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Wearing jeans while cycling to work

Old 04-11-12, 11:51 PM
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mustang1
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Wearing jeans while cycling to work

A bunch of you guys must wear jeans (or normal work clothes) while cycling to work. Do you find the jeans will wear out quickly in the parts that rub a lot?

I have a road bike, and was thinking of wearing cycling shorts and then jeans on top but I found there was a lot of rubbing and jeans were getting worn quickly (not tearing, just color wearing out but will eventually lead to tearing I guess).

Would this be less of a problem with a more upright (say hybrid) bike ?
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Old 04-12-12, 01:52 AM
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For about 1-1.5 years I rode to work wearing denim. ~20 mile round trip and it definitely takes a toll on the denim. Not to say the denim is gonna fall apart over night or anything, but you'll definitely see wear on the saddle, possible crotch blowout, knees, etc. If you're already wearing cycling shorts I would just ride like that. If you don't wanna stick with the shorts, maybe invest in some cheap-o pants or spend $$$ on some nicer stuff that will last on a bike, but can also be worn in the work place.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:05 AM
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I ride a hybrid bike. I wear cycling specific shorts and pants. To date I have 8 years and 27000 miles.

I've worn out the cheap nylon running pants that I wore at first. Two pair actually. I now have some J&G rain pants and they're about 2 years old, they look as they did coming out of the box. I also have J&G baggy shorts, one pair, worn every day for 2 years. They have a bit of a discolored patch from rubbing on the Brooks saddle, but that's all, they still look basically new apart from that.

I have 4 pair of tight cycling shorts as well, they are still OK as far as the shell goes but the inner liner has come loose on all of them. I haven't seen them for about 3 years, I gave them to my wife to fix and I'll probably never see them again.

I tried wearing jeans a few times but the chafing was bad, and I'm not normally very sensitive to chafing.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:15 AM
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It'd take a toll on my skin. I hate riding in jeans. But I'm a bit plump, so maybe that's why
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Old 04-12-12, 07:20 AM
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It's less of a problem with a more upright bike. I used to just wear jeans, they're not bad for short distances on a upright bike at a leisurely pace, but I prefer something a bit lighter, easier to move in and with flatter seams.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:28 AM
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I wear comfortable pairs of Prana jeans, Axiom Jean model that is stretch denim, and has a unique crotch paneling that they call "gusseted inseam". Along with a pair of those REI 7 day "tourist" underwear, it gives a comfortable ride that I can work all day in once I get off the bike. Here is the one I am talking about, but the pictures don't show the unique crotch panel that makes it so easy to ride a bike and worth every penny - that is some good quality denim. I heard that Levi was coming out with something similar in a skinny jean that even has a U-Lock holding flap, but I have not seen them yet.

https://www.prana.com/axiom-jean.html...=Medium%20Wash

Seriously, these are normal looking jeans that make me feel like Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee ready to kick some bad guy in the chin, they are really stretchy and made for rock climbing.

Last edited by Tuc; 04-12-12 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuc View Post
I wear comfortable pairs of Prana jeans, Axiom Jean model that is stretch denim, and has a unique crotch paneling that they call "gusseted inseam". Along with a pair of those REI 7 day "tourist" underwear, it gives a comfortable ride that I can work all day in once I get off the bike. Here is the one I am talking about, but the pictures don't show the unique crotch panel that makes it so easy to ride a bike and worth every penny - that is some good quality denim. I heard that Levi was coming out with something similar in a skinny jean that even has a U-Lock holding flap, but I have not seen them yet.

https://www.prana.com/axiom-jean.html...=Medium%20Wash
Prana Mojos are my favorite shorts, but a gusseted crotch is hardly unique. The RailRiders khakis I am wearing right now have a gusseted crotch.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:06 AM
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I have a short commute and a fairly upright bike, so jeans work for me up to about 70 deg, after which they get too hot. I have found that some denim wears out very quickly - most of the "fashion" denim used today is much lighter than solid, classic Levi's denim.
Also, depending on your saddle, you might find that you sit right on spot in the seam where something like 8 layers of fabric are sewn together. This is a deal breaker for many!
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Old 04-12-12, 08:47 AM
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If the commute is over 5 miles or so, I'll usually wear my mountain style bike shorts. Even just riding around the city I have ruined so many pairs of jeans. I have a nice collection of jeans with torn crotches in need of mending.
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Old 04-12-12, 09:09 AM
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For me at least, biking in jeans is a torn crotch waiting to happen. If I'm going to wear pants on my bike, i wear Kuhl pants with a gussetted crotch.
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Old 04-12-12, 09:28 AM
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Adopted Russell brand fleeced track suit sweat pants,
they are slick surfaced compound Knit Poly.
I get the black ones.
sewn, 1 in Egypt, the other in Bangladesh.
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Old 04-12-12, 09:54 AM
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2 years in Levi's and nary a problem. Probably due to the saddle, my short commute, and my overall waifishness. Gotta slow it right down in the summer, though.
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Old 04-12-12, 10:40 AM
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Swrve cordura
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Old 04-12-12, 10:42 AM
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I wore an old pair of jeans for a while when it was cold, but they wore out in the knees and became shorts. I replaced them with an old pair of worsted wool pants I had been wearing to work. I like the wool pants better, and haven't noticed any unusual wear on them.
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Old 04-12-12, 10:44 AM
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Everything I wear blows out in the seat area. My favourite so far are the obnoxiously expensive Rapha 3/4 shorts. They last about twice as long as their nearest competitor (that I've found) but they cost twice as much so....yea.
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Old 04-12-12, 10:51 AM
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Mt bike short work for me.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:06 AM
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Mine haven't wore out yet, but I've ruined many a pair of khakis with grease from the crankset.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockfish View Post
I have a short commute and a fairly upright bike, so jeans work for me up to about 70 deg, after which they get too hot. I have found that some denim wears out very quickly - most of the "fashion" denim used today is much lighter than solid, classic Levi's denim.
Also, depending on your saddle, you might find that you sit right on spot in the seam where something like 8 layers of fabric are sewn together. This is a deal breaker for many!
Maybe I don't know what "gusseted crotch" is, but these jeans have a large <> shaped piece of fabric sewn in right where the 8 layers of fabric come together in every other pair of jeans I have ever had. This lets the sitbones contact the seat with no seams scrunched inbetween which makes it very comfortable to ride.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuc View Post
Maybe I don't know what "gusseted crotch" is, but these jeans have a large <> shaped piece of fabric sewn in right where the 8 layers of fabric come together in every other pair of jeans I have ever had. This lets the sitbones contact the seat with no seams scrunched inbetween which makes it very comfortable to ride.
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In sewing, a gusset is a triangular or rhomboid piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:04 PM
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I find if I ride in jeans, they tend to ride up and the "boys" get a little squished. I prefer my gym shorts - they fit looser and since they're polyester they dry super fast.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:11 PM
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In colder weather I've been wearing jeans and khaki's over triathlon shorts (dry fast in my locker with the minimal pad) when I've restarted commuting this early spring (in the past waited until late April/May to start when I could just wear mountain baggies) and haven't noticed abnormal wear so far, but I've been looking out for it. I have a couple of pairs of cycling specific 3/4 length pants (Louis Garneau Krocknicker and some Ibex model) that look reinforced and less likely to wear, but for some reason I have a hard time convincing myself to be seen by my coworkers in knickers. Riding around town in them no problem, and tight jerseys when I plan for a long ride after work no problem but for some reason I don't know I just get self conscious about knickers looking silly at work.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:12 PM
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I commuted 5 miles each way in my work clothes, which included jeans, for 7 years. The seat will wear thin in a few years, but I had no other issues. I now commute 15 miles each way and wear bike shorts (road or mountain) and shower at work.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:21 PM
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I say life is too short to ride in jeans, and have trouble believing that was the norm for me back in the seventies. I wear bibs under a work shirt (usually a golf tee), and carry work pants in saddle bags that I put on over them when I get in. My morning ride is only five miles, in typical 6 A.M. temps, so stink is not an issue.
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Old 04-12-12, 12:44 PM
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I try to make biking as convenient as possible for myself. Wearing specialized clothes on my commute or around the city just seems like too much work. I want to be able to get off my bike and walk into work or a bar and be more or less indistinguishable from someone who, say, drove or took a cab. Granted, I still want to be comfortable while riding too, so it's a bit of a balancing act.

I almost always wear jeans unless I am going out specifically for a ride. I usually wear a thin wool baselayer underneath such as Icebreaker 200 series as temps in the city here have been in the 45-60F range and usually at least a few knots of wind. Jeans don't really insulate, so this helps me stay warm, and I like to think it also reduces friction between my skin and the denim so that it won't wear as quickly. Time will tell...
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Old 04-12-12, 12:53 PM
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I wear Levi 501s and ride 7.5 miles to work each way. I haven't noticed bike specific wear, except sometimes my rolled pants cuff will touch the chain and get a bit marked up on the inside. The denim shows more wear over time just from my office chair and on the knees and where they crease.
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