Specialized Trail Pants review

by 21

The Specialized Trail Pants come in both men’s and women’s versions. The women’s ones do not fit me – they are comically short. If you are a chunk shorter than me (I’m 175cm) then you might get on with the women’s ones.

I, however, like the men’s. I’ll go further: I love them.


  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Stay put


  • Tight ankles may annoy some
  • Black with no reflective details

This is especially notable because I had basically given up on trousers. Between trying to find them long enough, that fit at the waist, and that don’t show your bum, or dig into your belly – I’d just started wearing dungarees (POC Consort MTB Dungaree usually). Altogether easier and more comfortable (apart from in event/festival toilets…).

But these – these are great, on the bike and off. Perfect for someone like me who often ends up in the same clothes all day long, switching between bike, work, school runs, and back to the bike.

These are not winter trousers. They’re shoulder season and nettles-in-the-summer trousers. The fabric is tough enough to withstand some unintended interactions with the ground, but light enough to be comfortable without rubbing or feeling heavy when wet.

Admittedly I reach for waterproof options when I know things will be wet, so I’ve not ground these into a muddy saddle ride after ride, but they’ve been worn and washed probably once a week for the last year and are still looking good.

There’s a decent amount of stretch to the fabric, which makes movement comfortable. Unlike some stretch fabrics, these pants don’t need to be worn tight to fit. They’re like comfortable trousers which stretch when you want them to, rather than being stretched all the time. A great mix.

Up the top end, around the waist, you get a reassuring ratchet faster. I’ve decided I really like these – they’re secure and provide a little bit of extra adjustment, so you can get the fit just right. You also get a mesh panel on the inside, with ventilation holes cut in the outer fabric – helping keep your lower back from getting too sweaty. I like that it’s just the ratchet to keep them in place, no silicone, which I find can irritate my skin.

Two zippered pockets on the front allow the secure carrying of stuff. On the left thigh you’ve got a pocket which is the right size for a phone.

Inside the thighs are more of those vent holes to stop you overheating. In the middle, around the knees, there’s just enough articulation cut into the fabric to fit a slim knee pad without stretching the fabric. A bulkier pad will fit too, thanks to the stretch fabric, but you’ll have more sausagey stretch around the knees.

At the bottom comes what might be the point of controversy: the elasticated ankle panels. These are tight. Tight as in put your socks on first, then these pants, because it’s hard to get your socks pulled up under the ankles otherwise.

When it comes to the end of a ride, you’ll probably find yourself peeling trousers and socks off together – getting wet socks out from under the ankles is a feat of strength and yoga that’s beyond me. But that’s not a complaint – the nice snug ankles mean there’s no flapping around your cranks, and the trousers stay nicely in place without any riding up or draughts around the ankles.


I find the Specialized Trail Pants really comfortable, and a fairly normal looking cut. They’re so comfortable and normal that I’ll often wear them off the bike too. I’ve been bouldering, hiking, and to the shops in them because they’re just so comfortable and versatile. They wash well and dry quickly. Have I mentioned that they’re comfortable? The first trousers in a long while to challenge my love of dungarees.

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Review Info

Brand: Specialized
Product: Trail Pants
From: Specialized
Price: £110.00
Tested: by Hannah for 12 months
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
  • Specialized Trail Pants review
  • whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    i just wore some flexair pro fire over the weekend and found the tight ankle just wouldnt work on a wet day with my trailcross gtx, had to go waterproof sock and some other boots,

    hopefully specialized have widened the ankle as i had two friends return the trousers last winter as they wouldnt go on over their feet..

    a good fitting trouser makes life great. hannah got lucky :0)

    Free Member

    Riding trousers are the best.

    Not tried the spesh ones but my Nukeproof Blacklines are what i’ll be wearing all winter, riding or not

    Full Member

    I have these and agree they are generally ace. Once on though as getting them on and off is sodding difficult because of the mentioned tight elastic around the ankles. Once on a dream, getting dressed = nightmare lol.

    Free Member


    How do the Black line size up? I’m tempted, but CRC/wiggle returns feel like a bit of a gamble right now.

    Free Member

    I’m about a 33″ waist and a little between the medium and the large, but both fit alright.  Actually prefer the mediums for riding in.

    Full Member

    Can we please call them trousers and not describe them as an item of underwear. I realise they are American but surely we don’t need to slide any further down the slope of Americanisation of the language

    Full Member

    Americanisatiom or just the Americans sticking with olde English and us changing our minds? Or are you keen on Trousers as the because you hark back to pre Anglo-Saxon times?

    Full Member

    Can we please

    You’re thinking of underpants

    Full Member

    i tried on a pair of specialized trousers last year. they were skin  tight in the leg with a really baggy arse. very odd shape on me.

    Full Member

    top marks for the photos with measurements in. even if the size on test isn’t everyone’s size, actual garment measurements are useful

    Full Member

    @LAT I think they changed the shape for these.  The gravity pants were as you described, but these were different.

    Credit to Benji for the measurement pics, his idea.

    Full Member

    I’d echo that trail trousers are a great addition.   I bought some Altura eskers in last years sale.  They don’t soak like tights, you can layer underneath and you never get wet.  Finally, when they come off you hang them to dry and brush the mud off later – mine have never been washed and don’t honk.


    re tight ankles – maybe I’m lucky but mine are fairly restricted over the top of some Scott Heaters but stay there.  I get nothing flowing into the tops of my boots.

    it’s made me much less avoiding for winter riding, which can only be a good thing.

    Full Member

    This is timely, since I’m thinking about biking trousers for the first time in my life, after finding a tick on my for the 2nd or 3rd time after riding at my favourite spot!

    Full Member

    Can we please call them trousers and not describe them as an item of underwear.

    You know a vast swathe of the country (hint: the north of England) call the aforementioned garment ‘pants’, always have, always will. Nowt to do with Americanisation. 

    Full Member

    I realise they are American…

    Wait until you see how they spell ‘specialised’.

    Full Member

    Wait until you see how they spell ‘specialised’.

    will probably need a vacation to get over the trauma.

    – they may well have been the gravity pants. they were on the same rack as the butter colorway that the dh team had.

    Full Member

    i just wore some flexair pro fire over the weekend and found the tight ankle just wouldnt work on a wet day with my trailcross gtx, had to go waterproof sock and some other boots,

    The solution to this is the GripGrab CyclinGaiter

    Full Member

    Wait until you see how they spell ‘specialised’.will probably need a vacation to get over the trauma.

    Did some one say holiday. Yes please I can always do with more of them

    Full Member

    A vacay is what we would call hollibobs.

    Full Member

    How do the Black line size up?

    I bought some the other week. I’m a 31″/32″ waist and usually wear a medium or 32″ waist in most brands, the medium are a great fit on me, good cut and there’s enough stretch in the fabric to allow easy pedalling etc. Bargain at the current £45 from Wiggle.

    Full Member

    One feature would solve the tight ankle cuffs: zippers.

    For now, you can add your own, but it would be nice if they came with ankle/lower calf zippers from the get go

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)

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