Compass KnickersJan Heine
We are happy to introduce our Compass Knickers! Now we can be more confident when entering restaurants or shops, knowing that our cycling clothes do not stretch the boundaries of good taste by being too tight and revealing. Yet on the bike, these knickers are slick with the wind, and do not billow like many “casual” cycling shorts. I’ve ridden many spirited rides on them, including part of this year’s PBP, and they simply disappear.
During my first trip to Japan, I discovered Japanese cyclotouring knickers. I started to wear them on most rides, and whenever a photo of me appeared in the magazine, on our blog or on other social media, we received requests from readers who were interested in the knickers. Clearly, there is a demand for performance cycling knickers, but unfortunately, none of the Japanese manufacturers were interested in selling small quantities to North America.
The solution was to make our own. We worked with a local company in Seattle to develop knickers that combine the best features of various knickers we have tried. We have tested a number of prototypes with different cuts and fabrics over thousands of kilometers.
The final model uses a synthetic woven fabric with a little stretch, so they don’t constrict your pedaling, no matter how fast you are going. The fabric wicks moisture, so it is comfortable even in very hot weather. The cuffs below the knees are elastic and adjustable. The waist is both elastic and features a belt, so you can dial in your fit.
They don’t have a pad, so you also can wear them off the bike. I’ve found them perfect for back-country hiking as well. On the bike, I simply wear my normal cycling shorts underneath them. They also pack so small that you could just stuff them in your jersey pocket and only wear them when you arrive at your destination. (They fit over your cycling shoes, so they are easy to put on.)
The Compass knickers are finely detailed and hand-made in Seattle. They are available now in five sizes between 28″ and 36″, in two colors. The fit is adjustable, so order a size up if unsure, especially if you wear padded cycling shorts underneath. Click here for more information about the Compass Knickers or to order your pair.