Protect my pants
October 23, 2014 9:24 PM   Subscribe

I want something to protect my pants from bike grease. Holding the pant tight with a conventional pant-holding-device is not sufficient, I still get chain grease all over my right calf.

What I'm looking for is something that actually covers a good portion of my calf while I ride. I have searched the hills and valleys of the internet, using search terms like, "chain protector" "pants chain protector" "leg gaiter" "leg shield" "pants strap" etc....

I finally found this but it seems really over the top and I'm afraid the neoprene would be too hot. The Shin Shackle is basically what I'm looking for, but it does not seem to exist anymore.

Yes, I have cleaned my chain and only add a very small amount of new lube.
posted by latkes to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about hiking gaiters? Yes, you only need the one side, but it'll do the job. I've used these on long workdays of trekking through wet fields and been super happy and dry-legged.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:28 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Did you try hiking gaiters at REI or so on?

They may also have gear cases or chainguards, but I'd try a full feature neighborhood bike store for that.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:28 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there a reason why ordinary snow/hiking-type gaiters wouldn't work?
posted by rtha at 9:29 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Less expensive options on Sierra Trading Post (mixed in with neck gaiters because I am lazy in my search).
posted by rtha at 9:31 PM on October 23, 2014

For cooler weather, you could wear long black socks, (which hide bike grease well) and roll up your right pant leg to the knee, or wear pants that end at the knee.
posted by oxisos at 11:02 PM on October 23, 2014

And in the summer buy a six-pack of tube socks, cut the feet off, and wear the uppers over your pant legs.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:06 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about a proper chain guard that you mount on the bike? You can get quite a number of different ones for different situations - I like the SKS chainboard.
posted by rockindata at 4:57 AM on October 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

20 oz or 1 liter plastic bottle?
posted by at at 5:14 AM on October 24, 2014

I regularly see people biking with one long sock pulled up over that leg. No fancy equipment needed, just whatevers cheapest at the supermarket or wherever. You can put it right over your shoe if you want, otherwise wear it like a normal sock and change at work if you don't want to wear those socks that day.
posted by shelleycat at 7:07 AM on October 24, 2014

Can you use a chain guard on the bike?

If you have an urbanish, hybridish bike, a full chain housing can look sharp, especially if paired with fenders.

If that's not your style, you can put a "bash" protector on the front chainring which is fairly effective at keeping a pant leg off the rings. They come in many colours.

I've used clips and tube socks myself, but, imo, getting the bike right is the best, lowest fuss, solution.
posted by bonehead at 7:08 AM on October 24, 2014

Response by poster: Gaiters almost all seem fairly baggy, which doesn't work for biking. But I like the idea of cutting the foot off a black tube sock and just pulling that on over my pant leg. Or getting a chain guard on the bike. I'll check at my local bike shop about that one...
posted by latkes at 7:29 AM on October 24, 2014

with regards to a chain guard, you'll definitely want to seek out a bike shop that has a lot of selection and is willing to do the installation for you. Not all chain guards work with all bikes, and it can sometimes be finicky to get one that fits without rubbing against your chain.

also, I'd caution you against accepting a shop's recommendation to just go with a chainguard that only covers the front crankset. That sort of guard will protect your pants somewhat from coming in contact with the chain as your foot moves over the crankset, but it won't protect your pants when your foot is behind the crankset.

personally, after trying three different chainguards and not finding one that worked for my bike, I just roll up my pants leg using a similar technique to "Master shirt sleeve rolling" (basically, don't roll, just fold).
posted by bl1nk at 9:19 AM on October 24, 2014

Thinking outside the box, though I know these are women's apparel usually, you seem willing to wear a tube sock on your leg, , so...what about leg warmers? Buy an inexpensive pair, and you could put one over your pants leg and still have a spare for when the first one was too messy/worn out to wear any more.
posted by misha at 9:31 AM on October 24, 2014

Not sure if this works for what you wear, but I often roll my trouser leg up. Then the fabric is out of the way, and what grease does get on it goes on the inside.
posted by carter at 9:40 AM on October 24, 2014

if gaiters are to baggy, you could also get a half chap, which is for equestrian purposes, but will also fit your needs
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:49 PM on October 24, 2014

Response by poster: Leg warmers is actually kind of brilliant. I'll have to look around a little: concerned that they will be too hot and/or baggy but there might be a good light weight one.

Fashion-wise, the half chap would certainly make an impression!
posted by latkes at 6:14 PM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I came in to say half-chaps, too. Pros: They are sturdy and will stay in place even over a long ride.

There are lots of calf wraps (usually designed for shin splints) that might work for you, but most of them seem to have bad reviews about falling down.
posted by anaelith at 6:56 AM on October 25, 2014

Or you could find someone with a sewing machine to recreate the Shin Shackle for you--it's pretty straightforward. But I feel like it would definitely not stay up unless you put some non-slip tape on the inside.
posted by anaelith at 6:59 AM on October 25, 2014

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