Need A Pair of Cycling Jeans? Here’s What To Look For…


Every­one who has cycled in reg­u­lar jeans knows the dis­ad­van­tages: bunched up in the groin, wide cuffs eaten by chain rings, and the best case sce­nario for the seat is a faded bot­tom and dis­em­bow­eled dec­o­ra­tive stitch­ing. The worst case? A frayed hole show­ing the world whether you’re the briefs, box­ers or com­mando. What’s a mor­tal to do, sport span­dex to the office? Cer­tainly not. Look for these fea­tures and you’ll avoid such dun­ga­ree disasters.

Safety should always be the first con­sid­er­a­tion as a cyclist. It’s a dan­ger­ous road out there, so addi­tional reflec­tive­ness is a must — unless, of course, you pre­fer to don the highly vis­i­ble but unsightly tri­an­gle torso reflec­tor vests. The more com­mon place­ments of reflec­tive mate­r­ial are on the cuffs (often exposed after they are rolled up), on pock­ets and belt loops.

Fab­ric and Cut
Old fash­ioned denim doesn’t cut it, which is why most cycling jeans fea­ture upgraded mate­r­ial like Cor­dura (top-notch stuff that adds a near wear-proof invin­ci­bil­ity) and pro­pri­etary nylon woven into denim. It’s costly, but extremely sturdy. Most com­pa­nies also rein­force the inside of the drive-side leg, and some offer water­proof­ing capa­bil­i­ties. A straight or nar­row cut leg can save your denim from the 50 teeth look­ing to make a meal of your cuffs.

Look for pants with a gus­seted crotch and artic­u­lated knees for added com­fort and mobil­ity. Some brands also add a chamois, just like rac­ing tights, for some much needed cush­ion. A prop­erly designed pair of cycling pants will ride higher in the rear to keep your back cov­ered, and so the lower front won’t bunch up and pinch del­i­cate skin.

There are many con­ve­nient fea­tures avail­able, but it’s unlikely you’ll find all of them on a sin­gle pair of cycling jeans. Cell phone pock­ets, rein­forced belt loops for the de rigeur cara­biner, over-sized back pock­ets to fit mini u-locks, pen or key pock­ets and an adjustable waist­band are some of the more prac­ti­cal stan­dard features.

While you’ll ante up a bit more for cycling jeans, think of it as an upgrade to your rid­ing expe­ri­ence — like new tires or com­fort­able seat. Now get out and pedal.