Cycling Fashion, or how to annoy everybody all at once

Inspired by the Black Shoes/White Socks thread as well as some hot takes from the podcast, I though it would be interesting to hear all your cycling fashion faux pas, rules, regulations, and otherwise codes that you follow on the bike. Tall socks, ankle socks, no socks? Unmatched socks (EF Education style)? Color shoes with white socks? Sleeveless jerseys? Flats/sneakers on a road bike?

I expect to be roasted but here are mine:

  • socks over long tights. Yep, I wear my socks over my tights. Why else would I wear hot pink socks if they can’t be seen?
  • matching jersey and bibs, or lack thereof. I don’t care if the bibs and jersey aren’t the same brand. I wear Pactimo and Specialized bibs, and various different jerseys, none of which are Pactimo or Specialized.
  • full finger gloves. I rarely ride with gloves, not a fan. On the odd occasion I do, it’s full finger.
  • no white socks. I’m not against white socks, I just don’t own any because I think they’re boring. I like color.
  • sleeve/bib length. I’m tall so I’m a fan of longer short sleeves (close to elbow) and bibs. Can’t stand the short shorts type bibs that I end up with sometimes. Wish every manufacturer would give you inseam length options.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot but I want to hear what cycling clothing things would you never do?


:eyes: :popcorn:


Super low ankle socks and shorty-short shorts to avoid tan lines.

But for all that vanity… In the winter, I wear my puffy jacket over my hydration pack for super cold rides and I look like a crazy hunchback - but it really is warmer that way.


I have many thoughts. There are no opinions, only facts :wink:

Blasphemy. Buy a daytime running light. Safety isn’t a legitimate excuse for shabby kit choice. Technological advancement has provided elegant, superior solutions.

Put your socks under your tights. Where they belong.

Never match your jersey pattern to your bibs unless you’re in the world tour. Or racing for a team - and you need to actually be in a race. Otherwise the only acceptable color for bibs is 1) black, 2) a dark charcoal. That’s it. MAYBE a deep navy blue, but this is on a case-by-case basis.

This should be a law.

White socks are fine if you have white in your jersey. The sock/ jersey corollary is as follows:

“While it is never acceptable to employ pattern matching between your bibs and jersey (see: world tour, active competition exemptions above), it is completely acceptable - encouraged, even - to match socks to jersey. Furthermore, it shall also be found acceptable to wear white socks if said socks match the overall aesthetic of your jersey. Or if you wear white shoes.”

I recommend not wearing white shoes, but this is not a law.

It’s your life, man.

Furthermore …

For reference, please see the perfectly on-point kit examples below.

Picture #1 - Flawless. Extra sartorial credit given for the matching shoelace accent and the gloves matching the bar tape.

(please excuse the water bottles not matching the frame, and the saddle bag. I heard this rider was in his first race and didn’t know any better.)

Picture #2 - Perhaps the apex of masters-level, age group, un-affiliated kit style. Note the colors of the Belgian flag along the jersey zipper playing off the Lion of Flanders pattern on the socks. All of this was impeccably executed during an actual Belgian Waffle Ride. A master class.

I don’t know who this rider is, but it is rumored that in most of his races 10% of the field simply refuses to pass him out of respect for the kit. Seriously.

Also, 100% of people who use both armrests on an airplane also pull their socks over their tights. You can look it up.


Ummm….i am not a fashion plate but green handle bar tape clashes with your outfit.


What? That’s not me. That’s just some rider I heard about who is awesome.

I’m sure he had a valid reason for any faux pas.


This is the masterclass of a take I was hoping for.


Socks over tights IF they’re aero socks, otherwise under :slight_smile:

I mix and match brands, colors, I just don’t coordinate.

No long sleeve jerseys - arm warmers & vests when it’s cold (or Bay Area cold)

Knee warmers - no tights or leg warmers ever

I would be part of the ankle sock height if I could find good cycling socks in this height

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Lol … thanks starting the thread and letting me entertain myself while procrastinating/avoiding my scheduled trainer session.

Apparently, I’d rather be sarcastic and snobby than actually getting faster :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


And as long as we’re talking fashion… if you’re a sprinter you wear short bibs and smaller sleeves (sun’s out guns out), if skinny then longer bib leg length and sleeves that go down near the elbow.

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If you want good ankle socks for cycling try “Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro”

Example (they come in various colors):

EDIT: I’m not condoning short socks when cycling I’m just saying if you’re going to do it then these are a great option ( :slight_smile: ). Good for the trainer when you’re wearing bib shorts, no shirt, chest HRM, etc – quite a style icon

Can one of the moderators please move this post to the triathlon forum?

Thanks in advance.


Thanks. I have Smartwool socks for very cold days so I don’t have to wear booties.

Not wearing booties is another of my fashion needs. If I have to, I wear toe covers.

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I dont like to match…if I match it is an accident.

Now for outfits…best if everything clashes so the drivers slow down to see the mess.

Tights? Who wears tights? I wear bib shorts regardless of the weather…but then I dont ride when it is below 10celsius or if it is the temp will go up to a balmy 12 or so after a couple of hours.

Only white helmets…any other colour and my head gets hot…

Black bibs…goes with my black bike and black bar tape.

Socks are always short and super thin. They ideally clash with my black shoes…note the white helmet again. All about the contrast. So bright yellow, blue, white

Tops will vary but will tend to be bright. Red, blue. I do have black but often save those to wear underneath my cycling jacket which is neon yellow.

I wear arm sleeves in a bright neon yellow…guaranteed to clash with everything else on me except the odd day I accidentally wear the matching top and socks.

Water bottles will be white, red or bright blue. There will be two and they will always be different colours.

I am not the one to be picky on what anyone chooses.


Ooh, I have another one looking back at some race photos.

Sunglasses; temples go under the straps. Fight me.


I only have two rules for cycling clothing:

  1. If it’s see through, don’t wear it
  2. If you insist on wearing it, don’t ride in front of me.

Sorry, I can’t hear you. My straps are flapping in front of my ears.


Sounds like you need to tighten them down to a proper level for safety.

Sky’s out, thighs out!

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