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Velocity's Men's Climber Trousers are a well made, robust and good looking pair of cycling jeans that perform well on the bike and look good off it, although more sizing options would be good.
When you're cycling around town for more than just the joy of riding, it isn't always appropriate to wear Lycra. Sitting in the pub with your non-cycling friends in bib shorts is going to create an entirely different reaction to a coffee stop with your club mates.
The thing that tends to set cycling-specific trousers apart from regular ones is the reinforced crotch. Here Velocity has used a diamond shaped piece of material that covers the seams at the top of the inside leg and through the crotch – typically the areas that wear out quickly when riding in normal jeans. In other designs I have tried, they have perhaps gone a little OTT with this area, which can make the trousers look a little strange when you're off the bike. Happily, here it's relatively subtle, so they look good off the bike too.
The trousers seem pretty robust, although given the relatively short review time it's impossible to say just how effective the reinforcing is long-term. Their sturdiness is helped by YKK zippers, which are well made and likely to last a long time too.
The belt loops are reinforced, too, and held smaller D-locks without any issue.
Another key element is the use of reflective areas to add some safety when riding in darker conditions. Here the trousers have a large reflective Velocity sign on the inside of the right leg, which shows when the trouser leg is rolled up for riding. The edges of the back pockets are also high vis, which again helps when riding in the gloom or at night.
Fit is generally good, similar in shape to something like Levi's 520s which I normally wear. They have a decent amount of room in the thigh – something many cycling trousers surprisingly don't provide – but are still slim enough around the ankle. Velocity has added 2% elastine to the cotton fabric in the trousers, which gives them a good amount of stretch, ideal when riding. This is helped by the slight pleats around the knees, which again helps when pedalling.
Velocity has also treated the fabric with Nanosphere, which helps resistance to water and stains. This seems to work relatively well; having used the trousers in the rain (albeit nothing too torrential), I could more or less wipe off anything that flicked up.
Sizing on the trousers is about right for the waist, the 32s coming up about the same as I would expect for my jeans. However, Velocity doesn't offer different leg lengths, instead you have to cut and hem them to fit (or go for turn-ups) if, like me, you're shorter in the leg – which for a pair of trousers that cost £85 could be a bit offputting. I found that with the amount I needed to remove I was close to cutting into the reflective area on the inside of the leg; somebody a little shorter than me would probably be forced to do so. (My legs are quite short, though, it has to be said.)
That RRP of £85 is about what you would pay for a pair of Levi's or similar, so when you take into account that these are designed and made in London, with cycling-specific details, it's really not bad value.
All in all, I think these are a strong showing from a young British brand and are mostly well thought out. I particularly like the fit around the thighs, the reflective elements and the stretch in the fabric. It would be nice to have some different length options, but this might be less of an issue for the majority of you, and they're strong performers in other respects.
Well made and well thought out cycling civvies, though leg length options would be nice
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocity Men's Climber Trousers
Size tested: 32in waist
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?
A pair of trousers that are robust and easy to use on the bike, but still look good off it.
Velocity says: 'Men's specific, cycling specific trousers – that look just as good on and off your bike.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
NanoSphere® treated fabric, for water and stain resistant cycling
98% cotton and 2% elastine, for just enough stretch
Reinforced diamond seat, for comfort and durability
Articulated knees, for ease of movement
High back, for modesty and low waist, for comfort
Heavy duty belt loops, for carrying things
Phone sized pockets, to stay connected
Reflective pocket trim and reflective logo, for a high-viz eyeful
Designed and made in London
Well made with reinforcement in the right areas, strong loops and well-thought-out fit.
They performed very well throughout, both on and off the bike.
Difficult to say, given that it often takes months for trousers to wear through, but from the limited time I've been wearing them they seem like they'll last.
Great fit for me.
In terms of waist measurement they fitted exactly as I would expect, but no leg length options, which means they won't suit everyone – or a needle and thread will be required.
With the stretch in the fabric and the well-thought-out placement of the seams on the knee, they are very comfortable on and off the bike.
About right given that they have a nice look combined with cycling-specific performance features.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to care for thanks to the NanoSphere coating and responded well to being washed at 30.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well; they were good both on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit was great, with more room in the thigh than most cycling trousers provide.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That they don't come in length variations.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They are a strong performing pair of trousers that performed well on and off the bike. Velocity has thought through the design well, including some strong performance elements such as the reflective features and reinforcing. A very good pair of trousers, warranting an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.