Looking Good on the Bike


What are your thoughts when it comes to cycling clothing and fashion?  Are you concerned about having a perfectly matching kit each time you’re out on the bike, or are you cool with wearing whatever you happen to have around.  Maybe you even make sure you’re always color-coordinated with your bike each ride as well.

When I first started road biking, I was living in the Caribbean and I didn’t have access to the latest cycling jerseys and kits.  Actually, I didn’t have access to any cycling clothing at all.  I did have one pair of cycling shorts that I had picked up somewhere along the line, but they were a cheapo pair with barely any padding. I worked with what I had and generally rode with those shorts and a spandex workout top.  Once we moved from there to Austin, I had access to all the clothing I wanted….but the hefty price tags kept me in low cost shorts and spandex tops for quite a while.  Looking back at this photo below shows me that I really didn’t care much about how I looked on the bike.  Whoa, I was also a bit bulkier back then as well.

I can totally remember the first jersey I ever purchased…..It was a used jersey that I bought off a guy on Craigslist.  It smelt a little funny, but I wore it anyway and just felt cool to actually be wearing what other cyclists were wearing.  I think I still have that old stinker somewhere, but I’ve been able to build up my cycling wardrobe with jerseys and kits that are now sweated in only by me.  I still don’t care too much how I look out there, really….but I am way more fashionable now than I used to be.  At least now I have that “road cyclist look”.

How about you?  Do you accessorize with a totally matching ensemble?  Do you just wear what’s clean?  Do you look like someone in the running for the “ugliest jersey” contest?  Tell us your thoughts on Looking Good on the Bike.

Enjoy Your Ride
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37 Responses to “ Looking Good on the Bike ”

  1. Psashworth on February 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    It makes sense to me that if you are going to put thousands of dollars into your bike, you should put some significant thought and investment into your riding kit as well. On the other hand, I never want to try to look ” too” pro, because I don’t have the ability to back that up. For me Rapha makes the best-functioning, most stylish kit in the world. I wear it every ride. And because it’s a little bit expensive, it reminds me of the importance of keeping my day job.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks for your input on this one.  Rapha sure has built up a great name for themselves and I can see why you’re a fan.

  2. Jessy Diamond on February 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I wear my Twin Six jersey (with matching socks !) on solo rides and my club jersey on group rides. 

    I received a lot of positive comments about my Twin Six jersey. I like it a lot.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Jessy.  Yeah, the guys at Twin Six are great and they put out some nice looking jerseys.  We’ve worked with them in the past and glad to see you getting positive comments on your jersey.

  3. Dean on January 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    When I am out on a group ride I usually like to look the part, unless I am behind on the laundry.  You won’t see me on any podiums but I want to look like I belong to the group.  As I have gotten better so has my bike and wardrobe.  Unfortunately today my bike and wardrobe are ahead of me and it is time to catch up…

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 6, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Hahaha, hope you catch up Dean.  Great comments and we appreciate you sharing them.  Thanks for being a Loving the Bike reader and follower.

  4. Mark Beaconsfield on January 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I only own 2 jerseys. 1 I won in a question comp on fb, and the other was a cheap one from Ausbike expo. I usually wear a pair of baggy shorts when I ride. If Im going on a long ride I will wear a jersey, but for shorter rides its usually shorts and t shirt. I would love to have more jerseys and shorts, but the high prices are too much for me.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      I hear you, Mark.  Pretty much my whole collection of jerseys and shorts have been free or at a very good price.

  5. Off Kilter Bike on January 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    try a kilt 🙂

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 5, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Great picture…thanks for posting it.  Is it okay with you if I share that picture on social media?

  6. PedalmanTO on January 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    When I first started to ride, I was all about making sure the clothing matched the bike and everything was cohesive. Now it’s all about comfort and durability. 
    Life’s about staying in the Big Ring, Loving the Bike, and Keeping the Rubber Side Down, who cares what you look like while riding. 
    Be comfortable and enjoy!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 5, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Pedalman.  I think by combining your words along with what Joel said, we’ve got one incredible motto:  “Life’s about staying in the Big Ring, Loving the Bike, and Keeping the Rubber Side Down.  If you’re on a bike, you’re looking good”.

  7. Trina Haynes on January 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I wear anything from dresses and flip flops to spandex, high vis jerseys and lots of wool, while being as budget conscious as I can be. Clean? Nah. Matching? anythings possible. Smelly? probably. 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Sounds perfect, Trina.  Hahahaha, yeah smelly is probably the common denominator for all of us no matter what we’re wearing.

  8. Joel Phillips on January 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I am NOT a fashion statement on or off the bike.  Functionality and comfort is how I chose clothes.  Take cargo shorts for instance, a good pair (in my opinion)  may have 14 or more pockets, thus negating the need for any kind of pack, fanny or back, making them versatile for many, many uses: Hiking, fishing, cycling, walking, golf, camping, lounging, shopping and even swimming in an emergency.  T-shirts (both long and short-sleeved) are invaluable.  Some people say I like to look good to feel good, I guess I just like to do things that make me feel good and let others worry about how I look doing it.  

    I attached a shot of me at sunset yesterday, that face-mask I am wearing also serves duty when I  ice-fish, ski, snow-shoe anything really in the wind and cold.  Looks are not deceiving, that is a hoodie I am wearing and underneath it is a zippered jacket that is wind and waterproof, under that a t-shirt.  On my lower-half I have a pair of cycling shorts under wind/waterproof pants, with wind/waterproof sox and a pair of NewBalance trail-running shoes.  I was wearing my footjoy winter golf gloves and was really comfortable. 

    I guess the point to all this incoherent rambling is; if you’re on a bike, you’re looking good, regardless of what you are wearing.

    Happy Riding..

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Good motto, Joel….and thanks for the picture.  “If you’re on a bike, you’re looking good.” Enough Said.

  9. Toad350 on January 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I only have two real jerseys and two pair of shorts. One a great pair that I paid 80bucks for and one that I got at Academy. Wear a long sleeve tee when it’s cold out here in San Angelo Tx. Not really a fashion guy but will put my money in good shorts and buy cheap for jersey.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Good idea on putting more money into good shorts…definitely important.

  10. Malachi Doane on January 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

    This has recently come up again for a fellow Tumblr user who is a graphic artist (magnificentoctopus). He did a poster with a layout of cycling gear and was immediately chastised for  making an “infographic” expounding the tech clothing industry and not being a “citizen cyclist” for doing so. He went on to generate a rebuttal in the form of a letter. Apparently there is a divide amongst cyclists on this non issue.
     I don’t own any “real” cycling gear apart from some gloves I just bought and some bike shorts from Dicks (GASP!) I simply can’t afford the mark up that putting the work cycle, or velo on something brings to the register. I’ve been happy buying Champion brand tech gear (mostly on discount) at the local Target at the end of each season. Frankly I find it insulting that I have to pay more for a jersey on which a corporate logo is printed. Would I not be advertizing for said company? Shouldn’t they pay me to wear their colours and logo? This seems more appropriate a fight to wage than blue jeans and t-shirts over Spandex and Dacron. I’d love a brewery Ommegang jersey but at over a hundred dollars and coming from the same source as all the rest Duval who owns them I think can do a little better for the slow moving, colourful billboard I’d be to them.
     My cycle kit is 100% hodgepodge made up of what works best for me. My warm weather gloves are Mechanix  from the hardware store, my helmet is Bern a dual multi purpose hardhat bought for back country skiing, my shell is LL Bean and a gift that my wife didn’t like so I use it. My first arm warmers were an old pair of toe socks that had blown out and my cap something I made from the web site cycleicious’ DIY page.
     When it comes to the road it’s me versus the clock not Joan Rivers and at competition time I’d rather the other riders notice the water bottle bearing the famous line printed on the wallet in the Movie Pulp Fiction than my made up ensemble.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Sounds like a good look to me.  Thanks for sharing your comments, Malachi.

  11. Anthony Lussier on January 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I found this little tip that might be helpful to some of us.  Let your wife/girlfriend get involved in your kit/cycling clothes choice. If she’s not interested in riding (mine isn’t) then by letting her choose the outfits or kits it makes her feel like she’s part of OUR hobby.  Which means more riding for us! Not only that but it might nip any spending bug she might have, HA! 

    PS. She needs to have good taste 😉

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I like it…..great tip, Tony.  That is a perfect way to get away with spending the big bucks on a new kit and not having to explain things later.  Awesome.

  12. Bob A on January 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

    When I ride, I like to ride in style. Like in one of these awesomely designed (if I do say so myself) LTB kits or #bikeschool jerseys available for a great price from the folks at Groucho Sports: http://gear.grouchosports.com/category/groucho-collaborative. (Unpaid Endorsement)

    Seriously, tho, those are quality items.  Otherwise, I like to wear jerseys from rides I’ve done or that mean something to me.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Hahahaha, nice one Bob.  Love to see you plugging those sweet jerseys you created and as I’ve said many times before, I always ride faster when in my Loving the Bike Kit or #bikeschool jersey.  Great fashion….AND performance.

  13. Bethel on January 4, 2012 at 8:59 am

    For fun rides I go for comfort and visibility on shirts and regular shorts. Event rides I wear a jersey and padded spandex cycling shorts. Always a helmet.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Sounds like a great plan, Bethel….the helmet is always a must no matter what fashion statement you’re trying to make.

  14. Steven on January 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I have been riding a mountain bike for little over a year.  I was still in the what ever phase for the jerseys and wore mostly Under Armor workout shirts.  After being in my first race a few months back, I found myself a little out of style as racers showed up in their team gear supporting  their sponsors or favorite brands.  I still prefer matching the high-end components on the machine over the color of my shirt.  However, after the first race experience, I have picked up a couple of jerseys to go with my MTB shorts.  

  15. Koifla on January 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I have been riding in tri suits. Nice if you run after and less money than a too and bottom. Before that it was no padded spandex workout pants.

  16. Calkins William on January 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I actually don’t have any kits or jerseys yet but I’m on the hunt for a really nice mash or salsa kits.
    I try to be very fashionable while shopping for my gear. If I have to spend a couple bucks more for comfort and to have sweet clothes, I’ll do it. I commute 14 miles a day, year round.
    My choice on clothing too is chosen by “can I wear this out and not change my clothes”. I just got some sweet Levi’s commuter jeans also.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Yeah, when it comes to commuting, style and comfort are definitely high priority.  Thanks Calkins.

  17. Justin Winokur on January 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

    On large summer/fall/spring group rides I wear a cool jersey that looks like a suite. Otherwise, if I am not in a group, I go for visibility. I wear a very bright yellow jersey and reflectors on both wrists and ankles. In the winter, when I throw my PolarTec fleece over everything, I put on a reflective vest since the fleece is black. Visibility trumps style!

    However, my dad went out a bought a whole new kit, including a helmet just to match his new bike. 

  18. Katie on January 4, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I make up for a lack of ability by looking good. 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Come on now, you’re crushing it on the bike and also with your fashion style.

  19. Shawn McAfee on January 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I have several kits that I wear during races or when road riding. But when I am out just enjoying nature and having fun on my MTB for some mileage I usually seem to find myself wearing whatever is comfortable. Last 2 rides that has been a pair of baggies with a good pad in it and an old White Rock Marathon finishers T-shirt. 

    Style only matters when you take the podium after crushing your competition 😀


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