You kind of expect a pair of motorcycle denim jeans to be costing three figures nowadays, but when presented with a pair at three times that cost, you really have to be looking at something phenomenally good. So when Swedish-based company Rokker sent us a pair of their Rebels to test, I was eager to try them when the box arrived.
And arrive they did…
I am a great advocate of biking denim: a relaxed dress code in my office mixed with a short commute makes the opportunity to turn up already appropriately dressed a perfect scenario. Granted, on more lengthy journeys, motorway stints, adverse conditions or bedroom antics, I will be leather clad but for local riding, Kevlar is king.
I have tried quite a few pairs that have come across my desk, via a number of manufacturers. I was expecting something awesome to arrive from Sweden, boasting as they do at producing “the perfect jeans for the ride on the bike and leisure afterwards” – I have not been disappointed.
A box arrived, and inside another box with Rokker emblazoned across the front in gold with a metal clasp holding it closed. On release the wooden presentation case swings open on two hinges and there was the full package, Rebel Jeans, a ‘free’ Rokker T-Shirt and catalogue held in place in the lid of the box. This presentation is oozing the quality I was hoping for and I hadn’t even put them on.
First thing that strikes you is the styling. They are just like a regular jean that you would probably save as best. There are no tell-tale horizontal stitching across the knees and they have the traditional five pocket design – two on the back, two on the front and the ‘Jonny’ or as advertised ‘coin’ pocket on the front (but we know what its for). The design is very Levi 501 as it really needs to be for off the bike antics: the waist is low, not the harry high pants that other jeans can boast. One thing missing are the rivets which avoid the potential of scratching your paintwork.
Of course they are heavier than a normal jean but are still extremely comfortable as the protective Schoeller Dynatec lining is very smooth so you just slide in. This lining is from the waist to within 100mm to the end of the leg, it’s apparently abrasion resistant which I haven’t tested, but also windproof and waterproof which I have.
When I got caught out in the rain, yes the denim got soaked and heavy but the lining did keep the rain out, even in a heavy shower. Then when you are sat in an office for nine hours the breathable membrane in the protective lining keeps you cool, I don’t know how that works but it does. Overall, it seems like an ideal product for this country’s climate.
Within the Rebel model there are pockets for hip and knee protection, but unlike other jeans that are a third of the cost, this armour is not supplied. I personally do not use it, the thickness of the lining is certainly enough for me but I would still like the option of having it to complete the package.
The extensive lining is one the key USPs on the Rebel but has also caused the biggest headache. I wear a sports boot, one designed to go over leathers, and pretty big on the calf. Though the denim will pass over the top of the boot, the inner lining will not. You could easily wear the boot over the jean but, apart from looking like a raging Gareth, you do really purchase a jean as a style choice.
Having put this to Rokker, they stated that other lines in the range will accommodate the full sport-boot, like the ‘Original’. Check out the Rokker website for more info. As it happens, I have no need to tuck in, as I am currently testing Sidi’s Apex short boot so the two work very well together.
I am really impressed with the Rokker product, well put together, stylish comfortable and unlike any other jean I have tried. Somewhat surprisingly there is no CE approval on the garment which would concern me more if I had not tried the jeans on and felt the quality. I would expect to see this in the future though.
So here’s the rub – cost. At €379, they are priced as an extravagance as opposed to a must have. You do get what you pay for of course but are you also paying for the grand entrance of presentation box and T-shirt? I would have been equally as impressed with the jeans had they come out of a plastic bag. You won’t be disappointed.