For men searching for the best urban cycling pants available, look no further than Outlier, a new brand dedicated to crafting timeless, stylish apparel for the rigors of city riding. Founded by Tyler Clemens and Abe Burmeister, two New Yorkers with a passion for riding, Outlier seeks to provide advanced clothing for a seamless transition from the bike to the office.
Bicycling in a metropolis like New York comes with a host of problems, not least of which is navigating the city's many bridges and trafficked avenues, often under inclement weather. Two of Outlier's latest trousers, which I was recently given the opportunity to road-test, manage to address these concerns with style. Both the 4Season OG (below), a casual straight cut slack with a beautiful drape, and the Climbers (top image set), a slim cut pant styled like a jean, utilize Outlier's 4Season Lotus fabric made by Schoeller Textiles of Switzerland.
At first glance, the fabric might remind you of your grandfather's polyester trousers, but this mid-weight technical fabric wears like a fine piece of tailored cloth. The 4Season Lotus feels good against skin, stretches in all directions and is wrinkle resistant. Without getting too technical, the fabric utilizes a nano-tech surface treatment that makes for a ridiculously water-repellent, stain-resistant pant. While riding in a recent downpour, I marveled at the water beading on the surface and noted that it took several minutes for it to soak through. Even when wet, it didn't cling to my skin. Tyler later informed me that, had I resisted the urge to change, they would've dried in 20 minutes.
The Outlier pants have the kind of technical details that are true signifiers of skilled craftsmanship coupled with user-centric design. The 4Season OG features deep front pockets so your cell phone won't jab you while peddling, reinforced belt loops (ideally positioned for clipping your keys into the rear left pocket) and a stretchable french seam in the crotch (which means no embarrassing splits).
The Climbers, while definitely engineered for the skinny guys, also fit well on an athletic build, thanks to the superb stretch of the material. More casual than the 4Season OG, they're no less detailed. With open rear pockets positioned closer to the hips, you don't find yourself sitting on your wallet. A curved waistband is higher in the rear and lower in the front, which makes for a more comfortable ride and hides your briefs from passerby.
Above and beyond the material performance and design details, the real success of these pants is in their overall wearability. Cycling around town, I soon forgot I was wearing them. And then a funny thing happened—I noticed I was wearing them on days I didn't get on my bike.