Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna.

Tracing back to the origin of this trend, we find ourselves irrevocably wagging our judging finger at none other than Lance Armstrong. Personally, I find his foray into tall, black socks and long bibshorts far more offensive than his doping; at least his doping respected the history of the sport whereas his choice of sock and bib length was an affront to taste and style with long lasting effect.

Sock lengths have been heading steadily upwards over the past decade; once the only sock available was a white 3/4 sock but today we have socks of all lengths, shapes, and sizes. Bibshorts used to be mid-thigh or less, whereas now they fall just shy of the knee. It is outrageous and the Pros, to whom we look to for cues on style, are setting the trend. It is a disgrace.

I say enough is enough. This foul trend must come to an end. We cultivate our massive guns with great pride, yet these cover their magnificence with long shorts and socks.

  1. Reveal the V in order to Feel the V. Bibshorts must not migrate below the uppermost point of the inverted V created by our quadriceps.
  2. Avoid the chokehold. As much as we want to Reveal The V, we don’t want to go around choking the flow off by wearing our bibs too high. Bibshorts should come at least to the midpoint of the thigh.
  3. Sockless is about as bad as riding in a speedo (I’m looking at you, triathletes.) A fellow joined a group ride not too long ago wearing ankle socks and I made him go sort that shit out before we started the ride. Some things just aren’t done.
  4. Compression socks are for recovery only. Maybe not even that. And knee-high socks or only for sassy women Cyclocrossers. Maybe. But they absolutely, unequivocally are not for riding on the road. Seriously.
  5. Settle into Zone 3. Just like training in zones, we want to keep our socks in the right zones as well. The optimum sock length rests at a point of your choosing within a range of 2cm above or below the narrowest point of your shin.

Help stave off the apocalypse and bring balance back to the V. Friends don’t let friends violation the Goldilocks Principle.

Study this. Absorb it. Courtesy of @CycleChick

Sock length as decreed by our friend @winnipegcyclechick

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127 Replies to “Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio”

  1. @Paul D

    It’s very difficult not to wear your bib shorts long when you’re only 5’4″. I wish the manufacturers would realise small doesn’t just mean mountain goat skinny but that some of us are just plain short. I mean I use a pair of knee warmers and some overshoes and I have full length leg warmers.

    While I admit one needs to be very careful when taking style cues from Tommy V, he manages it by just pulling them up and letting his bibs bunch up a bit. Its not ideal, but its better than wearing them too long.

    Bettini did the same as well. And

  2. @teleguy57

    @wiscot

    I adhere to the lowest level in the Pro range. Socks that length are as long as they need to be and have the advantage of showing maximum calf/ankle definition. I’m also a white sock guy. Maybe, maybe black, but colors? Never.

    BTW, was there ANYTHING Hinault didn’t excel at? Certainly not in the sartorial department. That pic of him is perfection.

    Oh, and Armstrong is, and always will be COTHO.

    +1 @Wiscot on all your points. Although on socks I do make one exception for color in season with the appropriate jerseys and green-striped tires:

    Are you Flandrien?

  3. @Beers

    @teleguy57

    @wiscot

    I adhere to the lowest level in the Pro range. Socks that length are as long as they need to be and have the advantage of showing maximum calf/ankle definition. I’m also a white sock guy. Maybe, maybe black, but colors? Never.

    BTW, was there ANYTHING Hinault didn’t excel at? Certainly not in the sartorial department. That pic of him is perfection.

    Oh, and Armstrong is, and always will be COTHO.

    +1 @Wiscot on all your points. Although on socks I do make one exception for color in season with the appropriate jerseys and green-striped tires:

    Are you Flandrien?

    Nah, Cheesehead (WI).  A strong Belgian community in Door County WI (reported to the be largest Belgian settlement in the US of A) that is both Flandrien and Walloon.  My wife grew up with her Irish/German father yelling “allez, allez” to her when she was late.  I’m much more a rouleur than grimpeur by body type (in other words, too fat to climb) but really just a Flandrien wanna-be in my Walter Mitty dreams.

  4. Ah, home of the Cheesehead Roubaix. I just wondered, what with the appropriation of the Lion, whether there was any resentment in the Flemish community to it being bandied about, and at times, utilised to market products or events that have nothing to do with their homeland.

    I can’t see myself wearing the colours of another countries flag for example, so it may seem curious to them why others may wish to make the Lion their own.

    However, it may also be a source of pride that people wish to identify with the mystical culture, location and athletes that come from Vlaanderen.

    As you were good sir.

  5. @Beers

    Ah, home of the Cheesehead Roubaix. I just wondered, what with the appropriation of the Lion, whether there was any resentment in the Flemish community to it being bandied about, and at times, utilised to market products or events that have nothing to do with their homeland.

    I can’t see myself wearing the colours of another countries flag for example, so it may seem curious to them why others may wish to make the Lion their own.

    However, it may also be a source of pride that people wish to identify with the mystical culture, location and athletes that come from Vlaanderen.

    As you were good sir.

    Yes, the Cheesehead Roubaix is a fun event; looking forward to riding it again this year.

    I tend to think of the Lion/tricolour/etc as signs of respect and reverence rather than inappropriate appropriation.  Just like we’re cool with anyone who wears Packer Green and Gold in admiration.

  6. @teleguy57

    My wife grew up with her Irish/German father yelling “allez, allez” to her when she was late.

    Well that figures in a US Euro sort of way………

  7. @frank

    @Paul D

    It’s very difficult not to wear your bib shorts long when you’re only 5’4″. I wish the manufacturers would realise small doesn’t just mean mountain goat skinny but that some of us are just plain short. I mean I use a pair of knee warmers and some overshoes and I have full length leg warmers.

    While I admit one needs to be very careful when taking style cues from Tommy V, he manages it by just pulling them up and letting his bibs bunch up a bit. Its not ideal, but its better than wearing them too long.

    Bettini did the same as well. And

    Ugliest Colnago of all time? Also, I wonder how Tommy is feeling about being on BHs after a lot of time on Colnago. Will we see more or less face pulling?

    Also…I have a cat named Cricket. All black, smart as hell, picked up by the VMH when he got tailed off the family autobuss crossing a busy road.

  8. Tommeke’s rule on shorts:  http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/03/news/road/champions-legwarmer-code_397158

    A man intimately familiar not only with the Rules, but also how to appropriately flout them.  Throw in a touch of arrogance and a heaping helping of V, and you have a true Champion.

  9. @Frank  Aren’t you going about this all wrong? Maybe we’d get more traction petitioning the UCI to pass rules on this matter. That always seems to work…

    (if someone already said this, sorry. 115 posts is just too damn many to read in detail)

  10. Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

  11. @Ron

    @frank

    @Paul D

    It’s very difficult not to wear your bib shorts long when you’re only 5’4″. I wish the manufacturers would realise small doesn’t just mean mountain goat skinny but that some of us are just plain short. I mean I use a pair of knee warmers and some overshoes and I have full length leg warmers.

    While I admit one needs to be very careful when taking style cues from Tommy V, he manages it by just pulling them up and letting his bibs bunch up a bit. Its not ideal, but its better than wearing them too long.

    Bettini did the same as well. And

    Ugliest Colnago of all time? Also, I wonder how Tommy is feeling about being on BHs after a lot of time on Colnago. Will we see more or less face pulling?

    Also…I have a cat named Cricket. All black, smart as hell, picked up by the VMH when he got tailed off the family autobuss crossing a busy road.

    Ron, no Colnago C-59 is ugly. I’d take that bike in a second. Are we allowed to ride all yellow bikes? Maybe that is too much like riding around in a maillot jaune.

  12. @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    Tony Martin?

  13. @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    The guy in the middle looks as though he is throwing up having just seen the awesomeness of the V socks and compared with his shorties.

  14. @Teocalli

    @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    The guy in the middle looks as though he is throwing up having just seen the awesomeness of the V socks and compared with his shorties.

    The “guy in the middle” just rode over 1000k in one effort – from Melbourne to Adelaide – in 40 hours. His socks suck but he and the Man with the Hammer are best mates.

  15. @Teocalli

    @Harminator

    In which case – Respect.

    Said photo was from early last year. In the intervening period I have dispensed more knowledge on the mad bastard, which has been quite successful in quelling his female tennis player tendencies, however he still seems to be struggling with Rule #50…

    That’s Sam 2nd from left, this was taken just after they ticked over the 1,000k mark, with about 10k of climbing to go, before a glorious 20k descent to their finish at the Adelaide Oval. Those aren’t yet Recovery Ales, as there was still energy to be expended they are Hops Based Sports Drinks.

  16. @Harminator

    @Teocalli

    @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    The guy in the middle looks as though he is throwing up having just seen the awesomeness of the V socks and compared with his shorties.

    The “guy in the middle” just rode over 1000k in one effort – from Melbourne to Adelaide – in 40 hours. His socks suck but he and the Man with the Hammer are best mates.

     

    Same day, same ride, sock length impeccable.  Race number on bike indicates next level up however.

    No pies were consumed by this bloke before heading back to Adelaide.

  17. @RobSandy

    @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    Tony Martin?

    Not quite, the lineage is Danish, not German, there’s also the small matter of possessing about 1/4 of the power…

  18. @Barracuda

    @Harminator

    @Teocalli

    @Mikael Liddy

    Sure, this is nowhere near as impressive as the perfection demonstrated by Lizzie further up the page, but just to make a few of you jealous, here’s an example of just how good the length is on those v-socks.

    The guy in the middle looks as though he is throwing up having just seen the awesomeness of the V socks and compared with his shorties.

    The “guy in the middle” just rode over 1000k in one effort – from Melbourne to Adelaide – in 40 hours. His socks suck but he and the Man with the Hammer are best mates.

    Same day, same ride, sock length impeccable. Race number on bike indicates next level up however.

    No pies were consumed by this bloke before heading back to Adelaide.

    I don’t know, man.  Those socks look a centimeter or two too high for me.  But I always tend aesthetically toward the lower level of the correct sock zone.

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