I’ve always believed you should be able to wear what you want when you ride your bike, but recently I’ve seen some sights that really shouldn’t be allowed.

Leg-warmers must be black – no other colour is acceptable. Red is ridiculous but the real no-no is white.

Never mind trying to legislate over bike design, this is the big issue the UCI should be getting involved with. White leg-warmers give the impression that you’re wearing huge, supersize socks.

And anyone who wears them over their shorts is just waiting to be ridiculed. Why not put on the big red nose and the rest of the clown make-up and be done with it?

The general rule with colours and designs is, if you wouldn’t wear it in your ‘normal’ life then why would you on the bike? Too many riders seem to take some perverse pleasure from dressing up as Lycra-clad Eighties throwbacks.

Why shouldn’t you take pride in what you wear? When you ride a bike you represent all cyclists and the last thing you should want is to be an object of ridicule.

Look your best on the bike and do everyone a favour.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • mark rix

    of course you should wear bright clothing, I am also a motor cyclist and would not condone plain black

  • Jon

    Here we go again..the inverted snobbery of the cycling world. Why not live and let live? What is wrong with people wearing what the hell they like if it makes them happy? I see many cyclists sitting at the top of Box Hill, dressed in the dark colours you deem ‘acceptable’, all happily smug that they pass the litmus test of ‘no garish, logo-emblazoned lycra’, passing snide judgement on the Brightly Coloured Unenlightened Ones who pass before them. These characters, the tricoteuses of the cycling world, may have the non-garish apparel angle down to a T, all retro and throwback, but unfortunately their waistlines give them away as the poseurs that they really are. Filling their faces full of cake after having crawled 25km from Richmond Park at a snail’s pace, what they lack in bright lycra, they more than make up for in cake-gut inches around the waist. Yes, these arbiters of cycling couture are usually fat, out of shape, greying men who would not know the term ‘interval session’ if it hit them between their eyes. They could talk dark-coloured, inverted snobbery-riddled cycling kit all day with you, but are not cyclists by any stretch of their dark lycra-clad imaginations.

  • Julian

    “I’ve always believed you should be able to wear what you want when you ride your bike”

    Oh no you don’t, or you wouldn’t have written such a ridiculous article.

    Cycle and let others do as they must.

  • Jasper

    “otherwise at least 16 of your readers will think you are a right prat!”

    Make that 17.

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 78 in Thailand

    Have we all read it wrong and it was meant to be “tongue in cheek” as i can’t believe the editor of an IPC magazine would be stupid enough to print such a thing, even if that’s what he thinks? Please comment Robert, otherwise at least 16 of your readers will think you are a right prat!

  • Sean

    You must have some excelent skills unseen by us to have kept your job so long! Your editorial is increasingly just vain drivel

  • Blazing Star

    When I read your article, I felt very disappointed that the bigotry that I experienced as a 11 year old in my cycling club hasn’t left the sport 30 odd years on. Strong words I know, for a comment which really doesn’t deserve any response really, except, I’m paying for this subscription!

    For some reason dress has always been a contentious subject for some, personally, I like most of those who have written in, couldn’t give a toss what anyone else thinks about what I wear when cycling.

    I still can’t believe that you will be disqualified, or even prevented from competing in a time trial for wearing cycling kit that has a commercial name on it (not one sanctioned and paid for by your club). Even I understand a charity name! In this day and age we are still bothered about what people wear. When I took this up with one particular individual, I was told that if we didn’t have these dress code rules people would be turning up in jeans and tee shirts. Good God, there are more people like you out there!

    As Editor of Cycling Weekly, I expect more from you.

  • ribbledibble

    Well Robert,
    There’s nothing like playing devil’s advocate and tossing out a bone. I agree with everything everyone says about bright equals safety. I also suspect you do too. There’ve been too many articles in CW and elsewhere and indeed your own editorials about safety, for you not to take the issue seriously.

    Frankly, who gives a toss what anyone thinks about your clothing. If I wear black the idiots who drive too close yelling “w&+*er at me will still do so, so I choose something bright for the 70%+ of the drivers whose concentration span is in the A.D.D. spectrum. The 20% who are in the considerate section ( and to whom I owe a respectful duty of care) and the 5% of tossers, I could care less about and if what I wear makes them laugh as they guzzle lager with the rest of their fat gutted mates, then brilliant, I don’t know them and I’m pleased to have amused them

    Now, My valet has polished my green brogues and pressed my best pink suit. I’m off to London for a nice day of sobriety. toodle pip XX

  • Carly

    on another note, trust it is realised that the white leg warmers are lighter which means that you can go faster in them!

  • CarlyWarly

    Never read anything so ridiculous, “The general rule”, how tediously patronizing and dull to suggest that we should be advised by someone with such little imagination, such churlish comment! Anything but black leg warmers thanks, give me light blue any day over anything black. I wear bright colours, the bike has bright colours, I want to be seen on the road, not just for safety reasons, I take pride in the colours worn, as do cycling teams, who usually use bright colours. Looks like you are dead but do not know it, it is tiresome seeing the same dull colours of cycling wear from manufacturers that share similar uncreative flair as yourself. Cycling is fun, the world is a colorful place, cyclist do not represent each other, cyclists are individuals who enjoy life. Who cares if someone wants to dress as clowns, it is their prerogative, at least they are getting out on the bike and enjoying themselves, bet they can cycle the pants of Mr dull any day! Do everyone a favor yourself Robert before you become the Gar Butt of jokes yourself! Mmmm!

  • neil t

    “when you ride a bike you represent all cyclists” well if wearing bright colours means drivers respect me and “all the cyclists i represent” then that can only be a good thing can’t it? oh and +1 for the over expensive products constantly reviewed in your magazine!

  • Wingy

    Nice & Bright & Yellow = Not under the wheels of a lorry

  • Alan

    BRIGHT & ALIVE not DARK & DEAD

  • andrew

    Here is a perfect example of why it’s not a good idea to fire up you laptop and start mouthing off over the internet after you’ve had a few too many!
    I’m quite glad I dont waste my money anymore buying this magazine if that’s the attitude and professionalism of the editor.

  • Gary P

    Love to know what you’d make of the new fluro yellow Castelli kit I’ve just had delivered.

  • Neil

    I normally like your blog / intro but this, slightly bigoted, view is not like you? What happend to live and let live? How about. if you see me, and I’m wearing something you don’t like then just ignore me… don’t ‘nod me up’ or say hello. Hmmn….

    I’ll wear whatever I can to keep warm when I’m cycling through the winter. Given the cost of most of this stuff I’ll buy the cheapest I can. Recently you have tested £250 bib tights, suggested a Tacx virtual trainer for sportivists (aren’t these £700+) and tested £400 brakes. Who exactly is your target audience?

    PS. I note that in the photo of Gabby Day, on the same page as your column, she appears to be wearing leg warmers over her shorts…. best ignore her

  • Rich

    Cycling, and what we wear, is a personal thing. Some like to wear bright colours, some don’t. Some ride expensive carbon road bikes, some don’t. That is their choice… as are the cycling publications they buy.

    Trying to dictate what clothing your readers wear perhaps isn’t the best way to sell copies of the magazine each week. Especially with a cover price that is creeping towards the price of some of the monthly publications.

  • eddy

    Wearing the almost invisable black and dark blue appears to be the only acceptable attire for the serious cyclist – back to the 1930s time trial scene.
    In order to survive a little longer I shall remain a yellow belly.

  • Ken Evans

    CIPO !

  • Alex

    I rather be visible and alive rather than trendy and dead.

    “if you wouldn’t wear it in your ‘normal’ life then why would you on the bike?” – in my ‘normal life’, the life portion of it does not depend on being seen.

    There is quite enough of “sorry I didn’t see you mate” (SIDSYM) on the streets at the moment as it is.

  • oldhedgey aka ‘coco’

    Just compare today’s pro peloton with those of the late 1980′s. There seems to be a correlation between the amount of dull kit i.e. now; and the excitement of the racing – i.e.it was much livelier then, along with the jersey colours Dowdy, black tops and sitting in all day, anyone? Ah, we were young and carefree…….

  • Matt

    I’d rather dress in bright clothing and risk looking like an ‘Eighties throwback’, than dress from head to toe in black and get run over by a lorry because they didn’t see me.