CYCLING JEANS REVIEW BY ROAD.CC
Resolute Bay's RB2 cycling jeans are a good design with a hidden yoke panel that you can unzip to improve the fit while riding, although the usual jeans seams can become uncomfortable if you're in the saddle for a long time.
I reckon the Resolute Bay concept is a good one. One of the problems riding around town in jeans is that they're not cut for cycling, so when you lean forward to the handlebar the waistband doesn't sit right. You can often get a draughty lower back and sometimes what the French call 'le sourire du plombier' (plumber's smile) and what we call, less poetically, builder's bum, with your intergluteal cleft (okay, arse crack) on display to all and sundry. Apart from offending people on the number 32 bus as you nip past, it's not very comfortable.
London-based Resolute Bay has come up with a solution that is, as far as I know, new. The jeans feature a hidden yoke panel at the back. An almost invisible zip runs right across the back of the jeans, below the waist band, that, when undone, reveals a ripstop extra panel.
A gimmick? Nope, it really works. Ride your bike with the zip done up and the fit isn't great; ride your bike with the zip undone and things improve massively.
Plus, that panel is highly reflective – it shines when it catches the light. There are black reflective arrows on the inside of the right leg too, front and back, so if you roll up the hem to avoid it getting caught in the drivetrain, you add some more eye-catching visibility.
Cycling features aside, these are very good jeans in their own right. They're made in the UK from 12oz raw selvedge denim produced on Toyoda shuttle looms in the Kuroki Mill in Okayama, Japan. That might not mean a whole lot to you, but it will mean something to denimheads. I have a couple of pairs of Howies jeans made from the same denim and they've worn really well over the past two or three years. No jeans made from this denim are cheap, unfortunately.
As with all raw denim, these jeans shed a lot of dye to begin with so you'd better avoid light-coloured furniture for a while, and if you have a white saddle it is going to turn blue. Unlike the denim used for some cycle-specific jeans, the fabric used here has no added stretch or water resistance.
Denim purists will tell you that you should avoid washing raw denim for as long as possible to get the best appearance in the long term. There was so much dye coming off these that I gave in quite early, and I wanted to check whether they'd shrink in the wash anyway. They didn't.
The denim is pretty tough and durability is good, although any denim is going to wear gradually in the seating area if you're regularly riding a bike. If that's an issue for you, Resolute Bay does make a C1 Cordura edition of its jeans, made from Cordura denim, a blend of cotton and nylon. This fabric is designed to have extra resistance to abrasion.
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