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Ixon Spencer HP jeans | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

Straight walkin’

You know you’re getting old when you see ‘Established 1996’ on a clothing label and wonder why the company advertises the fact it only started recently. Then you realise that two decades have passed, and that reaching 20 years in this day and age is an achievement. Give Ixon its dues – the French label’s jackets, leathers, shoes, gloves and pants have been up and down the road a few times, literally.

Another sign you’re getting old: when you go to buy a pair of jeans and find that none of the styles suit you. Nowadays it seems nigh on impossible to buy a pair that don’t either have those elasticised cuffs at the bottom or strangulate your two veg. So it was a relief to slide easily into the relaxed fitting, no nonsense, Spencer HP jeans.

These were my original riding pants and are still my standby kit. I have worn them through both wet and dry, warm and cold.

We liked

The wide, straight cut works for me fashion-wise, and also helps on warmer days to stay ventilated. Thanks to their roomy nature, and relatively light Twillguard material, the Spencers are a decent all-weather option. After getting soaked – either in the road or in the washing machine – they dry out quickly.

The pants can also be adjusted for different body shapes. There are Velcro straps to tighten the jeans around the waist, and cuffs can be lifted to three different positions – very handy if you always need to take the hems up on new jeans.

Finally, the Spencer HPs come with hip and knee pads that are so easy to insert, you can easily wear them for the ride into work, then pull them out when you arrive and wear the jeans as normal pants for the rest of the day.

We didn’t like

Not just a dig at Ixon, but it would be great if safety information in general were easier to decode. The Spencer HP jeans are made of ‘Twillguard’, a “very resistant monolayer polycotton” fabric. Sounds wonderful, but how many seconds do I get sliding on my arse before it disintegrates? The insertable hip and knee pads on the Spencer HP jeans have been ‘CE approved’, according to Ixon’s website, while the rest of the garment has been ‘PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) category 2, CE certified’. So what’s the difference?

After doing some research, it turns out the jeans contain an aramid fibre, similar to Kevlar, and category 2 certification just means that they’ve been tested by an independent body.

A minor gripe is that the foot straps always seem to get stuck in the wrong position in my boots, resulting in constant tugs and adjustments on the go. The straps are easily removed.

The verdict

Big thumbs up for everyday ease of use and versatility. But when it comes to safety, make sure you ask the right questions of the right people.

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