You know how finally finding the perfect, feels like they were made for you pair of jeans feels? That’s my relationship with the Bolid’ster “Jeny’ster” riding jeans. (Plus Bolid’ster, the French company that makes them, pretty much named them after me…OK, maybe not, but let me have my little fantasies.) I’ve worn many other riding jeans, some of which fit me quite well. Others, not so much (including a different Bolid’ster style). But the Jeny’sters? They’re juuuuust right.
I feel for women’s jeans manufacturers. Really, I do. We come in more shapes and sizes than men, and god help them if their jeans don’t fit our perfectly particular body shape. “Horrible cut!” “Not made for women AT ALL!” “Worst jeans I’ve ever worn!” We’re merciless.
So keep that in mind when I say that the Bolid’ster Jeny’ster riding jeans are my new favorite, my go-to jeans when I want to look great in a photo shoot or riding to dinner with my boyfriend. It feels like they were made just for me. If your body shape is similar to mine (not very curvy, with muscular legs), the Jeny’sters will likely fit you well. If you’ve got more of an hourglass figure, you might want to try the Ride’ster style.
OK, now that we’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about the important stuff: how these jeans perform in day-to-day use. There are two general types of riding jeans, single-layer and double-layer. Single-layer jeans weave the protective fibers—what makes them motorcycle-specific riding jeans as opposed to normal, everyday jeans—into the denim fabric. Double-layer jeans have an outer denim layer, with a separate protective layer (usually aramid fabric, also known as the brand name Kevlar) sewn in at key abrasion zones. Either type could also be supplemented with armor at the knees and/or hips.
The Jeny’ster jeans are the first type: single-layer. Bolid’ster jeans use Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Armalith 2.0 denim, which is highly abrasion-, chemical- and UV-resistant. (For more detailed info on the various types of abrasion-resistant materials, read our Riding Jeans For Dummies article here.) The tiny UHMWPE fibers are surrounded by raw indigo dyed cotton, which is then woven into denim fabric.
For the unarmored Jeny’ster and men’s Jean’ster styles, the Armalith 2.0 blend is 57% cotton, 33% UHMWPE and 10% Lycra for a comfortable stretch. For the armored Ride’ster jeans, which are marketed as unisex, an even tougher 52% cotton, 42% UHMWPE and 6% Lycra blend is used. Bolid’ster says the Jeny’sters will hold up to a 20-meter (almost 67-foot) slide, which is enough to meet CE Level 2 requirements.
The whole purpose of single-layer jeans is comfort—they look and feel more like regular jeans. If you’ve ever worn riding jeans with a Kevlar liner you know how hot they can get; Kevlar doesn’t breathe well at all, which is part of why it’s so good at abrasion and heat resistance. To address this, many manufacturers add a mesh liner to the inside of the jeans, which makes them a bit cooler but just adds to the bulk. Also, seams are often visible on the outside of the jeans where the Kevlar liner in sewn in, a telltale giveaway that these aren’t normal jeans.
The Jeny’sters, by contrast, are the same weight and thickness as a quality pair of selvedge denim jeans. They look—and feel—amazing. The Lycra gives them just enough stretch to make climbing on and off the bike, and bending your knees in a sporty riding position, comfortable. Unlike other brands I’ve tried, they aren’t scratchy or overly stiff. The finish is a high-quality raw indigo that will age over time, creating a wear pattern unique to each person. (I’ve only had mine a few months so they’re still perfectly dark indigo, but I plan to keep them a long time!)
An often-overlooked aspect of riding apparel is the stitching. Quality leather and high-tech fabrics are only as good as the stitching holding it all together, and burst seams are sadly all too common in falls. To address this, Bolid’ster jeans are stitched with a special highly tear-resistant polyamide nylon thread that is also used in automobile air bags.
My only complaint about the Jeny’sters is the lack of armor. It could be argued that impact protection is more important to your average commuter than abrasion—I’ve had firsthand experience. I brought this up with the local Bolid’ster rep, so perhaps we’ll see changes in the future.
But my vain side is still addicted to these jeans. I wear them even when I’m not riding—they are that comfortable and fit me that well. Plus my boyfriend thinks my butt looks hot in them.
The Jeny’sters, like all Bolid’ster jeans, are made in France, serial numbered and guaranteed for ten years.
Sizing: Runs a little bit small; recommend going up one size
Best use: Everyday riding, on and off the bike