If you care about your backside and you ride bikes, you’ll no doubt have encountered a similar issue to me in regards to what you wear while riding. I wear jeans most days, but I quickly realised that if I were to come off at a decent speed they’d be about as much help as a set of superfluous genitalia in protecting me from the cheese-grater-world-of-pain that is yr average patch of bitumen.
In some cases leathers are the answer to this problem, but they aren’t always suitable – especially when you need to make an appearance somewhere and not look like a kinky leather freak or wannabe superhero. Or when you don’t want to carry a change of clothes. In these cases armored jeans come into their own; enough protection to save yr skin but with a look that will let you fit right in.
Being a bit of a denim freak, I’d turned my nose up at most of the offerings at my local bike shop. They seemed to fall squarely into two categories; “camo & skulls” or “jeans my dad would wear”. Then I spotted a pair from Australian motorcycle clothing maker Draggin – something they were calling “Slix”. Initial impressions were positive. They looked to all intents and purposes like a decent pair of black stretch jeans. No serpents, no acid wash…
So a few months ago I grabbed a pair. They fit very well and have a little stretch to them. The black, slightly shiny denim goes just as well with a leather bike jacket and boots as it does with a pair of sneakers and a t-shirt. The armor (Kevlar weave in this case) is fairly subtle and doesn’t seem to make them overly hot or bulky. It takes the form of a soft yellow woven material that is sewn into the seat, knees and hips of the jeans. Once they’re on you don’t really notice it and according to Draggin it gives you a class-leading 5 seconds of “slide time” before the Kevlar is compromised. For the record, regular denim lasts about half a second at highway speeds.
On the bike they perform well and with no discomfort, initial or otherwise. They tuck into my boots without proving too bulky and have enough stretch to give a little when you have a few layers to tuck into them on colder days.
Negatives? Only one; I elected to grab a pair of knee pads when purchasing the jeans after reading up on the Draggin website. Then I went to fit them only to find that the recommended process involves the owner gluing Velcro patches onto the inside of the Kevlar to allow the pads to stay in place. Call me fussy, but after forking out A$280 for the jeans, the last thing I expected was a little DIY. And god forbid if I was to get the glue on the jeans themselves.
In closing, Slix jeans from Draggin are a quality Australian product that are well designed and inspire confidence with their good looks, Kevlar pads and comfortable feel. Although more of an annoyance than anything else, the knee pads could have had a little more thought put into their attachment, but this does little to tarnish an otherwise great piece of motorbike kit.