Why the skinny jeans?

The whole hipster/fixie thing is growing quite rapidly in my area of Fullerton, Ca. With the growth of the style, fashion comes into play. Here’s what I don’t understand, why in the world do fixie hipsters wear skinny jeans!?!

Personally I hate wearing pants of any kind when riding a bike. It feels way to constrictive and my legs get hot and sweaty…

So if you’re a fixie hipster kinda commuter, and you wear skinny jeans, can you explain to me why?


  1. lolathipsters

    the emperor has not clothes

  2. Powerful Pete

    1. Too much information … ‘personally I hate wearing pants of any kind when riding’…

    tee hee hee

    2. Fortunately we do not have the hipster/fixie fad here.

    3. Lycra riders are again on the upswing.

    4. With the good weather some commuters are beginning to appear. I no longer feel like the last of mohicans…

  3. Dottie

    I figured it might have something to do with not needing a trouser strap. Probably not, though 🙂

  4. Mike Myers

    My legs are way too big for skinny jeans. Levi’s 501s are tight in the thigh for me. If I wear straight leg jeans I have to put my socks on before my jeans, b/c I can’t pull the cuffs up over my calves.

    How do these hipsters keep such skinny legs? Do they not ride lots? Live on cigarettes? They’re known for drinking lots of PBR so that’s not exactly low calorie. What’s up with the anorexic look?

  5. Anna

    oh come on guys, stop the hate!

    1. i ride a fixed gear sometimes
    2. i have some tight jeans
    3. i might combine the two, if i found jeans that were about 98% spandex

    i absolutely do not wear pants of any kind while riding in the summer, but some folks have a fear of shorts. although “jorts” are getting pretty big, and i have sported those while riding more than once.

    and dottie’s point is true – no worries about your pants leg getting caught if they’re immobile : )

  6. ha1ku

    LOL I must confess I’ve asked the same about the skinny jeans. I can say, however, that jeans that are too baggy are not fun on the bike. So maybe that’s the reason.

    Unfortunately, no one in their right mind would want to see me in skinny jeans haha.

  7. Vegeterrorist

    I consider myself an expert on the Hipster-Fixie scene. Before I break down the profile of your typical hipster, allow me to present my credentials: I grew up in Los Angeles and lived there until 2005, the year I moved to San Luis Obispo to attend college (putting me in the age bracket of most hipsters). I work at my college radio station (a hotbed of slovenly hipster filth), and as a bike mechanic I have been a freelance adviser to many a Hipster-Fixie build.

    The tight pants stem from the hipster preoccupation with, both, androgyny and an unusual hybrid of the 70’s Folk music scene and a strange evolution from the punk scene (specifically DIY punk). Tight pants being a perceived part of both movements, the hipster adopted them to help forge some kind of cultural identity/”style jumping off point”.

    Practically speaking (practicality, of course, is never considered by the hipster in the quest for “style”), the skinny jeans need not be rolled up or contained with a trouser strap to keep them out of ones chain.

    While it is true that the average hipster subsists on a steady diet of PBR/Four/Joose and Parliament Light cigarettes, Hipsters are able to maintain such skinny legs and keep their “anorexic” figures as a result of cycling for no purpose other than style. They may be able to drop buzzwords and “talk shop” on a very surface level (some even go so far as to jump on popular political bandwagons having no knowledge of why), but none have any interest in the fitness or sport aspect of cycling. The Fixie thusly becomes, for the Hipster, the same as his/her skin-tight jeans; a fashion accessory used and haphazardly applied with the ultimate goal of identifying oneself with an out-of-the-mainstream, “edgy” (see: messenger culture) lifestyle.

    Hope this helps. If not, I once wrote a paper for a sociology class on this very same subject. I’d be happy to send a draft to anyone interested in “further reading”.

    Oh, and for Mike Myers, the calories consumed from the intake of various varieties of booze are burned off at dance parties (read: “a sad congregation of terribly self-conscious middle-class white kids trying, and failing, to move rhythmically to electronic music”).

  8. Ghost Rider

    Vegeterrorist….f’in brilliant!!!

    I’d love to read your sociology paper…could you email it to ghostrider(overthereat)bikecommuters(dot)com?

  9. 100 pounds ago


    Thanks for causing tears to stream down my face. BRILLIANT!

  10. Jesus Christ

    Because everyone else is doing it lol

  11. Champs

    Having worn my jeans and ridden my bike to the bar last night (after a day of riding in spandex), my logic is that even when the outdoor weather in Minneapolis is shorts-compatible (all summer, parts of spring and fall), the indoor weather, i.e. bar, is set to 60 degrees. Some parts of the country, including Florida, are worse about it than others.

    For what it’s worth, this particular bar did not apply its air conditioning quite so liberally.

  12. Vegeterrorist

    You got it Ghost Rider. You’ll have to give me a couple weeks, though. I’m away on vacation and not near my desktop that has the paper saved on it.

  13. Ghost Rider

    You got it…enjoy your vacation!

  14. Ben W

    Vegeterrorist, I think you absolutely nailed it. Thanks for the write up!

  15. Jesse

    Vegeterrorist, I’m also pretty interested in seeing your paper. I happen to live with hipsters who always try to talk me into drinking cheap 40’s with them and taking my bike to go two blocks away (that’s their average max distance by bicycle). Of course, I’ll wait ’till after your vacation, but throw me on that list.

    jesse (at) drivendaily (dot) org

  16. Tommy O

    Fantastic Vegeterrorist — send it to torndorff at the when you get a chance!

  17. The real one

    Vegeterrorist – would love to read more!
    You nailed it right on the head – like something right out of the Hipster Handbook.
    therealjdnorton at gmail dot com

  18. Matt

    I’m in too Vegeterrorist, you can send the paper to team[at]

  19. Cas

    I for one find skinny jeans much more comfortable than any other pants. And I don’t see why your attacking a group of people that enjoy bike riding. It may not be the same reasons as yours but who cares. Fashion is apart of our society at least they aren’t wearing dead animals around their necks.

  20. Steve S


    Good stuff! Please, please add me to that list for your paper.
    sgstarling at gmail period com

  21. Vegeterrorist

    I’m officially back from vacation and I’ve sent all of you who asked for it an e-mail. Unfortunately, I was unable to find/recover the paper itself, but I did find the presentation outline. Check your spam boxes for my e-mail (subject: Fixed Gear Cycling and the “Hipster”), because the name on the gmail account is Penguins McMarmoth, or something like that.

    I swear, you guys have made me want to use this topic for my masters thesis… Who knows, maybe I will, maybe I will…

  22. Jamey

    A dissenting opinion:

    Vegeterrorist, you are a pretentious cunt, and, therefore, no “better” than the hipsters you look down upon. But congrats on misplacing your sociology paper. Your loss is truly humanity’s gain.

  23. B Dot

    I don’t understand why everyone is so quick to judge. Just because you are jealous or envious of someone’s personal sense of style doesn’t mean you should get all bitter. If everyone was a cool cyclist like you that only took it seriously and trained on the weekends then the bike game would be looking pretty boring right about now.

    People that hate so called “hipsters” are just afraid to get to know people that are different from themselves. I’m sure you would find out that you have a lot in common with these so called hipsters if you just took the time. And no, spending time as a bike mechanic where your knowledge is superior to the customers (as it should be) does not count as interactions where you gave hipsters a chance.

  24. Stephen

    Well, at least their derrieres aren’t hanging out (don’t tell me if they are). I don’t hate hipsters, but I find it endlessly amusing that many of them are wearing the very same things I wore when I was in my late teens, or what my blue collar uncles and cousins wore in the 1960s (e.g., cheap shirts, funky glasses, workboots, etc.). And it’s even funnier when the hipsters, who are all trying to be oh-so non-conformist, end up looking all the same. Nah, it’s pointless to hate on them, but they are a never-ending source of amusement for those of us who have been around the block a few times.

  25. Shark

    You people are completely missing it. The whole reason to wear skinny jeans is so chicks(or dudes) can see you package when you stop to hang out at whatever random dive, or coffee shop hipsters hang out at. Lets not forget that BMX riders also have a propensity for wearing skinnys as well. New sticker for their bikes: Skinny jeans are not a crime. But my mullet is.

  26. kc

    AS A FLAMIN’ GAY BOY, I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS SO UR FUCKING PANTS DONT GET CAUGHT IN YOUR CHAIN! not everyone wants to rock the one pant leg rolled up.

  27. emily

    Haha you’re awesome!

    I wear skinny jeans and ride a fixed gear. The skinny jeans came before the fixed gear, bc I wore them on my 16 speed, so hmm… I guess I like the feeling of spandexie-denim against my legs when my favorite alternative, shorts, is not an option?

    I have one pair of baggie pants that I wear when it’s cold. They are amazing but are courdory so not an option when it’s warm. And I don’t wear those riding anyways because I’d have to role up the leg.

    I think it’s a laziness issue. I’d rather hop on my bike and ride then have to 1. LOOK DOWN 2. BEND DOWN 3. ROLL PANTS 4. STAND BACK UP — that’s a whopping 4 STEP PROCESS.

    ? haha

  28. diana

    Cycling in jeans is horrible and I hate it (stiff and harder to pedal, sweating) but I have done very short trips in jeans because well, of fashion. Because jeans are in fashion and I can’t find non-jeans to cycle in that are also fashionable and good to be seen in when not cycling.

    I don’t know how people do long trips in skinny jeans either.

  29. moises

    Im not a Hipster but I do wear skinny jeans and ride a fixed gear bicycle and I personally wear them because I use my bike for commuting and sometimes I can’t show up places dressed like I was working out also skinny jeans that are well fitted are actually pretty nice to ride in somewhat like underarmor or compression pants it helps blood flow and also if they aren’t loose there’s less chance of then getting caught in your chain I honestly prefer skinny jeans over shorts because shorts don’t give enough cushion and my areas begin to get sore after long rides I also own cycling clothes though but I’d rather look like I do normally unless in doing a big ride

  30. Chicken_Jackson

    I just wear tight jeans cuz I don’t have biking pants or shorts and I don’t like wearing baggy shorts or jeans while riding. Also baggy Jeans get stuck in my chain… I don’t wear skinny jeans unless i’m riding my bike, and I don’t ride a fixie. I guess I should invest in some bike shorts.

  31. Derp

    Ancient thread is ancient

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