An all-weather friend for work and play, the Zoic Black Market Convertible pants transform from a weekday commuter to a weekend assaulter of the trail.
- Fabric – 95% Nylon / 5% Spandex
- Lightweight, quick dry fabric with spandex for just enough stretch
- Our trademark “Fusion Gusset” inseam eliminates fabric hang‐ups on your bike seat
- Button‐up leg cuffs with reflective front & back panels for visibility at night
- Elastic back waist and an adjustable belt with buckle to dial in your perfect fit
- Angled leg pockets that provide easy access while riding
- Cell phone/mp3 player pocket
- Semi‐locking pocket zippers to secure your stash
- Two deep open front hand pockets
- One rear zippered pocket
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 508 g (17.9 oz)
- Pants Inseam – 77.6 cm (30.6 in)
- Outer shorts inseam – 27.9 cm (11 in)
- Inner shorts inseam – 23 cm (9.1 in)
- Waist – 34.8 cm (13.7 in) stretches
- Thigh width – 25.3 cm (10 in)
- Knee width – 22.5 cm (8.9 in)
- Ankle width – 20.1 cm (7.9 in)
- Retail – $79
Zoic makes casual performance clothing for anyone on a bike. They began on the mountain biking trails of the Marin Headlands outside of San Francisco on the founding principle that “clothing plays an integral role in connecting you to your active outdoor experience.” Zoic started back in 1994 and now has full lines for men, women, and kids. I did not have any experience with the brand, so I decided to contact them. I was able to set up a review of their Black Market convertible Pant, a staple in their winter line.
I tested these pants, mainly on my commutes. Here in Bend the mornings are often quite cold while it warms up in the afternoon. This made for ideal conditions to test these pants.
The Zoic Black Market Convertible Pants are a full-featured cycling pant for mountain biking and commuting. The pants are made with a durable nylon and spandex mixed fabric. This fabric is wind resistant while maintaining breathability. The pants have the Assault Liner shorts that have a chamois for comfort on the bike. The inner liner has a gripper leg hem to keep them in place. The liners are able to be removed if you so choose to. The pants have been made to be versatile; they can be converted into knickers or shorts. To be converted into knickers, there is a button inside the ankle cuffs that can be folded up and latched into the hole higher up the leg. The pants also convert into shorts with zip-off lower legs. The shorts have an inseam of cm (11 inches). For further comfort the pants have an elastic back waist with a webbing belt. Zoic has also used their trademark “Fusion Gusset” to eliminate fabric hang up while still providing a good range of motion while on the bike.
The Black Market pants have a lot of pockets and features. There are two deep open front hand pockets, two angled zipper leg pockets, a rear zip pocket, and a cell phone/mp3 pocket with an audio cord out. The zippers all have semi-locking pull tabs for security. On the right hip above the media pocket, there is an audio cord guide to help keep your headphone wires out of the way. When the cuffs are buttoned up into knickers, there are reflective strips on the inside of the pants that become visible adding more reflectivity in low light situations.
Zoic uses high quality fabrics for durability and function. The fabrics do not seem to be from sustainable sources. In all the looking I did on their website, I only saw one tidbit about being environmentally responsible. For this reason, they got a one for sustainability.
Comfort Next to Skin (20%)
Ease of Movement (25%)
Inseam Length (20%)
Leg Sizing (20%)
The fit of the Black Market Pants was okay for me. The inseam and waist on the pants fit me really well. There is a good amount of adjustment at the waist with the elastic in the back and the webbing belt. Through the thighs, the pants felt tight on me. It is good that the fabric has some stretch to it because around my quads, there is not much room. In contrast, there was a little extra room down around the ankles. The only thing that I wish these pants had was a way to tighten up the pants around the ankle. When I wore the pants all the way down the cuffs would occasionally catch on my chainrings. When I folded up the cuffs I also had this problem as the knickers were a little too loose at the bottom. The internal shorts were a bit on the roomy side. I wish they fit a little tighter.
The fabric used in these pants is comfortable against the skin. The convertible zipper has a fabric backer for further comfort against the skin. The chamois and inner liner shorts are also comfortable. The liner shorts are made of a stretchy mesh material for breathability. There is a good amount of stretch to all the fabric. This allows the pants to move well with you, which is very important. If they are to be used while riding the bike, they need to be able to move with you.
Moisture Transport (10%)
Wind Resistance (15%)
I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Black Market Pants. When I initially put them on, I was a bit skeptical since the fit was a little tight around the quads. The fabric is thin but does a good job blocking some of the wind. It is not totally windproof, which gives is some needed breathability. I used these in temperatures down to around 30 degrees, and they kept my legs warm enough for my hour-long commute. Here in Bend, OR we routinely have days that are pants weather on the way to work and shorts weather on the way home and these pants are able to adjust to that well.
The fabric transfers moisture away from the skin about as expected, since I tested these over the winter I did not have many days where I was breaking much of a sweat. I gave the chamois an average rating. I did not feel like it was the best chamois I have used or the worst. With chamois, it really will be a personal preference in what works for you, so I will not go into it too much. The pants so far have been more durable than I expected. With all my testing rides, they still look new. I have had several instances where the pant legs have been getting grabbed by my chainrings but the pants have not shown any worn areas even here. There does seem to be a large amount of long threads on the inside of the pants left over from manufacturing but none of these have been an issue yet. Just something I am keeping an eye on. The best feature of the Black Market Pants has to be the versatility. Being able to be worn as pants, knickers, or shorts make it a great option for my commuting.
Overall, I was excited when I first saw the pants, skeptical when I first tried them on, and now pleased with them after using them this winter. The fit could use a bit of tweaking for me as there was a little extra room around the ankles and not quite enough around the thighs. Even though the fit was not perfect the pants do move well with you on the bike and do not inhibit motion. The fabric is both comfortable and durable. One of the main things these pant shave going for them is the abundance of pockets and features. I am not sure why you would need all these pockets, but they are there. If you are looking for a pair of pants that can double as knickers or shorts take a look at these. I have included the measurements above so you can see if they may fit you well or not, for some it may be best to just try them on. At $80 retail, these pants are a great value for what you get. I would recommend them. Of course, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Versatile – Pants, Knickers, Shorts
- Wind Resistant fabric
- Lots of pockets
- Good value for $80
- Tight in the thighs
- Loose at the ankles
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