Giro's Transfer Denim Jeans are a good solution if you're looking for a pair of trousers that will last the rigours of regular bike rides but will also be great for all that 'real life' stuff you do when you're not cycling.
Sometimes, you want to just jump on your bike to get to work or pop to the shops, yet you don't want to risk stretching or dirtying your normal jeans, or run the risk of seams rubbing in the wrong places. At the same time, though, you don't want to get in your bibs and jersey just to go wandering around Sainsbury's looking for bananas and milk. Giro's Transfer Jeans bridge this gap, delivering a pair of 'normal' denim trousers with a reinforced and gusseted crutch, slightly stretchy fabric, and reflective cuffs for enhanced visibility.
In terms of looks, the Transfers could pass as a pair bought from one of those mysterious non-bike clothing shops… With the classic denim colouring and look, they easily integrate into your day-to-day wardrobe and could be worn off the bike without anyone casting you a suspicious second look. They're a relatively slim but not ridiculously tight cut, meaning they're fairly universal in terms of casual-styling.
On the bike, the jeans provide a comfortable ride. Given the relative slimness of the leg, they don't get caught up in the chain or rub on any parts of the frame (and there's always the option to roll up the leg, thus revealing the reflective element inside the cuff). There's just enough space around the knee and waist to allow you full and unimpeded leg movement. The material used is 98% cotton and 2% Lycra, this latter element giving the trousers just enough stretch and flexibility for riding comfortably.
For me, the most important element of the jeans in terms of ride-friendliness is the crotch. Anyone who's ridden in 'normal' jeans will be well aware that the seams can fall in all the wrong places, rubbing and chafing in all the places where you definitely do not want any friction. While the seams of these jeans are where you'd find them on any other pair, the crotch is gusseted and reinforced on the inside with an extra layer of padding which slightly eases pressure and takes the edge off any rubbing around the seams.
This reinforced patch is also designed to reduce the chance of fading and the fabric getting distressed over time, meaning they can easily become your go-to commute jeans without fear of getting ruined. With that issue in mind, it would have been nice if Giro had also reinforced the knee slightly, as from my experience this is one of the key areas where wear from rubbing knees can impact if frequently used on a bike.
Another nice bike-specific touch is the addition of reflective fabrics on the inside of the cuffs on the outer side of the leg. If you roll the jeans up for your ride so as to eliminate the risk of any dirt messing them up or your chain catching on them, there's an element of added visibility for riding in traffic.
In terms of fit, the size 32s I tested fitted as any other paid of 32in trousers I have. They are a little on the long side, though not massively so, and they look good off the bike with a small turn-up anyway.
Price-wise, the jeans initially struck me as quite expensive at £79.99, but they compare well with bike-jeans by other brands, which seem to range from around £70 a pair up to £150. If you're looking for alternatives at a similar price point, the Resolute Bay NX1 jeans were reviewed highly favourably, and if you want 'trousers' rather than jeans, these Velocity Men's Climbers trousers are worth a look. Female-specific jeans are also available, such as this pair by Vulpine and these from Rapha.
All-in, the Giro Transfer Jeans offer a nice solution for those times when you want to pop out on the bike for social commitments or work and not in Lycra. They look like normal jeans, and so can be comfortably worn out and about, but have been built to withstand the rigours of riding. The reinforced crotch and Lycra elements improve ride comfort, though I wouldn't fancy riding in them for too long on an aggressively fitted road bike for fear of developing any saddle sores. For shorter rides, or riding a more relaxed fit bike, they're just the job.
Look great off the bike and perform well on it; a solid choice for short commutes, leisure rides or no rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Transfer Denim Jeans
Size tested: Waist 32
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
They're designed for commuting and weekend 'adventures'.
Giro says: "Our Men's Transfer Denim is the result of exhaustive research, testing and lengthy fit sessions until we created a premium pair of jeans, suitable for your commute, work day, or weekend adventures. These jeans feature classic 5-pocket styling with cycling specific details for a durable, versatile and dependable wear anywhere staple. The reinforced and gusseted crotch will last for even the most dedicated commuter, and reflective cuffs allow you to be seen. We added just enough stretch so that our denim moves with you and your active lifestyle."
Designed as a bike-friendly pair of jeans, I'd say they work well and are as at home in the office or pub as they are on the bike.
The jeans have a quality construction and look just as good as any 'normal' pair of premium jeans. After several rides in them, there's no evidence of wear or fade from washing.
The jeans are comfy on the bike, with the stretch of the Lycra meaning you can pedal unimpeded. They're comfortable on rides under an hour, but I would be reluctant to take them much further than this, predominantly because of a fear of chafing or saddle sores, though the reinforced/lightly padded crotch area does help with this.
As noted above, the jeans have performed well after several rides and washes. They're designed to survive the rigours of regular riding month on month, so I've not had the chance to put this to the test yet.
They fit as you'd expect any pair of regular jeans, though the size 32 on test do seem a little long. They look good with a small turn-up, though, so no issue here.
The size 32 I tested fit as per any other pair of jeans this size, though as I said above, they do seem a little long.
The jeans are comfy both on and off the bike. The longest I've ridden in them is around an hour and there was no chafing or irritation around the crotch, and the stretch in the material helps when pedalling. I'd be reluctant to ride in them much longer than this though.
At £79.99 they are comparable to others on the market, and quite a bit cheaper than some. For the quality it's not bad value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
After several washes at 30 degrees there is no wear or fade.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They performed well when worn casually and on the bike. As they look like any normal pair of jeans they don't look out of place when out and about not on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Their versatility is great, being useful for both a commute and for a trip to the pub.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular, though a bit less stitching around the crotch would be nice to prevent potential chafing, and an element of water resistance would be welcome.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The jeans look good and perform well on short bike journeys. They are a reasonable price and I can see them fitting well into one's daily wardrobe. A few extra touches such as some water repellence and maybe moving the seams from the crotch area would elevate them a touch.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding