Riding pants have come a long way since I was a kid. I remember the first set was a grey set of Fox 180 Moto pants I got for Christmas. I thought they were the coolest things ever. I would ride everywhere in them. They were thick, heavy and probably would still be around with the cockroach if the world went up in flames in a nuclear war.
Fast forward to 2021., I may not still own them Fox pants but I still think riding pants are the coolest thing out. Lucky riding pants have come a long way since I was young. We now have a vast range of them out there designed around mountain biking specifically.
I was lucky enough to be given a set of 100 percent R-Core X pants to test. 100 percent has a rich motocross history dating back to the 1980s but more recently has moved into the mountain bike scene. This history and knowledge show in their products: well-designed features, fit, ventilation and materials.
The R-Core X pants are aimed at the trail enduroish market., They are packed with clever features. The first thing you notice when you put the pants on is just how much airflow they have. There were many times I put them on and thought there I must have put a rip in the crotch purely from the breeze passing through them. Fit wise, they sit in the middle of the range - not too tight and not too baggy, enough room to move and also fit kneepads on underneath. A mixture of four-way stretch spandex and DWR coated polyester provide stretch and strength where you need them most. Silicon gripper pads on the back of the waist help keep the pants up while you do up the fantastic boa on the front. Why don’t more people do this? It makes a lot more sense than buttons or straps. The boa allows for micro-adjustment on the tightness and I personally love the way it looks. Rounding out these pants are two well-placed zip pockets on the front - big enough to get a phone and a small tool in one pocket.
I've spent about a month and a half putting these pants through their paces, from punishing wet rides in the rain to six-hour rides into the bush for overnight missions and quick laps around my local spots. They tend to be the go-to set I grab when I'm heading out riding due to their lightweight feel and overall comfort. All the ventilation helps you not overheat, the fabric stays pretty dry on the wet rides.
What I have noticed on days where it is a bit warmer is that the material used isn't the most breathable. I’d often pull my phone out of my pocket mid-ride and it would be covered in sweat. Not an ideal thing for an electronic device but pop your phone in a sandwich bag before you go riding and you’ll be sweet. Would this put me off buying these pants? Absolutely not. As much as the material might not be the most breathable, the vents keep you cool on warm days. The fit and comfort are fantastic. You almost forget you are wearing them. Fantastic features such as the boa, silicon grippers and vents add up to a great versatile set of durable riding pants that work all year round and won’t let you down.
Distributor: FE Sports
Words: Jake Hood
Images: Caleb Smith