Isadore's Urban Jeans are, as you'd expect for £150, pretty good. Unfortunately, they're probably not good enough to justify that price.
Pros: Good in-saddle design, very useful cycling-friendly details, look good off the bike
Cons: High price, some manufacturing issues
First impressions of the Urban Jeans are a little mixed. In general, they have a good shape to them – there's no stupid tapering at the ankle – and you could quite happily wear them off the bike, with only the reflective elements suggesting they're not 'normal' clothes. Meanwhile, the denim is a nice colour and there is no shortage of clever design features, including being both dirt and water-repellent.
Isadore says its Urban Jeans are made from abrasion-resistant Swiss denim and manufactured in Slovakia, which brings us to our initial blip – construction quality. In all, it's OK, but there are noticeable rogue threads around the top section where the button and buttonhole meet, and more on the seam of one leg. The stitching around the buttonhole itself looks like it has been done inside out – the finish inside the jeans is better than the area you actually see. Normally, I wouldn't be overly fussed, but did I mention these are £150 jeans?
In terms of features, there is little to complain about. The inside seam has reflective detailing, so your turn-ups turn into a night-time safety factor. Likewise, there are reflective belt hoops. And the rear pockets have anti-slip silicone-style tape to stop things sliding out. It's all good. Possibly the only thing these jeans are missing is a D-lock loop.
Performance in the saddle is very decent, too. The four-way stretch denim is comfortable and the overall cut is well thought out, with both the seat and knee areas ergonomically designed for cycling. In combination, it adds up to a very secure riding experience: there's no slip at the rear of the waistband to reveal the crack of doom, while, like the most well-bred Victorian lady, your ankles remain resolutely covered up. Obviously there is no in-built padding, but otherwise there really is nothing to fault.
In summary then, Isadore's Urban Jeans do what they set out to achieve well. They're very comfortable to ride in, they look good, and they provide some features that are particularly helpful for urban riders. But when you can have similar garments from reputable brands such as Giro, Endura and Resolute Bay, all available for well below £100, it's a real shame that Isadore's production quality can't live up to the excessive price tag.
> Buyer's Guide: The best casual cycling commuting wear
The fact that Isadore has added some water- and dirt-repellency to the denim is one factor that stands these jeans apart from rivals. However, because they only really offer any kind of protection up to light rain, I'm still not convinced that ability is enough to warrant the substantial price difference between these and other similar products.
Good features, comfort and style – but the price is too high and production quality not high enough
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Make and model: Isadore Urban Jeans
Tell us what the product is for
Isadore says: "Smart, elegant jeans designed to be worn while cycling, as well as off the bike. Made with quality denim and filled with technical features to improve your ride. Created for urban use, these jeans pack plentiful technical features into two stylistically-astute cuts; full-length or a shorter version. The seat is ergonomically designed for cycling, while the knees are shaped to work with you, rather than against you as you pedal. The outer edges of the inner seams are reflective, providing you with the extra visibility required for safe night-time riding. Anti-slip tape on the inside of the two rear pockets prevents items from moving around, or worse, slipping out mid-ride. The four-way stretch, abrasion-resistant denim is made in Switzerland and benefits from a durable water- and dirt-repellent treatment. The jeans are then constructed in Slovakia."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Isadore lists these features:
- Intelligent, cycling-specific features
- Reflective seams for enhanced visibility
- Comfortable four-way stretch
- Treated to repel water and dirt
- Available full-length or short
- Made with Swiss denim in Slovakia
Rate the product for quality of construction:
A few loose threads and some questionable stitching in places.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Good so far – no signs of excessively quick wear.
Rate the product for fit:
Felt very good – in-saddle fit is perfect.
Rate the product for sizing:
The stretchy nature of the denim means these come up a little large – I had to accessorise with a belt.
Rate the product for weight:
Felt nice and lightweight when on – certainly not heavyweight denim.
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:
Expensive, even with a DWR treatment.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple – bung it in the washing machine, then hang to dry for best results.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – great pair of cycling jeans that looked good off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look great and they work well on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price and those small manufacturing issues.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These cost significantly more than most. Similar products from Giro, Endura and Resolute Bay all come in below £100. Mind you, Rapha's are £150 as well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If money was no object, yes possibly.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Despite their performance, fit and appearance, these jeans don't feel special enough to justify the £150 price tag. They're very good, but very expensive.
Age: 39 Height: 6'0 Weight: 16 stone
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
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, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure
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