Words by Gareth Charlton · Bike by

For Gear Guide #68 we squeezed into a pair of the superb Resurgence Cafe Racer ‘Skinny’ jeans and dragged a pair of Helstons Boston gloves and a Mission Workshop waxed canvas backpack through the worst of London’s November rain…


I have amassed over the years; I’m sure like most people reading this, a generous collection of riding gear from boots through jackets, helmets and gloves. But what I really lacked was a proper pair of strides, something that offered real protection but crucially were smart enough that I could wear them for what makes up 70% of my riding, zipping around London to meetings without time to change out of bike gear. So the hunt was on for some stylish bike jeans; I’m a big fan of quality and safe gear on the bike, but when you turn up to the pub and your mates say you’re dressed like a bellend that’s a burn Kevlar can’t protect you from.

Having looked at various brands of trousers I was chuffed when I received these Resurgence Café Racer jeans in the brand new skinny fit. Now first off, for anyone horrified by the phrase ‘Skinny Fit’ and picturing the current crop of trendsters with feral barnets and spray-on denim fear not! These are cut to a Levi 511 fit so will give you a smarter cut without looking like someone’s drop kicked a monkey through Topman. In fact a few of my mates with far less ‘European figures’ than me (read rugby calves) have bought these in standard fit fearing the slim fit on their sturdier legs and have all now tried and fit happily into the Skinny option.

Made from 12oz selvedge denim the Café Racer have simple, classic jean styling with nice copper stitch detailing. Quality Knox armour is supplied for hips and knees and a fancy Pekev lining is fitted without the superfluous external stitching that often gives bike trousers a more utilitarian look. The guys at Resurgence have been working on Pekev, their development of Kevlar, for over ten years. All you need to know is that Pekev is thinner, lighter, washable and comes with the reassurance of industry leading abrasion resistance – it’s stronger than Tom Selleck’s moustache game.

The mesh lining is so soft and unobtrusive I forget its there and it does the job of wicking away heat and moisture very well. I’ve worn these in sunbaked London traffic up to 30c and they keep the heat down better than my other bike trousers. The Resurgence guys are based in LA so being able to wear these in hot weather would be a must. You’ll notice some smart bike influenced details such as the deep pockets that prevent its contents flying down the road like expensive confetti and the brass rivets that are shield shaped instead of nipple, allowing them to slide instead of catch on the road in the incident of a tarmac toboggan. The leg length is very long allowing you a substantial turnover should you wish and the waistline cut low enough to allow comfort in a variety of riding positions.

I went with my normal jean sizing and found the armour fitted perfectly, allowing normal free movement. These have quickly become my favourite jeans in terms of style, function, practicality and comfort. I’m now seriously trying to stop myself from getting a second pair! Come try a pair on at The Bike Shed, London. EC1V 9LT or alternatively…

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