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Sorry I’m late, I forgot I wasn’t on vacation anymore.

Posted by on September 6, 2017
***Two things: 1) Read the Bike Forecast; B) Register for the NYC Century; 3) That's it, I said only two things, remember?***

Remember back in the hindquarters of the Dachshund of Time:


When athletes knew how to dress?

Pugilists wore tights and sashes and didn't skimp on the hair cream:


Swimmers wore stripey "prison chic" unitards:


And cyclists dressed like Waldo from "Where's Waldo?"



Well you'll be pleased to know that today's Fredly fashions are now seeking inspiration from the sartorial spirit of yesteryear.  Meet the Café du Cycliste Annabelle bib shorts, complete with integrated base layer:

Even in hot weather (the Colorado front range frequently experiences temps in the high 90s) the Annabelle bibs felt airy and comfortable. Café du Cycliste touts the upper as efficient when it comes to moisture-wicking, and that seemed to play out on the road. Perhaps this was more noticeable because the Annabelles don’t have any bib straps to rub against the rider’s shoulders and chest, which leads to discomfort and chafing — especially when the skin gets coated in sweat. The built-in base layer distributes the weight of the bibs evenly across the shoulders and sits flush against the back and chest, which contributes to a second-skin feel.

Am I the only person who's never experienced chafing from my bib short straps?  I mean sure, my nipples are all calloused from breastfeeding, but still.  Regardless, always make sure to use this product in conjunction with the appropriate mustache:


Alas, there was only one problem with old-timey athletic costumes, which is that they didn't include foam hats:


See, everybody knows bicycle helmets are over 100% effective.  This is why cyclist head injuries no longer occur in places where they are mandatory, such as Australia and Seattle.  Here's an infographic to help you understand:


(Helmets = Immortality)

Also, did you know that 99.9% of helmetless cyclists who were hit by drivers had it coming?  It's true, I read it in the Constitution, or the Bible, I forget which:


Anyway, there's only one problem with helmets, and it's this:

How do you sell even more of them?

Step 1 was convincing people that not wearing a helmet is tantamount to suicide.
Step 2 was making them believe that something made out of a material that will remain in the environment until roughly the end of time somehow needs to be replaced every few years.
Step 3 was telling you that you need more vents and charging you more money for less helmet.
Step 4 was telling you that now you need fewer vents (to wit: Giro Air Attack).

And here comes the latest innovation, which is having a different number of vents for absoutely everything, which is what Oakley is now going for:


Oakley claim venting at the side and the back creates a vortex for the air to be pushed out the back to make you faster, which is why prominent venting still appears on the aero road and TT helmets. The BOA system used on the two road helmets is unique to Oakley, and instead of a cradle that fits all the way around your head there is a subtle lace either side, which not only adds to the comfort but also makes it far easier to fit your eyewear under your helmet (we tried it with some Oakley shades, it certainly works a treat). Vents on the front of the ARO 3 and 5 are also designed to hold your shades easier when the sun goes in. 

Everything in bicycle marketing is like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes.  Remember how they managed to turn the road bike into four bikes?  (That's "all-around road," "aero road," "endurance road," and "gravel" in case you're having trouble keeping track.)  Now you've got to choose a different Oakley helmet depending on which one of those bikes you're riding.  Not that offering lots of different helmets is a new thing, but whereas it used to be the range would go from cheap to expensive, now they're all expensive but can only be used in certain situations.  At this rate it's only a matter of time before the discriminating Fred or Frederica will be expected to have at least as many $200 helmets as they have socks.

Of course you could always just skip the helmet altogether, but then you wouldn't be able to participate in sanctioned bicycle races, Gran Fondos, or massive charity rides--plus you'll find yourself on the receiving end of all sorts of scorn from the Fredly Do-Right set.

In other words, there's pretty much no downside.

Finally, here's the fixed gear gravel "edit" you knew deep in your heart had to happen someday:


You've got to give 'em credit for coming up with something even more boring than the trackstand.

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