Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why I don’t wear leg warmers

Though the thermometer would tell you otherwise, it’s fall. Cool weather riding will start any day now. We’ll be thinking more about keeping warm than keeping hydrated. Which means pulling out the baselayers and skull caps and long-fingered gloves*. One thing I will not be wearing, though, is leg warmers.

*I knew my transition from mountain biker who occasionally rides on the road to full-on roadie who only rides MTB in the off season was complete when I realized I preferred short-fingered gloves to the long-finger variety I used to wear every ride, regardless of temperature.

Leg warmers are for ninnies. And Flashdance. Hard men don’t wear leg warmers. If it’s truly cold, it’s cold enough to wear tights and keep them on for the duration of the ride. But if you just wear leg warmers to take the teeth out of the chill until things warm up and then take them off, you’re soft.

OK, maybe you’re not literally soft, but you lack self respect. Or, unlike most cyclists when regarding their own legs, you lack vanity (why else do you think we shave them?). Because only the leanest, fittest cyclists can pull on leg or knee warmers and not end up with the tops of their legs looking like something spilled out of a sausage casing. Muffin tops. You know what I’m talking about.

Self-consciousness is the real reason I don’t wear leg warmers. Sure, call them sprinters’ thighs. Flatter me. They have some girth, that’s for sure. But draw an elastic band around the tops tight enough to hold up a leg warmer at a 100 RPM cadence, and you’ll see that those who can get away with wearing leg warmers aren’t the soft ones. It’s the same effect as Mr. Incredible fastening his belt—there’s more to the girth than just fast twitch fibers. Thank goodness for embrocation.


  1. You have your reasons for not wearing leg warmers, that's understandable.

    But leg warmers are for ninnies? Seriously?

  2. Kris: If I recall correctly, you don't shave your legs. Because it's emasculating. And wearing leg warmers isn't?

  3. I don't shave my legs. And to clarify, of several reasons, one is it feels emasculating to *me*.

    So is your point that because leg warmers are form-fitting they are emasculating? I can see the reasoning, but I disagree on functional grounds. On the road I don't like clothing flapping in the wind (my tights are a bit loose). For mountain, leg warmers don't snag easily or get burrs like the tights.

    Is there really much distinction between tights and leg warmers?

    The bottom line is, your reasons for not wearing leg warms seem valid to me. Fine. But when you went with words like ninnies, soft, lack self respect - you lost me.

  4. I love knee-warmers. But I am most certainly not a "ninnie". No, I am a "Cold Pussy."

  5. I wear leg warmers instead of tights. Tights make my butt look big.

  6. I think y'all are spending too much time on this blog and not enough time riding...

  7. i wear them cause they feel sexy.

    sometimes they are all i wear.

  8. Tights = manly. Warmers = ninnie.

    Got it.

  9. You're all wrong. Knee warmers are where it's at! on cold days add long socks and an extra pair of shorts.

  10. I thought you wore leg warmers as arm warmers... so, technically, this means you do wear leg warmers, just not for their designated purpose.

    I have a stunning memory, don't I? Stunning. I also see pictures when people write words, so that notion of StupidBike wearing nothing but leg warmers is all I see right now.

  11. Rabid: knee warmers, actually. don't own or use leg warmers because they're for ninnies.

    Thanks for reminding me of the mental image of Stupidbike. I'm visual that way too. Eww.