Any man who commutes to work on a bike suffers the same fate at some point: a hole in the seat of his favorite jeans. To remedy that problem, clothing companies like Levi's, which first introduced a commuter jean line in 2011, as well as many smaller outfits, now offer pants made of durable denim that promises not to wear out in sensitive areas (like the crotch). Commuter jeans are also equipped with a few cycling-centric bells and whistles, including sewn-in reflectors, pockets that fit U-locks, and antimicrobial fabrics. We rode in five different pairs to test their mettle.
Levi's Commuter 511 Slim Fit Jeans
If you already wear Levi's, then you'll transition easily into the company's Commuter 511 line. The fit is somewhere between skinny and straight leg. After you put them on, you'll barely notice the differences between these pants and any pair of comfortable jeans. And that's the beauty of them. Made of 98 percent cotton with just a smidge of spandex, they have a hint of stretch that makes straddling a bike and pedaling a bit easier. There's also an invisible finish that makes them water- and odor-resistant and a slightly reinforced seat (also undetectable). Really, the only obvious commuter features are a reflective strip inside the pant leg, which is only visible when you roll them up, and a loop at the back waist that fits a full-size U-lock. [$88; levis.com]