For cycling short distances and not having to carry a spare change of clothes, the DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jeans are ideal, being comfortable on and off the bike and keeping you dry and warm in the wind and rain thanks to a waterproof membrane. They also pack some useful reflective details when you roll the cuff up.
- Pros: Good fit, comfortable on and off the bike, water-resistant, reflective details
- Cons: Not cheap, heavier than regular jeans
The best thing is they look like regular jeans. No more odd looks as you billow into the office/cafe with oversized waterproof overtrousers when you've cycled in the rain. Normal jeans aren't much cop for cycling any sort of distance, but these are stretchy and provide no restriction to pedalling, nor are there any nasty seams in the saddle area to cause discomfort.
The jeans are made from a cotton fabric infused with Lycra, for added stretch, and Coolmax technology, which ramps up the breathability and helps transport sweat away. But the real magic lies in the use of a waterproof membrane.
Ride in the rain and, put simply, the jeans don't get saturated like regular jeans. Arrive at the office and they quickly dry off so you don't need to get changed. I found the waterproofing adequate for most rain I encountered, from drizzle to heavy downpours.
They do have their limits; the seams aren't taped, so for this reason they're not truly 100 per cent waterproof, and the outer face of the fabric does get damp, so you really don't want to be riding too far in very heavy rain. But for short commutes across town and dashing about running errands, they coped admirably with most typical rain you encounter at this time of year. Splash through puddles and you don't get a soggy bottom.
They're also windproof, which ensures they keep you warm when it's cold and windy too. They keep you noticeably warmer than a regular pair of jeans with a surprisingly cosy feel, the jeans retaining heat without letting it build up excessively.
Heat management is good. The material manages to let any heat you generate escape; I never felt clammy or sweaty even when hammering across town being chased by a rain cloud. I could comfortably ride to the office in the morning, sit around all day, then jump on the bike to ride home.
They can do a week of commuting as well without any buildup of bad odour thanks to an Anti-Bacterial Silvadur treatment. This, according to its maker, is a 'polymer-containing silver-technology that delivers silver ions when organisms land or form on a treated fabric. These ions continually release to safely kill microbes that cause odour and material degradation.' Now you know!
Details include a zip fly and belt loops, and four nicely sized pockets. Plus that tiny pocket all jeans have that is next to useless. According to the internet, it's actually a watch pocket, but ain't nobody putting their Apple Watch in there.
Cycling-specific features include a roll-up cuff to both clear the chain and reveal large reflective details with the company's name in big letters, which goes a decent way to boosting your visibility to other road users. The back label is also reflective but this is likely to be obscured by a jacket.
The fit and cut are excellent, with the size 30in waist a near-perfect size. They are a slim fit, which I like, and nicely shaped around the waist and knees. There's no excess material to flap in the wind, and the stretch ensures that when you're hunched over the handlebar there is no restriction at all.
There's also no discomfort from the crotch area thanks to careful design of the seam placement. You can ride sans chamois with no side effects.
Comfort next to the skin is good, but the inner face has a much smoother feeling than regular jeans which is a bit odd at first. It's similar to some softshell jacket linings.
The company claims they are 30 per cent lighter than regular jeans. For comparison, the DU/ER's weigh 609g versus 509g for a pair of Levi 501 jeans in the same size. So clearly, that isn't the case at all. They don't feel much heavier when you're wearing them, though.
If you're committed to cycling every day in normal clothes, these are a really good pair of commuting jeans. For all but the heaviest downpours where you might want to consider waterproof overtrousers, these cope extremely well. They look like normal jeans and nobody in the office/shop will notice anything untoward about them.
They've become my go-to jeans. I practically live in them. They're ideal for the ride to the office or shop in the morning, comfortable at the computer all day, and perfect when I take the dog out for a walk. I've even worn them mountain biking when it's been really crappy weather too.
That wide range of uses does go some way to justifying the quite high price compared to regular jeans. They're expensive as a cycling-only product, but if you consider them as an investment for wearing a lot of the time, and being well suited to anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in all weathers riding bikes, walking dogs, then they don't look so bad.
There aren't many to compare them with, anyway: Levi 105s will set you back around £70, and they're not waterproof; you can get motorcycle-specific waterproof jeans for £350, and BMW waterproof jeans for £250, but you probably wouldn't want to be cycling in either of those... More cycling-specific are the Vulpine Rain Trousers (£140), but they are only water-resistant, while a pair of Rapha Randonnee trousers, not waterproof, will set you back £110.
So, there aren't many choices when it comes to waterproof cycling-specific denim jeans, but with their great performance, fit, comfort, details and durability, the DU/ERs do stack up well.
Great performance in the rain, with top comfort on and off the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jean Trousers
Size tested: 30in waist
Tell us what the product is for
"Any time, any place, any weather*. DUER All-Weather Denim has a wind and waterproof membrane, and tons of other tech features to keep you safe, warm and dry."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
28% COOLMAX® Polyester
2% Lycra® Spandex
Membrane: 100% Polyester
Our state of the art waterproof membrane stops water from hitting your skin, so you stay warm and dry.
Our waterproof membrane is also windproof, keeping you protected against the elements.
A breathable membrane help regulate temperature - keeping you warm when it's cold, and keeping you comfortable inside.
Undercover reflective details under the cuff and at the waistband give you more visibility and protection in low light conditions.
Thanks to our vertical supply chain, we can offer this incredibly technical jean at less than half the price of other similar jeans on the market.
The signature invisible DUER seat gusset offers a greater range of motion while minimizing crotch blowouts.
Our proprietary DUER L2X Performance Denim gives you 4x more stretch, 40% more durability, and 30% less weight than traditional all cotton denim.
Thanks to the use of a Silvadur treatment, our jeans have maximum odour-neutralization, keeping you stress-free and stink free.
A breathable membrane, and the decision not to seal the seams, this pant is truly breathable.
Picking up awards at the world's largest outdoor tradeshows, the most technical jean on the market did not go unnoticed.
Very well made.
Keep you drier and warmer than regular jeans, and comfortable on the bike too.
I've long-term tested these through everything from urban cycling to mountain biking, and living in them all day, every day, and they're holding up just fine.
Fit is excellent, enhanced by the stretch in the material.
True to size.
They are heavier than a pair of Levi jeans.
They are very comfortable on and off the bike.
They're pricey, but I don't know of any cycling-specific jeans with this sort of water resistance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Warmer, drier and more comfortable than regular jeans for short commutes and riding around town.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Look like normal jeans, very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
When it comes to value for money, well for a start they're aren't many rivals to compare them to. My search took me to Levi 501 jeans (£70) which aren't waterproof, then on to motorcycle-specific waterproof jeans for £350 and BMW waterproof jeans for £250. More cycling-specific are the Vulpine Rain Trousers (£140) but they are only water resistant. A pair of Rapha Randonee trousers, not waterproof, will set you back £110.
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 overall score
They're not cheap, but if you want waterproof denim jeans for cycling and outdoors then these are a really good choice, being comfortable on and off the bike and keeping you warm and dry.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.