Canyon Cycling Pants review – slim-fitting feature-packed adventure pants

Canyon’s Cycling pants are comfortable gravel-specific pants with useful features that are great for off-road and adventure riding

Canyon Cycling Pants with a Bike Perfect recommends badge
(Image: © Matthew Hawkins)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Proper gravel and adventure cycling pants that have a load of useful off-road cycling-specific features and a great fit.

Pros

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    Lightweight materials

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    Easy access to cargo bib pockets

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    Ventilated rear panel to manage temperatures

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    Elasticated ankle cuff

Cons

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    Fit could be closer

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    If your cargo pockets are particularly high on the thigh they won't line up with the pass-through pockets

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    No XS size or women’s version

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Riding pants are very popular in trail and enduro mountain biking. They are usually made from durable materials and have specific tailoring so that riders can fit kneepads underneath. Meanwhile, drop bar off-roaders usually opt for a pair of the best gravel bike bib shorts which are very similar to those worn by road riders.

In the same way that gravel riding and bikepacking can be hard to define, what you wear is also open to interpretation. Some riders prefer Lycra while others look for something more casual.

When it comes to adventure and gravel bike clothing, there are fewer pant options. Canyon’s Cycling Pants are aimed at this niche middle ground, packed with features tailored to general off-road cycling. 

Walking away from the camera wearing Canyon Cycling Pants

The Cycling Pants have a close tapered leg (Image credit: Matthew Hawkins)

Design and specifications

Straight away you can see that these pants are tailored towards pedaling rather than gravity or trail. Slim tapered legs and elasticated cuffs are designed to keep things tight and in keeping with a faster aesthetic.

There is still space for a thin pair of knee pads, although considering the pants are aimed at cycling not sending I would have liked to see a slightly tighter fit to make them even more gravel and adventure orientated.

The polyester material is soft to the touch and at the rear there is a mesh panel for added breathability, the material also has a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment to help shed splashes. The closure is a reliable zipped fly and double popper configuration. On the inside, there is an elasticated section at the rear with two positions to fine-tune the waist size. 

The Cycling Pants come in sizing between small and 2XL. Canyon’s fit finder on their website recommended a medium, however, I opted for a small and found them to be the right size with the waist adjuster in the tighter position. As Canyon is a direct-to-consumer brand there is no try before you buy, however, there is a 30-day returns policy so if you want a different size you can send them back unused.

There are two zipped hand pockets and two pass-through pockets that give access to cargo bib shorts underneath. There are also two subtle reflective detailing on the side of the legs to help with visibility at night.

Canyon Cycling Pants pass-through pocket access to cargo bib shorts

The pass-through pockets give access to cargo bib pockets underneath  (Image credit: Matthew Hawkins)

Performance

While there are plenty of options when it comes to the best MTB pants and many of them will also work well for cross-country and adventure riding, there are few that have features that specifically cater to adventure riding. The material is nice and light and although I think Canyon could have tailored them a bit tighter around the knees, they still offer a nice flap-free fit. The mesh lumber panel helps dissipate a lot of heat and the rear silicone waist strips help keep them in place when pedaling. As the ankles are well elasticated not only will they never get caught in your drivetrain but the pants are also very easy to get on and off, which is my biggest complaint with the very tapered Specialized Trail pant.

The zip pockets are well positioned and the pass-through flaps give great access to all the bib cargo pockets that I have used, although if your cargo pockets are particularly high up on the thigh they won't line up. Reaching through a gap and into a bib cargo pocket is more fiddly than having cargo pockets on your pants, but I much prefer the flap-free security that bib short cargo pockets offer. Also if it gets warm and you opt to ride in just your cargo bibs, you won't lose any storage when you take your pants off.

Wearing pants is obviously going to be warmer than just wearing bib shorts, the lightweight material, mesh rear panel, and airflow through the pass-through pockets do help things stay cooler. Pairing the Cycling Pants with one of the best MTB bib liner shorts makes a big difference too although if you need more flexibility for changeable bikepacking conditions I would pair them with cargo bib shorts so you also have the option of legs out.

If you do take them off, the light material means that they fold away pretty small allowing them to be packed away in your best bikepacking bags if need be. 

Canyon Cycling Pants closure details

The pants feature a zipper and two poppers (Image credit: Matthew Hawkins)

Verdict

The Canyon Cycling Pants are comfortable and well thought out pair of pants for everything from fun XC rides to gravel and adventure. Lightweight materials keep them comfortable and packable and the pass-through pockets mean you can still utilize your bib cargo pockets. Unlike some other lightweight riding pants, like Rapha’s Trail Lightweight Pants, the aggressive tapering means they do look a lot more cycling specific, however, it cuts down on any annoying or energy-sapping flapping. 

The Cycling Pants are available directly from Canyon.com.

Tech specs: Canyon Cycling Pants

  • Price: $119.95 / £108.95 / €119,95 / $173.95 AUD
  • Fabric: 100% Polyester
  • Colors: Blue
  • Weight: 310g (small)
  • Sizes: S - 2XL
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham Cottingham is the senior tech writer at Bikeperfect.com and is all about riding bikes off-road. With over 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg