One big challenge to being a plain-clothes bike commuter is finding pants that’ll move with you, give a little weather protection, are durable, and don’t look like cycling pants. The Thunderbolt Sportswear Mark II Original Jeans fit the bill on all fronts.
Thunderbolt Sportswear Mark II Original Jeans
Made in one of America’s cycling meccas, Portland, OR, the Mark II Original Pants are made 100% for the bike commuter but they are a great pant for a number of outings. What makes them so great?
First, they are made with Schoeller® Dryskin soft-shell. What does that mean? The gist is they are a softshell pant with a lot of stretch. One of the big advantages is the fabric stretches in all four directions. Think about swinging your leg over your bike in typical pants. First you get restricted when you bend your knee, then restricted when flexing at the hip, and finally restricted across your butt as you swing your leg over. You won’t hit any of that with Mark II. The fabric moves with you.
Another benefit to the Dryskin fabric is abrasion resistant. I like to commute in plain clothes. As a result my pants now wear out where the fabric rubs on the saddle. This is going to be less of an issue due to the durability of the Dryskin soft-shell fabric.
Last piece I’ll cover with the fabric is its water resistant. It won’t hold up in a downpour but a light sprinkle or melting snow will bead up and run off. This is one my favorite features for a commuting pant.
I love riding in these pants when the weather is cool. They kept me plenty warm riding in temps down into the low 20s and kept me dry in the snow. It hasn’t been too warm here yet this year but my premonition is this pant will run on the “too warm” side of the spectrum in warmer weather. Time will tell for me.
The sizing and fit are good. I found they run true to size. The straight, non-baggy legs are helpful when pedaling (low concern about getting caught in the chain ring – but roll your cuffs anyway), and they don’t flap in the wind.
A lot of the features that make this a great pant for cycling are also good hiking. In cooler weather I prefer hiking in a soft-shell pant. Add in the water and abrasion resistance and you have a good all-around package for getting into the mountains.
The Mark II are comfortable for all day wear and are awesome when traveling. They feature the standard two front and two rear pockets. Bonus pocket: there is a hidden, zippered pocket with the right rear pocket, bringing a little more security. Love this for traveling.
The $200 price point might seem a little steep but the Thunderbolt Sportswear Mark II Original Pants are packed with features and performance, making them worth every penny.
The Thunderbolt Mark II’s are an awesome pair of bike commuting pants that are packed with features and perform awesome on the bike. Awesome commuting pant, packed with performance and features.
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