We have been eying the Levi's Commuter jeans for a good bit. A mainstream company pursuing the not-so-mainstream market of bike commuters? Our curiosity had peaked, jeans are a major staple in any American’s wardrobe, but for people that bike everywhere, this icon is in rotation more often than not. I've blown through countless jeans and these may prove to be the better class of denim. Once purchased, I immediately put them on and went for a quick ride to get a feel for what they were all about; I first noticed they were a bit more stretchy than other jeans I owned, which is awesome for riding, they are more fluid in their movements while pedaling, unlike regular jeans that tend to be a little stiff.
The next day was a big test, Critical Mass (a large group ride through the city on last Friday of the month promoting bike advocacy), usually these rides aren't terribly long but this one went on for 20 miles. So at the end of the trip from home>critical mass>taco feast>home it was a 30+ miler in these jeans and they did great.
Execution is just ok though, the Nano-sphere water/dirt resistant coating was an instant disappointment, I knew that by the time I washed these that the scotch guard would fade quickly, so before I did that I jumped on the bike for a quick 2 mile ride in a light, steady rain. By the time I reached 1 mile the jeans were considerably wet..by 1.5..drenched, so I wouldn't count on them if I get caught in rain let alone a downpour. I sat in them for about two hours and they dried OK, but if you're at a bar or party, not sure if you want to be mingling with some heavy pants. On the plus side the Sanitized odor-resistant coating seems to work pretty well for daily use for the time being.
Levi's has built and tested the commuter line on the streets of San Fran, they have several added features that apply to the cyclist. The 3M reflective tape on the outer seams is a great safety touch and the reinforced crotch has held up quite well, so far. The lock loop on the waist band is a great feature when accompanied by an over-the-shoulder style messenger bag, but if you wear a belt (which usually serves the same purpose as the U-lock loop) the added fabric becomes a bit cumbersome. Also they have added a raised back, there's nothing worse than supporting the crack epidemic in this country, flashing that butt crack while cruising through the city especially when it’s raining. Without fail there's always a handful of drops that want to slide right between your cheeks, so that addition is an incredibly well-thought out feature along with deeper back pockets for any small tools you may carry, which definitely comes in handy when carrying your other daily ammenities.
Although in Hotlanta's humid heat, the added fabric keeps your nether region quite swampy, cooler weather use would be more applicable. But they look damn good, fit very well and I know this because while I was writing I got a few winks and whistles from a few construction workers, "Settle down boys!" I say, yes.. settle down indeed. In the end, we here at The Spindle believe the Levi’s commuter jean is a great alternative to a biker’s everyday jean. We'll be sure to let you know when the crotch blows out! We've heard 8 months so far, 3 down.....
To check out more of Levi's Commuter line, click on the link below.
Have a great ride!