Jeans giant Levi’s launched its Fall 2011 collection in New York City’s SoHo last week, not an event that would usually register too much here at road.cc were it not for the fact that the brand is launching a new Commuter Cycling Series, which appears to be squarely aimed at those who want to wear denim while on their bike, whether they’re heading off to work or an evening in the pub.
The key piece in the collection appears to be a pair of 511 jeans with specific features to make them more cycling friendly. Those include a utility waistband including D-lock storage, 3M reflective detailing and a higher cut so you’re not showing acres of flesh while out on your bike. The ones pictured here are cut off at mid-calf length, and it's not clear at the moment if other lengths are available.
Levi’s PR people in the UK tell us that there are no plans at the moment to bring the range to the UK, so for now, unless you or someone you know is headed to the United States later on this year, they’re going to be difficult to get hold off. We’re looking to get further information on the range, however, and will give an update on that once we get it.
There’s no word as yet on price point, but a quick look at a variety of online retailers in the UK shows standard 511 jeans coming in at between £50 and £80, depending where you shop. That compares to £75 for jeans from Howies up to £150 for Rapha.
US-based clothing brand Outlier has jeans-style trousers from around £75-115, but you have to factor in the costs of shipping plus potential additional costs such as import duty.
What Levi’s launch of its range does demonstrate, however, is that with cycling in general, and commuting by bike, on the rise, cycling is moving into the mainstream and big brands are sitting up and taking notice. Where one leads, others inevitably follow, so while the Levi’s range is set to be US-only, at least to begin with, this signal the start of seeing wider availability of cycling-specific clothing on the high street.
Thinking back to Levi’s iconic 501 TV ad featuring Nick Kamen in the 1980s, perhaps the mysterious Mr Opodolous from Eastenders should ask Walford Council to install cycle parking outside the Albert Square launderette, just in case.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.