Cycling clothes have long been some of the least stylish sporting apparel known to man. We're talking skin-tight Lycra, bib shorts and nipple-hugging jerseys. Nothing about that is flattering or acceptable more than two feet from your bike saddle. Since cycling has lately grown more towards the trendy, eco-conscious urbanite and less the endurance/fitness dork, cycling clothing has made a move toward more casual, socially acceptable styles. The Vaude Homy Rain Pants exemplify this transition with a look of pure denim and the protection of rain pants.

The only time that I purposely went biking in the rain, the only protection I could find was a pair of bright-yellow poncho pants. Not only did I look like a flamboyant dufus, but the pants ripped to shreds within the first mile thanks to the constant rubbing against the chain and gears.

Homy Rain Pants were designed to look and perform a helluva lot better than bright- yellow plastic. They're fashioned to look like black or blue denim and even have denim-like stitching as a finishing touch. The adjustable cuffs let you keep the edges of your pants out of the chain and gear work. The pants also feature reflective elements that make you more visible in low-light situations (like a nasty storm, for instance).

The Homy Pants are made from recycled polyester to keep you dry during unexpected or unavoidable downpours. Inside, they have a mesh lining designed to keep the air circulating. Thanks to the denim look, you can give these a quick wipe after your commute and walk into the bar, store or casual Fridays at the office without looking like a sopping fool.

The Homy Rain Pants will hit the market next fall. For those that cycle in reliably sunny but cool climates, Vaude currently offers Homy Warm Pants - equally casual, urban-influenced bike pants without the water protection.

The Vaude pants are the latest in a trend of denim-mimicking sports pants. At the 2010 Olympic Games, the U.S. Snowboarding Team wore Burton-designed Gore-Tex pants that looked like worn denim. Another example is Thunderbolt Softshell Jeans, which are versatile, water-repellant pants for outdoor sports like mountain climbing and hiking.

Source: Vaude via The GearCaster