Opinion: Richa Original Jeans
Tested by Michael Cowton | £149.99 | www.nevis.uk.com
THE TREND amongst bikers towards the urban lifestyle look would appear to be growing in popularity. No doubt, much of that appeal comes down to what type of bike you ride, and how casual, and comfortable, you want to be, whilst still wearing gear that offers decent levels of safety.
There are any number of jeans on the market, so deciding on a pair is always going to be about the feel, the look and gut instinct. When you see the word ‘Original’, you imagine that that is what you are going to get, and Richa don’t disappoint in that respect with their biker jeans. Whilst they may both feel and look like denim, these are Cordura, cotton and polyester reinforced jeans with full CE certified D30 hip and knee armour, all of which is removable via inner Velcro closure pouches. The jeans also boast a polycotton soft lining. And whilst they are not Kevlar lined, clearly they offer protection in the primary danger zones, with safety stitching throughout.
In a variety of waist sizes, with mechanical stretch properties throughout, the inside leg measurement of my pair was 32 inches, which I found to be the perfect length when astride a bike, with plenty of length covering my urban-fashioned boots. You can also anchor them under a pair of boots for added comfort with the detachable stirrups. The one thing which I wasn’t comfortable with, literally, was the fact that the Originals did not feel feel particularly comfortable on my waist, and as a result I found myself forever synching them up, even with a belt.
Neither am I used to wearing removable armour, and whilst not being too bulky, when removing the knee pads, you have to remove the jeans and turn them inside out, rather than undo the fly button and zipper, and then try and shove my hands down each leg, as I found that two hands were required to undo the Velcro fastening, one to hold the pouch pocket and the other to pull the Velcro fastener free. I would far rather see the knee armour concealed in pockets that are accessed from the outside, similar to those from Knox and their Richmond jeans. At the same price, the latter have an invisible zip for access, and as a result the armour can be removed in a matter of seconds.
I have been wearing the Originals with a pair of Marshall leather boots and an RST leather jacket, and whilst I am conscious of the waist fit not being to my liking, come the summer I will be happy to wear them for low-level rides out, even if it proves to be a belt and braces job.