I can’t tell you how many pairs of jeans I have gone through over the years as a result of bike commuting. The seams along the crotch give way, and then I find myself making shorts, patching holes with the excess cut off denim from the lower leg. Resourceful, sure, but I like wearing long-legged jeans, and they usually aren’t cheap. Regularly wearing through pants quickly wears through my student budget.
The folks at DU/ER Denim understood the wear-and-tear bike commuting can cause and created jeans that allow greater flexibility on the bike and elsewhere and provide a comfortable ride, while being more wear-resistant.
There is quite a bit of science and tech behind the fabric used in DU/ER jeans, and the company makes some impressive claims about their fabric. DU/ER says its jeans are 30 percent stronger, five times more flexible than standard denim, and more breathable or insulated in either hot or cold situations, similar to a technical fabric.
For starters, getting on the bike is a breeze. Swinging the leg over the frame is easy with the stretchy denim fabric, and unlike traditional cotton denim, leg motion feels natural and unrestricted, creating a much more comfortable and efficient pedal stroke.
Similarly, the ‘invisible seat gusset,’ that runs along the inner thigh and up to the crotch (although it looks a little funny), provides both flexibility and wear resistance when seated. Certainly, it won’t last forever, but theoretically, it should last longer than standard blue jeans, all the while providing a more comfortable ride.
The final feature that I’ve come to appreciate is the fabric’s surprising ability to regulate temperature in the legs. Because the denim has more in common with athletic wear than traditional jeans, the fabric works both to keep legs cool on warmer days and warm on cooler ones.
When not on the bike, the jeans also excel at everyday tasks. Whether I’m sitting at my desk or walking through town, the soft inner lining tricks me into thinking I’m wearing a pair of comfortable sweatpants. Of course, I’m not wearing sweats, but blue jeans and stylish ones at that — jeans that, in many ways, look a lot like my favorite pair of Levi’s, but offer more features for my active lifestyle.
Price: $110 for both relaxed and skinny fits
What we like: Comfortable fit, flexibility, strength of fabric, and temperature regulation
What we don’t like: Invisible seat gusset isn’t invisible — a somewhat unconventional look compared to normal jeans