High-visibility or reflective cycling jackets are seen as a must by safety-conscious cyclists – and rightly so.
Fortunately, the days of walking around looking like you’re about to steward a major sporting event are no longer a sacrifice you need to make in the pursuit of safety.
For the past five or so years, Resolute Bay has been leading the way in the quest for stylish cycling clothes with reflective detailing. Their ridiculously comfortable cycling jeans, especially, have proven a massive hit, and last year they made their first reflective cycling jacket prototype, the LS1.
I reviewed the LS1 and was very impressed with the subtle pinstripe reflective detailing, but for me, as an urban commuter, there was something lacking in this waterproof reflective cycling jacket… namely, a hood.
While the speedy road cyclists among us may not want a hood on a jacket for fear of becoming less aerodynamic, for non-competitive urban riders, there’s little desire to leave your head exposed to a full shower enroute to your destination.
The good news is that Resolute Bay took this feedback in good stead and came back with an updated version for its successful Kickstarter campaign last year.
Resolute Bay’s LS2 Reflective Cycling Jacket is now stocked up and ready for purchase, but what sort of jacket is this?
Basically, this a lightweight rain jacket that is 100% waterproof. It offers little in the way of keeping you warm but will do a splendid job at keeping you seen with the innocuous pin stripes beaming into light when exposed to headlights and the like.
And don’t worry, if you don’t want the hood, you can pop it off very quickly and throw it in a pocket. The hood is simply held in place with four secure push buttons.
Of course, one of the big concerns with waterproof jackets is that you’ll get all sweaty in the them. However, Resolute Bay have attempted to counteract this with back ventilation, as well as footlong zips under each arm which can complete open up in order to allow your body to breathe while riding. The jacket is also extremely lightweight and is made from 31% nylon and 69% polyester, making it a good candidate to roll up and throw in a bag in case of a downpour.
This cycling rain jacket also has an ergonomic cycling fit, with longer arms and a dropped back hem to keep you well covered.
It really feels like Resolute Bay have ticked every box with the LS2 Reflective Cycling Jacket. It looks good, is waterproof, windproof, very reflective, but still looks decent for every day life.
They’ve also smashed the pockets. You’ll find two deep zipped hand pockets on the front, an inside zip pocket on the chest and also a very large (but incredibly discreet) zipped pocket on the rear of the jacket which can comfortably fit most books or even tablets.
This is a fantastic rain jacket. It does everything and looks good. There’s a removable hood and tonnes of pockets, while the jacket fully protects against rain and wind, as well as making you very visible when exposed to lights.
I've been pleasantly surprised by just how comfortable Resolute Bay's W1 Women's Jeans are for cycling in. They are, as claimed, super-stretchy, so there's very little restriction around the knees when pedalling and plenty of give around the waist when you're leaning forward in the saddle. More importantly, the gusset means no seams in the wrong place for when you're not wearing padded underwear. I'm not sure they're any better as casual jeans than any others I've worn over the years, but they are the best I've worn for cycling.
Jeans aren't my usual choice for cycling, but there are times when they make perfect sense – and days when the time spent changing into/out of Lycra (and packing the clothes to change into) really doesn't. Dry days and short rides, combining cycling with off-bike activities, driving and cycling...
On those occasions, the Resolute Bay W1 jeans are a great choice. First of all, they look like a normal pair of skinny jeans. There are some reflectives – in the seams at the hip (both sides) and on the back pockets – none of which leap out at you during the day, or at all until you shine a light on them. And there's a saddle-friendly gusset, removing seams from where they'd be uncomfortable if you wear the jeans without padded underwear.
From the front and the back they look like a normal pair of jeans – the inner seams meet where they would on a normal pair of jeans, forming the front edge of the gusset, and you can't see the rear seam of the gusset from the back.
As I've said, the stretchiness of the fabric means they're comfortable enough for riding shorter distances; my homeward commute is seven miles and I probably wouldn't want to be going much further, unless I had padded underwear/shorts on.
I've worn them in the rain and, guess what, they've got wet. The few times it's happened, though, I've stayed surprisingly warm and they dry quite quickly.
A quick consult with Resolute Bay suggested I'd be best off with the 32in length, but I'd probably go for the 34s if I was buying them. They're fashionably short – gaining approval from my two daughters, in their 20s, who both wear jeans that I'd consider FAR too short – but a bit chilly around the ankles.
My test pair also have an annoying seam on the left leg that twists around to the front. If I'd spent 80 quid on them I would probably have exchanged them for a different pair.
Spending £80 on a pair of jeans isn't something I tend to do, so they seem expensive to me, but compared with other 'cycling' jeans I have experience of they're pretty good value: £15 cheaper than Rapha's women's jeans (originally £150, now £95), and £20 cheaper than Vulpine's.
Some might say if you're going to cycle in jeans, and only cycle short distances, you could just wear normal jeans. Yes, you could. Or you could make things a little more comfortable and still look like you're in normal jeans. Until some car headlights shine on you – and then you might be very glad you're in cycling jeans.
Really good jeans for cycling in, and for not cycling in
Size tested: 10
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Resolute Bay cycling jeans woman's - links and info below.
I'm a jeans girl I practically live in my jeans so I was curious as to how cycling specific jeans would compare to my favourite American Eagle skinny jeans. When I'm out running errands or meeting up with friends I tend to wear normal clothes rather than cycling gear.
I wondered if cycling specific jeans would be better so I gave the Resolute Bay cycling jeans a go. I commuted in jeans for a week rather than my usual leggings swapping between my usual jeans and the Resolute Bay skinny jeans.
This is how I found them.
I'm wearing a size 8 long.Continue reading
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?
Would you consider buying the product?
Would you recommend the product to a friend?
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.
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
For the most part of 2016, I have been wearing pretty much one pair of jeans: the Resolute Bay Cordura jeans that I reviewed back in March.
It’s not that I don’t own other jeans. I probably own four or five pairs (I know, what a show-off). But the simple fact is, after breaking the Cordura jeans in – none of the others that I owned came even close to the comfort and fit to that of Resolute Bay’s.
They gave the perfect amount of flexibility and stretch, and also had some neat reflective features. That’s not to say they were perfect. They weren’t. The reflective detailing around the calf muscle started peeling off pretty quickly, and while I thought the “zip-release-reflective-bum” was an interesting concept, the novelty of it wore off after a while and I stopped using it altogether.
But now Resolute Bay are back. And back in some style. Last month I put away my Cordura jeans and stepped into my brand new NX1 Cordura cycling jeans! And, essentially, Resolute Bay have taken a very good product and perfected it. These jeans look great. I really can’t emphasise that enough.
These cycling jeans look great. The fact that the untrained eye can’t even spot that these are ‘cycling jeans’ is a huge testament.
Coming in slim fit and available in indigo or black, these are smart jeans. Just take a look for yourself. But how have Resolute Bay taken the Cordura range to the next level?
The change is essentially four-fold:
So you put all of these new features alongside the excellent classic styling and the solid-but-flexible 12.5oz Cordura stretch denim, and you’re essentially on to a winner.
And what’s more, they’re available at a very decent price at £85. Which, for a premium pair of jeans is really, very good – and refreshing in an urban cycling segment that is far too often over-priced.
I have tried a far few pairs of cycling trousers: from waterproof fabrics, to Lycra blended denim. The Resolute Bay Cycling Jeans are one of the smartest, and most interesting pedal-focused pairs of casual jeans that I have come across.
The NX2 Grey Slim Fit Cycling Jeans are made with bicycles in mind. They are built from Cordura Denim, which makes them significantly more durable than your traditional cotton denim; that is important, given that the crotch of jeans takes quite a battering in the saddle.
Despite the Cordura blend, the NX2 cycling jeans look and feel like a smart pair of casual trousers. The close fitting cut, and the classic five pocket design make them as suitable to a night out, as to a ride across town.
The real cycling-specific features are subtly integrated into the NX2's design. The first is a seamless gusset in the crotch, to avoid any uncomfortable abrasion. The second is reflective turn-ups on the cuffs. The third, and real stand-out feature, is the black reflective strips that are integrated into the sides, back yoke and rear pockets of the jeans; giving them a full all-round reflectivity profile that should significantly boost visibility at night.
The NX2 jeans are washing well, and improving with age. The small amount of stretch in the fabric makes them comfortable to ride in, and the cut is great for a pair of skinny cyclist's legs. I opted for the new grey denim colour; it looks fantastic, and definitely smart enough to wear to office meetings and functions.
Overall, these are a really well designed and built pair of cycling jeans, with good fabrics and clever reflectivity. I can see them doing many years of service in the saddle.