Vulpine's Men's Cycling Jeans offer everything you could ever really expect with cycling-friendly denim. They fit well with good coverage at the back; they offer a bit of stretch, so as not to hinder movement; and they even have impressive comfort in the saddle with a seam-free diamond of material at the gusset. Just a little more reflectivity would have been nice.
Vulpine has no shortage of stylish kit and I was super-impressed by the Softshell Harrington jacket I tested recently. These jeans follow in very much the same vein and are a classy example of cycling-specific denim.
Build quality is superb, with robust fabric and the kind of double-stitching one would hope to see. For cycling, there are a number of important specific touches, most noticeably the extra diamond of material at the gusset so you don't end up sitting on any irritating seams. There are also darts at the knee for easier pedalling, a raised waistband to prevent biker's bum, and a mini D-lock loop. A subtle reflective Vulpine print on the inside of the right leg means you benefit from a bit of extra visibility when you turn to turn-ups.
Rounding out the spec, these Vulpines feature two hip pockets, a watch pocket, two rear pockets and rather nice lining around the waist. If it matters to you – and I admit, I far prefer it to the zipped alternative – there's a button fly.
Fit, for me as a chunkier specimen, isn't quite as good as some of Vulpine's otherwise very flattering kit. These are slim fit-style jeans, so not naturally my bag, but they should keep the vast majority of svelte road.cc readers on trend and in comfort. That's purely an appearance thing, though. Thanks to the stretchy denim with its 2% elastane, wearing them is no hardship. In terms of sizing, they come up just a little on the large side.
Certainly, it's obvious that comfort in all situations is top of the agenda as in-the-saddle performance is excellent. The high waist really does keep your lower back well covered, and the darted knees and pliant fabric mean that pedalling comes just about as naturally as is possible with denim.
Wind protection is generally good, although if you want to take advantage of that reflective turn-up, you might get chilly ankles. Rolled down, the legs are actually quite protective. There's no waterproofing, although Vulpine does have £140 rain trousers, which are styled a bit more like chinos, should you want that.
Overall, there's very little to criticise. Perhaps my biggest concern is longevity. Although there's that extra material at the gusset for comfort, that diamond isn't reinforced, so I expect it to wear through as quickly as normal jeans would.
My second question mark would be reflectivity. I'm always wary about making too much of reflectivity because one of the beauties of Vulpine's kit is that it doesn't scream 'cyclist', but perhaps a couple of reflective belt loops or more fulsome or obvious turn-up highlights wouldn't go amiss.
Considering you can bag yourself a pair of Levi's 501s from Costco for less than £50, I always feel that cycling-specific jeans, with their price tags often in the three digits, seem a little tough to swallow. But to be fair to Vulpine, with these costing 'just' £100 they actually represent a fairly middling way to buy some bike-friendly denim. We've tested no shortage of cycling jeans and you'll see that £100 sits pretty much in the middle of the available price range.
Compared to the Isadore Urban Jeans that I tested earlier in the year, the Vulpines seem equally comfortable, better made, and cost just two-thirds of the RRP. However, if we look at the Giro Transfer Jeans, you'll see that you can get almost equally suitable cycling denim (they don't have the gusset diamond, mind) for £79.99. So you'd have to conclude the Vulpines offer better than average if not absolutely stellar value.
With that in mind, it's fair to say these Vulpines are a really solid choice for anybody wanting jeans with a fair dose of cycling ability. They're fine off the bike, and very good on it. Even my question regarding their longevity is only theoretical: so far they haven't shown any signs of wear. Add in the fair price and fab Vulpine build quality, and they're a set of jeans that it's easy to recommend.
Well-made cycling-friendly jeans that feel great to ride in and look good on and off the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Men's Cycling Jeans
Size tested: XXL
Tell us what the product is for
These are cycling-friendly jeans aimed mostly at commuters and urban leisure riders. Vulpine says: "Superbly comfortable everyday slim fit cycling jeans that last. Comfortable, durable, high stretch cycling jeans with outstanding attention to detail. Don't sit on seams, our Diamond Gusset takes the pressure off. Reflective driveside turnup. The slim cut combined with stretch offers style and comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Vulpine lists these features:
Diamond gusset – don't sit on seams that chafe and increase pressure.
Flattering, real world fit, that's comfortable on and off the bike
Reflective print on the driveside turn-up
Raised rear waistband helps keep jeans in place while riding
Knee darts allow ease of movement
I've been very impressed with Vulpine build quality and these are no different – they feel like a real quality product.
Excellent pedalling ability and quite good wind resistance.
No specific problems but I think it's a slight shame the extra diamond gusset isn't made from harder-wearing material.
Fit was good. I'm not a massive fan of slim-fit jeans, but these adhere to that format perfectly. So if you like to go skinny, you'll like these.
Felt just a little big. I needed to fit a belt for daily wear.
In terms of weight, they feel just a little lighter than a typical pair of jeans.
Their strong point – really comfy on and off the bike.
Better than average, but not a super-bargain.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy-peasy: turn inside out, wash at 30, tumble at low heat if you really want them back on you.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well – they look like normal jeans off the bike, but they feel like cycling kit on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Build quality. Maybe not quite a boutique product, but not far off.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slim-fit shape. I'm not slim.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compared to the Isadore Urban Jeans, the Vulpines seem just as comfortable, better made, and cost only two-thirds of the RRP. However, the Giro Transfer Jeans are almost equally suitable cycling denim (they don't have the gusset diamond, mind) but cost just £79.99.
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 look the part and perform well on the bike. A couple of areas could perhaps be improved upon, but there's very little to really criticise – they're very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure