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Protective Boto trousers



High performance cycling trousers great for general riding and off the bike use

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Protective’s Boto are probably the most civilian and arguably best of the biking baggy trouser breed, closer to combat fatigues sans bike but thanks to clever detailing and a cycling specific cut you can cut a dash in the saddle just as easily as sashaying past the boss in more conservative offices. Sure, you’d never consider racing in them but otherwise they’re perfect for general riding, commuting, touring and even a bit of off-road action.

Fashioned from super tactile, easy care rip-stop polyamide (polyester), they’ll laugh in the face of branches, thorns and other potential snagging as well as chemical attack from oils, grease and other everyday contaminant. They’re lined too, although comfortable on shorter hops-say a few miles around town, separate inserts are advisable for more concerted efforts/longer rides. The articulated knee panels of the sort commonly associated with ¾ lengths is a real feather in their cap, enabling more fluid pedalling action and racing cadences.

A high back protects against chill when stretched out on the drops for longer periods, the discrete adjustable waistband and tapered legs ensure a perfectly tailored, practical cycling cut, so no danger of adopting a John Wayne pedalling style here. Additional tapering in the right leg eliminates bottoms caching the transmission-even at warp-speed cadences.

Four (two front, two rear) generous pockets swallow the usual essentials-keys, wallet, mobile phone/multi tool etc without detracting from chic lines or gathering up when riding.

Climate control and breathability are broadly comparable with others of the cycyling baggies genre meaning you won’t feel boiled in the bag on longer rides in milder weather but vented panels would be welcomed. The fabric is best described as shower proof, resisting moderately persistent rain but takes longer to dry when saturated. At the upper end of the market, the Boto will suit anyone needing uncompromising, chic stealth trousers.


High performance baggier cycling trousers near perfect for general riding and work off the bike too

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Make and model: Protective Boto trousers

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?

The Boto are a pair of cycling trousers for those who wouldn't be seen dead in Lycra. Probably the most civilian looking and best performing of the mtb/performance casual trousers.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Rip stop polyester fabric with mesh lining (but no insert) Tapered legs, articulated knees, Scotchlite reflectives, zippered fly and integral belt.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

535g (medium)

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

In short the Boto are by a nose the best of the stealth/performance casual trousers I have used- the secret seems to be in the detailing-specifically the tapered legs and the articulated knees that allow unrestricted movement aboard the bike and riding at speeds close to race-pace.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Casual styling and uncompromised performance.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product


Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,


Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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