Ever looked at a pair of riding jeans, and wondered if the company making them even intends for them to be worn off the bike? All the protective features are present, but the cut, fit and finish just aren't quite... there.
Sons Denim Co. feel your pain. So they've designed their jeans to look like, well, jeans. You're looking at the 'Z Taper'—an over-dyed stretch denim riding pant in an indigo finish, with a tapered leg.
Sons' jeans run true to size, so just pick the same size as your favourite Levis or Wranglers, and you're set. The Z Taper's denim is a 97% cotton, 3% elastane blend, and it's cut with a decent length and a slightly dropped crotch.
Sons have really nailed the fit—if you're a fan of slim, straight or tapered jeans, you'll love 'em. If you're into bootcuts or skinnies, perhaps not. The design is also refreshingly minimal, with no contrast stitching or pocket patterns—just a simple button fly, a small logo on the back pocket, and an indigo dye that should fade beautifully.
There are also no accordion stretch panels—or armour—leaving no visual cues identifying these as riding jeans. The lack of armour might worry some riders, but we're all grown-ups, and fully capable of choosing how protected we want to be when we ride.
What the jeans do have, is ballistic nylon panels in key areas. Son resisted the urge to add a full-length liner, saying that it would make the jeans too restrictive and stuffy. So they've stitched it into high-impact areas only.
Why ballistic nylon rather than the more popular Kevlar option? Simple: Sons's research revealed that Kevlar degrades the more you wash it. Ballistic nylon is more durable, and just as abrasion-resistant.
This extra protection does make the jeans a little hotter than 'regular' denims. And a little tighter in the seat area too; so if you ride a tall bike, getting onto it might require a little ninja dance. (Some riders have also mentioned that they tend to ride down at the back too—so try one a couple of styles first, and see how they fit you).
The tradeoff is that when things get random, you're safer than you'd be in your favourite pair of skinnies. Just ask our resident crash test dummy, Angelo. He put them to the test—and still has skin on his ass.
Best of all, the local design and close-by production have done wonders for the price. We're selling the Z Tapers for just R1800 ( Jet Straight cut also available in Rinse and Lite wash) available at the Woodstock Moto Co.
That's not bad for a good looking pair of jeans, that could literally save your skin.
Photos by Devin Paisley
Model - Wesley Reyneke on BMW R1200GS