Cycling is a bit of a weird sport. Here’s you and I thinking that riding a bike is all about freedom and doing as you please, when there’s actually a cycling rule book that we’re breaking just about every time we ride. Apparently, these rules apply to all manner of style related nonsense and are set, nay veritably carved in stone.
I can’t think of that many others activities where people get themselves in such as state about sock length, but maybe I’ve just not delved deep enough into the worlds of say, golf or lacrosse to really know. Maybe all sports demand blind obedience to a sartorial god overseeing outfit choice and I just didn’t know it.
Are you curious to know how many faux pas you’re comitting?
I’m trying to think back to when I was a snowboarder and remember whether we had any extreme demands of participants but I’m sure it was more easy going. The exception was of course ‘crazy’ novelty hats, which were quite rightly verboten as they’re just annoying.
‘So just what are these cycling rules?’ I hear you cry! Are you curious to know how many faux pas you’re comitting? Would you like to break more of the rules intentionally, perhaps? Or on the other hand, maybe you’re a newbie and you like wearing the correct uniform for your sport? Ain’t nothing wrong in that either!
Read on to find out what you’re doing right (or wrong).
1. Cycling jerseys should have sleeves...
Short or long sleeved jerseys are fine, but sleeveless is only allowed if you’re a triathlete.
2. Underwear must NOT be worn under cycling shorts...
That padded chamois is designed to be worn next to your skin... plus you’ll end up with VPL to end all VPL.
There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is cycling-specific undies, i.e knickers with their very own chamois pad. Just don't double them up with another pair of padded shorts because that's just bonkers.
Stay comfortable on your bike
3. Never wear white shorts...
If it rains they’ll go see-through or you’ll get a brown stripe all the way up your backside. Neither looks nice.
4. Arm warmers are designed to be pulled UNDER the arm of your jersey...
Gaps should be avoided. If you’re wearing a sleeveless jersey, leave the arm warmers at home.
5. Helmets should be level and sit just above the eyebrows...
If you want to look like you’ve never ridden a bike, tilt your helmet all the way back like the ‘celebrities’ on Tour de Celeb.
6. Socks can be any colour you want as long as they are cycling socks...
Athletics socks or cotton socks just don’t make the grade.
7. No trainer socks either...
Show some cuff rather than just your ankle.
8. Jerseys should never be tucked in to your shorts...
Because that would be stupid.
9. Leg warmers go OVER your socks and UNDER the leg of your shorts
Like with arms, gaps between your shorts and leg warmers should be avoided.
10. One piece of high-vis clothing max.
Unless you're heading to the building site.
So what do you think? Do you care about cycling’s style police? I reckon you should wear whatever you like and do whatever makes you happy, the exception being the helmet rule – do make sure you wear it correctly!