Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist as well as being a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.
How to Look Good on a Road Racing Bike (9 Tips)
Many cyclists want to look good. They want to look like a pro cyclist. Therefore, this article will concentrate on many of the things cyclists can put in place to ensure they look good while riding.
Whenever you look at pro cyclists on the television and in photos, they have an aura about them. They look slim, toned and powerful while having a great looking, top of the range bike encrusted with the latest equipment. Realistically, not every cyclist can justify having top-of-the-range equipment. However, they can still ensure they look good.
1. The 16 Degree Rule for Cyclists
If you really want to look like a professional cyclist out on the roads, you need to follow the 16-degree rule which dictates that unless the temperature is above 16 Celsius you exercise the caution of full body coverage on the bike.
Too often you see someone out riding in just cycling shorts when the mercury shows single figures. This isn't conducive to cycling in the long term as the cold can penetrate your joints over time. You rarely see a pro cyclist riding in shorts and a short sleeve top unless it's very warm or they're racing.
2. Have a Professional-Looking Helmet
A cool, professional-looking cycling helmet with lots of ventilation shows to other cyclists that you're serious about cycling. It doesn't have to be top of the range however a helmet from the 1980s screams 'amateur'.
Pro cyclists have to wear a helmet. In the UK, it is not a legal requirement. Therefore, it is your own decision if you choose to wear one. I personally never leave the house without wearing a helmet.
I recommend you look at Uber Cool Cycle Helmets. The best cycling helmets to look good and stay cool this summer for inspiration.
3. Make Sure You've Shaved Your Legs
Leg shaving is part of cycling culture and it's considered a faux pas to have hairy legs while on a road bike. Smooth legs look professional and serious. Get yourself in the shower and get smooth to look good.
4. Have a Great Tan to Look Like a Pro Cyclist
Professional and serious cyclists always have a great tan as they spend plenty of time outside. Very rarely do you see a pale pro cyclist.
Always tan safely. Therefore a suitably high factor sun cream is required, especially if there's a likelihood you could spend a long period of time out in the sun.
There are lots of great fake tanning products out there for those that struggle to catch the sun.
5. A Professional Cyclist Always Has a Clean Bike
Pro riders have their bike cleaned for them. Sadly mere mortals have to put in the hard work and it's all worthwhile. You'll never look good on a dirty bike!
Even top professional cyclocross riders have a clean bike every lap as they exchange their bicycle at a pit area every lap or two when the going gets muddy. The bicycle then gets hosed down and prepared for the rider to really go for it. It's amazing the perks you get as a professional cyclist!
6. Colour Coordinate
A cyclist looks at their best when their kit matches. Go for combinations that work well together. Black and white are really popular at present when it comes to clothing.
Retro Cycling Kit is big at present so if you're shopping look for something colour coordinated with a retro twist.
Look for helmets that match your current clothing options. Or alternately white will go with pretty much everything.
7. Have a Great Pedal Technique Like a Professional Rider
When you watch a pro cyclist in action, their pedal stroke is smooth and fluid—almost poetic. Learn how to get yourself a smoother faster pedal technique.
7. Long black socks
They didn't look good on Lance Armstrong so they definitely will not look good on anyone else! Period.
Say NO to long black socks.
8. Go Deep (Section Carbon) for That Pro Look on Your Bike
When you watch the pros, they'll be riding either the best ultra lightweight climbing wheels or ultra fast deep section carbon wheels. Copy them!
Deep section carbon wheels look fast! Deep section wheels also make you ride faster on flat roads. Get your deep section carbon wheels and look fast on your road bike!
LOOK FAST with carbon wheels like the Planet X Pro Carbon 50 wheels (pictured) which offer pro level performance with exceptional value for money.
9. Say No to Tri Bars
Tri Bars are great—for improving your position while time trialing. However, they should be used for racing only as they have no effect while riding at 25 kilometres per hour. They also do not look cool on a normal road bike!
Tell that to the triathletes as you fly past them on your road bike looking like a professional rider.
Happy Cycling and Looking Good on Your Bicycle
Hopefully this article will assist you in how to look good on a road bike.
Happy riding and looking good!
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on June 26, 2012:
Hey INFJay. When it comes to helmets white is probably a better choice in terms of matching the most of your cycling clothing. Black also tends to absorb a lot of heat in summer which means its not so good a colour in warm climates
Jay Manriquez from Santa Rosa, California on June 26, 2012:
You got me thinking: should I just invest in a neutral color for my helmet to go with all the different colored team jerseys? Black or white? And I completely agree with the no black socks rule! Excellent information.
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on June 26, 2012:
Thanks mattck for your comment. This is supposed to be a jovial look at a the serious issue of looking good on a bike. Hope it's helped you in some way
Mattck on June 26, 2012:
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on May 31, 2012:
Thanks Denisemai. Really if they're aiming to look like a pro cyclist they should have at least shaved their legs. And thoses shirts are the cycling equivalent of a Soccer or American Football Jersey- showing which team you support with pride!
They main thing is that those guys are out on their bikes riding- hats off to them!
Denise Mai from Idaho on May 30, 2012:
Great hub, CyclingFitness. What's your stance on really hairy, overweight guys who wear those shirts that look like they have professional sponsors? Because that makes me giggle!
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on May 30, 2012:
Thanks for you're reply Josh. Sadly Black socks ARE so wrong!
Josh on May 29, 2012:
Hey, there is nothing wrong with black socks! all of mine are black and i have my favourite castelli ones which are long as well ;) times are changing ha
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on July 02, 2011:
Thanks Temirah- there's nothing wrong with being an amateur. The main thing is getting out there and doing something- it just happens that some people like to look good doing whatever they choose to do.
Temirah on July 02, 2011:
Oh dear - I've just discovered I'm an amateur! Well, at least my helmet's from the 21st century! Will pass this along to my husband and other cycle fans.