Cheap Kevlar Motorcycle Jeans II: The Reckoning!
Saw yet another deal on motorcycle jeans and succumbed to temptation. My last pair was BiLT's $70 "Iron Workers" from Cycle Gear This time, I ran across an ad for Sliders for $80 from Competition Accessories.
What Sliders tout is that their jeans are safe while being not much different than your Levis 501 jeans. Now, I know this is SF, so let me explain that this is seen as a positive attribute among normal
people, who can't spot 14oz selvedge denim with vegetable-based dye at 30 paces.
If you're wearing dept. store Lees and Levis, these look and feel a lot like them. (Ask a commoner about their jeans if you're unfamiliar with these.)
The first thing I noticed is that the denim used feels like a heavier weight than the BiLT, yet feels softer. (It's advertised is 13.5oz denim. Geeks.) Like the BiLTs and other motorcycle hjeans, they suffer from excess seams where the Kevlar liners are double-stitched in, so you've got two seams going across each leg (one above the knee, one below) and along the side from hip to knee, but this time the stitching is all one color so it doesn't stand out as much (I also went with black this time). The rear pockets have a two-line cross-over pattern that's pretty generic and a pocket tab that reads "Kevlar." The rear waistband has a leather Sliders label. The color is sort of a black pre-wash look, rather than deep black.
- they look like Levis Relaxed Fit jeans, so they are very subtle about being motorcycle jeans.
- more comfortable than my Iron Workers, even with armor. Without, as comfortable as ordinary jeans. Part of this is that, like my BMW Citys that more than cost twice as much, they have a soft liner between you and the Kevlar. The BiLTs aren't uncomfortable
, but they aren't as comfortable as ordinary denim - these are.
- much larger pockets for knee armor. These jeans can take both my Forcefield and D3O armor.
- armor placement is adjustable. This is fairly typical, but I note it because the BiLTs aren't.
- the fit on the legs is looser, so the armor doesn't press against me when off the bike.
- seem to breathe quite well on the bike.
- they look like Levis Relaxed Fit jeans. The seller warned they run big so I sized down and they do fit at the waist properly, but they're loose everywhere else. Bear in mind that while I'm fit (6'1, 190#) I'm 50 years old. This isn't some skinny-jeans wearing hipster saying they're loose, meaning they've got a spare millimeter of material. They're loose even to old people like me, wearing boxers instead of thongs or bikinis or whatever you kids wear. Now, this is handy when off the bike with the armor still in as far as comfort, but in a dismount it makes me wonder if the armor will be covering the right areas. On the other hand, they take larger armor than the Iron Workers, so I've got more coverage. If they were an inch or so smaller in the leg, they'd be perfect (or I'd find something else to complain about). My BMW Citys win overall - same size armor, closer fit, meaning overall better placement. (And if I go to a disco in the 1980s, I'm all set thanks to all the zipper action, but I digress...)
- knee armor is not included. Not an issue for me since I have some, but worth mentioning as paying $12 for the optional foam knee armor ups the price
- hip armor is not an option, unlike the Iron Workers (but then, the IWs don't include that, just the foam knee armor).
In sum, these are much better motorcycle jeans than the Iron Workers, though I won't be garnering compliments in these (yes, there've been more compliments on the BiLTs. Yes, that's still weird).
As a special bonus. In addition to the above, I'd recommend the Sliders over the Iron Workers for two reasons: One, the Sliders Kevlar looks and feels much
thicker than the Iron Workers. Two, the coverage area of the Kevlar is superior. I took pictures of them side-by-side to illustrate. The Iron Workers are on the left, the Sliders on the right:
As you can see, the Sliders have a mesh comfort liner over most of the leg and much larger pockets for the armor on the front; the Kevlar also covers the more around the knees . On the rear, you'll notice that the Kevlar covers more of the seat and goes farther down the side of the leg. (The canvas flaps on the Iron Workers are for the hip armor, not regular pockets.)
Hope this helpsEdited by epb - 8/21/13 at 7:08pm