I have an unfailing affection for Alpinestars technical products. Their attention to detail, workmanship and reliability are second-to-none. Of all the bike clothing products I’ve bought over the years, this is the brand that stands out over them all.
The one gripe I had with some of their gear was that it made you look, well, like a power-ranger. Now for most sports and MX bike riders, that’s not a problem but the cafe racing style bike is back, in a big way and brightly colours leather just doesn’t fit with the image.
Fortunately, Alpinestars have given us the Charlie Denim pants, or jeans if you prefer. The styling is great, regardless of the technical features (I’ll get to that), these jeans look and feel great. The cut is stylish, classic and comfortable. A perfect example of some great R&D, the outer fabric is cotton and elastine so they ‘give’ a little when you sit down. Anyone who’s worn jeans on a bike knows how tight and uncomfortable other jeans can get. The stitching is high quality and plentiful, the pockets are deep and angled so that things don’t slip out when you sit down.
Now I can already hear the safety conscious lot getting ready to comment on how unsafe jeans are for riding, well these jeans have Kevlar built in as well as knee pad pockets and they come with some great pads for your knees too. I’m not expert but I did have a pair of ‘drag’ jeans a couple of years ago and they were poorly made, the kevlar wasn’t stitched on very well and the thickness was dubious. The Kevlar fabric on the Charlie Denim pants is double stitched and much thinker than I’ve seen before.
I also like the little details like a metal loop to hook your valuables on. If I have to complain about anything, I’d say the jeans are too thick for wearing generally, but to be honest, I don’t think that what they’re intended for. They won’t be much good in the event of a crash, but if you’re cruising on a Bonneville around town, they should be okay if you drop it on a corner.