Spada Route MTB pants review – baggy trail trousers

Fresh trail pants from a well established motorbike brand making the move into MTB

Spada Route MTB Trousers
(Image: © GuyKesTV)

BikePerfect Verdict

Reinforced riding pants with versatile baggy fit and plenty of quality features at a reasonable price makes these newcomers well worth a look.

Pros

  • +

    Baggy but adjustable fit

  • +

    Reinforced where it counts

  • +

    Lycra gusset for pedaling comfort

  • +

    Well priced

  • +

    Vented back

Cons

  • -

    Teenage ankle look

  • -

    Can flap at speed

  • -

    No women’s option

  • -

    DWR is short lived as usual

  • -

    No eco/ethical elements

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Spada have been producing clothing and helmets for motorbikers since 1994, now they’ve launched a new range of clothing for mountain bikers. That includes these Route trail pants with well thought out fit, features and fabric at a decent price.

Design

With more and more trail trousers going down the skimpy DH pants route, it’s good to see the nylon Taslan fabric reinforced with tougher gridded fabric panels on the knees and backside. The main saddle contact part of the crotch is a diamond of Lycra for seam free friction. An open weave elastic panel sits below the tall curved waistband and Velcro tab adjusters either side gather up a tunneled elastic belt. You get a full fly with double press-stud closure and two zipped hand pockets. There’s a big screen printed logo on the leg side and the side tab ends, press-studs and rubber pullers on the pocket. Zips all have logos and there are contrast stitch details which adds a quality feel. There are two colors and five sizes, but currently Spada only list men's fit and there's no mention of recycling or ethical manufacturing either.

Spada Route MTB Trousers

Logo details include the poppers on the full fly, side adjusters and the rubber pull tabs on the zipped pockets  (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Performance

Compared to the increasingly popular ‘skinny jeans/DH’ style, the Spadas are refreshingly baggy and there’s a bit of stretch in the fabric. That means loads of room for even the bulkiest knee and hip pads without compromising mobility. There are elastic side strips on the lower leg to cope with roast chicken sized calves too. The waistband gives plenty of pre/post lunch/Christmas adjustment from 30in to 34in+ on the medium pair I tested. 

The features list mentions “laser cut ventilation holes”, but I couldn’t find them on my sample pair. That’s not a complaint though as freezing air rushing into sensitive areas tends to be a downside not an upside in the UK most of the year and the mesh yoke does a good job of reducing lower back and crack sweat. It does let water straight in if you’re wearing a short jacket or hit a big puddle, but Spada make a dedicated ‘Hydro Trouser’ if you want proper weather protection

The elasticated cuff and bagginess above the ankle looks a bit odd, leaves shoes open for roost/spray filling and can potentially catch or scuff on chains or cranks. They’re easy to pull off unlike some skinny leg trousers like the Specialized Trail Pants. The repellency of the DWR coating doesn’t last longer than a couple of rides and/or a wash either. That’s pretty much standard for ‘waterproof’ coatings and you can always reproof if you want to. They dry reasonably quick anyway, but the generous cut means they’re more likely to  flap and drag while they’re soggy. The logos are still bright and intact after a couple of months of winter work though and there’s no signs of fabric wear.

Spada Route MTB Trousers

The backside is reinforced and vented, with a Lycra gusset for stretchy saddle comfort (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Verdict

Spada’s Route MTB pants are a tough, feature rich pair of pants who want a baggier fit than currently fashionable skinny styles. Sizing is versatile, the hand pockets are handy and there’s no eye watering perforated venting on colder days. It’d be good to see them add women’s options soon, but we’d class these as a unisex cut anyway. They’re lasting well so far too and given the detailing, they’re a reasonable price. The tight ankle look upset a surprising amount of people though and did mean wetter socks than normal.

Spada Route MTB Trousers

Elasticated cuffs mean the ankles ride higher and baggier than ideal (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Tech specs: Spada Route MTB pants

  • Price: $91.25 / £89.99 / €97.81
  • Fabric: 95% Nylon, 5% Spandex
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Color options: Black or ‘Orion’ grey
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect's technical editor-at-large. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg