Worse for Wear was founded on an honest and practical product philosophy that very much resonates with our own. Speed, safety, style – these jeans check all three. This Crosstown Slim model is the second product to come out of this start-up's Richmond, VA, factory. It’s first product is the Crosstown Curvy, which comes with a fuller cut. Both models offer a nice mix of impact and abrasion-resistance.
Cut from Armalith 2.0 space-age European denim—a combination of traditional cotton denim with a slight bit of elastane for stretch and 33% UHMWPE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene), these jeans offer real abrasion resistance in a low-key, comfortable package. Plus, they come with adjustable and removable CE-certified knee and hip armor. And the armor pockets themselves are constructed from military grade abrasion resistant Nylon, adding additional protection from the road.
They’re also built without metal rivets that could snag or heat up dangerously in a slide, and they come without any extraneous topstitching that would give them away as technical riding jeans. But underneath the traditional-looking exterior, they are indeed a technical, road-worthy piece of safety gear.
In abrasion testing this material lasts for about 3 seconds on the CE test jig. That’s enough to save your bacon for about 100 feet when you come off the bike at 50mph.* Fashion denim by comparison lasts about 0.6 seconds.
UHMWPE is the same root material used in some companies’ “unbreakable” hybrid denim products, but these jeans are sewn in the U.S. instead of in Asia, they come with pockets for knee and hip armor (which also is included), and yet they still come in at a more affordable price point than other UHMWPE-blend riding jeans.
What’s more, Worse for Wear assembles their jeans with bonded nylon thread to double and triple-stitch every seam on these jeans. (Aside: Alpinestars Kevlar-lined riding jeans, for example, while they have a valid place as a hybrid urban product, skimp on exterior seam strength. Knox to its credit, does not.)
But beside all these nerdy construction details, these jeans excel because they look like normal jeans. Safety gear only works if you’re willing to wear it, and these jeans are comfortable enough to wear all day on or off the bike, making the decision to ride with proper protective gear an easy one.
Important Fit note: The Crosstown Slim jean were designed to fit a woman with a 6-9” difference between her waist and hip measurements and a slimmer upper thigh. For example, our model, Diana, has a 27” natural waist and 35” hips. Check the size chart to find your size. We carry these in a 35-inch inseam, and any half competent tailor ought to be able to hem them exactly to your desired length for about $10. Keep in mind you might want them cut a little longer than normal jeans to account for your riding position.
For women looking for something with a more shapely fit, Worse for Wear offers a Curvy Cut designed to fit women with a 10-15” hip-to-waist differential.
Armor Included: SAS-TEC CE Approved knee (CE Level 2) and hip (CE Level 1) protectors provide a strong yet flexible body protection system. Made of lightweight viscoelastic foam, this armor molds to the shape of your body and is practically invisible under clothing. In the event of an impact, they stiffen to absorb shock and help protect you from the forces of a crash.
*Abrasion resistant results will vary widely based on speed, rider weight and street surface. The Worse for Wear benchmark is based on the accepted CE test for abrasion resistance.