattened internal seams would be good.
But in my opinion they look great and allow for an easy and comfortable cycling action without screaming 'cyclist'. At £45 they're pretty good value when considering how many other non-cycling activities they are likely to be worn for.
Super-versatile and very comfortable, good for recreational cycling and other uses
road.cc test report
Make and model: Mountain Hardwear Women's Dynama Capri
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Mountain Hardwear says:
"Versatile capri pant for climbing, hiking, cross-training, or hanging out. Lightweight and supremely comfortable, the Dynama Capri is your go-to capri pant for whatever adventure greets you each day, whether that's an active morning outdoors or an afternoon running errands around town. An everyday favorite and a stylish, user-friendly addition to your busy life."
I'd agree wholeheartedly and they're great for more leisurely cycling too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low-profile stretch waistband for extra comfort
Lightweight nylon-spandex fabric has excellent stretch
DWR finish repels water
Lots of pockets to hold keys, ID, phone and other valuables (4)
Available in sizes XS-XL
Great fabric and well made.
As casual and recreational cycling trousers they perform well. As a general activity trousers, they're very good.
Not a lot to go wrong.
Light and easy to wear. A great option to pack for touring.
Very comfortable, particularly the waistband and stretch fabric.
Pretty good value for such a versatile pair of trousers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, colours, fabric, waistband, fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of zipped pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Considering they're not designed as bikewear, they're very useful for certain types of cycling. A small zipped pocket and flat seams would bump the score up.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.