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  • double A

    Wait….this guy keeps mark cavendish in order? The same Mark Cavendish rocking BLACK bar tape at the tour? http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/gallery/pro-bike-gallery-mark-cavendishs-specialized-s-works-venge_377519

    • Stompin

      … and not winning much either, should have gone for the white :)

    • Well, it does look like Cav could be leaving EQS next year, so … (see Leipheimer example above) ;)

      • roklando

        where’s he going? what’s the scoop?

        • Whippet

          Perhaps CT can put together a transfer summary piece? I realise it is a bit premature, as there are quite a few well-known riders without a contract: Van Arvemat, Greipel, Cavendish, Boonen, Pozzovivo, Hesjedal, Oss, Stannard, Eisel, Nieve, Rowe, Roche, Van den Broek and the list goes on. After the contracts shake out, it would be nice to have a summary of who ends up with which teams. Already there are some interesting moves (some still under negotiation): Uran to Cannondale, Kwiatkowski to Sky, Wippert to Cannondale and Dan Martin to Etixx QS.

  • Ross

    Black bar tape. Always. White turns grey after the first couple of rides. Hope @chrismjsimmo75 is reading Rule #2! ;)

    • bartoli

      So change it after every few rides. Next!

    • Fizik leather bar tape (microtex or something) always stays white. Never even had to clean it, but a bit of eucalyptus oil would do the trick.

    • oakie

      You living in a place with a skanky climate. Move to a sunny country so you can use white tape.’Nuff said.

  • Holby City

    Caps under helmets in cooler weather is an absolute must.

    • Stompin

      … get a skull cap, more aero.

      • caliente

        or an aeroshell, most aero.

      • Holby City

        Skull caps are for bald people.

    • My personal rule is that caps are only worn with a vest and arm warmers. This is for autumn or spring weather when the sun is low. And wear a cap with style, pride and luft. Keep the tradition alive.

      • Simon

        I wear a cap all the time. I have had skin cancers removed from my scalp so my life is worth more than Briam Holm’s injunction to stay cool. Sock height is a lost cause, I despair at the garish colours and length. Tattos just look ugly, still reek of criminal undertones and are naff. Bar tape colour is one of practicality, black wins.

        • bartoli

          So get a skull cap. Next!

          • Gordon

            I’m bald. Too hot for skull cap and too many vents in new helmets. This rule is wrong. End of story. Why….just because

            • Whippet

              The end is not the end. There are skull caps to keep you cool too.

              • Gordon

                Yes it is ’cause I said so. He says stamping his feet like a child, a bald one at that.

                • Whippet

                  You can still resort to the argument of history and tradition Gordon! Just be careful, it’s hard to get it to look good.

                  • Gordon

                    At my age and girth I gave up looking good a long time ago . Have a great weekend Whippet

            • Robert Merkel

              Not fussed about rules…but Gerard Vroomen mentioned on his blog that you can get Castelli skull caps in summer weight fabric, and as a bald guy he swears by them.


          • Sean

            Do you sell these skull caps?

          • Holby City

            Too tight, you need the luft for your hair

          • Treadtyred

            Cap to keep the rain from your your eyes simple as that.
            Rain and Café d:-)

            • Mark Pierce

              Spot on. Caps are very practical, because the peaks help keep the rain out of your eyes or off your sunnies. I thought everyone knew that. :-) However, I just can’t wear them; my head gets too hot and I can never see where I’m going. :-) I’ve tried a few times over the years. And if anyone wants to wear them just to be fashionable, then go for it. They look better than a bloody trendy bandana. Gimme a spell :-)

        • Spider

          Simon, have a look at the Assos robofoil cap – looks ridiculous and sounds ridiculous – but wicks sweat like nothing else. I used to sweat all over my glasses in summer – not anymore. It has 50+ protection to it as well, Hope this helps

      • Voltz

        What about Michelle Bartolli – always wore a cap ??

        • Bartoli

          Please Voltz, don’t turn the great Michele into a girl ;) It’s Michele Bartoli, one ‘L” in each name. As for your question, there is only one Italian cooler than Bugno from the early 90s, and that was the great Bartoli, so he gets a pass on his cap.

          • Voltz

            My apologies. I agree, Bartoli was a smooth customer. Great position on the bike. Huge saddle to bar drop. Overshoes. Riding in the drops. Super cool.

            • Voltz

              VDB went the cap too as I recall.

            • lee

              Exactly how a saddle to bar set-up should be ;) – feels great rides fantastic

      • Cap under helmet because (1) my scalp burns and sunscreen runs into my eyes (bad), (2) helps to prove my theory that it prolongs the integrity of the helmet padding, sample size of 1 with 100% success rate, (3) so that when I remove said helmet I don’t look like this spud from Astana (pictured), (4) skull caps are for gridiron (‘Murican footballers) & chefs, sous-chefs, line cooks & other food service types. Debate over.

        • Sean

          You’re right, debate over – the head and hair adapt to the helmet.

        • caliente

          I’m all about the mambo sock.

    • Caps are good when its pissing down. The big boys do it too.

    • lee

      Ive rode a cap under the helmet when its cold for yrs so ex-doper holm can go and fk himself…

    • Ant

      Two things:
      1) caps under helmets are great because they keep sweat and sun out of your eyes and rain off your glasses
      2) anyone arguing about these ‘rules’ is either taking the piss or taking this article way too seriously!

  • Darren Yearsley

    Base layer under a summer top looks gangster. I know, I see it in the mirror every day of winter.

    • Stompin

      the mirror is lying to you.

      • Darren Yearsley

        Definite possibility

  • Tim

    I’d add blonde tips in the hair to the list Brian. Other than that I don’t agree with many of your points, in fact I think you are highly conservative and lack flair and daring.

  • Rex Lombardi

    Oh come on. This is even more awkward than Velominati! I need a sleeveless tiger aerosuit asap.

  • roklando

    damn…better start saving for my laser tattoo removal.

  • Joel

    Personal rule #10 Colnago + Campy only

    • Il Gregario

      Except that Ernesto Colnago had a falling out with Campagnolo about 30 years ago.

    • Il Gregario

      Except that Ernesto Colnago had a falling out with Campagnolo about 30 years ago.

  • ben

    Might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder re:triathlon/triathletes.

    • Darren Yearsley

      Don’t think I have ever seen a triathlete look stylish on a bike. Its hard to look cool when you are covered in your own pee.

    • Jamie Morton

      As a triathlete, I feel I can say with some self-awareness that no other athletes look as dorky as triathletes. I have seen them show up to group rides wearing every bit of kit they own.

    • Iron_Jendalen

      There in lies the beauty of it. We are dorky…and therefore cool!

  • Whippet

    Quite a few bruised egos here. Holm was just taking the piss. He does have a good point though: If you look like a wanker…

  • DJP

    Wholeheartedly agree except the long socks!

  • tertius_decimus

    #5: I wear ponytail almost twice longer than that of Laurent Fignon. Fuck you.

    • Claire Holmes

      No need for language like that. Children can read these comments.

      • Thanks Claire. He’s been blacklisted after his last comment. It appears he’s only here to cause trouble.

        • Sean

          Who was that? you manage the trolls pretty well around here. Once you get around to blacklisting Dave and Jules, this site will rock.

          • It wasn’t your alter-ego Sean? ;-)

            • Sean

              No wade I don’t have an ego. Thanks again for blacklisting that dave bloke.

          • Ha! Noooooo!!

  • Paul O’Connell

    This is the best Cyclingtips article ever.
    This is the best cycling article written in 2015, and I read a shit ton of cycling articles.

    • Sean

      Not the best, but def one of. Anything that bags tri’s is damn good.

  • TwoWheels

    Most bib shorts are too short when your 6ft 2 and have a 29 inch waist!

    • Sean

      increase ya waist size with some beers, simple.

    • Ant

      Haven’t you heard of Nutella doughnuts?

  • Il Gregario

    If you don’t agree with Brian, you should quit cycling. The man is a guru. His story in Rouleur – around issue 30 – is the stuff of legends.
    He knew how to turn a pedal as well.

    • Roger That

      Yet he wears the bright pink Telekom jersey with canary yellow Time shoes in a photo above. My retinas are burning a little (as they did quite a lot in the 90s).

      • Il Gregario

        The TIME shoes in that image are the best shoes the cycling world has ever had. Not the best TIME shoes, but the best shoes period. I pity those that never had the pleasure of throwing on a pair of Equipe Pro shoes.

        • Spider

          You are wise beyond your years. One of my great misses in life is not being able to fit into Time Equipes. They are/were/king of all awesome.

    • campirecord

      The man has his own issues. Looking like a midlifer band member of the Style Council has also seen its days… I love Brian but his days in the shame slammer are not over imo.

  • Nic Lowe

    Very funny. Agree with all apart from cap under lid.

  • Scott Johnson

    Love it thanks CT. Can’t wait for cycling to go back to Euro inspired cool. The last few years have been all about beards and kits that make you look like a prop from Madagascar.

  • SouthernHoax

    Love it. I love the cap too, things have moved on with compulsory helmets but the cap should stay. Everything else he said is 100% on the money.

  • David Markham

    Whole article is undermined by those awful Liam Gallagher c.1995 shades in the main picture.

    Oh and he’s bang wrong on rule #1

  • Lots of support for the caps under helmets. Needed in the Australian harsh sun. A bit more bite than the European/Belgian sun perhaps?

    • David Markham

      Wherever you’re riding, I just find they help to stop sweat dripping down.

      Plus they’re cool as f**k

  • 900Aero

    I like his respect for Fignon. If you can ride like that, you can wear what you like.

  • dllm

    Just refer to The Rules.

  • Anon N + 1

    Pleeeease. I know this stuff is generally harmless twaddle, but a cap under the helmet is exceedingly practical. In addition to the points others have made, the bill of the cap keeps the sun of off my prescription dark glasses, eliminating the glare and making it easier to perceive the terrain when looking in the sunward direction. Try it sometime; you’ll probably like it.

    “Those sort of riders like Fignon and Yates there’s not too many of them anymore; everybody looks the same now.” Exactly. Do we all want to look the same? No. We want to have our own style. We want to look like cyclists with individuality. Not like someone who washed out of the pro peloton and forgot to turn in the uniform. As Mr. Holm said, we want to be individuals

    Finally, if you have a tattoo, you won’t be able to use a public bath or get into an onsen when you visit Japan.

    • Josh

      Having lived in Japan for quite a while, the way to defeat the no tattoo rule is say loudly, wakanai nijongo, diasuke Nipon! (I don’t understand Japanese and I love Japan), smile, and then proceed into the Onsen. As long as you are far enough away from Tokyo, the desk worker will

      smile shake his or her head and let you go. Try at your own risk; work for 12 years for me…

  • Steel

    Sleveless tops – no
    Sleveless tops with Zebra print on Cipo with full oiled guns blazing – yes yes yes

    I’m a battler when it comes to the kit. I’m just happy when I don’t look like a recumbent rider who accidentally found their way on to a proper bicycle.

    Definitely agree on the leg warmers though. It makes your legs look fat putting them over the top of your bibs.

  • Dave

    What happened with those sexual assault charges that Holm was facing?

    • Kim

      He was acquitted of all charges

  • Derek Maher

    Neat discussion Brian,You have the Steve Mcqueen cool look to a tee.
    Got to agree about the Tri people but as most of them don’t seem to be the full shilling one perhaps can forgive them.
    Kit colour is important depending on body shape.Dark colours for the large unfit types,Large bottoms flowing down the sides of saddles and tummies draped over the cross bar should not be advertized in bright pink.Helmets no matter what you do with them will always look like mushrooms (sigh).With shades the girls can look cool even with sparkling colourful frames,Not so good for the hard male biker look.Hairy white legs and tartan wooly socks are a no.Perhaps no socks are worse.
    Racing caps are cool,Black shorts are good and a well cut top,Black or white racing shoes.If you have a bit of winter fat wear a compression layer until you burn it off.

  • Paolo

    Oh well, if you have nothing else to worry about. The King of Cool on a bike was Frank Vandenbroucke.

    • Voltz


  • Rob

    Black bar tape for domestiques, white for the leader

  • Allez Rouleur

    I know I’m doing it right when I get back from a ride and the better half tells me I’m lookin’ good! Some people just have style, some don’t. You can follow tips, but you still can’t fake it. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

  • BobB59

    The origins of white tape preference go back to the days of cotton tape. Mechanics could easily see which bikes were ready for tape replacement by the level of grime present. I still prefer the look of white bars. A little degreasing cleaner keeps them tidy.

  • On a recent group ride, I was told I looked like “1982”, in my Clement cap and Marresi shoes. I took that as the highest compliment.

  • Winky

    No more facial hair than Cancellara. Lumberjacks have no place in cycling.

  • SilverD

    Cycling caps are a sign of style, tradition, elegance. Allways they are, alone, under a helmet, or what ever. Always cycling caps are great.

  • Iron_Jendalen

    No Ponytails and don’t look like a triathlete? Boo…….just boo…….we are awesome with our sleeveless kits. You just misunderstand us!

  • Clearly, I need to start shaving my legs after watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZnrE17Jg3I Those gains!

  • Abdu

    Great article, but don’t the Fun Police get all upset and Velominads or whatever push the serious button up to 11. Sheesh.

    Is that Baden Cooke just behind Brian in the Roubaix pic? Now there’s a bloke who’ll tell everyone just how stylish he is…

  • zurp

    Caps are for the rain. I see folks all the time riding with a cap on and it’s 80F outside. Might as well get a mountain bike helmet with a visor

  • Arfy

    Number one rule should be ride with the correct kit. Road kit is for road riding, MTB kit is for mountain biking, aero kit is for TTing, skate helmets are for skating and should never be seen outside a skate park. Don’t mix-and-match, it’s just not cool.

  • echidna_sg

    you know if a non-cyclist stumbled into this article, all they would read is a bunch of (I assume) mainly straight blokes arguing over which guy looks the best in lycra… the bro-mance factor is off the charts! ;-)

  • Edward

    Umm. Tattoos and COC helmets should be worn together.

  • If you are cool, you will look cool. If you are uncool, you’ll look uncool. We all know the most stylish don’t follow rules

  • Sammy

    My version of the cap rule: must be cold/wet/windy enough to warrant knee & arm warmers at a minimum. No huge peaks, shouldn’t look like baseball caps! Flip peak up at your own peril…

  • Mr. grey

    No grey socks………hmm

  • Groki

    Caps are not just for sun. If you wet cap then it cools you from evaporation. Always take water bottle and drench cap when dry on hot day.

  • Stuart Raybould

    Great piece, plenty of food for thought :)

  • nathan ong

    holm is so future. love it.

  • Dervelo

    Its just a wind up BH loves caps, short socks, brown & silver shorts, naff tattoos & is a closet triathlete riding his turbo in speedos

  • short socks are cool

  • Phoebus

    A triathlete clearly cuckolded him at some point. Or dropped him on a climb.

  • Goober

    What a load of Bo###ks just get on your bike and ride! Or get in the sea.

  • Ralph

    On the style question, what are these things I see a lot of riders wearing under their helmets, sort of like a handkerchief? Seems very popular with the 40+ crew.

    Also any comments on the dudes he keeps wearing leg warmers when it’s pushing 18+ degrees (coming up soon), seems to be a perennial favourite? Have read that it looks more pro to veer on the side of rugging up but skins from 2009 have their limits..

    • Spider

      think they are called a do-rag or maybe a douche-rag….or a bandana….they don’t look like they do much (i.e wick sweat etc). perhaps cover bald spots?

  • Livi Lucha

    Sounds like a guy who is clearly uncomfortable with his own existence. I don’t recognize your style tips as legit. We cyclists need to stop bullying people for how they look, and remember you are also wearing lycra.

  • Cafe Rider

    1 – I defend the use of a cap under a helmet. I never wore caps, but one day on a particularly sun-roasted 200+km ride in Malaysia (where I live), when no amount of re-applied sun block was saving my rapidly frying nose and forehead, a friend lent me his cap. Now I never ride without one, in fact it saves having to put that revolting s**t on my face.
    2 – I defend the placement of sunglasses under helmet straps. I use sunglasses with optical power as my eyesight is poor, hence they’re one of the last things I take off. My helmet is removed every time I stop, and also on some long climbs, so it’s a pain if I have to remove my glasses first. I’m sure I’m not alone….
    3 – I defend the use of short socks. In a tropical country, the exposed bits of a cyclist are usually a maximum shade of tanned. Since shorts are also the standard off-the-bike wear, having a tan line that ends half way down your calves is pretty much as silly-looking as you can get.
    We probably have to come up with a new set of rules for the non-temperate cyclist :)

  • Alek Dalewski

    He clearly has a problem with trathletes

  • Karin Alberga

    I’m glad I’m just a rail trail rider. This is the most pretentious garbage I ever read. Who the hell cares what your bike looks like or what you wear. T-shirt and a pair of leggings. Period. Get off your ass and just ride your damn bike!

  • Janusz Gajos



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