Cuff straps and cuff clips are designed to do one thing, which is to keep your pants cuff away from your chainring where it can be exposed to sharp, gnawing, nasty, greasy teeth. They don’t always do a good job.
Like many — perhaps most — American bike commuters, I use a repurposed bike that was originally designed for sport or recreation. We have no chain guards.
And I have a collection of cuff straps that I mostly don’t ever use.
That’s right. Hiking boots and jeans — at work. You got a problem with that?
It’s pretty inconsequential to me if I arrive to work with a little grease on my pants cuff.
But what about you poor saps who don’t have a casual work environment; you people who spend money on Armani dress pants and still endeavor to bike to work?
First of all: More power to you.
You could use a Brooks Leather Cycling Trouser Strap, which will certainly impress your tweedster friends.
But none of these straps and clips protect more than about an inch of your fancy pants from contact with that dirty drive train.
Even with chain guards and fenders, you can still get road crap slung upon that bottom six-or-so inches of your pants.
Leg Shield is designed for you fancypants bike commuters. It covers the entire lower portion of your dressy work pants — 11-and-a-half inches.
Take a look at that photo above. That’s not me, and that’s not my bike. (But I do have some shoes almost like that from my wedding.)
Now imagine those shoes and pants in the next photo, because this is me:
Putting on the Leg Shield is easy. It reminds me of a compression wrap for shin splints. I wore it all day waiting for one of my co-workers to ask me how I’d hurt myself. Nobody asked.
The only caveat is that it is made of neoprene, and would probably get warm if you were to use it in hot weather. I suppose anything that completely wraps your lower leg would do the same. I only tried it in winter. (Note the gloves and winter coat.) The makers of Leg Shield say that if you wrap it loosely, it will increase the airflow.
Because I’m a Philistine when it comes to pants, I had to look up the price of dress pants, and holy crap! There’s a market out there for pants that cost more than I’ve ever spent on a bike.
I’m trying hard to put myself in the mind of someone who has a wardrobe full of these extravagant pants — five or more pairs.
This is not my world, but I’m trying to imagine an investment of more than $1000 in work pants — pants alone — and wearing them while bike commuting. The Leg Shield costs $19.95 — less than that pretentious little Brooks Trouser Strap.
Hell yes, I’d use a Leg Shield. I’d use two. And I wouldn’t forget. Not once.