• Some people may have to carry additional items that others do not. I.e. myself being a diabetic needs an entire pocket or two dedicated for my insulin pump, CGM, and replacement needles if something fails while on a ride. Thus necessitating an additional storage implement attached to the bike to carry emergency food, like glucose tablets or candy as well as the tools, spare tube, and c02/pump that everyone should always have.

    Also cranks should not be horizontal, drive side should be aligned with the chainstay. Come on everyone knows this.

    Valve stems could either be at the top or bottom, depending if you want viewers to be able to easily read what tires you’re running or not.

    • jules

      I have 2 words : Rule 5 ;)

      • Yeah that doesn’t really work with a non-functioning pancreas that has on multiple occasions landed me unconscious in the ER when I tried to htfu.

        • jules

          I was of course joking. I have a family member with T1 diabetes. I don’t envy the burden but keep riding!

    • Alex

      If the cranks are horizontal the drive side is aligned with the chainstay. Unless you are riding a recumbent, in that case you shouldn’t even be taking photos of yourself on it.

      • What bike other than a fgfs has perfectly horizontal chain stays?

        • Alex

          Man that is nit picking at it’s finest.

  • GrahamWKidd

    I will add: Don’t BREAK THE LAW by whipping out your phone to take an on bike photo. We cyclists don’t want to be killed by a driver on their phone, so we need to set the better behavior example by leaving our phones in our jersey pockets. So stop and get off your bike to shoot your #WYMTM shot!

  • mzungu

    Rule 0. Just Ride, and don’t listen to nobody else’s so-call rules. If girl’s can have nose-rings, and wear tutus in races….There R no rules.

    • Cyco

      Last CX race I was at it was a guy wearing the tutu…

  • jules

    hmm.. I’m guilty of some of these. I swear by tipping your bike upside down to fix flats though. it’s just easier. you can protect against damage by finding soft ground – bitumen isn’t great. I cannot quite picture hanging my bike around my neck..

    I’m pretty sure I’m infamous for riding dirty bikes. someone once said mine looked like a prop in Mad Max

    • Jaybo

      yeah i’m fine with the upside down bike thing too, but the advice is sound – you’re resting the bike on the hoods & saddle so make sure it’s on a surface that wont wreck them.

      • Chris

        The no upside down rule is just silly. “Don’t scratch the rubber hoods or leather seat” followed by “hang it from a tree” or lay the whole thing down on the ground. wut?
        It’s almost like it’s in there as an argument starter for the comments…

  • Lyrebird_Cycles

    Mirrors are cool. There, I’ve said it.

    I particularly like the “Italian Bike Mirror”, I’ve had lots of people ask where I got mine (just Google it).

    Mounted on the right side bar end, it makes checking behind you easy. It also shows you don’t give a rats about the velominazis.

    Velominazi = someone who doesn’t realise the Velominati are a parody of self obsessed cyclists.

    • Pete

      Yes, mirrors are extremely useful and safe. Apparently, increasing your chance of survival in traffic is “uncool”. Please conform! (I feel this article is mostly an extension of the “fashion faux pas” one.)

      • dsd74

        Ironically, I’ve had plenty of situations where I’d catch up to cyclists with mirrors who had absolutely no idea I was coming up behind them. It’s gotten to the point where I’m more cautious when passing them than other cyclists.

        But maybe it’s just me not trusting certain people, I also don’t trust minivan drivers when driving…

        • Pete

          Conceivably it’s biased memory, but at most, it’s a correlation (not causation) that shouldn’t change the decision of individual riders to be safe. The interpretation should *not* be that adding a mirror to a bike makes it less safe.

    • ummm…

      ok i will defend ur right to have them, but cool? i dunno

  • Jon Thornton
    • ummm…

      he needs to be jailed

      • Pete

        How can you treat a Baum like that?
        Assos kit, colour coordinated with with bike and then…

        • ummm…

          there has to be some sort of authority that will confiscate his bike for such a crime. ill start a petition.

    • Bradley Tompkins

      Obvious FRED

  • Jon Thornton
  • FJ

    Bento boxes have their uses. They keep my gels at edible temperatures on hot days, and house the batteries for my lights on those dark winter nights. I couldn’t care less if anyone things they aren’t pro, I’ll gladly take them to a local hill and show them I more than make up for it with my legs ;)

  • Jimmy

    The rules are there aren’t any rules, apart from those dreamt up by pretentious people

    • jules

      dammit I thought they were real rules. and I threw away half my gear

  • Mandy Rudwick

    Hi Verita
    Awesome ride last Sunday. :)
    I am not sure what you mean by a bento box on your bike. However, as someone who has been hit by a car and landed on my back, I will never again carry a pump or anything potentially damaging to my spine in my back pockets. Nuttition? Tick. Money, phone, spare tube? Tick. Pump? Definite no no. It’s not worth the potential damage to your spine in the event of an accident. So I do carry a spares bag under my saddle at the rear. If this qualifies as a bento box so be it. I would rather look after my anatomy next time I hit the tarmac. Cheers, Mandy :)

    • Dave

      A saddle bag is called a saddle bag.

      A bento box is one strapped on top of the top tube at the front, just behind the headset, and commonly used by triathletes and endurance cyclists on multi-day point to point rides.

  • ummm…

    So, we create Ella to be “inclusive” of women in cycling – just so we can tell people to lose the mirror, dont ride a dirty bike, dont change a flat upside down, etc. Some more tongue in cheek than others. just point out the obvious here. people are beginning to cannibalize, just like in “male” cycling. Maybe i need to stop being a cyclist as it offends me as a person that never wants to be offended.

    • jules

      isn’t it obvious that it’s tongue in cheek? just have fun with it

      • Pete

        …no? Because there are actual tips that I would agree with, like maintenance, reducing wear-and-tear, and health/medical and pain-reduction.

        • jules

          you’re allowed to agree with them. the tongue-in-cheek part is that you are required to comply with them.

          • Pete

            I meant that the article is a confusing blend of actual tips and (supposed) humour. I find it a dangerous precedent, when safety is promoted as “uncool”.

      • ummm…

        im being a bit of a prude. wade and the ella editor (so sorry i forgot her name) took the time to answer my criticism when I offered it re: Ella. I am a bit of troll when it comes to ella cause i just cant get on board. its the separate but equal thing i cant eat. however, maybe this is not irony, but i feel like creating a “Safe space” for women in cycling, and then creating criteria and tiers of cylists is counter intuitive. my two cents. not worth much. i do really respect this site. immensely.

        • jules

          you’re overthinking it

          • ummm…

            am i? i think CT recognizes the complex environment they have created. but at the same time, is the demarcation between men and women really that complex. i suppose i react to the fact that on ella CT im “the other”, which is exactly what ella was made to destroy. by creating a safe space, they have created hostile space for men, if only semantically. i cant help but see this as a compliated issue. and i dont wish to ruin the fun for everyone, but just to remind us that the real goal is to not have these boundries. how would women feels if we had a CT male and CT women only?

            • jules

              it’s disappointing when an article in the women’s section gets attacked by a number of blokes. is it possible you’ve helped answer the question of what motivated CT to develop a women’s section? blokes aren’t banned at all, but I don’t imagine this is what that had in mind.

              • ummm…

                ive thought about it. i wouldnt say attack. im merely pointing out that in creating a safe space for women they have also created ridiculous (tongue in cheek POSSIBLY) “rules”. It seems counter intuitive. I say the same things when this is done on the “male” site. I dont think I’ve helped to answer the question of why there is a separate space. Do you think I was on CT General (not CT male) attacking women. No im attacking the otherness that “the other” themselves perpetuate. think about that some more, and ill continue thinking about it from my end. In fact I read, attend lectures, and engage people regarding “gender studies”. Albeit, moreso these days an an opponent. There are obvious reasons why one may continue down the the line of inquiry if you study it a bit and see some of the foundational principles. Good things come out of it, but like with everything also bad. Not saying CT Ella is “bad”, but dialogue is important to move the ball.

              • Pete

                jules, that’s a bit of an ad hominem. I don’t think this article is specific to females, nor should being a male preclude giving criticism. (Also, how do you know how many of us criticising this piece are “blokes”?)

      • ummm…

        i think it is a bit obvious, but there are some contradictions. i think im a bit of a idealogue when it comes to ella. i just cant understand how women should have a safe space in regards to a hobby when there are millions of marginalized group that can ask for the same thing, to what end?

        • Dave

          Is a “safe space for women in cycling” actually the goal of CyclingTips-Ella? I thought it was about marketing, trying to get clicks from the “feminism means special treatment” crowd in a way that simply writing articles related to women’s cycling and posting them on CyclingTips-Everyone could not. A less obvious (i.e. not pink) version of “pink it and shrink it” if you will.

          Early on, I highlighted a bit of an issue with some articles and practical tips of general interest (not just to women) being pigeonholed in CT-Ella away from where people viewing the CT-Everyone front page could find them. The addition of them also being put in their category (and so not disappearing from the CT-Everyone front page as soon as three newer CT-Ella articles arrive) is an improvement.

          As for Verita’s piece, the problem is that her writing simply isn’t funny, and so it reads as snarky with a dash of serious. This sort of article can be done well – see Brian Holm’s piece about looking good on the bike a few months ago or Chloe Hosking’s piece about dressing for cold weather.

          If any of the editors read this: leave the funny articles on CT-Ella to those who can genuinely write funny ones.

          • ummm…

            i think we had this conversation before. and im a bit wary of taking such a hard line because i really do appreciate what CT does. I know you do to. Maybe we have a hang up about this because of the special interest aspect. Maybe we see the contradictions. but, in the end it exists. and it brings comfort to some women. i cant analyze it from a womans perspective. i myself am a child of an interracial marriage, of a mixed religion marriage. i am aware of the difficulties of marginalized groups, of “the other”. some people embrace the difference and create a space where only those voices can converse. it isn’t for me to condemn, but we can question it as much as we like. but, do we harm the process. do we harm the possibility that in 1 year or 2 years ella makes themselves outdated and archaic? i willing to see it run its course. but it is a sad future if we cant converge as cyclists sans gender once again.

            plus this sort of article appears all the time on ungendered cycling sites all the time. we poop all over them. we make fun of them. but is there a purpose to it on ella? it may be a purpose that you and i cant see.

  • Hamish Moffatt

    This was good till #4. I find the top tube bag much more comfortable than overflowing pockets, and given that it’s directly behind the stem it’s unlikely there’s any aero impact at all.

    As for mirrors, why not if it makes you feel safer? Being safe and alive trumps looking cool.

    Like others said, better to ignore web sites full of tired old rules and just have fun riding your bike.

  • Advocate5

    Ugh I hate these articles. It freaks out newbies and puts people off cycling. It’s also cliquey and weird. No underwear, fine, that’s hygiene and chamois design, but idgaf about social norms when it comes to things like bento boxes or mirrors. I don’t generally use them myself but they are both practical/safe which is more important than impressing random snooty cyclists. I can’t even tell if this is supposed to be tongue in cheek but it’s not funny.

    • ^this! On the point!

    • Dave

      It could have been funny if it was written by a funny writer. Or given serious editorial attention.

      • Very much agree with you Dave. It isnt written in a funny way at all and I do think thats why it is to easily misinterpreted by new-ish riders.

    • ummm…

      i think it is VERY tongue in cheek a la bikesnob

    • Simon

      I disagree, we are talking road bikes here not tourers or commuters where anything goes. A mirror makes sense with loaded panniers when commuting or touring as turning your head will upset the bikes handling. A lightweight road bike is thing of beauty and should not encumbered with crap. It should be sleek and maintained properly. The rider should act and look as like they know what they are doing to uphold a solid tradition. There is a lot of commonsense in the article and the rules have stood the test of time for riding convenience, style and maintenance. If others don’t heed this wisdom we might as well all go about as Freds wearing mismatched kit, those execrable long black socks, bulging swaying saddle bags, lights blazing during the daytime and bars fitted with bells. Newcomers to the sport need to be informed. It’s our duty.

  • Dazza

    What an annoying article, live and let be, and if you feel the need to dictate at least be funny

  • Shiffon

    So sick of these “lists” that are appearing on Ella! If we needed them, or wanted them, there are a number of sources to access them already and I would assume that your audience is not looking for such fluff pieces in any case. Can we please return to writing about women’s cycling that is constructive and informative?
    And if this was intended to be humorous then, as others have already commented, please ensure that there is humour obvious in it.

  • Matt

    One rule that I swear by: if someone gives you a funny look, scoffs, laughs and/or points at you for breaking any of the so-called rules of cycling, feel free to call them a c*nt, and make sure that they hear. They deserve it and it’ll ruin their ride.

  • Coogs

    The comments section is pretty entertaining though


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