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Is Sam going to look retro cool or fan-boy in his 2008 team kit?

Is wearing team kit douchy?  It’s not in other sports, as you can see by any number of fans wearing football tops around UK town centres every weekend, very rarely do you see someone sporting the latest BMC, SKY, Liquigas or Leopard Trek kit when out shopping – maybe they’re all out cycling when I’m carting bags/kids round the shops?  Or maybe it’s because it’s just not cool. 

I have some team kit that I received when a cycling magazine featured me as part of their reader team; I love it and really feel as though I deserve to wear it, there were only 4 kits made and one of them’s mine so it’ll always be special.

Pulling on a jersey from a ProTour team doesn’t seem to yield the same pride though.  A friend of mine recently made much mention that his team Sky jacket was cheap and that it’s a good performer as the reasons for buying it.  I didn’t quite get why he was worried about it, until we were out with the club a few days later and I heard some club members half-heartedly poking fun at him for it.  (I still think it looks kinda cool but I’m still relatively new to the cycling fold so I kept schtum…)

The reason I’m dithering away about kit is due to the birthday present I recently received from my sister; it consists of 2008 Agritubel team kit, who were based where she lives in France.  I’m over the moon with it, she got it from the chairman of the fan club, who she knows through their accountant, who has a Kuota team bike on the wall of his office… all very not what you know but who.  It’s as close to supporting a ‘local’ continental team as I can get.

Owning a winter jacket, summer jersey and socks isn’t enough for me though, I’m now finding myself scouring ebay.fr and ebay.it for matching bib shorts and longs; and, of course, the obligatory team cap, I get the feeling I’m taking this too far…

Maybe my saving grace is that the kit is from 2008 and that the team has now been disbanded; VecchioJo’s recent blog about La Vie en Claire kit suggests it might be retro-cool to wear old kit, I’m just not sure if 3 years is long enough to guarantee enviable glances from my club mates! 

Either way, I’m wearing it.

48 comments

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Super Domestique [1619 posts] 6 years ago
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Last year for our wedding anniversary my kids bought my an HTC jersey.

The reasoning was that I had a Spesh bike, an HTC phone and Leyzne pump so the sponsor logos worked.

I will be wearing it again next year, although this might be more acceptable as there isn't a 'latest' version of the kit!

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SamShaw [268 posts] 6 years ago
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It's already retro-cool in my book! Good presents from the kids there, mine are only 3 and 7months so I'll have to start teaching them soon!

I still like the HTC kit, shame we'll not see any more of it.

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 6 years ago
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I often think that pro-kit is a bit gaudy anyway, but I do like the black/yellow livestrong kit - the one with the white arms. The only other branding is the Nike swoosh. I think the jersey and shorts with black arm/legwarmers looks cool, but somehow suspect it would be uncool when out with a club. Weird, isn't it?

There is an increasing amount of GB kit around, especially with the olympics coming up. I wouldn't dream of buying any, but that may be partially due to living in Manchester, where many cyclists have earned that stuff...

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farrell [1946 posts] 6 years ago
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Will's Wheels on the A6 in Stockport was selling a load of Team GB kit quite cheaply earlier this year, I was tempted for a while but swerved it for the same reason you mentioned.

Could you imagine wearing it out and then being completely and utterly blitzed by some of the lads or girls from the cycling centre out on a run?

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nick_rearden [438 posts] 6 years ago
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Hmm. Well, there's street cool and there's cycling club cool and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to be one and the same.

On the street, I wouldn't say that anyone wearing sports kit of any kind is 'cool' unless you are actually participating or supporting at an actual event or on the way there.

At the cycling club, any kit is 'cool' as long as it a) matches eg no Mapei tops with ONCE shots and b) isn't a current team unless you're in that team.

The collection and wearing of 'vintage' kit is surely one of the pleasures of going out riding with friends and as long as you have the chutzpah to carry it off you can even get away with wearing the 'Worlds' and 'Maillot Jaune' jerseys especially if ironic. eg I think I can get away with the spotty KOM jersey because I'm fat and crap on hills but a wiry, sun-tanned Spaniard couldn't unless he actually is Sammy Sanchez.

And, as notfastenough says, it's going to take some balls to wear GB kit in Manchester if you're not on the squad.

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 6 years ago
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 4 2

I was thinking of an even worse scenario, involving a group of them riding up alongside me, saying a cheery 'hello' to what they think is one of their mates from the cycling centre, followed by a really awkward moment where they go "oh, it's...no-one! Bye then!" Cue a load of rear mechs dropping to the 12-tooth cog and me chewing a load of rain-spray as they take off to be as far as possible from the saddo with the hairy legs...

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SamShaw [268 posts] 6 years ago
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Much of what you say, Nick forms part of the Velominati rules, I'd considered quoting them but I'd thought that most might already familiar with them. There's a lot to remember mind you.

As for leg shaving, notfastenough, that's a blog for the future... I'm still trying to figure that one out!  4

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miffed [164 posts] 6 years ago
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I think niche cycling kit is always cool, agriturbel top would look ace and gives you the look of someone who knows the pro scene well. Team Sky and radio-shack esq kits are harder to pull off as it looks like you're just glory hunting (like wearing man united or Barcelona jerseys) so that's why I think there's a bit of stick that goes along with it.

I personally have a garmin jersey cause I love the team and a katusha black champion of Italy jersey which was a roubaix special cause I thought it was cool. Both of which I'd wear out with my cycling club. I also own rapha jerseys but im not wearing them until Im a familiar face and not accused of just being a poser.

J

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abudhabiChris [691 posts] 6 years ago
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Reckon you can just about get away with it as they were a minor team, so there's no suggestion of glory hunting, and are no longer functioning... though ideally maybe it should stay in the drawer another year or so.

As for the idea that one can wear the maillot jaune, rainbow or other such jerseys... the only irony would be that the wearer thinks they are being cool while the rest of the world knows they are a tosspot.
It doesn't matter how you think you're wearing it - ironic, post-modern, retro-homage - you will rightly be considered a total douche.

National team jerseys are slightly different IMHO but may only be worn outside the country of origin, and by a person of that nationality.

@miffed I guess it depends on the club but most would have a smattering of Rapha kit in any club ride, so I wouldn't think it would be considered posing. Personally I'd be more likely to think that of someone wearing the Italian national champion's jersey, unless they were in fact Filippo Pozzato. And he's a bloody poser anyway.

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awkward [64 posts] 6 years ago
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Hi Sam

I think if the kit has special meaning to you, then you should wear and not be bothered!

Not sure about the full matching kit thing though, as a parallel, I used to play a lot of 5-a-side and the blokes in the full matching replica kits - shirt, shorts and socks were either rubbish or tossers.

Andy

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Simon E [3154 posts] 6 years ago
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awkward wrote:

Hi Sam

I think if the kit has special meaning to you, then you should wear and not be bothered!

+1. There are too many sad sheep-like morons that follow 'rules'.

If you like the kit then wear it and don't waste your time on any ignorant knobhead who is rude enough to tell you he has a problem with it.

Love the fan club connection, it's even better than the kit has a story attached to it  16

Cycling jerseys aren't really designed for walking around the shops. If your mate wants to wear his Sky jacket then good for him. Of all team designs I think theirs are quite classy and don't shout "cycling nut". Not forgetting that the team is loaded with super-talented British riders!

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localsurfer [202 posts] 6 years ago
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I got offered 50quid for my 7-11 jersey last time I wore it.

But then, that is cool.

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nick_rearden [438 posts] 6 years ago
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SamShaw wrote:

Much of what you say, Nick forms part of the Velominati rules...

The Velominati rules for anyone that hasn't seen them are hilarious and here: http://www.velominati.com/blog/

Don't forget that some of us are old enough to have been worrying* about these rules since before the dawn of the interweb  1

* As long as we furthermore don't forget that it's not all too serious; basically the stuff of clubrun banter.

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jamesfifield [110 posts] 6 years ago
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I reckon the kit of Omega Pharma Lotto from the 2011 season is going to be a keeper: worn by Gilbert to some stunning victories, and I think it looks super from an aesthetic point of view. Rather like the Rapha Pro CX kit...

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Cooks [496 posts] 6 years ago
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I have a white sponsorless TDF jersey that I like, because it's quite subtle. There was also a special edition Bugginio(might have made that up??) WC jersey at the bikeshow that I nearly bought. Fairly discreet, but not sure if I'd have the balls to wear it.
As far as team kit goes, I think that's all fair game.

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Simon_MacMichael [2504 posts] 6 years ago
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If you've seen the GreenEdge story we put on the site this morning, that has an interesting spin on it.

Pay for peloton or podium membership, and not only will you get to ride with the pros, you'll also have replica GreenEdge kit to wear while you're doing it and it's yours to keep.

So, question is, if a ProTeam doesn't have an issue with it, why should anyone else?

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mrmo [2096 posts] 6 years ago
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got a 1995? mapei bricobi top kicking around, don't see how it can ever be called cool though, subtle it is not.

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seabass89 [212 posts] 6 years ago
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Ah!

I don't think people should care what you wear.. If you wear a pro-team jersey its because you think it looks good. Why should anyone else care?

Besides, if its good enough to wear for the pro's, then hey its probably pretty comfortable for you too.

I'd love to wear a full out Norway jersey.. Sadly the team is too small, and its not on sale  7

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Gkam84 [9111 posts] 6 years ago
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I still wear a Banesto jersey from the mid 90's, Just like i wear my retro football top to matches, I have quite a few 90's jersey's that i cant even find a trace of online, so they get kept in the wardrobe and not wrecked by wearing them.

I have never bought a pro kit since i was 16, 9 years ago, for a couple of reason's, the price is stupidly high and i could never be a pro, so why buy pro kit, its not really a "supporters" sport like football, I don't support A cycling team, i enjoy cycling as a whole sport

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nick_rearden [438 posts] 6 years ago
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seabass89 wrote:

...I'd love to wear a full out Norway jersey.. Sadly the team is too small, and its not on sale  7

WHAT! There's no Norway jersey. Unforgiveable!

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SamShaw [268 posts] 6 years ago
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How do we go about applying pressure on the right people so that they make them?!  7

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andyp [1519 posts] 6 years ago
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So, question is, if a ProTeam doesn't have an issue with it, why should anyone else?
The ProTeam don't have an issue with it because they are making money out of the punters. And besides, they all sit in the team bus laughing their arses off at the hairy-legged overweight middle-managers pretending to be pros. It breaks up the monotony of riding bikes, eating pasta, and taking vitamins.

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dave atkinson [6330 posts] 6 years ago
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if we can work out a simple algorithm based on the type of kit, the number of years out of date and the ability of the rider, maybe we can make an app that tells you whether a particular kit is cool for you or not  1

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Shiny Flu [84 posts] 6 years ago
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I have a simple rule: wear whatever you like and feel comfortable in- tell anyone that has an issue with it to shove it up their chamois.

Personally though I'd never wear a race, world or national champion jersey/kit for the sole reason that I respect the effort involved in order to win one (one being the key word here).
However there are people out there that want to show their support for say their fellow contrymen/women or support for a race around a country steeped in history - that's fine too. Also there are people that just love rainbow (double ones even).

Team kit - this just comes down to personal taste. I own both plain and team kit. Be it current, last years or Molteni, go for it.

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Simon E [3154 posts] 6 years ago
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7-Eleven is a genuinely retro design that appears to be almost universally liked. I have been tempted by the Peugeot team jersey as it's understated and was worn by one of my favourite riders, Robert Millar.

Aesthetically I can't say I'm keen on HTC's 'abs' design or Mapei's cube jersey (£50 from Prendas), I don't really have any desire to be a mobile advert for chewing gum or a Garmin. It's not like they're paying me, but I have no issue with anyone else's choices.

The über-MAMIL shows how team kit should be worn (and it looks like he shaves his legs too):

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slow-cyclo [72 posts] 6 years ago
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Now I don't feel so bad about coveting this years FdJ kit

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alotronic [532 posts] 6 years ago
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Wear what you like... but here are my own personal feelings and rules based on nothing much other than an ageing ex-racers stupid opinions and prejudices!

Basically if you wear *recent* Pro Kit you better be able to blast me at the lights or kill me up a hill... and not have a whacking great beer belly. Pro Kit belongs on racing snakes, and snakes are more likely to be in club kit. I LOVE overtaking expensively clad and be-biked slow wannabes in pro gear on sportives, overtaking people in normal gear has no such joy about it I'm afraid...

However old kit (ie before 2000) is exempt from this rule and is mostly cool, the more colours and logo clashes the better... Extra Kudos for kit of drug busted squads. Festina kit, etc... Quality old stuff (molteni, peugeot etc) used to be proper cool until the hipsters killed it all.

My preference for quality new gear is not to pay to advertise people who aren't actually making what I am wearing or riding, so I am a low-logo count rider.

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Simon E [3154 posts] 6 years ago
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alotronic wrote:

Pro Kit belongs on racing snakes

Nope. It belongs on anyone who chooses to buy and wear it. It's why Garmin-Cerevelo and Team Sky sell their jerseys in XXLarge. I suggest you get a life.

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bellevedere [19 posts] 6 years ago
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Just back from the Basque country - where everyone wears full team kit. There no black shorts in the Basque country.

And those boys are all way hot!

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WolfieSmith [1387 posts] 6 years ago
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The problem with Lycra is that you can often get into old jerseys and kid yourself you haven't put in weight. I found a photo of myself and a mate at Mont St Michel in 1995 and thought 'I still have that 1980's red and white hoop Alfa Lum top which is beautifully retro.' 'Hoops are very fattening...' was a club mates comment so at least I'm incentivised to slim back down into it! I fancy a Rapha Condor Sharp team jersey but as it's as tight as cling film I need to slim into that as well.

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