How long until cycling kit is retro-cool?

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

by SamShaw   December 12, 2011  

Agritubel 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 and 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.

47 user comments

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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 Confused

seabass89's picture

posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
12th December 2011 - 22:00


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

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9361 posts]
12th December 2011 - 22:57


seabass89 wrote:
...I'd love to wear a full out Norway jersey.. Sadly the team is too small, and its not on sale Confused

WHAT! There's no Norway jersey. Unforgiveable!

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
13th December 2011 - 0:28


How do we go about applying pressure on the right people so that they make them?! Confused

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [321 posts]
13th December 2011 - 9:26


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.

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
13th December 2011 - 9:43


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 Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7854 posts]
13th December 2011 - 9:46


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.

posted by Shiny Flu [84 posts]
13th December 2011 - 11:19


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):

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2415 posts]
13th December 2011 - 12:27


Now I don't feel so bad about coveting this years FdJ kit

Shut up legs

slow-cyclo's picture

posted by slow-cyclo [74 posts]
13th December 2011 - 14:31


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.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [416 posts]
13th December 2011 - 15:55


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.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2415 posts]
14th December 2011 - 15:11


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!

posted by bellevedere [19 posts]
14th December 2011 - 21:02


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.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1218 posts]
15th December 2011 - 11:27


I won a BMC team kit a couple of years ago. I went for a ride earlier this year, sadly on a TdF rest-day, had a bit of a crash and was fixing myself and the bike by the side of the road when some twat went past and rather than asking if I was okay shouted "Nice one Cadel". Whether he'd have asked if I needed help if I'd been in my normal gear, no idea but it makes me think twice about the team kit.

posted by atlaz [175 posts]
17th December 2011 - 16:05


atlaz wrote:
some twat went past and rather than asking if I was okay shouted "Nice one Cadel".

He obviously didn't care so probably wouldn't have stopped to help regardless of what your were wearing.

I suggest you wear what you want and enjoy it. If small-minded, insecure people choose to judge you for it then they're probably not the kind of folk you should waste your time on.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2415 posts]
17th December 2011 - 17:12


Wear whatever you want is my opinion. You see millions of people all shapes, sizes and ages with footie kit on and no one blinks an eye so why not wear whatever cycle kit you want.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3235 posts]
17th December 2011 - 20:12


I got a couple of pro-team jerseys a few years ago, but don't much use them now. I'll keep them just in case, plus they do tend to be visible on the road.

I also got some Mellow Johnny's stuff that I quite like. Different - a nice variation on the Livestrong stuff. You don't see many people in the UK wearing this kit.

A couple of years ago (2008 presumably) Santani produced "anniversary" kit to commemorate Pantani's Giro/Tour wins. Pantani is a hero of mine so I bought the kit, but its still got the tags on. Next year it'll fit!

Our summer holiday this year was in Luxembourg, everything so expensive that I didn't buy much in the way of souvenirs, but I did pick up the Lux national kit in a brilliant bike shop over there. A nice souvenir of a great holiday and some excellent rides. Have no problem riding that around the New Forest. Not sure I'd want to on the Schlecks' doorstep.

Only shirt I bought recently that I've had second thoughts about wearing at all was the KoM jersey from the ToB. Loved the green polkas so very much an impulse buy when I watched a stage. But out of respect for the jersey (I'm a truly awful climber!) have not had the guts to wear it yet.


PeteH's picture

posted by PeteH [159 posts]
17th December 2011 - 22:35


slow-cyclo wrote:
Now I don't feel so bad about coveting this years FdJ kit

I have a mid-late 1990s FDJ jersey that I found in a bargain bin at Condor back then.

Nice jersey but nowadays while I can just about get it over my expanded waistline, there's no way I'd inflict it (or rather me wearing it) on the public.

Mind you, back in the day, it did prove a conversation starter with a rather striking mademoiselle who worked in the cafe opposite work, so not all bad... Wink

Not that I am recommending Lycra as suitable clothing for anyone on the pull, mind... Devil

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9501 posts]
17th December 2011 - 23:14

1 Like

nick_rearden wrote:
seabass89 wrote:
...I'd love to wear a full out Norway jersey.. Sadly the team is too small, and its not on sale Confused

WHAT! There's no Norway jersey. Unforgiveable!

Standardly there is a Norway Cycling Jersey:

Poor knowledge

norge_jersey-300x282.jpg Hushovd_Thor_Vuelta10-6.jpg

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
18th December 2011 - 22:24

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
nick_rearden wrote:
seabass89 wrote:
...I'd love to wear a full out Norway jersey.. Sadly the team is too small, and its not on sale Confused

WHAT! There's no Norway jersey. Unforgiveable!

Standardly there is a Norway Cycling Jersey:

Poor knowledge

The point wasn't that there isn't a Norwegian National Champ's jersey but that you can't buy a standard one - like you can for the British National Champion - you can only buy a team's version of the Norwegian national jersey. I'm guessing that Seabass would know as he is in Norway. I just tried a quick Google and all i could find was a Cervelo version and a Credit Agricole one.

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
18th December 2011 - 23:07

1 Like

small-minded, insecure people

one man's small-minded insecurity is another's 'having a sense of respect', obviously.

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
19th December 2011 - 14:54

1 Like

It appears that everyone has glanced over the fact that Sir Alan Sugar looks like a chopper!!!

posted by Rob_Ward [18 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 21:11

1 Like

Whoa there, it was AMS1 who won Cavendish the SPOTY, undoubtedly. I loved it when he said that they frequent the same bike shop;

but "I should imagine that he'd leave me standing"

... Thinking

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
23rd December 2011 - 10:12

1 Like

please delete

posted by WebDevNick [3 posts]
5th January 2012 - 20:32

1 Like

No pro kit for me...Do like last years Garmin kit though...
Mix of Altura/Biemme/PBK for bad weather...for the finer weather it's mostly sportwool type jerseys...ShuttVR,Swobo,R@ph@ and Cervo Rosso ...only usually because of discounted prices or extraordinarily great service(ie freebies/offers)from kind folks- facebook pays off!-
I've no issues with anyone buying and wearing pro kit, irrespective of their body shape or cycling prowess.
What I don't like is the 'I'm better than you attitude' of some club(s)/members that cannot even avert their '1000 yard stare' to give fellow cyclists a cheery wave and a nod of acknowledgement as they cycle past...irrespective of the kit they are wearing...


The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [642 posts]
8th January 2012 - 12:45

1 Like

Seconded. Some days I reckon less than 40% of other riders can be arsed even giving me a nod.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3722 posts]
11th January 2012 - 11:12


notfastenough wrote:
Seconded. Some days I reckon less than 40% of other riders can be arsed even giving me a nod.

40%? You're doing well.

I find it's even worse when I'm in the car - none of those other snobby types coming the other way even notice I'm there. Pah!


Rode to work in my Motorpoint team jersey (a competition prize) today and didn't get cut up once. Coincidence? BTW here's a pic of the great Malcolm Elliot wearing one.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2415 posts]
11th January 2012 - 14:29

1 Like

I was purchased a Bianchi jersey for Christmas, but I don't own a Bianchi bike. I can't wait to receive some grief when out wearing that.

I will relent and only wear it on my white bike, I think the vision of a celeste jersey with a red bike is a bridge too far.

posted by farrell [1943 posts]
12th January 2012 - 22:28

1 Like

Going back to the GB kit comments, in Manchester* you even have to be careful where you park your bike for fear of being shown up:

*Most people outside the North West wont be bothered but the loveable caffeine dealership in this photo is actually in Gatley which is technically Stockport and I heartily recommend them if your ever up this way and fancy a brew:

And no, I'm not connected with them in anyway other than following them on twitter, I'm just a customer.

posted by farrell [1943 posts]
12th January 2012 - 22:38

1 Like

still wear my old gan,linder mcartney,htc,quikstep,and z kits,dont think im retro cool just to tight fisted to buy large quantity of new kit. Id rather spend my money on components.I also buy a lot of secondhand Belgium club jerseys a lot of which i feel are better than the rapha stuff that i own.Also you never see anyone else wearing club jerseys from koekelare so they often become abit of a talking point with other fellow cyclist.The best bargain i ever got was a bio racer top for £2.It outperforms any other kit ive ever tried and looks fantastic.think id like to be buried in it.


posted by robcrow [54 posts]
19th January 2012 - 23:48

1 Like