The above photo is an example of a properly fitting kit as demonstrated by both my wife and I. I am in the original club kit, my wife is sporting Pearl Izumi bibs because, well, she doesn’t appreciate having to completely strip down to tend to nature during a ride.
Please note the tight fit of the cycling jersey. This is not absolutely necessary, especially if you weigh more than 200 pounds or don’t like tight fitting garments. On the other hand, dear God in Heaven, what is completely unacceptable is a jersey that sags so much it covers your butt and acts as a mud guard for you rear wheel because you’ve stuffed 45 pounds of crap that you couldn’t possibly need on a 2,000 mile camping/cycling trip, let alone a 30 mile bike ride, in the back pockets.
If you happen to be one of those far too numerous few who suffer the delusion that this is okay, my condolences. Simply put, you look like a doofus who lacks the skill it takes to pick out a shirt. Here is another popular photo I like to use because I look quite smashing actually, but it illustrates my point:
This photo was taken on final day of a four day, 385 mile cross-state tour (we had about 40 miles left). Now, the bottle cage and tool keg on the back of the bike are arguably not cool, and I’ll concede that (it’s since been sent to my shop bench where it will collect dust for eternity – it’s still better than a saddle bag though). Please notice my pockets. In the right I have my phone. Nowadays, in the middle pocket I carry a pouch that contains my tire irons, a spare tube, a CO2 cartridge, some cash and a few other odds and ends. In my left I carry my onboard fuel, just in case. Note, please, how the jersey fits though.
Unlike in OJ’s case, a proper fit is a good thing.
Look, it would be easy to point an accusatory finger at me for trying to play Captain Obvious, especially in the humorous way I chose to do so, but don’t. Because I’m right. And you know it. Deep down, you know it.
Next we have the helmet. Look, they come in three sizes. Pick the right one. I wear a medium. A large is too big for my melon and it looks hilarious. Also, $50-$100 is a steep but decent price to pay for a good looking helmet. A Finding Nemo cap may only cost ten bucks but I guarantee you, it’ll look funny as hell with your Sky kit. Also, please refrain from those cheap helmets with the 3″ thick foam. You look like a mushroom. A cheap, funny lookin’ mushroom. They may pass the safety test, but c’mon, man. You’re not ten years-old. Have a little dignity, would ya?
Another fabulous cycling fashion faux pas is the thread bare and/or droopy cycling shorts. All things considered, it’s most important that you ride. Truer words have never been written. However, you’ve worked long and hard on those guns! Don’t let their awesomeness be spoiled by droopy or ill-fitting cycling shorts.
Finally, a note for the rotund. Dude, cycling is a skinny person’s pro sport. Cycling is also a sport for anyone, regardless of body type. If you can clip in, you can go. However, your jersey shall be big enough so that your bare gut and the waist band of the shorts/bibs is completely covered. We’ve all seen the internet photo of the big fella in the Lampre kit. Don’t be that guy or girl! Don’t do it. It doesn’t matter that you’re big, until it looks like you bought your kit at the Baby Gap.
Now this is where this gets interesting. The photo above is at the finish of our second day’s ride (53 miles). While we each look a little spent, it was obviously sunny and it was quite warm, we all still look quite good in our kit. No droopy shorts, no sagging jerseys.
A proper fitting kit will have you looking almost as good at the end of a ride as you did when you took off. Cycling can be an elegant sport when the proper clothing is worn. Ride hard my friends, and look good.