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Vulpine's Women's Urban Cycling Jeans are so subtly detailed for use on the bike that they look just like a normal pair of jeans. They feel tough, with lots of stretch so they don't overly restrict your pedalling, but unfortunately the sizing was way off what the guide suggested, coming up much larger than expected.
The sizing issue is a shame because they're a really nicely made pair of jeans otherwise. They're slim fitting in the leg, so nothing to get caught on the chainring, and have a neatly stitched lining around the waist and the rear panel just below it. They're also made in Portugal, if such things matter to you.
As with the Vulpine Summer Capris, the diamond gusset means you don't end up sitting on uncomfortable seams if you're not cycling with anything padded underneath, and the fabric edges/seams are covered with piping and stitched flat – all the way down the leg, in fact. It's all perfectly comfortable.
As well as stretch in the fabric (they're 98% cotton, 2% elastane), there are darts on both sides of the knee area to help shape them for bending/pedalling.
The only other cycling feature is the reflective detailing on the inside of the right leg, in a three-dashes pattern matching the waist liner, which is a nice touch. Roll your trouser leg up and there are 13 of the threesomes, starting low down so you don't need to hoick the leg right up and covering a length of about 14cm/6in. One has started to come unstuck (or wasn't stuck down completely in the first place), so take a bit of care to make sure they last.
Otherwise, there's not a huge amount to say. They're a good pair of jeans with useful cycling details. I like that they're not particularly 'styled' as some jeans can be; they're not especially high or low waisted, just kind of regular, with a zip fly and button, and the five pockets are straightforward and nothing out of the ordinary. They're a good size too: deep and roomy.
When it comes to pricing, I'm as aghast at what some people will pay for a pair of jeans as others can be at Rapha and Assos prices, so whether a cycling-friendly pair at £100 is good value or not I'll leave up to you (for reference, they're in the same ballpark as Rapha's women's jeans at £95, down from their original price of £150). They're certainly good quality and feel like they'll last.
Lastly – at the time of writing they're only available in XS and medium, though Vulpine says returns might boost the sizes available so keep an eye out.
A good pair of cycling-detailed jeans, but be prepared to send them back when they don't fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Womens Urban Cycling Jeans
Size tested: Medium, Regular
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Vulpine says: "Superbly comfortable & flattering urban cycling jeans that last.
"Comfortable, durable, stretchy urban cycling jeans for women. The fit is outstanding. Don't sit on seams, our Diamond Gusset takes the pressure off. Reflective driveside turnup. The slim cut combined with stretch offers style and comfort."
For me, the fit wasn't outstanding; otherwise, everything tallies.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Don't sit on seams that chaffe and increase pressure. Our subtle Diamond Gusset prevents that
Flattering, real world fit, that's comfortable on & off the bike
Reflective print on the driveside turn-up
Raised rear waistband helps keep these jeans in place while riding, while knee darts allow ease of movment
Really well made.
The fit was way out for me, but in terms of stretch, quality, reflective detailing etc they're really good.
Seem tough; stitching all good, denim quite heavyweight.
Jeans don't have to be a skintight fit, but these mediums – the same size as the figure-hugging Summer Capris I also tested – hung off me round the waist and hips, especially when I was sitting (on a chair or a bike). In fact, I could pull these on over another pair of jeans and still do them up.
Yes, I could return them for a smaller pair – of course that's what I'd do if I was a regular customer – but I was already pushing the size guide by not going for the large; the mediums should have been tightish but they are most definitely not.
What you'd expect of a heavyweight pair of jeans. Which isn't a bad thing at all.
The diamond gusset works well on the bike with no padding underneath (though there's plenty of room in these for a pair of padded shorts or two!).
£100 for a pair of jeans? Many are happy to pay that, and more, rather than only shop in the Gap sale...
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. They're a pair of jeans.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Simple design, look good on and off the bike. Stretch in the fabric means the legs aren't restrictive when pedalling, and the reflectives are useful when you roll the right leg up.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lack of seams in the crotch.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? They were okay.
Would you consider buying the product? If I could find the right size/fit, maybe, though more than I'd usually spend on jeans.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They're very good jeans, well made and with useful cycling details, but I have to knock the score down for the way-off sizing; even if it's free returns, it's still a faff to package them, take to a post office, etc, especially if the sizing says they should fit.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.