I'm intrigued by riding jeans but concerned about their crash worthiness for non-city riding. My commuting distance is a combined 20 miles of backroads,mostly freeway and a tiny bit of downtown Portland. My other riding is highways and country roads.
My favorite warm weather option is Dainese New Drake Airs (fit is super!). Should I bother with denim or stick with these as my commuting pants?
Many thanks, Linda
For non-city riding, I wouldn't recommend riding jeans. Generally speaking, riding jeans are a better alternative to your casual, non resistant, gap/old navy type jeans. The only riding jeans I do recommend are ones with denim/Kevlar/technical, abrasion resistant fabrics such as Rokker or Rev'it. And I only recommend the ones with hip and knee protection. I tend to be a stickler for armor in riding jeans, but that's certainly a personal decision.
I think you are already wearing the best option for the commute that you're riding everyday. The Dainese Drake Airs are light, strong and comfortable. I have these too, but they're a size too big so I hate wearing them!
The only reason I would do riding jeans instead is if you really want something that's more casual looking for city riding only. I was trying to buy the Rev'it Broadway jeans for ladies myself, but after I found the knee pockets to be an inch too low even in riding position, I knew they wouldn't work :(. I was thinking of finding a pair of jeans to wear just around town and on my 10 minute commute (non highway) to work. Personally, I wouldn't wear riding jeans on the freeway.
Sidenote: the Broadway jeans are very slender, and run a size up. I'm a 27" in most casual jeans and I had to go up to a 28" in these because they were so tight. They're also *really* long and all have 32" inseams, which you can hem but that doesn't change the position of the knee armor. I actually prefer the fit of the Madison, but they don't have any hip armor. I may still give in to these if I can get hip pockets sewn in to add armor there.