Tag Archives: socks

Cycling Fashion Fails – Part 1

Looking good on the bike comes naturally to some and not so to others. As cyclists, we are already misunderstood creatures – the general population don’t get why we wear Lycra and our partners probably don’t get why we wear bib-knicks (or like mine, likens you to a little Mexican wrestler). Let’s not make the issue worse by looking like complete clowns. Instead, follow a few simple rules around what you should and should not wear while riding your bike.

Team Kitteamkit

In contrast to some other sports, like football or basketball, team kit is for team riders only. If your name is Simon Gerrans, you can wear an Orica GreenEdge kit. If your name is Richie Porte, you can wear a Sky kit. If you ride for a team, go for it,  otherwise steer clear. This rule also extends to National jerseys – you can only wear the stripes if you earn them.  Sorry to break it to you every Englishman that rides a bike, but you are not actually Bradley Wiggins.

Matching Kit
matchy

At a very minimum, your jersey should be matching your shorts – keeping in mind that most things match plain black. Worst case scenario is mixing team kits (breaking two rules at once) – I have actually witnessed someone mix an light blue Astana jersey with green Cannondale shorts. I was too busy throwing myself under the nearest car to take a photo.

Sockssocks

I have previously written a very in-depth guide to socks, which you can read by clicking here. In summary, a tall sock is ideal and a mid-height sock is a pass mark.  Ankle socks, knee high socks, compression socks and fluffy woollen socks are all frowned upon. Not wearing socks, a common practice by triathletes (strange human beings) is inexcusable.

Jerseys
sleaveless

One for the banned list.  Your jerseys must ALWAYS have sleeves. They can be short or long (winter only), but your upper arm is always to remain covered. Riding in hot temperatures is not an excuse either – there are plenty of lightweight options available.  I don’t see this very commonly on men, but I do see a lot of female upper arms. Trying to use your tan lines to give the impression of sleeves (as pictured) is only going to end in tears.

Leg Warmers
warmers

I could almost write as much about leg warmers as I did about socks, so I will attempt to summarise. Firstly, knee warmers are preferable to leg warmers, which should only be worn in extreme climates (i.e. riding in a blizzard up the French Alps, or in Canberra in winter). As with all kit, make sure the leg warmers match your shorts (black and black is the safest bet). Unless you are a team rider and are contracted to do so, do not EVER wear bright red, yellow or blue leg warmers. Always ensure the warmer sits under the short and that there is no gap between the two (the skin must never show – keep that gap closed).

Overshoes
overshoes

This is really quite simple – don’t wear plastic bags as overshoes.  I have heard of some cultures (the English in particular) placing plastic or tin foil on the inside of shoes, which is acceptable if evidence is never sighted. When looking to prevent wind or rain from infiltrating your shoes, your best bet is to buy some proper overshoes that are going to match your kit. Oversocks are cool too – just keep them clean!

List of Awesome Things – September Edition

Following on from the August List of Awesome Things, which included the very popular Chain Pig, here are some of my favourite accessories or kit I have either discovered or bought during September.

1. Rapha Essentials Case

Rapha Essentials Case - I have the black "Kings of Pain" version. The leather is oh so soft!
Rapha Essentials Case – I have the black “Kings of Pain” version. The leather is oh so soft!

This little leather case fits nicely in your back jersey pocket and can be used to hold cash, credit cards, your smartphone and a few other small items, like tyre levers or a cannister. Good sturdy zip and soft leather have made this a favourite of mine. I don’t use it in the rain, but it holds up to sweat really well (doesn’t seem to carry odour). I must admit, I’ll often use it as my wallet.

From: Rapha

 

2.  Specialized SWAT Tools – Cage Mounted 

So neat and tidy. This satisfies my OCD.
So neat and tidy. This satisfies my OCD.

I hate having to carry a bag, jam a whole lot of stuff in my pockets or ruin the look of my bite with saddle bags and/or duct tape. Any nifty little ways of hiding necessary gear are always going to go down well with me.  Specialized have recently released new side loading bottle cages with a neat little mounting for a multi-tool on the bottom – perfect for mountain bikers who have limited room. The tool itself is small and compact but solid in construction. On my wish list!

From: Specialized

 

3. Pedal Mafia – The Bones Kit

The model isn't too bad either....!
The model isn’t too bad either….!

Last month I posted some wicked socks from these guys – this month, the kit I am spending most of my time in. The Bones kit is comfortable, unique and has a skull and cross-bones on it. Seriously. How can you not own this?

From: Pedal Mafia

 

4. The Athletic Socks

The sock fetish continues
The sock fetish continues

The Athletic are a small company out of Portland in the US who make a range of awesome socks, caps and bottles for both runners and cyclists. Cool blog as well.

From: The Athletic

 

5. Rapha Supercross Cap

#capsnothats
#capsnothats

I am a cap wearer and proud to be one. I am also a cross rider and love the fact that Rapha have shown so much support for the sport. The Supercross range of gear is pretty cool – jersey, socks, cap and even the natty scarf.

From: Rapha

 

6. Road and Dirt Caps

#capsnothats
#capsnothats

Continuing the theme of caps, I found a beauty for those of us who ride on and off the road – Road Rider on the top of the brim, Dirt Fighter on the underside. Wicked. I ordered two.

From: Road and Dirt

 

7. Specialized Grail Mitts

Minimal and comfortable. I think I might actually wear gloves in summer now.
Minimal and comfortable. I think I might actually wear gloves in summer now.

I hate wearing gloves. In summer, I usually don’t (I’m so euro). I know I should wear them – I have fallen off and grazed my palms and I have experienced a bit of numbness on longer rides, but I simply don’t like the feeling of having them on.  The Grail Mitts perked my interest as soon as I heard they were designed to be minimalist and feel like they weren’t even there.

The glove itself has a gel pad right in the middle of the palm, which fills in the space when you hold the bars. I must admit, this really helped with comfort in some recent 7 hour races. There seems to be a whole lot of technology behind them – but they are minimalist and I like that!

From: Specialized

 

8. Attaquer Cycling Kits

The BMX Bandits kit. Great tribute to an awesome movie.
The BMX Bandits kit. Great tribute to an awesome movie.

Attaquer are a small Australian company who make some unbelievably awesome kits and getting a fair bit of attention on a global scale. If you want something different and unique, but also comfortable as hell, look no further.  They are race cut (no hiding that extra food you ate during your recovery week) and if you are wearing an Attaquer kit, don’t get overtaken.

From: Attaquer

 

9. S-Works Evade Helmet

Aero is everything!
Aero is everything!

Specialized claim this helmet can save me up to 46 seconds over 40km. It’s aero, but I think it still looks good enough to remove the chance of looking like a TT w#nker. Really light and with a unique cooling system, this is going to look the goods on the road.

From: Specialized

List of Awesome Things – August Edition

I am a lover and a bit of a collector of awesome things. One of the best things about cycling and it’s many disciplines is the vast availability of a whole lot of unique, creative, functional and just downright, “I need to have that” stuff! Every month or so I will post a few of my favourite cycling-related finds, including cycling kit, bikes, parts, accessories and other cool goodies.

1. Cycling Quote Mugs

Words I live by - from French rider Bernard "The Badger" Hinault, winner of Le Tour five times.
Words I live by – from French rider Bernard “The Badger” Hinault, winner of Le Tour five times.

As an office worker and avid tea drinker, I do enjoy a good mug. Here are a few with the jersey colours and inspirational quotes of yesteryear.  My favourite was Hinault and his passion for attacking, but others include Coppi – “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill” and Greg Lemond – “It never gets easier, you just go faster” (SO TRUE)

From: The Handmade Cyclist

 

2. Sufferfest Training Videos – “Hell Hath No Fury”

You don't want to shame the village or disappoint your director sportif Grunter Von Agony...
You don’t want to shame the village or disappoint your director sportif Grunter Von Agony…

The trainer is a great way to build fitness, technique, recover from injury or just get in a ride if it’s pouring with rain outside. That said, it can be a pretty boring place – unless of course you grab a Sufferfest Training Video. “Hell Hath No Fury” is aimed at improving endurance, goes for 75 minutes in total and contains two tough 20 minute intervals.  It’s also the only Sufferfest video based on women’s racing – with a stack of UCI Pro Women’s racing footage. Inspirational for the girls and nice on the eye for the boys!

I’m warning you, it is going to hurt. Especially when you meet “The Monster”.

From: The Sufferfest

 

3. Specialized Women’s Lululemon Racing Kit

The Lulu ladies doing their thing.
The Lulu ladies doing their thing.

My good friend and extremely fashionable rider Robyn got me on to the Specialized “Lulu” Kits. Very comfortable kits designed especially for women and worn by Specialized’s UCI Women’s racing team. Feminine, unique and I’m pretty sure it makes you faster when you wear it.

From: Manly Cycles, Cyclery Northside or your local Specialized dealer

 

4.  The “Cities” Bidons from SSBD

All the glamour and culture from the world's most famous cities
All the glamour and culture from the world’s most famous cities

My favourite drink bottle at the moment, putting Parramatta on the map with other glamour cities around the world. It also ticks the boxes of being easy to drink from in the middle of a race, it doesn’t leak and it’s BPA Free.

From: Same Same but Different

 

5. Mini Cycling Figures

Little Eddy sits on my desk, serving as a constant reminder to "ride lots".
Little Eddy sits on my desk, serving as a constant reminder to “ride lots”.

Your favourite all-time cyclists, in miniature form.  Great for the desk at work or the coffee table at home. You can choose from legends like Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond and Felice Gimondi or modern day machines like Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. All are hand crafted.

From: Le Petit Tour

 

6. Pedal Mafia – The Cube Socks

You can get them in a few colours - pink obviously being my favourite
You can get them in a few colours – pink obviously being my favourite

I love supporting a small Australian brand and I REALLY love a good pair of cycling socks.  Comfortable, perfect height (not too tall, not too small) and pretty unique. Pedal Mafia also do some wicked kits – Bones, Birds and The Cube being my favourites.

From: Pedal Mafia 

 

7. Specialized S-Works Carbon MTB Shoes

The Women's Carbon soled S-Works shoe. Better suited to the female foot and with no compromise over the men's version.
The Women’s Carbon soled S-Works shoe. Better suited to the female foot and with no compromise over the men’s version.

Making the switch to carbon soled shoes (for both road and MTB) was nothing short of wonderful. While science and technology say a stiffer sole improves pedalling efficiency and power transfer, you may not notice the 5% improvement. From the moment I started pedalling, it just FELT better. It felt like I had a cleaner and more efficient stroke. There is no going back!

From: Manly Cycles, Cyclery Northside or your local Specialized dealer

 

8. The ChainPig

It's a chain cleaner and it's a pig! How could you NOT have one of these?
It’s a chain cleaner and it’s a pig! How could you NOT have one of these?

Obviously when I was told there was a chain cleaner that looked like a little pink pig, I had to buy it. It also helps that I have OCD when it comes to keeping my bikes clean and was in the market for a new chain cleaner anyway (my old one is pretty worn). Press in his eyes to open him and use his tail to lock him in place, effectively making it hands-free. Results so far are very good!

From: Pedro’s