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.