"AN EXCELLENT PAIR OF CYCLING JEANS"
Jeans and bicycles have never really been happy bedfellows. Walk into any high street fashion shop and you're faced with jeans in any number of cuts, fits, colours and styles, but few lend themselves to cycling. Resolute Bay is one of the latest brands trying to change that and make the ideal cycling jeans, aiming to marry fashion with comfort and practicality, and I'd say its NX1s are well on the way to achieving it.
Mat reviewed Resolute Bay's first pair of jeans back in November 2015. They were the RB2 model – since superseded by the RB3s – and featured a nifty zip-out reflective panel, quite a novel design. The NX1s have a more traditional take on things, they're a far simpler design with no fancy pull-out panels, just classic slim-fit jeans with a few nice twists that make for a more pleasurable riding experience.
The cut of the NX1s is slim, not spray-on skinny and not 90s pop rock bands, but somewhere in the middle. Loose enough that you've got room to move, but not too much excess material. Importantly, they look like 'normal' jeans when you're off the bike.
The major difference from your average high street jeans is the crotch gusset. This features a flat panel instead of the junction of seams you'd usually find. These seams are the primary reason most people find jeans uncomfortable to ride in, as they end up between your 'sensitive areas' and the saddle. The flat panel design here, often found on other cycling trousers too, removes this discomfort. The seams and joins are still there but they've been moved out to the periphery. The overall effect is that the jeans are a whole lot more comfortable to ride in, although the seams that have been moved to the inner thigh can become 'noticeable' if you're riding longer distances.
One of the main selling points of the NX1s is that they're made of 12.5oz stretch Cordura denim. Cordura trumps your average denim in that it mixes the cotton with a nylon fibre to make it a lot more resistant to abrasion and heavy everyday use, while not looking any different to normal denim. This is vital on the crotch and inner thigh, where regular cotton denim tends to wear quite quickly.
The Cordura doesn't mean you have to compromise on comfort, either: to wear, they feel just the same as any other jeans, but you have the peace of mind that they are going to last a lot longer – about four times longer according to Cordura's claims. The stretch in the fabric is another essential when on the bike; heavyweight denim jeans can often feel a bit restricting when you're pedalling, but the extra stretch in the NX1s makes things more comfortable.
One of the jeans' main party tricks is clearly visible in the photo above: across the rear yoke, down the outer thighs and across the rear pockets are strips of black reflective. It's virtually invisible in daylight, and just blends into the lines of the seams, but shine a car headlight at it and it lights you up like a Christmas tree. It's a really neat little feature that gives you that extra bit visibility at night without compromising the look when you're wearing them off the bike. There is also a reflective strip inside the turn-up of the right cuff, another useful touch.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed? Easy. They machine wash at 30 degrees. They come out fine without much shrinkage, and the stretch aspect of the fabric loosens up any tightness caused by washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose: Really well, comfortable and practical on the bike, and stylish off it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product: The cut was really nice, as was the flat gusset and the integrated reflective strips.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product: There wasn't much to dislike really, the tight pockets were the only niggle and that issue sounds like it'll be addressed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely
The jeans get a 9 from me. They're an excellent pair of jeans that perform to an all-round high level. They score highly on comfort and performance, and meet the aim of looking good on and off the bike. RB hasn't tried to make them too clever, instead concentrating on refining a simple design.
Overall rating: 9/10
About the tester:
Age: 30 Height: 5'10 Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: KHS Flite 100 Singlespeed/Fixed, Genesis Equilibrium 20 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed