I’ll be honest, if there’s one thing I don’t like about riding bikes it’s the faff of having to get dressed and undressed for each journey, so having a versatile pair of riding jeans is an indispensable part of my wardrobe.
Years ago, I always considered Belgian company Richa to be something of a budget brand but more recently they’ve been producing some really good quality gear that’s still coming in at an ‘entry level’ price point.
These Richa Hammer jeans are not particularly innovative, but they are smart, practical and great value for money. I like them, a lot, to the extent that they’re likely to be the one piece of riding gear that I wear more than any other in 2017.
Essentially what you have are a smart pair of denim jeans that have been given the usual ‘biker’ treatment, namely having aramid lined sections incorporated into the saddle and knee sections, providing a degree of protection in event of an accident. They also have detachable knee pads and inserts for optional hip protectors, making them a far more suitable choice for riding in than a regular pair of jeans from the High Street.
What I like about riding jeans, in general, is that you can wear them off the bike as well as on it – eliminating the need for that quick change in the office lavvy. Sure, if I was a fashion guru, which I'm not, I’d probably suggest that the cut of these jeans is not that on trend, but I’m the kind of guy that’s built for comfort rather than style and, as such, these jeans are right up my street. The slightly baggy nature of the Hammers means that they are as comfy as you like and give you plenty of movement while riding. They’ve also been designed to be worn with the detachable CE approved protectors in the knees. The protectors come with the jeans, in their own carrying pouch, and are attached using little loops and poppers. They are a bit fiddly to put on, as it involves turning the jeans inside out and then visualising how they’ll be when you wear them. Being honest, I tend to leave them out for the daily commute, but fit them when I’m going on a longer ride. For quick riding, or long distances, I’d always go for the leather or textile option though. These are for short hops only.
The reason that I usually ride without the knee protector is down to the one downside of these type of jeans, namely that they can get very hot when worn off the bike. Those inserts add to the thickness, which in turn makes them pretty toasty, but in general I’m pretty happy wearing these all day long.
They come in three colour options, black, dark blue and stonewashed, and being short in the leg I’m grateful that they also come with a short as well as regular leg length options.
At a penny less than £90, these are a versatile pair of jeans that provide some added reassurance on my daily commute while being light and smart enough to wear all day in the office. Highly recommended.