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Verdict: 
Comfortable and smart-looking jeans with some neat and subtle cycling-specific touches
Weight: 
560g
Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans
8 10

We've had a few of Resolute Bay's jeans in for testing over the last couple of years, with the last pair – the NX1 – getting an excellent review. These new J1 jeans are very good too: smart-looking, comfortable on the bike and subtly enhanced for riding.

Do you ride in jeans? It's not anyone's first choice of legwear for a day ride, but if you're popping into town or you're off to the pub you don't want to clack around in Lycra, or change in the toilets. So a pair of jeans you can cycle in is a nice thing to have in the drawer. Of course, you can cycle in any pair of jeans, but Resolute Bay has put a bit of effort into making these J1 jeans a bit more bike-friendly, and it shows.

> Buy these online here

Firstly, they're the right kind of shape. Resolute Bay says they're "perfect for those riders with larger thighs and calfs", and given that I fall squarely in that category (1.89m, 94kg) I'd say it got them just about right. I'm bigger than Ash, who's wearing them in the photos here, but they're still a good fit on me: closer, but comfortable. The 98 per cent cotton/2 per cent elastane fabric isn't really stretchy, but there's a bit of give in it: just enough to make them really comfy and give them enough articulation when you're pedalling. They don't have the Cordura content in the fabric that the NX1 jeans do, which probably means they won't be as durable long term, but I've had no issues thus far.

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - riding 1.jpg

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - riding 1.jpg

Like many other cycling jeans, the J1s use an extra bit of fabric in the gusset, which avoids the big seam junction just where you don't want it when you're in the saddle. It works, too: the design makes sitting down a lot more comfortable, with no chafing, and the slightly articulated fabric helps there too. The 9oz denim is reasonably thin, so the seams that are there aren't that pronounced. It's proved to be hard-wearing enough though, shrugging off day-to-day scuffs and scrubbing up well on a cool wash.

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - back pockets.jpg

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - back pockets.jpg

After dark the J1s have some subtle reflective on the rear pockets, and sewn into the inside of each leg: when you turn them up to avoid getting oil on your jeans, you also expose the reflective for better visibility after dark. The reflectives are unobtrusive and they certainly do shine. The NX1 jeans have a larger reflective band around the back and down the outside seams, which gives better side visibility, and it's a pity that's missing on these jeans. I found turning them up over my calf made the jeans a little bit tight once the fabric was doubled up. I do have big calves though.

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - reflective cuff.jpg

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - reflective cuff.jpg

You get the normal jeans pockets, and also a zippered pocket on the leg that's purportedly for your smartphone and cards/cash. It's in a nice position for cycling as it doesn't get in the way, but it could probably do with being a touch bigger: my phone (Xperia Z5 compact) fitted okay, but you'd struggle to squeeze a big iPhone in there. The zip gives it a bit of extra security, and the soft fabric inside will be kind to screens.

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - side - leg pocket.jpg

Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans - side - leg pocket.jpg

Overall, these are really good jeans for general living that includes a bit of cycling. They're good looking, and they have enough about them in terms of cycle-friendly features to make them stand out. At £90 they're in the middle of the cycling jeans market, and they're decent enough value considering the fit and the construction.

> Buyer's Guide: The best casual clothing for cycle commuting

They're available in 30, 32 and 34in waist with either a 32 or 34in leg; not the biggest range of sizes, but probably covering a decent portion of cyclists out there.

Verdict

Comfortable and smart-looking jeans with some neat and subtle cycling-specific touches

road.cc test report

Make and model: Resolute Bay J1 cycling jeans

Size tested: 34/34, Indigo

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?

Resolute Bay says: "9oz Kuroki Stretch Japanese denim cycling jean. Tapered fit, perfect for those riders with larger thighs and calfs. Secure side zip pocket with enough room for your cards and phone. Black reflective pocket piping and cuffs help keep you visible while riding at night."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Resolute Bay lists the following:

Tapered fit 6 pocket jean

Secure side zip pocket (Phone + Cards)

Black reflective flat piping on the rear pockets

Black reflective panel on rolled up cuffs

9oz stretch Kuroki Japanese denim

Zip fly

Crotch Gusset

Fabric Content: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastane

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Just lob them in a cool wash, they scrub up very well.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well – easy to cycle in, comfy, some neat bike-specific touches.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nice fabric, subtle reflectives.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Phone pocket too small.

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

If you want some jeans that are a bit better than normal jeans for cycling in, and look smart, these are such jeans.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

3 comments

Avatar
captain_slog [416 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

'Cycling jeans' is an oxymoron. Wear denim, or be comfortable on your bike.

These look badly cut or poorly fitting: shapeless behind and crumpling loosely at the knees.

Avatar
cyclisto [314 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
captain_slog wrote:

'Cycling jeans' is an oxymoron. Wear denim, or be comfortable on your bike.

These look badly cut or poorly fitting: shapeless behind and crumpling loosely at the knees.

Agree that these jeans seem to have a poor fit. Or maybe a bad photoshoot day

Disagree about the importance of the comfort issue. At small distances the comfort penalty of jeans is minor.

Avatar
nbrus [550 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

The material doesn't look much like denim so can't see why anyone would buy these if they really wanted jeans to wear on a bike.