Heath Christie has been riding for many years, and has collected his fair share of cycling kit along the way.
His current tally sits at around 40, making him a connoisseur of all things regarding kit etiquette.
Heath steps us through the most important two rules regarding cycling kit, and gives us a check-list to make sure we are all repping quality cycling fashion.
Rule number 1: what you wear must match
Looking good is the main objective. If you look good you will feel good and then you are halfway there to the suffering you need to achieve your goals.
Keeping It Simple can be classy but it rates lower on the matchy-matchy scale, and that’s what I like to see. When there is some thought put into matching it is obvious. And if it is obviously matching then you have done your job.
Do your glasses match your tour helmet? And do they match the kit or are they just back or white? Nothing wrong with black white but wearing black glasses, helmet and shoes is ok but a bit boring.
Rule number 2: If you are ever confused about what to wear see rule number one
Kit Rules Checklist
Here are a couple of basic things to get right if you are going to be winning in the cycling fashion stakes.
Cyclists wear caps not hats
Helmet and glasses are to be considered as one piece and either perfectly match or combine together to match the kit.
When wearing glasses they must always be on the outside of your helmet straps
Matchy-matchy scale requires more than a jersey and socks the same colour
Socks need to be higher than the ankle and no higher than the calf. No shorty socks or no socks at all…! Ever!
And they should match a colour in your kit
Clothes should fit snugly and not be flapping in the wind.
No sleeveless or event Jerseys are acceptable at all, unless you are actually in the event at the time or a triathlete, again racing at the time.
Your kit must be bike brand neutral or match the brand of bike you are on
No cable ties on helmet
Rain jacket or gilet always on or rolled up neatly in middle back pocket
Always full bib and brace knicks. Knick shorts are a no-no.
When assessing a kit here is the official rating scale.
20 points each - total out of 100.
Number 5 has the potential to be worth much much more, and can in fact be the 100% deciding factor in some situations.
As well as the rating scale, here are some things to consider when thinking about your next purchase.
• Stitching - is it flat lock and visible?
• Seam sizes - could chaffing be a factor?
• Seam placement - important after long hours in the saddle
• Jersey arm length - euro long or traditional short?
• Knicks length - important for cultivating tan lines
• Knicks compatibility with leg warmers - especially important in the southern states
• Jersey and jacket breath ability in warm and cold temps
• Jacket/Jersey water resistance
• Booties - warmth, water resistance, fit around the shoe/foot and ankle
But above all… as long as you are out riding then you are winner.