Rule 28: Dissenting Opinion

Rule 28: Dissenting Opinion

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Rule #28: “White is old school cool. Black is cool too, but were given a bad image by a Texan whose were too long.  If you feel you must go colored, make sure they damn well match your kit.”

You bet white is old school and for good reason, it is the only color of cycling socks that is truly acceptable. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what color did Merckx wear? What color did Jesus wear in his all-too-short cycling career, Kelly, Coppi, Rik Van Steenbergen, Rik Van Looy, I could go on and on. Not one of them have worn anything but white socks. Years back, black shorts were a regulation of the cyclist’s uniform. It may have not occurred to people to try other colors but black shorts were the only allowed color. Perhaps white socks fell under the same regulations; I’ll let @Oli answer that question. Black socks, god damn it people, are not cool, maybe on a mountain bike while getting wicked air, but not in the world of road riding.

I’m obviously outnumbered by the other Keepers here or the Rule would be three words, “Socks are white.” Every one of the Keeper’s executive board meetings seems to end with me drunkenly banging the table, paraphrasing Bones, “In the name of humanity, Jim, Rule #28 must be revised,” as I slowly slide off my chair and disappear under the table into a puddle of my own sick.

Only in the last fifteen years have the standards been lowered and now it’s a total confusion of bad taste. Again I implore the jury, have we no pride in our guns? A tanned, shaved, well-honed gun can only be properly punctuated by a white sock. Granted the sock pool has become so fouled it’s nearly impossible to even find all-white socks so I won’t be an absolutists (cognoscenti?) but please, mostly white. I won’t even argue length, I find tall socks (Wiggo tall) an abomination but I guess that shows how damn old I am.

Let’s reverse the trend. We have wasted too much energy worrying about podium caps when not many of us are on the podium yet each and every day we ride we make a decision about our socks. If you want to look Pro, get in the know, have a sack, don’t wear black. Write your local Keeper and make your position known.

// Accessories and Gear // Etiquette // The Rules

  1. Race day kit and training kit. Thats all: Race kit/sunday best = white socks. Training days = other options will be tolerated.

    @Harminator

    @RedRanger
    Here we go. The counter points are coming.
    Black kit?

    Boss Hog has it wrong.
    Plus if you want your guns to look better – BUILD UP YOUR GUNS!
    Those Kelly legs would look Awesome in any socks. Period.

    That photo is wicked. Nothing could improve on that.

  2. @frank
    Light on the bike? Really? It’s a good thing you made up for it with XKCD. A regular part of my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. How long has the great state of Washington been selling Lance license plates?

  3. @Steampunk

    You damn well need a light on the bike in the PNW on a rainy day. The light levels are very low. However I would go with the white/black version of that light instead of the red/white. It looks the same from behind but looks much better from the side.

  4. @mcsqueak
    I encountered some of that stuff this weekend. Also lodged the carcass of a salamander in my rear brake caliper. It’s that time of year.

  5. However looking at the photo, I think he was using it to signal the following heli.

  6. @frank

    You can think that, but you’d be wrong. The guy is a bubbling mess of bad taste and worse judgement.

    A +1

  7. @RedRanger

    @frank
    Why would anyone get a vanity plate publicizing such a deficiency?

    It means I can sprint, right? Why, what do you think it means?

    @Steampunk

    @frank
    Light on the bike? Really? It’s a good thing you made up for it with XKCD. A regular part of my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. How long has the great state of Washington been selling Lance license plates?

    Two lights, actually. That’s a fi'zi:k light clipped into the saddle, too. Plus the white one on the front. Plus, if it’s really raining hard and low vis, I add one to the ends of both drops on my bars. You remember the PNW, right? Didn’t you grow up here? That’s the rain bike, by the way. All lights velcro on/off and leave nothing on the frame. All good.

    @michael

    @Steampunk
    You damn well need a light on the bike in the PNW on a rainy day. The light levels are very low. However I would go with the white/black version of that light instead of the red/white. It looks the same from behind but looks much better from the side.

    The white matched the graphics on the frame, but good suggestion anyway. If this one dies, I’ll think about a black one. Planet bike makes the little velcro ones too that I have on the stem here, and I carry two more in my pocket (red) to strap onto the bars when it gets shittier than I expected. I was out a few weeks back with less than a 20m vis. It gets that way round these parts.

  8. @Harminator

    @RedRanger
    Here we go. The counter points are coming.
    Black kit?

    Boss Hog has it wrong.
    Plus if you want your guns to look better – BUILD UP YOUR GUNS!
    Those Kelly legs would look Awesome in any socks. Period.

    I still think Boss Hog’s socks and shoes are fine.

    @frank

    roads with so much rotting leaf jizz on it

    That is funny, I was laughing so much the Mrs asked what was so funny, so I read it to her…not as funny.

  9. @frank

    I can’t imagine needing more than that one Planet Bike light on the rear. I mean have you ever followed someone using one?

  10. Whatever happened to the gayfully colored Zinc Oxide look? Am I the only one still rocking this style in the Summer?

  11. @frank

    @John of Denbigh

    I have also ordered various pieces of kit and apparel at the shop I am buying the bike from and will soon be the proud owner of some half decent cycling gear and something worth riding.

    If it’s got two wheels, its worth riding! Well, two wheels and a single Saddle.

    A+1 Thanks Frank. Can’t wait to get it.

    JoD

  12. @Chipomarc
    Um, yes.

  13. When I’m road cycling I wear white or nearly white socks (they look nearly white to me, the manufacturer calls them silver). White shoes or my silver Ergo 2 slippers. When I ride cross I go with black shoes, black socks, better for the mud and grime.

    I wear “tall” socks because I have a serious case of skankles and while my guns overall aren’t bad, my lower legs are sad. I’ve played sports my entire life and nothing, not even 5+ years of high kilometer cycling can change them. I cover them up as a sign of respect for any Velominati I might see while out!

  14. Black socks are OK when teamed with miserable weather and knee warmers.

    (This is partly because white socks don’t stay that way after a couple of hours of road grime and I can’t ever seem to stop them being grey afterward, including using all sorts of industrial strength bleach.)

    Black socks look best of all when teamed with miserable weather, knee warmers and shoe covers that cover up black socks completely.

    Black socks look ridiculous when worn with shorts/no knee warmers.

    I have kind of grown to like the longer sock look, I think they make one’s guns look leaner.

  15. And I think black shoes look awful.

  16. I have just acquired several pairs of these – which I could equally well post in the Andre Tchmil thread.

    And speaking of ankle-wear can I also note in the main photo, difficult though it is to look past the Prophet, that the policeman is wearing some very natty spats.

    Personally I think the downfall of western civilisation will eventually be traced back to the demise of spats, hats and powdered wigs.

  17. @Nof Landrien

    And I think black shoes look awful.

    I agree! I love white shoes, always wore white cleats when playing other sports and still wear white soccer cleats. (I do have some silver cycling shoes.)

    I still gasp when I look down and see black shoes when I’m cx riding, but hey, it just makes more sense when riding off road. I’m not wiping my white cx shoes down after every ride.

    And on this note, white bar tape looks PRO, but not when dirty. If you are going to use it, keep it clean. If not, go black. I don’t understand why people run white bar tape on a cx bike. Just going to get fucked up instantly. Dirty white tape looks decidedly un-PRO.

  18. @All its an interesting point but my personal feeling on it is that co-ordination is met through order. The picture for the article shows a White/Black/White/Black order from shirt to shorts to socks to shoes. For sure I aspire to one day be that organised and pay that much attention to detail, but alas that day is not yet here. I pretty much always go for black shorts/bib shorts when out, i am getting a couple of pairs of wool shorts soon. The shirts depend on how I am feeling but I got my black wool cannibal shirt from soigneur,

    my really nice green weils wool shirt from vintage velo

    as well as some other cheaper and general purpose shirts (non team editions), I have a pair of white shoes and also my father is sending me a pair of limited edition sidi’s he got that were too big which i am a little tentative about as I am sure they are gold or something like that!!

    However, when I really think about all those times I go out for a ride normally I am in such a rush to get out the door and on the bike after thinking about it all day at work that I usually grab whatever is quickest to hand and charge out the front door down the two flights of stairs from my apartment and off into the wild.

  19. @Harminator
    aye i agree Cav’s learning there was this tweet shortly after the worlds

    “So black shorts with World Champ stripes is illegal. I can only use white ones with the stripes. ABSOLUTE NO! I will use my team shorts.”

    I don’t understand why the UCI are such retentive bastards, suppose it’s in their nature

  20. @huffalotpuffalot
    There is but one word to describe the exhibit of Manx projectile in green, blasphemy. You earn the green jersey, not the green outfit.

  21. @sgt

    Piffle and rot! Socks should match kit. If we ever get V-socks, I’ll wear whatever color is offered.

    Part of the reason this isn’t as high on the priority list as some of you would like is because the socs would just be white, maybe with a thin black or orange line at the top. Always remember: don’t over-match your shit.

  22. @Sam

    @Harminator
    aye i agree Cav’s learning there was this tweet shortly after the worlds
    “So black shorts with World Champ stripes is illegal. I can only use white ones with the stripes. ABSOLUTE NO! I will use my team shorts.”
    I don’t understand why the UCI are such retentive bastards, suppose it’s in their nature

    That is very promising. We’ll see if he stops acting like such a douche too. Its possible, it happened to Cuddles.

  23. Seems to me that all of this seriously weakens the case for anything other than black or white shoes on an entirely weather dependent basis. It would take some masterful work to pull off red shoes but as far as green and yellow go, even if you’ve earn’t the jerseys on the tour, yellow or green shoes are a complete no go area!

    The only exception in the photos above would be Pantani, he’s looking rather fine there but it’s not a look for mortals.

    Shoe/sock colour in cross country mountain biking should be similarly viewed, your’e going to get muddy so black. I found the more gravity assisted part of the sport to impossible to get right so opted for shin pads and/or moto inspired trousers but only in black, none of the Troy Lee pyjama malarkey.

  24. RE: Sidi sizing – I have some 2007 Genius 6.6s in a 43, fit very nicely. In 2010 Ergo 2s I had to go down to a 42. I hope this is a model sizing issue and not the sign that even Italian shoe makers are getting lazy about sizing. I sure as heck know I keep on needing smaller sized clothes to fit me, as I think they’re bumping them up to accommodate the ever-expanding U.S. waistline.

  25. @frank
    i really hope so, out here in the uk he’s our most successful sportsman atm it’d be really good for him to be accepted on the world stage, although i get the impression that he doesn’t care, which i actually kinda like, bit of a paradox

  26. @frank
    And a V-cog, please.

  27. @Ron

    I agree! I love white shoes, always wore white cleats when playing other sports and still wear white soccer cleats.

    Absolutely not! Anything but black boots (not cleats, for chrissakes!) is a crime and you’re probably one of those flopping drama queens who get shot three or four times a game (and don’t tell me you also have that god-awful tongue that covers the laces, too). That, or you’re a prima donna with custom shoes (which means you’re both). This is not a good look on the pitch and should be avoided at all costs. Am I digressing? You bet your white socks I am, but this is important. Exhibit A: what color boots is Vinnie wearing?
    Frank may nod snob a kid, but this is badass:

  28. @Steampunk
    Spot on, nipple lube and +1. Football or rugby, black boots only.

    The kid wasn’t wearing black boots, he dived.

  29. @Chris

    @Steampunk
    Spot on, nipple lube and +1. Football or rugby, black boots only.
    The kid wasn’t wearing black boots, he dived.

    …or deserved to be chopped down…

  30. Listen boys, here here. I know I am late in coming, but unless your like Cipo above, none of us can pull off what PRO’s do. The perpetual arguements to wear or not to wear, this is the question: ‘white socks/white shoes’ or ‘black socks…and…anything’.

    by the way, kudos to Gianni for making the case, you do your side very well, but I must hold firm to my previously held beliefs that indeed black socks are worthy our wearing, thus I agree w/Routier on this and micheal. Here are just a few reasons for my firmly held conviction on such a serious subject.

    1. Weather does dictate some common sense, does it not? Fine, apply your rule V in white socks, and your a little less cool when your arrive’ home looking like you just sharted all over your socks. If you return pristine, you aint riding…its ONE or the other. Ride in black, mud or muck and mire…is…just…fine

    2. Its like wearing white bibs…not cool, unless your like the last rider i saw ride in the rain w/that one, and his red chamois looked like he was on his period..common, black…its the new white.

    3. IF…and only IF you arrive at the start, dressed PRO in white socks, silver shoes, you DAMN better be ready to sprint to every stoplight, cause you will be expected to back it. Roule up in black, there are no expectations friends…your old afterall. Now, black socks beating white socks…hmm…now your old and fast.

    4. Cav’s a midget, point taken, his socks don’t matter and he is the reason many masturbate and don’t procreate. My wife is getting over a rabid sinus infection and was blowing stuff out of her head that looked like Cavs green socks…and PRO or not, one should never have socks that color. Its just wrong.

    5. Pantani can do what he wants, he’s immortalized forever

  31. When observing Rule #9, black socks are acceptable. On all other days, white only.

  32. I prefer the dark grey color of DeFeet’s standard wool sock, for all weather conditions. Paired with my black sidis (though I wouldn’t mind a white pair…).

  33. What a bunch of metro-sexuals! Run what ya brung (says the guy with many pairs of variously coloured socks)…

  34. Gianni, you put forward an excellent point of view. As a serial lurker here, I have seen all type of reverence toward the rules displayed.
    However, does sock colour actually matter? If you are laying down masses of V and dishing out the hurt to those wearing pristine white socks of acceptable length, what does the colour of the socks matter?
    I note in Rule #33, that the guns must be shaved, BUT if not, then be prepared to dish out the hurt. Can we not have a similar understanding on socks?

  35. @mattb

    This is almost a call for anarchy. Lets have a simillar clause on every rule! Lets all wear rayban Aviators with mountain bike helmets. Sure if you can dish out the hurt leave your legs hairy. Wear black socks. Hell why not baggy shorts and ride a recumbent. God damn it being able to heap out the V should not be a licence to dress however you please! Standards and decorum count! Does sock colour matter?? Does it matter? Hell yeah it matters!

  36. Steampunk – Ah ha ha, thank goodness Vinnie hasn’t gotten me yet. I do love white boots for futbol, also always wore white cleats/turfs during my 14 years of lacrosse, and my road shoes are one white pair, one silver.

    Sorry, I just dig white shoes. However, I have never, ever taken a dive in my life. I actually think all the diving pros do hurts the popularity of soccer.

    Just don’t tell Vinnie where I live.

  37. @frank

    For a man who can afford a Cervelo rain bike, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you can afford another Planet Bike light. Now I don’t mean to go on about it, but I had the red/white and I guess it’s on the smashed bike which the sheriff still has, but I replaced it with the black/white light and it really looks nice on the bike hanging on the wall. One of those little things that makes all the difference in the world.

  38. @Ron
    Vinnie already knows where you live.

  39. @paolo

    @mattb
    This is almost a call for anarchy. Lets have a simillar clause on every rule! Lets all wear rayban Aviators with mountain bike helmets. Sure if you can dish out the hurt leave your legs hairy. Wear black socks. Hell why not baggy shorts and ride a recumbent. God damn it Does it matter? Hell yeah it matters!

    Sounds like what would happen if the keepers ever cut loose in Vegas. (that they never, ever talk about)

  40. @paolo

    @mattb
    This is almost a call for anarchy. Lets have a simillar clause on every rule! Lets all wear rayban Aviators with mountain bike helmets. Sure if you can dish out the hurt leave your legs hairy. Wear black socks. Hell why not baggy shorts and ride a recumbent. God damn it being able to heap out The V should not be a licence to dress however you please! Standards and decorum count! Does sock colour matter?? Does it matter? Hell yeah it matters!

    Sorry old mate, I didn’t write the addenum to Rule #33 about making sure you can dish out the hurt if you choose not to shave the guns – it’s there. Was just posing a scenario for a similar addenum for sock colour. Was just a thought.

  41. Steampunk – NOoooo! Damn, I do have a backup pair of boots in black, might have to dig them out.

    Souleur – “4. Cav’s a midget, point taken, his socks don’t matter and he is the reason many masturbate and don’t procreate. My wife is getting over a rabid sinus infection and was blowing stuff out of her head that looked like Cavs green socks…and PRO or not, one should never have socks that color. Its just wrong.”

    Woah now! Some of us are the same size as that Manxman. Socks aside, I think ya’ll are just jealous of our wee-yet-light-and-stiff frames, plus our normal looking head tubes. Don’t be hatin’ on the sub-175 centi lads! (though his style choices do leave something to be desired)

  42. WHat bout gray. It’s not my fault, I was placing an online order and for a few dollars more I would get free shipping. So I got a pair of $10 cycling socks. $10 for one pair of socks and they were on sale!!! That’s crazy right? like spending $500 on a bottle of wineBut I was blinded by the lure of free shipping. Blinded also to the fact that they were ugly as sin. Everytime I wear them I am made aware that I am a fashion moron. But hey they have a lifetime warranty.

    my ugly ass expensive socks

  43. @Harminator
    It was nice having you around! Be very, very scared if you ever visit Ireland.

  44. @frank
    Every time Frank posts a pick of his bike with that “yard o’seat pin” I keep thinking he must be 8′ tall and have arms 4′ long. It’s just not normal, I tell ya . . .

  45. @Nof Landrien
    I kinda agree here. White shoes = white socks. Black shoes = white or black socks. Shorts only? white at all times. Knee warmers/knicks, black, because if it’s that cold/chilly, you shouldn’t wear whire shoes.

  46. @Steampunk
    The Newcastle player is Paul Gascoigne. I’m sure the tosser deserved what he got.

  47. @Steampunk
    Possibly deserved it. One he’s wearing trainers. Two, he’s a ginger. Three, Vinnie’s playing for Leeds. That’s a license to be a merciless bastard. For evidence see the film The Damned United.

  48. @DDD
    Thank fuck most of those are covered by the shoes. The socks should have been free, not the shipping.

  49. @ron
    hey, no hater here, my wife is 4’10”, i love little people

    you struck what a cord w/what I like to give Cav a hard time about, style & class. But hey, give him credit where it is due, he is making it over mtns that before his tender hymen couldn’t take

  50. @wiscot
    I’m going way off topic, but Gazza was part of a “talented” generation of British footballers””Hoddle, Robson, Butcher, etc.””who were supposed to bring the World Cup “home.” But never did, because they were never really that good. The Brits should have fielded a side of Vinnies and run roughshod over the world. The Irish did exactly that in 1990 and scared the bejayzus out of everyone. But they accepted that they were a lunchpail crew””domestiques everyone. More than twenty years on, though, I still giggle uncontrollably at both those pics.

    Back on message. Black.

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