A couple of years ago it would’ve been strange to even think of Cycling Specific Jeans, you just wore jeans when you cycled! However, like a lot of things we didn’t know what we were missing and these days we can now enjoy all sorts of special little touches all designed to make our cycling more comfortable and more fashionable. There is a mix of big and small players in the cycling specific jeans market, lets take a look at a few of them:
One of the earliest Cycling specific clothiers who focused on the growing commuter/recreation market. Swrve offer a large range of clothing which is designed not only to be fashionable on and off the bike, but also with a plethora of small details which add up to make them a comfortable and practical choice.
Their line of jeans is based around the CORDURA denim, a hard-wearing fabric perfectly suited to the cycling motion (and is hilariously tested in ‘rubs’, as if the testers were really sure their set of jeans contained a genie.) This fabric provides an excellent base for all the additional touches and features which Swrve include. Touches such as the seamless gusseted crotch, seamless so that there is no annoying stitching to catch on saddles or provide additional wear points and gusseted, which is where additional triangles (or rhomboids, thanks wikipedia!) of fabric are inserted into the crotch to allow additional ranges of movement, which in this instance is all about the cycling movement of course.
In addition to the above the knees in Swrve jeans are articulated, which essentially means that they are designed for sitting down, super comfortable on the bike but providing a little bit of a ‘knobbly knee’ effect when standing up. The jeans also feature a reflective belt loop and reflective strip on the underside of the right leg and the back pockets are designed to take a small u-lock.
If Swrve jeans were just hard wearing they’d already be excellent jeans, however the thought and dedication that goes into their design lifts them above many other offerings available today.
Check out our selection here.
Levi’s are probably the most recognisable name in the commuter cycling specific clothing industry, creating waves when they launched their Commuter line in 2011 (although it is worth noting that they originally made cycling specific gear way back in 1895!).
Levi’s contribution features a cycling specific cut which provides more room around the thighs and hips but tapers in towards the feet, allowing a large range of movement but bringing in the legs to keep them away from those pesky chainrings! The crotch is not specifically seamless or gusseted, however the looser fit does mitigate any problems this may cause somewhat. The seat however is double layered, increasing your butt-padding and the associated longevity!
The jeans also boast a water resistant and dirt-repellent Nanosphere (doesn’t that sound fancy!) protective finish, providing protection against light rain and hopefully looking nice and clean regardless of how dusty the road may be! The denim used is a 98% cotton, 2% Elastane blend which grants the jeans a modicum of stretch to better deal with those pedaling legs.
3M reflective tape is sewn into the hems of both legs in a more world-wide friendly design and the jeans do also feature a belt loop section which will take a u-lock. The jeans do have a conventional waist however, which can cause some slippage or be a bit revealing if you tend to ride in a more aggressive position. A very decent pair of jeans for those that like the big-name brands.
Check out our selection here.
RYB or Ride Your Bike is a brand new company (so new they don’t currently have a website!) who provide jeans specifically for female bike riders. They offer a number of technical improvements over many current cycling specific brands, not just in regards to fit but also construction.
One of the main ones (and in my opinion one of the most interesting!) is that they do away with the common center stitch, this has been done by previous brands but the RYB offering features a double reinforced seat gusset designed to eliminate or at least diminish seat wear as much as possible. The design of the gusset provides a comfortable seat regardless of your riding style. As a point of comparison, the two jeans here which feature gussets, Swrve and RYB differ quite a lot in their design. Swrve jeans feature a lateral gusset, whereas RYB features a gusset running from front to back, what effect these differences have depends heavily on your fit and the seat/pant contact points. Suffice to say it is worth trying both.
RYB jeans also feature a ‘swooping’ waistband with a higher rear and lower front to facilitate a more aggressive riding style without putting the cyclist at risk of exposing themselves! In addition to this the RYB jeans also feature a u-lock holster, reinforced belt loops and reflective seam piping.
With jeans made specifically for women there is a lot of work done on establishing the correct fit, correctly fitting jeans is a little beyond the remit of this small blog post, however it would be remiss of me not to link to RYB’s own video on getting the right fit for their jeans. These are excellent jeans with great production values and the attention to detail you’d expect from a small outfit like this, well worth a look!
Check out their jeans here!
The Sombrio Riff Skinny Jeans are the closest thing to ‘Classic’ jeans in regards to the stitching style. It does feature sturdier seam construction throughout plus bar tack stitching (a method of stitching used to add strength to areas, basically a really tight line of stitching) to ‘stress areas’.
The jeans do feature some classic additions that we’ve come to expect from cycling specific jeans, namely a built in u-lock holster and reflective on the inside of the jean leg.The rear zip pocket is a slight departure from the other jeans in this list, providing a secure stashing place for loose items which stays safe regardless of how many curbs you hop!
Sombrio have built a solid, basic cycling jean, though the center crotch stitching may cause uncomfortable issues for some these jeans do look good both on and off the bike!
Check out our range here!