Behind the Design: The Glidepath Bike Pant
Words by: Pete Harrington
While the Glidepath Pant launched only this year, the Glidepath Short has been a 7mesh staple since day one – and it’s still our most popular mountain bike short. From Glidepath’s innovative (and much copied) waist adjustment system to its well-positioned pocket layout that keeps your stash comfortably out of the way while you pedal (also copied), there’s a lot of great reasons to wear it when you’re in the mountains.
So how different is the Glidepath Pant from its short stablemate? To answer that question and a few more besides, we sat down with Ian Martin, VP of Product at 7mesh, to talk through all things Glidepath.
“Before we launched our debut line, it was all a bit of a blur,” Ian recalls. “Essentially, it was divide and conquer on who was designing what, but the Glidepath came out of some ideas that Conroy, one of our designers, had been working on. We’d all talked about what we wanted from the short, so he took the lead, quickly made the pattern, sewed one up at the studio, and it was all but done.”
If that process seems a little quick, it’s worth adding that the UK-trained Conroy had years of experience in the trouser (pants) space, from working on Arc’teryx’s Veilance program to other special projects. “About two decades of experience in pocket placement informed those few hours of Glidepath Short design!” Ian jokes. “And the feedback was immediate – riders took to them straight away,” he adds. “But Conroy had been noodling over those same pocket concepts for a long time before we brought them to life.”
And it’s that same pocket placement alongside the radically user-friendly and functional waist system that our newest product, the Glidepath Pant, inherits. All of which raises the question: how much does the Pant differ from the Short? “Not a huge amount,” Ian begins. “Of course, there are questions about product use – the Pant is an excellent gravel bike long as well as a superb mtb piece, whereas the Short is highly mtb-focused – but generally, what works well for the Glidepath Short works equally well in the Pant.
“About two decades of experience in pocket placement informed those few hours of Glidepath Short design!”
That being said, there are some clear differences. “The Pant isn’t simply a longer Glidepath Short,“ Ian explains. “We reinforced the legs for durability and used a light yet strong double weave fabric that first debuted in the Farside Short for a soft next-to-skin feel.” The fit is also different by design. “You don’t want a lot of bulk around the calf, so we came up with a straight seam that rotates down the back of the leg, which allowed us to pull volume in, sculpt the shape and articulate the knee all at the same time.”
Which brings us to the hem. “Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best,” Ian says. “We went with a turned over elasticated cuff. It keeps the fabric away from the chain and provides just enough stretch to get your foot through. And for taller riders with longer legs, the pants end up not looking short because of the way the cuff can sit, whereas, for shorter riders, the fabric ends up holding the cuff in the perfect position.”