Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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The VeloVeritas Style Guide


The bike cost more than the car did and 300 dollars/euros/pounds shoes don’t faze you. But you still don’t feel you’re cutting it in the Sunday run posing stakes? Perhaps it’s time you had a Style Guide make over…

But we warn you, some of what you’re about to read in our VeloVeritas Style Guide might hurt.

OVERSHOES: should be black, we’re not talking about aero time test jobs, we mean the ones that stop you losing toes to frostbite on January runs.

If it’s not too cold, white socks worn over your shoes still cut it, a nod to the 70’s kinda vibe but not full ‘retro’  just above the ankle though, no longer.

Style Guide
We use something similar on the motorbike, Racer’s E-Cover heated overshoes could be the solution to the cold starts.

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SHOES: Careful!

That’s all we’re saying; those yellow jobs might look cool in the ads but do they really go with the rest of your ensemble?

You should see your clothing as a ‘system’ not individual items stuck together

Black is always good and white looks good if matched with white socks.

Style Guide
We haven’t seen anyone wearing Wiggin’s designed shoes. Thankfully.

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SOCKS: Simple!

White, not too long, period.

This especially applies if you have short legs, don’t make them look even shorter.

Never patterned, black or featuring Donald Trump’s head.

Only go ‘World Tour’ if you have the jersey and shorts to match

Stripes around the top; blue and red or green and red are acceptable but NEVER worlds bands, unless you’ve pulled on a rainbow jersey at some time in your life.

And whilst Mathieu Van Der Poel gets away with wearing his socks over the bottom of his leg warmers, you won’t.

And if you do get into time testing, ask yourself this question; ‘is saving a couple of watts worth looking like a third division soccer player in these “leg fairings?” 

The UCI have banned them and for once I agree with the blazers in Aigle.

Style Guide
Just no.

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LEG WARMERS:  Black, UNDER the grippers on your shorts.

Yes, we know the Cofidis guys wear red ones but ask yourself this simple question; ‘am I Elia Viviani?

Dark blue can look cool if the shorts and jersey match but NEVER, ever, white.

Even one of the coolest men on the planet, Danilo Hondo couldn’t get away with white ones when he was German Champion – when he wore them with white shorts and long sleeves he had a disturbing resemblance to, ‘The Mummy,’

Style Guide
Pippo Pozzato’s outfit wouldn’t stay white for long in the Peebles stage of the 2007 Tour of Britain. Photo©Martin Williamson

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SHORTS: As with shoes, we council caution.

Black is hard to go wrong with and yes, we know that many of the World Tour teams have coloured shorts but their clothing is designed as a system by experts.

Just think long and hard about those purple jobs.

And, as with socks, if you’re short be careful with the length, if they’re too long they’ll make your legs look even shorter.

And if it’s cold please do not venture out with bare legs, you’ll only see pros devoid of leg warmers at training camps if it’s really mild.

Legend is that no picture exists of Sean Kelly in shorts outside of a race environment.

Style Guide
Even World Champion Ale Valverde eschewed anything other than black shorts – still a bit long, mind.

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UNDER VESTS: Always, wear one, there’s one for every type of weather these days, they’ll wick away sweat and/or keep you cool/cosy.

And, perish the thought, should you come off they give your skin another layer of protection.

Cool is zipper on the jersey down a little exposing the Vermarc/Castelli/Craft logo on the under vest, a la Museeuw.

* * *

JERSEY/TOPS: Club/pro team/regional/national all fine but make sure they suite with your shorts.

NEVER Grand Tour or World Champion’s jerseys, these should be earned and treated with respect.

If you ignore this advice then keep clear of Dave Chapman who will collar you and give you a 10 minute lecture on why what you are doing is WRONG.

Also, avoid idiotic slogans, skull and cross bones, skeletons, scantily clad females, marijuana leaves…

If you race and make the podium, ALWAYS wear your club/team jersey – Adidas, Nike and Armani all get enough free advertising already.

Your club/team sponsors deserve respect and exposure.

Jerseys should match your other kit; the worst offence possible is shorts/jersey/hat from three different trade teams.

‘Retro’ clothing is fine BUT never on a new bike and don’t mix new equipment with old, for instance STi or Ergo shifters on a 70’s steel frame.

And really, if you’re going ‘full World Tour’ look then the bike should match – Deceuninck kit on a Trek? No! NO! 

And we have to mention sleeveless a la Malcolm Elliott, ‘Cipo’ and ‘Didi’ Thurau. 

We saw the last mentioned in a Tour time test in a sleeveless orange Hitachi skinsuit, silk smooth, his blond curls dancing from the back of his aero crash hat – we just looked at each other in awe, he was beyond cool.

If you think you can compare to any of the three nominated gentleman above then ‘go for it’ but ask a friend for an honest appraisal before you reach for the scissors.

Style Guide
Mario Cipollini got away with the look. Photo©Cor Vos

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‘KERCHIEF/CRAVAT: If you have the confidence then they look uber cool but again, no skull and crossbones, pirates or scantily clad ladies.

* * *

ARM WARMERS: Black, under the grippers on your jersey sleeves.

If it gets too warm, rolled down to your wrists is cool.

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GLOVES: If you’re down the World Tour look then most teams gloves have gloves to match but black is just fine on all occasions.

Track mitts should match your ensemble – crochet backed are retro, do not wear with modern clothing. 

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HELMETS: Despite being a dinosaur and loving the look of bare headed 70’s heroes, in these days of demonic, distracted drivers it’s foolish to venture out without a lid.

But get the size right, too big and you’ll end up looking like ‘pilot of the future’ Dan Dare’s sworn enemy, ‘The Mekon.’ 

Too small and it’s the ‘inverted dog water bowl’ look – neither is cool.

Specialized have usually got the sizing right – unlike some other brands.

Airbrush work is nice; there’ll be a guy who does it for motorcyclists near where you live but understated is always best – unless you’re ‘Cipo,’ of course.

Skull caps for under crash hats are available but if you must wear an ‘Oppy’ cap underneath then keep the peak turned down.

And going back to the podium, if you have a club/team cap, then wear it – but not pulled down tight on your skull, check Miguel Indurain pictures for guidance on this issue.

DO NOT wear a ‘beanie’ hat pulled down over your ears on the podium.

* * *

SHADES: Should match your clothing colour-wise but be careful of sizing, if you have a small head and wear huge shades you could stray into ‘Dame Edna’ or ‘Fearless Fly’ territory – neither is icy.

Remember, Simon Yates is paid to wear these. Photo©Justin Setterfield

And if your club/team is fortunate enough to be sponsored by a helmet and/or sun glass provider then DO NOT turn up at a race/ride with any other manufacturer’s product.

Remember the words of Sean Kelly.

Journalist; ‘which is your favourite equipment manufacturer, Sean?’ 

Sean; ‘the one I’m being paid to ride with right now!

Okay, take a moment to absorb all that and then head for the charity shop with that carrier bag full of shame.

And while we’re spring cleaning, rip that paper sportive number off the front of your bike and bin it – you should have done that right after the ride.