The 100% R-Core X Pants are a lightweight pair of trousers that aren't confined to winter use. They’re super comfortable and fit really well, although the Boa closure system just makes them a task to put on.
The R-Core X Pants feature a host of high-tech features. Starting off, there’s a rather unorthodox (for a pair of trousers) Boa enclosure system, which replaces a zip and button. There’s silicone inside the waistband to keep them in place, and laser perforations to encourage a bit of airflow.
So just to sum up for UK readers, they're not really pants, but they have been shot with a laser. Right?
These trousers get two pockets and they’re placed exactly where you would expect, at the hips. They have zips to stop kit escaping.
These trousers are made from a mix of DWR-coated polyester and four-way stretch spandex. All logos are made from a silicon-like material, and feel hardwearing.
The fit is pretty slim, and they stay easily out of the way of drivetrains and snagging on foliage. Nevertheless, they sit baggy enough to make way for completely uninterrupted maneuverability.
While the Boa closure makes for quick and very easy tightening, there’s not an awful lot of stretch in the waistband – or in the stretchy panel that replaces a zip. It might be because I have wider hips than I thought, but I really have to force myself into these.
Once they’re on though, they’re impressively comfortable. To quote Ned Flanders: “Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all!” Though it’s worth noting there’s not an awful lot of space for kneepads. I found Leatt’s Knee Guard 3DF 5.0 Zip pads, which are pretty middling in terms of bulk, were getting to the limit of the available knee space.
There aren’t many perforations for airflow on these trousers, but the ones that are there are placed well enough to do a great job, especially at the back of the knee. I think these trousers are light and airy enough to use right into spring.
I find they stay perfectly comfortable in the wet thanks to the DWR coating, but obviously they're not totally waterproof – they're not for full on storms, but post-torrential downpour they stayed warm and dry. However, due to the light colour, mud stains them very easily.
The only real niggle is that Boa dial. Not only does it make these tighter when you're pulling them on, but it's tricky when nature calls too – there's no fly as such, and the elastic panel fights back. What's more, the elastic panel has started to come away a little bit on ours already.
The 100% R-Core X trousers are comfy and don’t get in the way, and well suited to cool or damp rides without being too heavy or hot. They don't play that well with bulky knee pads, however, and it’s definitely worth trying before you buy to make sure you can get in them.
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