Osloh Denim Lane Cycling Jeans – Review
Jeans. Arguably the most iconic and proliferated piece of clothing ever.
For something that was first made to clothe Genoese sailors and American miners, it’s incredible that their rise has brought them via Marlon Brando, James Dean and Levi Strauss to a market size of over $110 billion.
The almost half a billion jeans sold in the USA each year are ideal for many activities from gorge walking to loafing around at home.
Sadly, one activity that they are definitely not ideal for is cycling.
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They are too heavy and inflexible and please don’t get me started on the chafing. The slightest hint of moisture and riding in them feels like sitting on a cheese grater and shimmying.
How can trousers that work so well in many other spheres of life fail so completely when a bike is involved? This is what I find to be the largest gap in an otherwise ubiquitously functional item of clothing.
This gap is one that Brooklyn based brand Osloh Jeans seek to fill with their Indigo Denim Lane Jeans. They cost $149 (but you can get $5 off with exclusive discount code “DISCERNING5” at the checkout) and Osloh describe them as ‘A modern, versatile trouser in a relaxed straight fit that feels just right when 5-pocket jeans are just a bit too casual’.
Osloh Bike Jeans
At first glance these look like any other pair of smart indigo denim jeans.
They have a classic straight cut – none of this butt cheek-hugging nonsense – and feel very durable. On closer inspection, the myriad features begin to stand out. The contoured double shank waistband and the side tabs mean that these fit very comfortably at the hip, so as to avoid that red ‘belt’ that seems to burn itself into the skin of any rider in jeans. It is also snug enough so that anybody you pass isn’t immediately confronted by your butt crack, and thereby compounding the misery of being overtaken.
I love pockets and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about the pockets on an item of clothes as this one.
Many urban cycling clothes are laden with pockets that are great for walking about but the moment you swing your leg over a bike, your keys, phone, wallet and – somehow – mask seem to want to leave their mark (literally) every pedal stroke. The clever designers at Indigo have primarily avoided this through the placement of the pockets. Rather than being almost diagonal as with many trousers, the two biggest pockets start slightly lower down and are on the front of the leg. This might be hard to visualise so let me explain it this way. I went on a ride with my phone, mask and Bible in one pocket and my wallet, keys and Plato’s ‘Republic’ in the other. Not only did they all fit in, off the bike, I also genuinely didn’t notice any difference while cycling – so much so that when I got back I started looking on the bookshelf when I wanted to refer to some of the Nazarene’s words.
The pockets are double welt which means they are all extra secure and can withstand the heftiness of whatever you put in them. On the back of the trousers, the pocket has a second lining inside which I found my phone fit in well.
In case this wasn’t enough, there are a couple of smaller and shallower pockets, one of which has become my de facto mask pocket. What’s more, these pockets aren’t overwhelmingly obvious, but rather somehow put into these trousers quite discreetly.
The message I’m trying to convey is that on about a third of my rides, this has negated the need for a bag.
As always here at Discerning Cyclist, we go to great lengths to rigorously test these products. In this case it meant riding with these jeans in a variety of conditions, prepared to risk the integrity of my undercarriage for the sake of a truthful review.
Thankfully, as I sit here typing, I am very much chafe free. In normal British (overcast) conditions, these trousers were very comfortable to ride in thanks in large part to the attention the designers paid to the crotch and seat.
Best Jeans for Cycling?
On the outside the jeans have been reinforced, so you aren’t going to burn any holes in them and from the inside there is quilted poly chamois that is very soft and conducive to cycling (a far cry from any normal jeans).
The fabric is 99% cotton and 1% spandex which gives just a hint of flexibility and goes a long way in offering a more comfortable cycling experience.
Jeans aren’t made for extremes of weather so these weren’t the most breathable in the warm weather but in the wet these weren’t uncomfortable and definitely a far cry from the sandpaper consistency that wet jeans usually conform to. There is also an ankle tab on the drive side leg to stop the jean catching and also an extra patch of material the other side of the leg that acts as a chain guard. These are good trousers to ride in, exceptional by jean standards.
The main thing I would change about these trousers would be the button fly. It does do a good job in holding the trousers secure: we wouldn’t be wanting any unexpected drafts. Perhaps because of this, it is really hard to undo to the point where I was wondering if it was putting too much strain on my relationship with my flatmates to ask them to help undo my fly. A small quibble for an otherwise exceptional pair of trousers.
In-Summary: Osloh Denim Lane Jeans
All in all, these are a great pair of trousers. Riding in these is a far cry from shimmying on a cheese grater: they look like a normal pair of jeans and you can carry enough reading material in them to satiate even the most voracious reader. I’m sure that these jeans will be a staple of my wardrobe for most of the year. They come in a variety of sizes (waist size ranges from 28’’ to 42” with a range of inseams for each) and will set you back $149.
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