The Color White

I saw the Black Crowes in concert some years ago, and as the band swung into their first number, Chris Robinson casually strolled onstage wearing head to toe white sequins. Later in the show, he remarked that nothing quite makes you feel like a virgin like wearing white.

The color white is indeed a bold statement. A white house declares to the neighborhood that the homeowners are committed to give nature the what-for and keep it pristine at all times. Similarly, the Cyclist who wears white declares that they are willing to take their chances against road grime, despite effectively turning themselves into a human mudflap.

White is like hanging a “Kick Me” sign on Nature.

I personally find it irresistible. White bar tape and socks, even on a bike I expect to get dirty, is a must. I do admit to going through phases where I’ll experiment with black or orange socks or bar tape like a temperamental tween experimenting with talking back to their parents. But I always find myself irrevocably drawn back to white.

When I was 13, I bought my first Selle San Marco Regal saddle in perforated white leather. (I promptly crashed on it). It matched my Scott Drop-Ins which were wrapped in white Benotto bar tape, as well as the white spatters on my early Nineties paintjob. It was many years later before I bought myself some White Ladies. And to be fair, as much as I love my Orange Damsels, there is nothing like a clean, white pair of socks matched to a clean, white pair of shoes. Just ask Tom Boonen.

White sunglasses are a must as well, and after a short foray from the path, I’m back on the white helmet program. White jerseys tend to look sharper than their dark counterparts (assuming your physical qualities don’t require the slimming effect of black.) I’m on a quest for a white bike, but people seem loathe to make me one, as they are apparently unlucky. (I’m going for the next best thing: silver sparkles.)

White is bold and requires a concerted effort to ensure one keeps it pristine, but it pays you back by Looking incomparably Fantastic. It seems the only place where white doesn’t look better is on bibshorts. Go figure.

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122 Replies to “The Color White”

  1. @Teocalli

    No, close though.. :)  Its heading up the Gap Of Dunloe outside Killarney; heading for the Black Valley. It was for the 30th anniversary of the Nissan Classic in 2015

  2. @slatanic

    @Teocalli No, close though.. :) Its heading up the Gap Of Dunloe outside Killarney; heading for the Black Valley. It was for the 30th anniversary of the Nissan Classic in 2015

    2

    Brilliant!  Abso-fucking-lutely BRILLIANT!!!  I must ride this once I have my ’85 Hinault!!!

  3. @Cary

    this bike is completely outstanding. i think the MX Leader ranks as the finest steel frame ever seen in the pro peloton. i like it better than the Colbago Master.

    cue music – I just can’t seem to get enough – Depeche Mode. I’ll need to make an effort to find yous Velominati out at this year’s Cogal somewhere — a meeting of the machines

  4. Was playing some futbol last evening when a guy rode by on a nice bike in some classy kit. I couldn’t stop staring and the other team scored on us (I was playing in the back), I didn’t let on what distracted me, in order to keep hidden the depths of my cycling obsessed from the footballers.

    It was so refreshing! I either see folks in boring basic kit or totally outrageous clown college stuff. I’m already dreaming of churning out the KMs this weekend and looking down to see my white shoes and white socks. (Then again, a tropical storm is coming this way, so might have to go for less virginal gear).

  5. @Ron

    I love the FDJ kit, no matter what color bibs. AND, I like the AG2R kit as well. F the boring all black or black and white kits. So many ugly ones out there. Red and black are ugly too.

    0

    I’m with you on the FDJ kit.  And the AG2R kit has grown on me over time.

  6. @chuckp

    @Ron

    I love the FDJ kit, no matter what color bibs. AND, I like the AG2R kit as well. F the boring all black or black and white kits. So many ugly ones out there. Red and black are ugly too.

    0

    I’m with you on the FDJ kit. And the AG2R kit has grown on me over time.

    0

    I will add my voice in solidarity. I like the AG2R kit.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Bardet won the Tour?

  7. @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    @Ron

    I love the FDJ kit, no matter what color bibs. AND, I like the AG2R kit as well. F the boring all black or black and white kits. So many ugly ones out there. Red and black are ugly too.

    0

    I’m with you on the FDJ kit. And the AG2R kit has grown on me over time.

    0

    I will add my voice in solidarity. I like the AG2R kit. Wouldn’t it be nice if Bardet won the Tour?

    0

    Hear, hear gentlemen! Nice to see some sanity around these parts when it comes to pro kit  I like the AG2R and FDJ kits a lot. They tweak them each year, but they stay essentially the same. The current Jumbo kit is a shocker – and not in a good way. EQS is always good. Sunweb is ok but the old B&W Giant kit was a classic. Sky? Boring. Astana? Boring.

  8. @Randy C

    @chuckp So the Hollands is just dripping class. And the Felt, you just know, has to be a sweet ride. So… which one is getting the most miles ? The modern C or the classic lugged steel ? I have a good buddy with a collection of classic Italian steel but it’s his C Merckx that gets the miles. @litvi Wow ! When I get big I’m gonna get me something in Celeste. And if not a bike, then it’ll be a Fender in Sea-foam Green. That’s a sweet bike. @MangoDave And did you start this whole thread of awesome bikes ?!? @DoctorNurse I love black bikes. And have more than a few. That collection ? Makes me want a white one ! Well…not really. But I sure appreciate that room full of beauties for sure. Cheers all

    0

    Been traveling for a while, recently back and catching up here.  No, I don’t think I can take credit for starting posts of awesome bikes, there are others before mine (but thx).  I do enjoy looking at everyones’ rides, no matter who started posting.

  9. @universo

    @MangoDave

    @universo

    @Buck Rogers

    @universo Damn! Now that’s a proper bike! Who made it? Frame?

    Eddy Merckx MX Leader — Noah Rosen of Velocolour turned my design scheme into his 2016 white edition. We collaborated on my understated graphics to carry only the an M, Columbus Dove, and Velocolour logos. Then M appears where needed and Velocolour added dashes of pink on the pantograph areas of crown and bridge.

    Nice! I’d love to see some photos of these details.

    thnx — much more detail @ velocolour

    1

    Such understated class!  Love it.

  10. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    I recently got some new White Ladies and picked up some of my favourite Goldilocks LG white socks on offer. I’ve got white fi’zi:k tape on currently but am going to re-wrap with white Lizardskins (when I have time to experiment with slamming my stem and changing the angles of my bar and hoods).

    I use Lizardskins bar tape and love it. But you should be aware that it gets dirty pretty easily and doesn’t clean up very easily.

     

    This just popped up as an old article – Chuck you were spot on. The Lizardskins I put on my former Nr#1 not long ago now looks shit. It gets dirtier every time I touch it and wont clean up.

    However, that bike is now my Nr#2 so will be rewrapping with black Fizik soon.

    Lesson for the class, unless you’re a Pro, if you’re going to go white, don’t go Lizardskins.

  11. @universo

    @RobSandy

    3T tape. I know now that I’ll never look at another bar tape.

    0

    My wife had 3T tape on her Bianchi. Furry stuff. It was shit.

    I’m now 100% Fizik, white or black, and my wife has Cav style camo Lizardskins.

  12. i still use Cinelli cork tape.  if you keep it clean, salt and sun bleach and fade it appealingly

  13. @Cary

    i still use Cinelli cork tape. if you keep it clean, salt and sun bleach and fade it appealingly

    0

    Sun??  Wazzat?

  14. @Teocalli

    @Cary

    i still use Cinelli cork tape. if you keep it clean, salt and sun bleach and fade it appealingly

    0

    Sun?? Wazzat?

    0

    my apologies.  i forgot y’all live in castles and the sun doesn’t shine for like half the year or something.  dragons and hogwarts and shit.

  15. The colour white; white shoes, white socks, mostly white jersey, white helmet and white-framed shades.

    I rocked my commute today.

    Plain black bibs though, I hasten to add…

  16. @RobSandy

    The colour white; white shoes, white socks, mostly white jersey, white helmet and white-framed shades.

    I rocked my commute today.

    Plain black bibs though, I hasten to add…

    0

    Saved by the bell

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