I'm cheap and hate fashion. I just can't justify spending $120 on cycling knickers. I don't care if they're water resistant, stain resistant have a chamois built in, or massage your balls while you ride. I think they're dorky as hell, and make you look like you're trying way too hard to look like an "urban Cyclist" with a capital C.
However come the spring and fall seasons, knickers make a lot of sense, especially when paired with a nice high wool sock or leg warmers; they are often just the ticket to dressing perfectly for the cool 25-45 degree weather.
So the solution here is to simply make your own out of some Dickies. A broken in pair of Dickies are pretty much the best thing ever. They're great as pants, the best cutoff shorts in the world, and they make a great pair of knickers for under $20. Dickies will always be awesome in the same way that a pair of Chuck Taylor's will always be awesome. And nobody can give you shit about your stupid little shortpants.
Ok, that's not true. People will still totally give you shit about your stupid shortpants, and you know what? They'll be right. To the non cycling world your shants are fucking ridiculous and you should grow up and get a real job already. But if looking silly gets you down at least you'll be able to fall back on your morally superior DIY punk rock* ethos.
*punk rock died when the first kid said, punk's not dead... punk's not, dead
So how do you make a set of Dickies knickers? The answer is obviously to just cut them off. However in the years I've been doing this I've gone the extra mile and built in some extra features that I'd like to share with you.
Cutoff Dickies, bottom of each leg hemmed
P: So you cut them off and have extra material, what are you going to do with it?
A: Sew it on the ass
The ass is the first place you're going to wear out your pants while riding, especially if you ride an embroidered saddle. Sew that extra material where you think you'll need it. This was the first attempt at an ass gusset. As you can see my aim was a little low. (I use the word "my" but I've got to come clean, I can't sew for shit. I provided the direction and B.Ridget's mom, M.P.B., did the sewing. She's a real whiz with that kind of thing) Next time the patches will get sewn on higher.
P: You're using these things in the cold weather and you're looking for some extra warmth.
A: Line them with flannel
Keeping the knees warm makes life so much better on the bike. These are lined 360 degrees around the knee up to the mid thigh, if I had to do it over though I wouldn't bother with the rear and would just line the front from seam to seam.
So yeah, if you're looking for knickers I recommend you skip the bike shop and head to a workwear store and get yourself some Dickies. Kid tested, mother approved.
*sorry for the black and white images. At first I thought it would be sweet, but now I realize that they're hard to look at and that color would have been way better. Next time..