i have never considered myself to be a wearer of jeans or even a potential wearer of jeans. those halcyon days of blue denim are, as far as i'm concerned, long gone, consigned to my allegedly artistic days at college. there, we would have them acquire a patina of dried clay from sculpture classes that would eventually allow them to pretty much stand on their own two feet (if you see what i mean?). and when eventually it became necessary to succumb to water and soap powder, there's every likelihood that my landlady's washingmachine wondered what the heck had hit it.
granted, i did continue the trend for a few further years in a job where any potential dress code was subsumed 'neath a brown overall. i cannot deny that there was a certain cachet to be mined by wearing levis 501 denim (wranglers just never fit me very well) featuring a button fly. why the latter was even considered i know not; it's hardly the sort of thing you broadcast to an ignoring public.
since the days of cycling dawned, denim has pretty much been missing from my wardrobe. rumour has it that the real reason we now have a whole slew of saddles with a slot in the middle, is to offset the patent discomfort of just where they put that seam. however, these are more enlightened times, and though 'tis possible to ride any kind of bike wearing anything you darned well fancy, there's no shame (and quite a lot of delight) dressing in clobber specifically designed to to cope with the rigours of velocipedinal life.
one such purveyor favouring this lifestyle of ours is brooklyn's osloh jeans, pronounced, i believe, in similar manner to that of norway's capital city. they very kindly shipped a pair of their crank trousers (jeans by any other name) in a more clandestine khaki than the indigo more recognisable of the genre. in the face of the more common skintight fit, i opted for what osloh describe as their relaxed fit, because i'm that sort of chap.
personally, i prefer non-pelotonic cycle clothing to look normal, a style that osloh's crank trousers embrace with a delightful joi de vivre. i have worn these to the office each and everyday over the past week (and a bit) and not one of my colleagues has enquired as to why i was wearing cycling trousers to work. osloh's relaxed fit is pretty darned brilliant, especially when yours truly sports a tendency to resemble someone recently fallen from the ceiling. they have provided me the opportunity to cast askance looks at the notion of formality.
the right leg features a reinforcing panel on the inner calf to fend off any potential scuffing from errant chainsets, while just above the hem at the rear is a short strap enabling the wearer (me) to pull the circumference a smidgeon tighter and restrict any possible flappage. the seated area has completely dispensed with that seam, replacing it with a reinforced, thin chamois panel. fear not that this will look like or feel like a nappy of some sort. in practice, you'd never know it was there.
once again, offering reminiscences of those 501s, the crank trousers feature a three-button fly. this is not something i'd necessarily opt for if give the choice, but after a week's practice... the waistband fastens via two large(ish) brass buttons and should you manage to lose waist size through all the cycling they are likely to encourage, there are a couple of side fasteners to pull the waistband in just a tad.
the uk price of osloh's crank trousers is close to £140, but i'd budget a bit more for the personal assistant you will doubtless wish to employ in order to keep track of the contents of so many pockets. i counted eleven, impressively curated inside two enormous front pockets that continue all the way round to your bum. it's the first time i've seen anything like these on any pair of trousers, but in practice, it's a darned clever idea. i doubt i'm any more predisposed towards sitting on a bunch of keys than the rest of you. but should i find that to be the case (i did), it's simplicity itself to move them to the front while riding a bicycle.
according to osloh's website, one of those myriad pockets is of the 'double-lined cell phone' variety. as one bereft of such a device, i opted to keep my drum workshop drum key in that one, hoping that osloh won't mind too much. of course, all this would surely come to nought were the crank trousers to struggle when subjected to any amount of cycling.
for this purpose, i employed my taurus corinto; its brooks b66 and the cranks seemed made for each other. though the taurus would not be mark cavendish's first choice for a tilt at the green jersey, it strikes me as a prime example of the style of cycle on which a person (me) would look most at home in a fabulous pair of khaki, relaxed fit jeans.
rarely has coffee been supped with such relaxed sartorial style after a 15km bike ride. and yet, stowing the corinto after the 15km return trip, i stepped straight back into the civilian world as if i'd never left. if your daily commute is in need of a less formal mode of attire, or relaxed is your middle name, i cannot recommend these highly enough. because even when strolling down to the newsagents at lunchtime, you'll still be a secret cyclist in disguise.
and that is the definition of confidently smug.
osloh crank trousers retail at approx. £140 ($198) are available in either the khaki as reviewed , navy or the limited edition camouflage version. sizes on offer are 28, 30, 32, 34, 36 or 38 waist matched to one of four inseam lengths (30,32,34 or 36)
sunday 20 march 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................