For years, I’ve worn different brands and styles of denim jeans while riding my bike around town or commuting to work. They all have different cuts and fit, but a few issues consistently cause problems regardless of brand: they tend to be either too skinny and uncomfortable or too baggy and not conducive to cycling. Oh, and they wear out in the rear way too quickly. Spandex would be a solution, but I’m not trying to look like a road racer. I just want to be work-ready and relatively stylish when I get to the office or a friend’s house.
That’s where the Levi’s Commuter series comes in. These jeans have changed my concept of clothing that can be both fashionable and functional with features such as:
- Stretchy fabric (laced with a little spandex)
- Reinforced rear/crotch to defend against rips and holes
- A slightly different cut with bicycling in mind
I’m kind of a thick guy. Not fat, mind you, but solid. I exercise regularly, so I’m not your typical twiggy bike commuter. That said, I tend to look pretty ridiculous in skinny jeans. If the fit is super tight fit on the thighs, I can’t move. No rad jump-kicks at concert venues. So I was a bit wary about trying on the 511 slim fit jeans. But they changed my mind. They’re honestly the best fitting jeans I’ve ever owned, and they definitely feel great when I’m riding. I also tried a pair of the 504’s, which have more of a straight fit. They’re a bit roomier, which I liked. So if you’ve got monster legs, or you just don’t dig the skinny look, the 504s might be more suitable for you.
Additional features worth mentioning:
- Reflective cuffs if you roll up your jeans
- Anti-microbial treatment
- Dirt/water guard finish on the fabric
I also tried the Commuter Workshirt. I usually wear a large, but this shirt also had a slim/skinny fit, especially over my (pretty broad) shoulders. Although it had a bit of stretch, it was a bit too tight for my liking. On the plus side, the shirt has nice styling and evidence of craftsmanship in the thread patterns, so it will look good whether you’re in the office or out on a date. My only recommendation: order a size up if you’re on the fence about slim fit shirts.
Overall, these are great additions to my wardrobe, and I’ll be buying the Commuter line apparel from now on. They cost a little more than typical Levi’s, but for good reason. Check them out at us.levi.com