Ordering new bike gear over the internet can be fraught with problems, have you picked the right size, is the colour shown accurate, will it be comfortable? All of these issues and more were floating around my head as I looked at various websites to choose my next pair of biking jeans. I needn't have worried though, as one call to Julie from Hood Jeans, put my mind at ease.
I previously had a pair of rather old jeans from a well-known manufacturer, which I have been very happy with, although they were showing signs of age, and were also only partially lined so I wanted to buy a fully lined pair. It was important to get knee and hip protection as my old pair had neither, with the Hood K7AA jeans you had the choice of three types of armour from D30, I decided to go for the Ghost armour which is thinner as I'm not used to it in jeans and didn't want anything that would rub or be uncomfortable.
A couple of days after I placed the order I was surprised to find they had arrived, great service from the Hood Team, which included a custom leg length. After unpacking, it became clear that the quality is first-rate with great attention to detail. Little things often make the difference to me, like the properly lined pockets and net lining to add a little comfort. The fit was perfect too and exactly as described.
After I initially tried them on I had to fit the D30 armour, the hip armour went in with no issues however the knee armour caused much hilarity as my, long-suffering wife tried to help with placement. After trying myself, with plenty of guesswork it became obvious that I don't know where my knees are, as every time, I put them on they were either too high or too low. I then laid on our bed with my jeans on and my wife inserting them up my leg and trying to get them in place. this had us in stitches for a good 15 minutes. Eventually, I took the jeans back off, turned them inside out and put them back on, this made the placement of the knee protection much simpler and as the armour is so thin and flexible, I could turn them back with the pads in situ. Once you have fitted them and they are correct it is a good idea to measure their position with a tape measure for easier fitment after washing.
So what are they like on the bike?
All I can really say is great. Over the 5 months since buying them I have ridden a little over 9,000km on a range of bikes from sports, through naked and adventure, in differing weather conditions from rain in France, to cold mornings in North Yorkshire, 8 degrees and hot afternoons in Spain with no issues. The hot weather in Spain was my biggest concern with the full lining, I try to miss the hottest times of the year but did ride a few times over 35 degrees with a high of 37.5. It wasn't the most pleasant experience, but little is at those temperatures and they were certainly much better than wearing leathers. The rain in France was a good test, my old jeans would soak through in about 5 minutes, the Hood Jeans managed a steady drizzle for about twenty minutes without soaking through, which is great for non-waterproof garments.
Comfort on the bike is good, they have a fairly high waist, which doesn't cut in and are straight cut to allow for boots and a little room so they don't pinch at the knees. On all three bikes, I ride, a, Suzuki GSXR 750, KTM 790 Duke and BMW R1200 GSA they were great with no issues.
Would I buy them again?
Definitely, the quality instils confidence and comfort allows you to ride, without fatigue, they are a great price and lovely people to deal with, what more do you need.