Swag can be a drag if you don’t know what you’re doing

By Mon Garcia | Photo by Keagan Henman/Unsplash

It’s quite dapper to be seen with a bike. Whether you go old school or modern, there’s just something about style and bicycles that go together. Just ask Paul Smith. But, as with all things style, some people have it and some don’t.

How do you ensure you’re part of the former? Well, let’s start with gear. Here are some pointers to make sure you look good, or at least better, when you go out riding.

Be Conscious of Fit and Sizing

As with clothing style, fit is king, more than the brand. With cyclists, this means getting gear that fits right. Having the latest aero helmet won’t matter if you have one that’s too big and the sides overhanging your ears (you’re also less aerodynamic, defeating the point of the aero helmet purchase). Same goes with shoes and most importantly, your shorts and jersey. Too big and you defeat the purpose of the fabric wicking away sweat and supporting your muscles, too small and… well, longganisa.

Wear It Well, or at Least, Correctly

Don’t try to look cool or different by wearing your gear in a slightly different way. In cycling gear, “a hat’s not a hat ‘till it’s tilted” doesn’t quite apply. But, we’ll still echo Sinatra, Martin, and Crosby in saying that you either got it or haven’t got it (style, that is). There’s convention and a proper way to wear things, and when it comes to sports gear, that way may be critical to function and safety. Here are some things to avoid:

  1. Never wear your helmet back-to-front and high. Your beaming smile won’t save you should something bad happen.
  2. The correct way to wear the helmet is to make sure it’s level, not tilted back.
Set It up Right

Some of it has to do with proper bike fitting, and some of it just… well, it kind of looks bad. And looks like it hurts.

  1. Too low is never the way to go. A common mistake with beginners afraid of falling over or not being able to clip out of their pedals in time, low saddles could actually lead to knee injury.
  2. Never tilt your bars too high up just to compensate for reach or the angle of your wrists. You lose other alternative and comfortable positions.