The art of cycling kit...the do's and don'ts...the things that people don't talk about...
Unless you've been cycling for a while or have a friend that's taught you the ropes and has let you in on the secrets, you might not know all of the in's and out's of cycling and cycling kit - what's recommended, what's taboo etc etc.
It does come down to personal style and preference, however there are some unspoken rules that we wanted to let you in on...
(1) No panties / knickers / underpants are to be worn under your cycling shorts (!)
If you're new to cycling, this could be a little baffling. Reason why we don't wear underwear underneath our cycling (padded) shorts is because the seams and fabric cause additional friction and will lead to saddle sores.
If you've got a great pair of shorts, they will do the trick!
(2) Sock length - 6 inches or to the top of the calf muscle
Long gone are the days of ankle socks and short ones. No socks is a definite no-no too. Longer socks are the way forward, just not too long. Take a look at these hashtags on Instagram #sockdoping #newkitday and you'll see it's all about 6 inches or up to the calf muscle.
(3) Tan lines - they are totally acceptable, the more razor sharp the better.
We try to avoid the burn and protect our skin from the sun most of the time. But if you're in the saddle a lot, your limbs will inevitably tan up no matter how much UV Factor 50 you apply. Be proud of the line, especially when worn with short shorts or skirts in the summer!
(4) Where possible, match your handle bar tape with your saddle.
(5) When joining a new cycling group, introduce yourself. Or if you're jumping on the wheel, let the person know in front and ask if it's ok to join them.
(6) Leg pain, or burning in the thighs on those first few long rides or going uphill is totally normal. Per the Velominati Rule #20, if your quads start to hurt shift forward in the saddle and use your calves and hamstrings (or try using your glutes/butt muscle). If your calves and hamstrings start to hurt, shift back and use your quads. We also like to stand out of the saddle every now and then. If all of the above fail, revert to Rule #5 (or take a coffee break!)
(7) Remember, you were once a beginner, let people in on those unspoken rules.