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June 21st, 2007:

Truth and Fiction in Motorcycle Gear: Cortech DSX Jeans

I’ve been looking for good, mostly-civilian-looking riding jeans with armor and abrasion resistance. Cortech DSX Jeans use leather instead of the kevlar / aramid that some (e.g. Draggin’ Jeans) use in the knees and seat. They do have some knee armor. Plus, the price was right (about $70 shipped) vs. the kevlar ones, so I ordered a pair.

Levi 501s in 38″ waist, 32″ length fit me pretty well. Snug, perhaps, but not tight (neither gangsta nor European). So, I was hoping to get a similar fit out of the Cortech DSX. At risk of giving you more info than you need, I have kind of thick legs, a residue from too much rowing in college.

No such luck. Cortech DSX jeans are cut for fatasses. The 38″ waist hangs off me like a 40″. I have to cinch it up so much with my belt that there’s a fold. I really ought to have it taken in 1-2 inches by a tailor. And my thickish legs flop around in the bagginess of the jeans.

The cut of the jeans is sort of a low-rider type thing. These are definitely cut to be worn lowish on the hips (lowish for men’s jeans, that is; not hip-huggers, but probably 4″ lower on the body than Western jeans).

Accordingly, the 32″ seems to be measured from the floor to a lower height than with e.g. Levis or more Western type jeans. When I sit on my bike, the jeans pull up almost to the top of my Cortech Tourmaster riding boots.

Long story short: if you wear a 38-32 in Levi 501s, you probably should order a 36-34 to get jeans that 1. fit snugly (and therefore keep the armor and leather in place), and 2. don’t ride up when you’re on the bike.

Other than that, I can’t complain. They are some nice jeans, they just happen to be cut without reference to the actual measurements on the tag…