Issue #055 Review

The Lab: Mons Royale Virage Pants tested extensively

Long mountain bike pants have arrived in the mainstream. Previously mainly seen at downhill races, some now wear long pants almost exclusively. For fans of long pants who don’t fancy the polyester feeling, Mons Royale has released the Virage pants with merino wool content. We tested what the material mix can do for you.

Mons Royale Virage | Weight 295 g (size L) | Price € 160 | Manufacturer’s website

Turning MONS upside down, the origin of the name becomes clear: SNOW. Founded by Hannah and Hamish Acland, the New Zealand brand have long won over powder fans with their high-quality garments and the generous merino wool content in their items. In the bike clothing sector, the brand, which also gives high priority to sustainability, is not yet well known. Reason enough for us to grab the new Virage pants and see what the underdog has to offer.

The material of the gear is highly important to the boys and girls at Mons Royale. Merino wool is used or mixed in whenever and wherever possible. The high-quality wool from the merino sheep is very fine, and has a natural “crimp”, which causes a wave in the fibres.. The result is outstanding insulation in the cold as well as the heat. What’s more, the wool doesn’t feel scratchy and has antibacterial properties. This means that the material doesn’t absorb odours easily and therefore doesn’t quickly get smelly – great for big days out in the bike park, or touring. The Virage pants are made of 81% recycled polyester, the basic ingredient of almost all sportswear; 14% is scratch-free merino wool and 5% elastane, which provides the necessary stretch. The merino wool makes the pants very comfortable to wear on the skin and the elastane helps the garment to accommodate every move – in short: ideal pants for biking as well as chilling on the couch when your bike buddies are late again.

The horizontal elastic waistband over the buttocks effectively holds the pants in place when you bend forward…
… but it’s a bit lax when you put stuff in the pockets. An additional adjustment would be useful.

The Mons Royale Virage pants are available in three colours and five sizes. With S to XXL on offer, there should be something for everyone, and they run fairly true to size. Our model (on the bike) at 1.78 m, 84 cm inner leg length, and 79 kg can just about wear an S and get a skinny fit. In size M, the fit is a little looser. We chose plain black, while dark chocolate (more like a dusty pink) and dark sage are also available. The pants have two elastic bands sewn into the back, which keep the waistband taut and the pants in place when you lean forward on the bike. There’s a double snap fastener and a high-quality zip at the front. The Virage costs € 160 (RRP), but some colours can be had at 40% off even on the manufacturer’s website, so grab a pair before everyone has read our test ;).

The belt loops are rather ornamental, unless you like to cycle with a belt.
The zippered mobile phone pocket holds the phone securely on the outside of the thigh and is easily accessible with one hand.

The long Virage pants offer a total of three pockets. The two front pockets have a deep cut and easily hold a multitool or keys without the risk of anything falling out. The third pocket is located on the right leg along the side seam and opens towards the back of the thigh. It has a zip and is ideally suited to hold current smartphone models. Regardless of whether it’s an iPhone 13 Pro Max or a 6 Mini: the zip prevents anything from falling out, and thanks to the “flat” cut of the pocket, the phone sits firmly and without bumping on your thigh during the ride. In terms of fit, combined with the pleasant material and high wearing comfort, Mons Royale has nailed it when it comes to MTB pants and achieves tracksuit pants comfort level paired with function and performance. At the bottom of the leg, the pants have an elastic band that does not cut into the flesh and keeps the pants away from the chainring. In summer and in the transitional seasons, the trousers are pleasantly airy to wear. Riding through puddles you quickly feel moisture penetrating, but the pants dry off again just as quickly. However, as soon as the wet stuff comes from above, the Virages reach their limits, and it’s time to change into rain pants. The lack of an adjustment option at the top of the waistband is actually the only thing we’re missing on the pants… Belt loops, on the other hand, are available – even though biking with a belt is probably the exception rather than the rule.

With the Virage, Mons Royale has managed to bring what we consider the most comfortable long bike pants on the market. The clever pockets and the quality material mix with a proportion of merino wool ensure a comfortable feel and good function: the temperature regulation and odour neutrality are convincing across the board, even on long and exhausting tours. However, the Virage pants are not for bad weather or nasty, rainy days.


  • great wearing comfort
  • quick-drying
  • no unpleasant odours even after repeated wear


  • non-adjustable waistband

Tester Juli, Peter, Simon
Test duration 6 months
Price € 160
Weight 295 g (in Size L)
More information Manufacturer’s website

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Words: Julian Schwede Photos: Julian Schwede

About the author

Julian Schwede

Juli is used to dealing with big rigs. Besides working on his bike, he also tinkered and worked on buses after completing his training as a vehicle mechatronics engineer. Since the development of large-scale electric motors was too slow for him, he went on to study technical business administration while building carbon fibre tables on the side. Though his DJ bike is welded from thick aluminium tubes, his full-susser is made of carbon and it's already taken him to the top of numerous summits. Apart from biking, he likes climbing via ferratas or vertically on the wall. Nowadays, his personal bike gets ridden less as he tests the bikes that get sent to us, pushing them to their limits to see what they're capable of. In addition to bike reviews, Juli also takes care of the daily news and thinks of himself as the Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent.