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.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.