Love them or loathe them ‘The Rules’ are an important aspect of our sport. In this timely 2023 update, Lee Turner offers a refresher.
It’s a new year and there’s been some conjecture and debate over some of the cycling fashion rules. A critical aspect of our sport, we need to discuss this.
There are certain unspoken rules when it comes to cycling fashion. They have been well documented over time, however, it’s time to update some of them. Due to my lack of cycling ability, I have tried very hard to make sure I present well whilst riding. “Look good first, worry about everything else second,” has been a motto of mine for a while now. Yep, I want to look good when getting dropped in a race or by a bunch, and I’m sure you feel the same.
Socks Under Or Over Warmers?
The first that has been getting a lot of discussion of late is socks over or under leg warmers. Do you wear warmers over or under your socks? I want to set the record straight. Socks are to be worn over leg warmers unless the leg warmers have a zip.
If you are wearing one-piece longs, then socks should go underneath and that is because a lot of the time they have logos and branding down low. Logos shouldn’t be covered. If you are wearing booties or overshoes, under no circumstances should your leg warmers or longs be worn over them.
If you are wearing leg warmers or one-piece long bibs, then you should always be wearing a long sleeve jersey or at least arm warmers. I know I’ve seen some pros wear leg warmers and short sleeve in some races, and I remember seeing my mate ex-pro Jeremy Hunt do it also. That said, I just can’t get my head around it. Pros can pull it off, I just don’t think ordinary people like you or I should. It just doesn’t look right, but I guess disc brakes looked hideous at first and now they’re acceptable. Knee warmers can still be worn, although I don’t like them. I think they are pointless; you should either wear leg warmers or nothing.
Collars & Cuffs
I’m not a big fan of mixing brands. If I am wearing a Blacksheep jersey I don’t want to be wearing MAAP bibs – you’ve got to keep the brands aligned. There are exceptions like when the colour match is undeniable, but this is a very rare exception. If you can, please stick to one brand for each outfit.
Starting from the bottom and working our way up let’s begin with shoes. Shoes should never be black. Black shoes are for school kids. Crisp white shoes are best (I know I wear yellow, but this is to match my team kit). If you do have black shoes, use them in winter and always put white or coloured overshoes on top of them. I have two pairs of white and six pairs of yellow shoes. You need a wet weather pair, an everyday pair and a race pair. Yes, it’s over the top but this is the price you pay to look good.
…I am just here to uphold the laws of cycling fashion…
Socks should match the shoe colour most of the time but matching the colour of your jersey or bibs if it’s prominent is OK too. And as mentioned earlier, overshoes or booties should always be worn over the top of leg warmers or longs. Oh, and helmet colour should always match shoe colour as well.
Eyewear And Helmet Straps
I’ve seen quite a few people still wearing glasses under their helmet straps, particularly with the Oakley Sutro glasses because they are light and will come off if you turn your head in the wind. All this doesn’t matter, glasses should be worn over the straps. A little fact a lot of people don’t know is if you crash like I did recently, you want your glasses to come off your head and not be stuck under there. They can smash and break into your face if they are stuck in the strap. Nothing screams un-pro than glasses under helmet straps -please don’t do this.
I’ve written about this previously, but legs MUST always be shaved. Nothing screams “not fair dinkum” more than unshaven legs.
And please don’t wear your cycling sunglasses outside of cycling. It looks totally uncool and geeky wearing your Koo, SunGod, Sutro or 100% glasses with casual wear.
Cycling Cap Do’s & Dont’s
Do not wear a cycling cap under your helmet unless it is pouring rain and that’s it. Thermal caps are fine when it is below 5 degrees, but too many people wear cycling caps under their helmet. This is both unnecessary and very uncool. Cycling caps are for the café when you stop.
Finally, if you’re riding in a bunch, please don’t wear headphones. It is rude, dangerous and disrespectful.
Wrapping it up, please don’t get upset with me if you don’t like the rules. I’m just here to uphold the laws of cycling fashion. The most important rule is cycling is fun, so wear and do what you bloody well like.