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.
British cycling outfitter Rapha doesn't just make clothes for riding, it makes fetish items. From its throwback looks to its unparalleled quality, Rapha's gear inspires anyone to want to jump on the saddle. The company's jeans are no different. The category-standard reflective material under the cuff here is a showy pink stripe, along with a Rapha logo that is so eye-catching, it caused another rider to actually pull us over to ask where we bought these jeans. Other fetching details include a contrasting white belt loop and some subtle colored stitching. But the stuff you don't see is even more impressive: a grippy waistband that stops the jeans from slipping down, offset inseams to prevent chafing, and deep-cut pockets that mean your keys and cell phone are never in danger of falling out. They'd be perfect if the fit were a bit less straight-legged and the blended denim a touch softer. [$220; rapha.cc]