The oddly singular but reassuringly bifurcate Club Ride Worx Trouser is "for the ride and everything after", apparently. The explanatory video on the Club Ride website essentially says: "Why look like a gimp in lycra when you can wear normal-looking trousers like those that normal people wear?"
These Denim-look lightweight trousers aren't like those horrendous Carrera jeans shorts of the Stephen Roche era. They're more like Rohan walking trousers, and they do look kind of like actual jeans. They're not obviously cycling-specific. There's no seat pad, not even a reinforced seat, and the seams do run under the gusset. They're not uncomfortable, however, because they're flat seams and the material is so thin.
It's 65% nylon, 28% polyester, 7% spandex. A water-repellent coating means they won't instantly stick to your legs like cotton jeans in a shower, and if they do get wet, they dry quickly. Because they're so lightweight, they're quite airy to wear even when it's hot.
There are some cycling-specific features. They cut is lower at the waist, so it won't dig into you, and higher at the back - what Club Ride call a NoCrackBack. The legs are slim but not skinny-jeans tight; the trouser cuffs flap about quite a bit in the wind when you're riding. "That right trouser leg is going to get caught on my chain," I thought, and it did: once snagging the chainring itself and several times rubbing against the oily chain. It says something for the toughness of the fabric that it didn't tear on the chainring. The oily smear was concealed by the trousers' dark colouring.
I used cycle-clips thereafter. I'd prefer an integral way to gather the trousers in at the ankle on the bike - a button and buttonhole at the cuff, perhaps on the inside, or a subtle velcro strap. You can roll the right leg up your calf, which reveals reflective piping, but that just makes you look like a hipster gimp instead of a lycra gimp. As a bloke in my late forties, I'm not cycling around with one bare leg like a 20-something Shoreditch graphic designer.
There are some small reflective logos, a reflective zip on one thigh, and one of the rear belt loops is reflective too. It's not essential to use a belt. You can gather in the waist with some buttoned tabs on the inside of the waistband (like what I'm proposing for the right leg's cuff) so the trousers should stay up fine without a belt; they did for me.
There are pockets front and rear, like you get in jeans. The rear pockets are shallow. I normally stick my wallet in my rear pocket, but it risked flopping out. There is an extra zipped pocket on the left thigh. It's the right size for a phone and there's a media port (that is, a hole) so you can run a headphone cable from it. I'd not do that on the road, unless I were listening to intermittent satnav instructions from Google Maps, but it could be useful off-road.
Off-road is where Club Ride pitch the Worx Trouser(s). The guy in the video is on a mountain bike. That makes sense, in that mountain bikers are rightly suspicious of lycra already. On the other hand, there's plenty of non-lycra options off-road already - shorts, 3/4 shorts, trousers, whatever you want. So I mostly wore the Worx Trouser(s) on my Ridgeback Solo World town bike. With DZR Dice shoes, a T-shirt and jumper, I could pass for a non-cycling normal when I got off the bike. On the bike, the slight stretch of the fabric and the general airiness of the trousers made them comfortable enough. I don't know that they were better than my Swrve jeans, or indeed the normal jeans, that I'd normally wear for riding into town, but they were okay.
Where I think they really score is for touring. They weigh 250g and roll-up to the size of a folded windproof jacket. You can just about get them in a jersey pocket; that's how compact they are. As well as taking up negligible space in your luggage, you could happily wear them on the bike on colder days. You could do that with Rohan trousers too, but they're a similar price and aren't quite as bike-specific.
They'd be just as useful for chucking in a kit bag so that you've got something to wear after (and before) a race. They look okay even after they've been scrunched up and, again, they take up little space in your bag.
They're machine washable on 30 degrees.
Lightweight trousers that are okay on the bike and ideal for the tourist's pannier or racer's kit bag
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Make and model: Club Ride Worx Trousers
Size tested: Medium
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?
Casual technical clothing for the ride and everything after. That's what Club Ride say.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
StretchRide7™ nylon/poly/spandex lightweight, breathable fabric
Denim-look, no-fade fabric
Quick-drying for moisture control
"Cycle-slim" lower leg
Reflective accents on side pocket, belt loop, inside drive-side pant leg
Zippered side smartphone pocket with media port
Well stitched and reasonably well cut, although a little loose in the lower leg.
Needs a way of keeping the right leg off the chain.
It's tougher than it looks, but I'd have liked a reinforced seat panel. Not a pad, just an extra layer of material.
Extremely lightweight for a pair of trousers.
Pretty good. You pay this for lightweight walking trousers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
On the bike, performance was fair. It's off the bike that they score.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Right leg/chain interface.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 45 Height: 1.78m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track. Or Whyte M109
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,