Review: GreenLite Heavy Industries’ G1 Casually Technical Riding Pants
Every once in a while, we get an email from a company we didn’t even know existed asking if we’d like to check out their product. Such was the case when Michael from GreenLite Heavy Industries contacted us about their G1 cycling pants. Turns out, that GreenLite was started in early 2012 with the sole purpose of creating casual, technical cycling gear that looks as good off the bike as on. As a grass roots company, Michael was proud to point out that he has borrowed nothing to get the business off the ground, and he is re-investing every penny back into the business. We eagerly accepted the chance to try out a pair of the made-in-Seattle G1s.
Try on the G1s for size after the break.
As you might have picked up from other posts, I was not lucky enough to pick up the tall genes like Tyler, and as a shorter guy (5’8″) I almost always have a hard time finding casual pants that fit. They’re always either too long, too small in the legs and butt region, or too big in the waist – clearly, mens’ pants aren’t made for cyclists my size. That’s why I am so stoked on the fit of the G1s, they honestly might be the best cut of any pants I’ve owned. Mike said he took particular car in not relying on the stretch of the Schoeller Dryskin fabric to make them fit. That means that when you’re not on the bike the fit is perfect, and when you are the 4-way stretch of the Swiss fabric allows for an incredibly free range of motion. It’s pretty clear that these were cut for a cyclist by a cyclist. I’ve basically been living in them since I got them.
My 30x30s fit perfectly without a belt, though it you need one there are 7 belt loops built into the pant to keep them from sagging or bunching. Also, the waistband is curved and cut slightly higher in the back for a more athletic fit that is resistant to “cracking” as Mike puts it. Evidence of attention to detail is everywhere, from the rear pockets that are spaced out to the sides to avoid issue with saddles and angled slightly upward for easy access, and a rear middle seam that is cut to avoid snagging the pants on the nose of your saddle.
Thanks to some smart features, there is plenty more to the G1s than the fit. Both legs of the pant feature GreenLite’s D-Greaser cuff, a reflective band that is sewn into the inside of each pant leg with two different snap positions that allow some fine tuning of the positioning. For myself, I was able to simply flip the cuff and snap it to the tightest setting around my ankles, or roll up the pan leg all the way over the top of my calf and just reach the first snap. This made it tight enough that it couldn’t fall down over my calf, and would provide adequate chainring clearance.
Seeing as how these are riding pants first, and casual attire second, articulated knee darts keep things smooth while pedaling and prevent tight knees. Around the whole pant you will find double stitched flat lock seams that should keep the G1s pedaling for the long haul. As far as the fabric is concerned, I can vouch for their water repellant as an entire water bottle decided to splash down on my lap while driving. My pants stayed dry, my seat – not so much. The Dryskin is also great for cold, windy weather as it is a great barrier from the elements. Just expect to need a base layer if you stay out for a long time – once the Dryskin acclimates to the outside temperature, the fabric itself seems to retain the cold fairly well.
The Greenlite Heavy Industries G1 pant will set you back a fairly large $195 with free shipping, but in my opinion they’re worth every penny. The only weak point, and this is a stretch, is that the snap on the fly could be a little stronger – in rare instances I was able to pop the snap open, but it was doing something weird like getting my phone out of my pocket while twisting or something. This was a very rare instance, but it did happen a few times, though with a belt I don’t think it would be an issue.
Between their build quality and attention to detail, the pants I’d never heard of before have turned out to be my favorite. The G1s aren’t just limited to cycling either, as I’ve ridden bikes, gone bouldering, hiking, shoveled snow, taken long car trips, and worn them day to day, all in supreme comfort. Why so expensive? Well, Schoeller 4 way stretch dryskin fabric is one of the nicest you can buy and everything is hand made in Seattle. In the end you’re paying for a hand crafted garment that will last a long time, made right here in the good ol, US of A.