Levi's Nerd-Repellent Commuter Jeans

Yesterday my Levi’s 511 Skinny Commuter Jeans arrived at work toward the end of the day.

Levis Commuter Don't Wash Instructions
Don't wash? Talk about catering to bike messengers.

These are the ones that have had several bike bloggers salivating.

But salivating is okay, because the Nanosphere ® technology on the fabric makes the pants drool-resistant.

I ripped open the FedEx envelope, and… the pants were khaki colored.

That’s okay. Khaki’s okay.

I ran into the bathroom to changed into them. It was difficult.

That’s okay. I’m just not used to skinny jeans.

When I managed to pull them on, I felt like I was wearing the dance tights of an 11-year-old girl — not that I know what that would feel like. They squeezed angrily at my man parts. (After yesterday’s descent into juvenile snickering, you’d think that I’d have gotten it out of my system. You’d be wrong.)

The pants were the right size. So what was wrong?

Well, before these pants ever arrived, I’d seen some of the marketing videos, which feature skinny, tattooed, cool, young people. I’m 0 for 4 there.

Simple explanation: These pants hate me.

I am nowhere to be seen in this video. I was not invited.

I tested my theory. I had my co-worker, Matt Irvine, try them on. Matt has tattoos, and rides a fixie. He’s also younger than me.

They slipped right on him like Cinderella’s slipper. Which makes me the evil stepsister in this analogy that I shall pursue no further.

So today Matt and I went and found the most graffiti-plastered object within a short walk of our office — because, you know, graffiti equals urban, and the bike industry is currently infatuated with urban.

So here he is: young, handsome, and inked:

Matt in Levis
Look! Daddy's urban!

Speaking of 11-year-old girls, Matt told me that yesterday evening, when he arrived home wearing these pants, his daughter gleamed, “Dad? Are you wearing skinny jeans? Cool!”

Here are the features of the Commuter jeans:

  • Utility waist band – specially designed for u-lock storage
  • Higher back rise – providing additional coverage when riding
  • Nanosphere ® Technology – applied to make fabric water resistant, dirt repellant, durable and protective
  • 3M Reflectivity – 3M Scotchliteâ„¢ Reflective Tape on interior cuff offers high level of visibility
  • Sanitizedâ„¢ Brand Technology – antimicrobial protection against odors
  • Reinforced Fabric – in crotch, back pockets and belt loop for durability
  • Performance Stretch Fabric – more stretchable for added mobility and comfort

I’m working on finding out if Levi’s makes an uncool version of these pants, and if they do, I’ll review them sometime in the future — and I’ll find out if “higher back rise” means, “covers your butt crack.”

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16 thoughts on “Levi's Nerd-Repellent Commuter Jeans”

  1. jdmitch says:

    I had an almost identical experience… though I had deliberately ordered the khaki colored ones.

    I had test fit some “normal” 511s at a store (snug but not disgusting – my wife actually thought they looked nice on me)… but when the 511 Commuters showed up… no go… I couldn’t even get half the buttons done on the fly…

    It seem to me that the cut of the 511 commuter may actually narrower through the thigh than the 511 classic…

  2. Johnny says:

    I suppose this means that I shouldn’t even bother attempting to find them in my 60-yr old 44 inch waist… 😉

  3. Oliver Leon says:

    I bought somo skinny 511 a month ago. I am no precisely thin, I usually wear 34 waist size pants, but I had to buy 36 (the biggest size in the skinny line). they fit perfectly, so you may want to try a bigger size before ditching them. They are actually good for cycling.

  4. Fast McFlash says:

    Those pants (and dude) are HAWT!!! Is that a steamroller? I would ride that bike (and dude)!!!

  5. BluesCat says:

    I’m with Johnny: skinny jeans don’t make sense for us mature guys.

    When nature calls, we need to answer that call post haste. I don’t want my stylish drawers to force delays upon me; make me hop around trying to get the equipment ready.

  6. David Irvine says:


  7. Jeremy says:

    My feelings that I would have the exact same experience stopped me from ordering these w/o checking them out in-person first…that trucker jacket does look sharp though.

  8. mark says:

    I’m hoping (& have already emailed Levi Strauss to recommend) that they come out with a line of Docker’s pants with the same features built in. For most of the work-force skinny jeans aren’t an option (except on casual Fridays). I wear dockers every work day & would buy commuter specific dockers if they ever showed up in a store near me (and not in a skinny cut).

  9. Brooks says:

    Thinner in the thighs for the commuter?!? Don’t they know that we all have big thighs from riding!

  10. Avi says:

    I tried these on at a Levi’s store. I usually get 32″ but for these I had to get a 34″. fits like a regular cut pair of jeans and doesn’t look skinny at all 🙂

  11. When I tried ultra skinny hipster shants a few years ago, my son’s reaction was the complete opposite of Matt’s daughters. “Skinny jeans, Dad? Really? They look stupid on you.”

  12. Ramon says:

    I just want to know if the crotch seam will destroy my taint like regular jeans do.

  13. njbasecamp says:

    prAna axiom jeans!!! these have been around for a few years now and are great. you won’t feel like a hipster in them. Levi’s FAIL!


  14. chiep07 says:

    actually 511 is not skinny pattern, its slim fit if im not misstaken….510 is skinny patern.. :8)

  15. chiep07 says:

    p/s: agreed with “…“higher back rise” means, “covers your butt crack.”….”

  16. Markley says:

    The commuter series is now offered in: 511 & 504. The 504 is more of a straight fit v. the 511 which is a(very)skinny cut.

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