With the sun finally making its presence felt again, we’re all looking for that lightweight alternative to our autumn/winter riding gear. Whilst there are plenty of options open to us when it comes to trading in our jackets for something a little more breathable, one area that has been perennially problematic is finding a riding jean that is both lightweight and protective.
Traditionally riding jeans have been manufactured with a separate aramid layer between one’s skin and denim outer. These fully-lined jeans are undoubtedly safe and strong, whilst bringing some welcome warmth on milder days they can be uncomfortably hot, whilst partially-lined jeans ultimately compromise on protection.
Fabric technology has galloped forward over the last few years, and as a result we have seen a move towards single-layer riding jeans that have no need for an additional abrasive resistant layer.
Swiss manufacturer Rokker are at the forefront of single layer tech, they launched their first Rokkertech single-layer jean in 2017. Instead of relying on a lining it is the Rokkertech denim itself that is the abrasion resistant material. They’re made from a mighty impressive composite fibre called Armalith, which takes UHMWPE cores and wraps them in a blend of cotton yarn and dualFx Lycra fibres to produce a single-layer denim that is lightweight, breathable, holds its shape, and boasts a tensile strength at least ten times stronger than steel.
We managed to snap a photo of Kev from Rokker in his worn in pair, broken in over the past couple of months.
Over the last few months, we have been collaborating with the Rokker guys to produce a new Rokkertech single-layer, straight-slim cut raw finish jean, exclusive to The Bike Shed – and we bloody love the result. The unwashed raw denim finish is a deep indigo blue and will age beautifully with wear, creating a unique patina.
The jeans are incredibly light in comparison to multi-layered riding jeans feeling no heavier than a regular pair of Levi’s – perfect for the balmy days ahead. They are super comfy to wear too, with a touch of stretch in the denim aiding their on bike comfort whilst reducing sag and creasing. Whilst lightweight and breathable, the denim also feels reassuringly rugged, which, of course, it sure is.
On the Cambridge machine – the CE approval men’s big asphalt sanding belt – the Rokkertech jeans lasted a solid 6.39 seconds. Count how long the GP boys slide for next time they get carried away, not as long as you thought I’d wager and they are probably going a smidge faster than you or I – just a smidge. And it’s worth remembering that the Rokkertech fabric offers this level of protection over the entirety of the garment. No matter where the denim meets asphalt – be it seat, knee, shin, or hip – the abrasion resistance is the same. Of course, abrasion isn’t everything so incognito pockets are sewn-in and compatible with D3O’s lightweight, malleable, low-profile hip and knee armour (not included).
If you’re on the hunt for a pair of riding jeans that look cool, feel cool, and offer incredible protection, then look no further. Suffice to say we our incredibly chuffed with our BSMC x Rokker single-layer raw jeans. They launch at The Bike Shed Show this very weekend and will land in both the Shoreditch HQ and web store very soon. Come on by and give ‘em a try!
Also available at the Bike Shed Show and coming online to shop.thebikeshed.cc soon!