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  Cargo Knickers by Chicago Wig

ChicagoWIG’s modified BDU (battle dress uniform) pant, at $50 is an exciting and unusually affordable find. The business seemed much smaller than any of the others, in fact, it was run through the owner’s blog. Not exactly a slick, corporate presentation, but Isaac and Wendy answered my email promptly and walked me through the order. The business model is this: they take a pair of military BDU’s or Dickie’s and modify them for you; the legs are cut down to your desired length, stress points are reinforced, the waist is lowered in front and they are shipped out to you – all within a few days of placing your order.

ChicagoWIG has also recently introduduced a few new options (untested by me): added reflective patches and tailoring of the BDU leg for a more contoured fit. The standard fit is roomy and comfortable, but certainly lacks some of the refinement found in the more expensive offerings. They do have large cargo pockets with button flaps, sturdy, fast-drying fabric, a reinforced seat area, and two tabs on the waist to adjust the fit.

ChicagoWIG has found a way to offer a good product at a price point well below most everyone else – and you won’t be heartbroken if you crash and tear them. I bought two pairs of the modified BDU’s. It is surprising how liberating an affordable pair of knickers feels once you have become accustomed to a more expensive option – you can sit on the sidewalk, work on your bike, eat with chopsticks, or lay in the grass without worrying about them. These have a place in everyone’s cycling wardrobe.

Isaac and Wendy at ChicagoWIG patiently exchanged email after email with me as I waffled between size L and size XL (and they generously declined to answer when I asked them if I was the biggest pain in the ass they had ever worked with!).

Roberto Cipriano