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Isadore Urban Jeans



Good features, comfort and style – but the price is too high and production quality not high enough

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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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 Urban Jeans.jpg

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?

Isadore Urban Jeans - button.jpg

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.

Isadore Urban Jeans - pocket.jpg

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.

Isadore Urban Jeans - cuff.jpg

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 test report

Make and model: Isadore Urban Jeans

Size tested: Regular 38

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

- Abrasion-resistant

- 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:

Felt fine in the saddle.

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:

Very comfortable.

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

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.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

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

Add new comment


Dr_Lex | 5 years ago

No shot of the seat - construction ought to be such as to avoid the bulk of four panels meeting at saddle contact point; diamond gusset for example. 

The buttonhole looks like a standard machined buttonhole, although at £150, one might expect it to be done better or hand-bound.

Also - Swiss denim manufactured in Slovakia? Guess I’m just not au fait with the nuances of world denim. 

ktache | 5 years ago

I have a pair of swrve jean shorts and they are very comfortable and hard wearing.  Only worn them once on the bike and they were comfy.  I assume their full length ones are as good.

Fluffed | 5 years ago
1 like

Swrve do some nice cycling friendly jeans that look better than these, about half the price too.

philhubbard | 5 years ago
1 like

I don't know why you would pay 3x more than the Resolute jeans but to be honest I do 3miles each day in my normal jeans as there is no point spending money on them

fenix | 5 years ago

Blimey.  I think I'd rather have three pairs of normal jeans.  (at least)

Reflective Belt Loops are probably going to be covered when it's dark - it'll likely be cold enough for a jacket. 

Reflective tabs on the sides of the jeans - well if they've missed the reflective side walls of my tyres - I'm not sure a motorist will notice that. 

Not really sure there's  any benefit to be had from these over normal high street jeans. 

brooksby | 5 years ago
1 like

“£150? I could buy my own bike for that!” “ Maybe, kid, but could you ride it?”

Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago

If you're that bothered about looking good then just cycle in normal jeans. If you're that bothered about special cycling features then buy some decent tights. If you really have to wear your jeans to cover any real distance get a car or a motorbike. If you spend £150 on these you are mad (look like dad jeans anyway).

ClubSmed replied to Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

If you're that bothered about looking good then just cycle in normal jeans. If you're that bothered about special cycling features then buy some decent tights. If you really have to wear your jeans to cover any real distance get a car or a motorbike. If you spend £150 on these you are mad (look like dad jeans anyway).

Your initial statement is just the same as:

"If you're that bothered about going off-road then buy a mountain bike. If you're that bothered about cycling on roads then buy a road bike." I don't agree with this statement (or yours) as gravel bikes/ cyclocross/ tourers/ Audax have validity, and so does cycling casualwear. Most of life is not black and white, just myriad shades of gray.

There is always a middle ground and often a market for it, though it may be niche. I would be interested in a cycling slant on jeans, and I like some of the features here. Unfortunately I do agree with you about the look of these and the price so I would not go for these specific ones.

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