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.
- Pros: Comfortable, stretchy, no irritating seams, cycling details are subtle
- Cons: 'Short' comes up a bit short, test pair have a twist in the leg
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
About the tester:
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