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. Ticking all the boxes, then, for safety and protection, what stops the Originals from being my favourite pair of casual biker jeans is down to the fit at the waist, as I find myself forever hitching them up when off the bike.
Whilst they are not exactly low slung, hipster-style jeans, even so I am still conscious that having ordered the correct waist size, I still find myself hoisting the jeans back up after sitting or bending down in them. So, purely in terms of research, I popped along to my local bike store and tried on a pair of Knox Richmond jeans, and whilst they, too, did not sit high enough up on my waist as I would have liked, I far preferred the fact that the knee armour sits in pockets that are accessed from the outside, via an invisible verticle side access zip, and as a result the armour can be removed in a matter of seconds. A far better option. I then checked out a pair of Bull-it jeans, which come in slim, straight and easy styles. It was a case of third time lucky, as with the Lite Basalt denim jean, the manufacturer has optimised the ride height at the waist to ensure the best coverage, comfort and fit in the riding position, and as a consequence I found that the waist fit was nigh on perfect for me both on and off the bike.
That aside, seeing as how the Originals are already in the wardrobe, and I like their ruggedness, I will be happy to wear them for summer and dry weather rides out, even if it proves to be a belt and braces job.