Is that armor in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Riding pants are one of the most commonly overlooked pieces of gear, but they are just as important as any other protective equipment. Sit on this for a while…

Raffie Taffie shows us that pants aren't just for knee draggers!

Raffie Taffie shows us that pants aren’t just for knee draggers!

Here is what you should be able to find in a good pair of riding pants: Impact protection in critical impact areas (knees, shins, hips, butt), abrasion resistance for your skin, and a shield against the elements we encounter as riders.  Most riding pants will come with removable armor; don’t take those pads out if you value your ability to walk. CE approved hip armor, knee pads, and even shin pads are designed to keep bones from breaking and to absorb impact force to reduce internal injuries. Whether your pants are made from leather, textile or a mixture of both, they are designed to protect your skin from burns and abrasions.  Riding pants can come with liners to keep you warm, perforation to keep you cool, and even moisture wicking material to keep you dry.  If you like to drag a little knee at the track, make sure you pick up a pair of knee pucks so you’re not grinding on things you’d rather keep stock!

How to find a perfect fit: Make sure your pants are snug enough to act as a second skin but still allow you to move easily. A good way to ensure you can bend your knees enough is by squatting all the way to the floor.  Swing your leg up as if you were getting on your bike to make sure the crotch isn’t too high or snug.  Check to see if the legs are long enough, do they cover your boots or fit underneath them easily?  Most pants will come with zippers or another type of cinch closure to keep them from riding up over the boot and exposing skin in case of an accident.  Ladies, make sure the pants are high enough to cover your lower back even in the riding position.  Make sure the armor sits where it should, doesn’t rotate easily, and is comfortable against your skin.  Chaps or overpants can be used in place of riding pants but do not provide full protection against injury without armor. Find a pair of pants that looks good and feels great, and you’ll never look back…. except maybe to check out your well-covered asset!

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