5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

More than a year ago we covered the release of Levi’s Commuter line of products, which included a cyclist-oriented update to the classic 511 jean.

The post was well-received, but we were also pointed in the direction of a couple other brands producing jeans for cyclists out of raw denim. This time we’re looking to spotlight a few more pairs of denim aimed at those of us who prefer two wheels.

If you know of any pairs we missed this time around, be sure to let us know in the comments below or in our forum.

1. Levi’s 505 Commuter

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

Levi’s 505 Commuter

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

The 505 Commuter features all the goodies of its skinnier brother, the 511, but offers a bit more leg-room for those of us who want a fuller cut.

  • Weight: 10 oz.
  • Fit: Slim Straight
  • Denim: 98% Cotton, 2% Lycra blended raw denim
  • Other Details:
    • Water- and dirt-resistant Nanosphere coating
    • Odour-resistant Sanitized treatment
    • Reflective 3M Scotchlite taping inside cuff
    • Double-layered seat and back pockets
    • U-Lock storage built into waistband

2. Cadence Raw Denim Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

Cadence Raw Denim Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

Cadence is a well-known brand in the urban cycling scene, and they certainly know their stuff. Using American favourite Cone Mills-supplied raw denim, Cadence has crafted two pairs of outstanding jeans for cyclists.

  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Fit: Slim Tapered
  • Denim: 98% Cotton, 2% Lycra blended raw denim from Cone Mills
  • Other Details:
    • Patented reinforced seat and back pockets
    • Reflective patch
    • Made in the USA

3. Cadence Exon Denim

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

Cadence Exon Denim

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

Cadence also offers an overdyed black model, which is made from Cone Mills denim as well.

  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Fit: Skinny Tapered
  • Denim: 98% Cotton, 2% Lycra blend, overdyed raw denim from Cone Mills
  • Other Details:
    • Patented reinforced seat and back pockets
    • Reflective patch
    • Made in the USA

4. SWRVE Limited Edition White Oak Cone Selvedge Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

SWRVE White Oak Cone Selvedge Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans For Cyclists

SWRVE is another maker of clothing for city cycling. With their White Oak Cone Selvedge jeans, they’ve taken a unique selvedge denim and packed in a number of cycling-specific features that any pedalhead will appreciate.

  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Fit: Slim Tapered
  • Denim: Sanforized, 100% cotton indigo warp/charcoal weft raw denim from Cone Mills
  • Other Details:
    • Patented reinforced seat and back pockets
    • Seamless, gusseted crotch
    • Articulated knees
    • Black reflective belt loops
    • Reflective strip on drive-side outseam

5. SWRVE Limited Edition Rust Weft Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

SWRVE Rust Weft Jeans

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

5 More Raw Jeans for Cyclists

While these jeans aren’t made of selvedge Cone denim, they’re still a beautiful pair with all the bike-oriented fixings (fixies?) of the above pair. The rust-coloured weft threads make for a nice contrast with the indigo and promise some interesting fades.

  • Weight: 11 oz.
  • Fit: Slim Tapered
  • Denim: Sanforized, 100% cotton indigo warp/rust weft raw denim
  • Other Details:
    • Patented reinforced seat and back pockets
    • Seamless, gusseted crotch
    • Articulated knees
    • Black reflective belt loops
    • Reflective strip on drive-side outseam

Sean

An enthusiast for all things denim, vintage and manly; speaker of Japanese; Rawr Denim's Managing Editor. When he's not being a grammar-nazi, he can be found finishing his degree in East-Asian Studies.

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  • http://twitter.com/axeyrcat Christopher Plaskett

    Thanks for this post, Sean. Having had nearly all of the pairs above, I can weigh in with a little bit of experience and seat time on them:
    1. The Levi’s Commuters have some excellent ideas going on, but I didn’t find the execution to live up to the promise. I blew out one of the thigh seams on last year’s pair of 511s after only a few weeks (easy repair, but still!) and I tend to wear jeans out in areas outside of their crotch reinforcement. I didn’t think the ‘water resistant’ feature they touted did a damn thing. My experience was based on the 511s, but I don’t think that those issues would be much different on the 505s.
    2. The raw denim from Cadence are awesome, though they’re a very slim fit, and if you like to cuff, you’ll need to be short because the inseam lengths won’t give you anything to play with. They’re very low-rise, though, so that might be a concern for individuals not wanting to showcase their skivvies when riding. They wear really nicely, and I actually got compliments on them from both the folks at Self Edge and at 3×1, but I didn’t see any fades going on with these after a lot of wear. That could be good or bad, depending on what your goals are.
    3. Cadence Exon comments are the same as above regarding fit, and my pair is still absolutely black despite having been washed a few times. They also have a pair of black waxed denim in the sale section, if anyone is interested in those.
    4. Swrve White Oak — I don’t have any personal experience with these, but I do own the Rust Weft pair, so I’ll speak to those instead. Note: the fit/cut/construction seem to be the same from what I can tell, but I’m not 100% positive.
    5. Swrve’s jeans are probably the most practical for cycling, but this also makes them the least fashionable. The cut is definitely on the boxy side, and they’re high-waisted in the rear. The gusseted crotch doesn’t look as wonky as it does on some other cycling clothing, and there are some really brilliant details throughout, but they almost look like a pair of navy blue work pants. Technically, they’re wonderful, but they strike me as more function over form, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Rapha also makes a pair of cycling denim, but I haven’t tried those out yet — I’ve been working on a pair of 3x1s since February.

    Hope that’s helpful to some of the folks out there.

    • acorn_mant

      Hey Chris-
      This was super helpful! Can you tell me a little bit more about the Cadence longterm, like the crotch wear (and the gusset)?

    • acorn_mant

      Hey Chris,
      This is super helpful. Do you have any more pics of the Cadence, and comments about the long term crotch wear (and gusset area)? I’m torn between those and the Swrve skinny cordura.
      Thanks!

      • http://twitter.com/axeyrcat Christopher Plaskett

        The Cadence jeans are a very, very slim fit and very low rise, particularly in the rear. The extra fabric in the seat can contribute to swamp crotch in the warmer months, and the reflective patch will eventually come off (takes a long time, and really isn’t an issue, though). I put a lot of miles and time on mine, as has my roommate on his, and they’re really holding up to the abuse well. The pocket bags have needed some extra stitches, but everything’s been rad otherwise. The seat reinforcement is in the right place for me (and him, evidently) because neither of us wore through these in the crotch or the seat.

        The Swrves I can’t speak to as well because I didn’t end up wearing them as much or for as long. Mine have actually been hacked off into shorts (as which I think they’re awesome). The cut I had is different than the skinny ones, and I don’t know how to say this well, but all of the features on their jeans just feel too big to me — from the pockets to the belt loops. All of the cycling additions are awesome and well-considered, but they felt more like technical wear than street wear, and that contributed to me grabbing other pairs over these. Note that Cordura is unlikely to ever give you any fades to speak of — its strength is that it doesn’t really wear. The gusseted crotch should prevent crotch holes, but seat wear is probably still a consideration (though in Cordura, that shouldn’t matter at all).

        Overall, the Swrves have better features on paper, but I didn’t end up using the extra pockets or ever thinking the reflective belt loops were visible. If I were to buy another pair of either one or the other right now, I’d definitely go Cadence.

        That said, for anything other than jeans, I’d go Swrve over Cadence — hats, jackets, gloves, whatever.

        Hope that helps.

  • Christine

    I would also like to mention Rapha jeans like Christopher did. While I have not had experience with their jeans, I own a few of their other cycling clothes. And while their stuff is expensive, their attention to detail is pretty remarkable!

  • ..

    i think the cadence (and possibly swrve?) are kinda cool, because theyve been making jeans for cyclist for a little, and you never hear about them..
    but id really rather spend my money on some tough ass normal raw denim and do everything in them.. i dont really feel lke i need a special pair geared towards every activity..
    also those self edge x i think flatheads were cool, with the renforced crotch..

    • http://twitter.com/axeyrcat Christopher Plaskett

      I actually think that ‘tough ass normal raw denim’ tends to abrade more/faster. That’s been my experience with both Dry Bones and 3×1. I don’t have any pictures of the former, but I just posted the latter after 6 months of wear and daily riding: http://www.rawrdenim.com/forum/showthread.php?1969-3×1-M5-XX60-14-oz-Kurabo-Green-Caste

    • fatso

      Makes me chuckle everytime I hear this kind of comment. Unless you’re riding something thats like an inch thick (hence incredible discomfort from friction and sweaty soldiers), you’re talking about using something in a way that it was never designed for. The stresses exerted during cycling are far from normal jean stress; it will blow at the crutch, which is a shame if the rest of the jean is fine. IMO you’re better getting stuff fit for purpose. I do wear selvedge on the bike occasionally as long as I’m not going too far but certainly not anything nice.

  • Fatso

    I’ve really enjoyed the Swrve Selvedge jeans and am on the look out for another pair. The color from the off is very different to typical denim hues but it’s a light and not too sweaty material. The articulation was effective when on the bike. Big love for the double 3M reflective belt loops meaning no matter which roads in the world you’re on, it’s all good and the inseam reflective strip still looks healthy despite a few washes. MORE PLEASE!

    The Levis stuff is complete garbage. Mine blew after 48 hrs. They showed big brand attitude with zero interest in helping to fix the situation or finding out why they went so quickly- not something I’d associate with the smaller cycle dedicated brands whom, IME have tended to give a damn and make things right.

  • Fatso

    In addition:

    I’ve had extensive experience with the Rapha jeans. They’re very expensive but whilst they’re alive are very hard wearing and keep their colour well, so if you’re planning any kind of denim nerdery, look elsewhere. They do cut a smart silhouette as they’re pretty slim in the leg- which may be a problem if you built like a track sprinter- but they look equally good with shoes or trainers. Sadly I had two pairs blow in as many weeks but they have an excellent repair scheme, where bike related damage gets a free repair (UK).
    Some may be turned off by the pink hi-viz inner piping (where you’d expect to find the selvedge stipe). Personally I’d have preferred they were reflective like the Rapha Logo printed inside. This has been addressed with the team sky versions which replaces all the pink trim with blue and 3m blue on the lining.

  • fatso

    How did I forget HOWIES?? They’ve been making all kinds of cycling garments for quite some time with organic cotton (mostly). They drop limited selvedge specials maybe twice a year – the most recent were my first introduction to “SLUBBY” styled denim (use the search). Definitely worth a look.