Once exclusively the domain of gravity-oriented riders, pants are increasing in popularity for riders of all disciplines.
Pearl Izumi Launch Trail Pants
The Pearl Izumi Launch Trail Pants were the genesis for this article. My original set are battered and bruised but are still going strong after over a year of solid use. The Launch Pants are the most expensive pants on test at $249.95, but this premium pricing hasn’t stopped me recommending them to mates over the course of last year.
Materials, fit and features
The Launch Pants are constructed from 4-way stretch Cordura with polyester and elastane (68 percent Cordura nylon, 21 percent polyester, 11 percent elastane). They feature two vertical zipped pockets that are well positioned to not impede pedalling and two simple waist adjusters to dial your fit. They have a tapered and cuffed ankle, which eliminates the possibility of chain suck.
On the bike
The Launch Pants are light enough that I can pedal in them for hours on end, there’s enough space at the knee to wear pads without them tugging at the pants, and they’re breathable enough for summer rides on the East Coast. My only tip with the Launch Pants would be to make sure the dual waist adjusters are tightened appropriately, particularly if you’re wearing a hip pack. There’s been times where the pants have slipped, but if I make sure I tighten the waist adjusters at the start of the ride that isn’t an issue.
Who do they suit?
The Launch Pants would suit a huge swathe of Australian riders. Whilst they wouldn’t be my choice if I was lining up for a downhill race, I’ve worn them for just about everything else.
- Tapered and cuffed ankle
- Material combination is fantastic
- Most expensive on test