Betabrand – Clothing For On And Off The Bike
It’s been almost a year since I saw my first pair of Betabrand Bike to Work Pants, and I figured that National Bike Week was as good a time as any to show the good folks at Betabrand a little love. The logic behind them is pretty simple – pants you wear to work are not always the best for cycling, and you can’t always get away with comfy cycling clothes at work. So the Bike to Work Pants were designed to do double duty, without compromise.
According to the Betabrand website, the cotton twill jeans are a classic straight leg cut, but with a relaxed fit. The fabric itself has an extra bit of stretch, which lends itself well to cycling. There’s some reinforcement to the crotch area, as no one likes a blowout, whether it be tires or your pants. What really sets them apart though, are the design details. While five pockets (including a hidden pocket for your phone) is hardly groundbreaking, there is a flap of highly reflective Illuminite® and Scotchlite™ material in the back pocket that flips out for added visibility in low-light conditions. Continuing on that theme, the cuffs on each leg roll up, to expose more of the same reflective material. Not only is that a nice bit of fashion, but the location lends motion to the reflectivity, which is a huge benefit when riding at night. Knowing that you’ll be riding hunched over the bars of your fixed gear, the back is cut so that it’s slightly raised, sparing tailgaters from the sight of your crack. And the liner is a nice diamond pattern material, the same as used in neckties, so you can wear a tie to work, but it’s going to be in your pants. At $90, they’re not cheap, but then again, you get US made quality, and more of the dollars you just spent go back into our economy. That’s always preferable to paying extra for the benefit of maintaining a Chinese factory and supporting the international freight industry. If there’s a downside to the Bike to Work Pants, it’s that the sizing is a bit limited, so they may not offer your exact inseam.
Betabrand offers more than just pants though. They have shorts, jackets, hoodies, plus a line of clothing for women. Much to the amusement (or shock) of first time visitors to the site, they also offer a blanket, bomber hat, and harka (hoodie/parka) made from their own Vagisoft material. Yes, Vagisoft. Don’t ask me to explain, I don’t think I could. Just go to the Betabrand site and see for yourself. You’ll even find images of the lovely Inga Beck modeling the Vagisoft blanket. In bed. With chips and guacamole in hand. I’m not making this up, these guys really know their marketing. Being from San Francisco, Betabrand has also earned plenty of street cred – if their clothing can hold up to riding in that crowded, hilly city, they’re durable enough for anywhere you choose to ride.
Check out the full line of clothing, as well as a ton of interesting fan photos at betabrand.com