The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

by / / 127 posts

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

// Accessories and Gear // La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. @wiscot

    @chris

    I’m struggling with bib placement at the moment, there’s no inverted V being created by any quadriceps in my sausage legs. In my defence, I’d say my socks are usually pretty much spot on. That could be at risk unless @frank gets some more of the awesome DeFeet V-socks back on the gear page.

    In the meantime, more classic Badger courtesy of Big Ring Riding

    OK LADS, I READ THE NEWS AND THE MAIN STORY IS YOU’RE ALL FUCKING SLOW AND I’M THE BOSS

    It also says “I’m way ahead of you luddites with my sweet Look pedals and my blue Patrick shoes. Black shoes are so old school. Get with it FFS!”

    That being said, there are a lot of iconic jerseys in that picture: Skil, Peugeot, Renault, Kwantum and Verandalux.

    Meanwhile the lad on the right is of into the woods to cry as he’s just realised he’ll never cut it…

  2. @chris

    I was referring to all that other rubbish.

  3. @Oli

    Sorry, mate. Thought the stripes were green…then they’re just bad!

  4. @chuckp

    Those sox… you couldn’t shoot me dead and get ’em on my feet. They’re perfectly horrible. Where do you even find such things? Never mind, I don’t wanna know… But I do dig ’em. Cheers!

    And agree on Lizzie btw. So, so much class.

  5. @Barracuda

    Per the guide, one’s name must also be Tiffany to be in Zone 5

    But at the same time, not every Tiffany must be in Zone 5…

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    Correct and well played, two different guides with two very different results.

    Well,, one a chart and one a matrix.

  7. @The Pressure

    Then as we say in the Antipodes, get fucked!

    (said with a smile, of course)

  8. @Matt

    Has anyone else noticed the common theme between the current World Champs? I’m not talking about black shorts.

    Deep drops, baby.

    All the cool bastards ride huge deep drops.

  9. 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.

  10. All I’ve got to say about this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7qQ6_RV4VQ

  11. @nowave7

    Good point or even……

  12. @Teocalli

    That also works well!

  13. @frank

    @chris

    I was referring to all that other rubbish.

    But to go back to the other point: Any chance of DeFeet V socks in the gear page anytime soon???

  14. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    Ya, sorry about the gazillion posts today, Frahnk. The VMH let me have three espressos this morning and I forgot to take the meds as well.

    Fuck, what are you going to do, eh?

    Three espressos is a normal start to my day.

  15. @wilburrox

    Those sox… you couldn’t shoot me dead and get ’em on my feet. They’re perfectly horrible. Where do you even find such things? Never mind, I don’t wanna know… But I do dig ’em. Cheers!

    And agree on Lizzie btw. So, so much class.

    They are Sock Guy 6″ Tartan Crew socks. Not a current model, but can be found if you hunt around.

  16. @wiscot

    @harminator

    @frank

    @RobSandy

    @Harminator

    And can someone tell me who the very first picture in the slideshow is? It’s driving me nuts.

    Its Hinault. TDF Prologue 1981. Stud.

    (yep, I looked it up).

    Thought it must be but doesn’t really look like him. He’s got the right grimace though.

    Doesn’t look like Hinault? Rubbish.

    Is this more familiar?

    My brother used to tell me that there’s a lot of tough looking guys at the pub but very few are tough enough to throw the first punch. The pro peloton has many puncheurs but very few punchers. Hinault was/is both.

    I love Phil Anderson’s “this was not in the brochure” expression.

    Phil’s “punch” would knock the shin off a rice pudding. Hinault’s, on the other hand, would break the container holding said rice pudding to smithereens. Notice how the Badger had a hold of his victim with the left hand while readying the haymaker.

    One also had to admire M. Hinault’s torso: trim waist and nice, solid rib cage containing the lungs and a heart of a legend.

    Oh man, the tie eye prior to the haymaker is KEY for smashing your opponent. For anyone who has been in a hockey fight, you know this. Boxers are so good, they don’t need to. I’m always surprised when athletes in other sports have fights and the dudes look like they’ve never thrown a punch. Weird for a pro athlete to look so uncoordinated.

    Hinault clearly was an undersized power forward before he got into cycling. Tie them up, immobilize their throwing arm AND be able to line them up for a haymaker. Basics.

  17. @Ron

    @wiscot

    @harminator

    @frank

    @RobSandy

    @Harminator

    And can someone tell me who the very first picture in the slideshow is? It’s driving me nuts.

    Its Hinault. TDF Prologue 1981. Stud.

    (yep, I looked it up).

    Thought it must be but doesn’t really look like him. He’s got the right grimace though.

    Doesn’t look like Hinault? Rubbish.

    Is this more familiar?

    My brother used to tell me that there’s a lot of tough looking guys at the pub but very few are tough enough to throw the first punch. The pro peloton has many puncheurs but very few punchers. Hinault was/is both.

    I love Phil Anderson’s “this was not in the brochure” expression.

    Phil’s “punch” would knock the shin off a rice pudding. Hinault’s, on the other hand, would break the container holding said rice pudding to smithereens. Notice how the Badger had a hold of his victim with the left hand while readying the haymaker.

    One also had to admire M. Hinault’s torso: trim waist and nice, solid rib cage containing the lungs and a heart of a legend.

    Oh man, the tie eye prior to the haymaker is KEY for smashing your opponent. For anyone who has been in a hockey fight, you know this. Boxers are so good, they don’t need to. I’m always surprised when athletes in other sports have fights and the dudes look like they’ve never thrown a punch. Weird for a pro athlete to look so uncoordinated.

    Hinault clearly was an undersized power forward before he got into cycling. Tie them up, immobilize their throwing arm AND be able to line them up for a haymaker. Basics.

    Also, this photo can be used as a metaphor for Hinault’s whole cycling persona – grab your opponents by the throat, knock them out, then ride off to victory. Beat them by beating them up, psychologically and physically.

  18. Here is what you used to need to go for a jog: running shoes. Here is what some Ad “Man” has convinced modern joggers they need: arm sleeves, leg sleeves, bottle belts, special hats, special shades. I’m convinced some joggers spend more time getting dressed than they do ambling around for a few KMs.

  19. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @chris

    I was referring to all that other rubbish.

    But to go back to the other point: Any chance of DeFeet V socks in the gear page anytime soon???

    It was the only real point, but one worth repeating: Any chance of DeFeet V socks in the gear page anytime soon????

  20. @RobSandy

    Do you suppose Hinault sewed a fight strap to that LVC sweater jersey?

  21. @Ron

    Oh man, the tie eye prior to the haymaker is KEY for smashing your opponent. For anyone who has been in a hockey fight, you know this. Boxers are so good, they don’t need to. I’m always surprised when athletes in other sports have fights and the dudes look like they’ve never thrown a punch. Weird for a pro athlete to look so uncoordinated.

    Hinault clearly was an undersized power forward before he got into cycling. Tie them up, immobilize their throwing arm AND be able to line them up for a haymaker. Basics.

    …and the recipient has made the mistake of moving away thereby giving Hinault maximum swing power vs moving inside the swing to defuse it.

  22. @RobSandy

    @frank

    @RobSandy

    @Harminator

    And can someone tell me who the very first picture in the slideshow is? It’s driving me nuts.

    Its Hinault. TDF Prologue 1981. Stud.

    (yep, I looked it up).

    Thought it must be but doesn’t really look like him. He’s got the right grimace though.

    Doesn’t look like Hinault? Rubbish.

    Is this more familiar?

    Or this?

    Or this?

    Or this?

    Yeah, yeah, ok. It’s obviously him, just must be a strange angle on his face.

    Perhaps I didn’t recognise him because he’s not punching someone or blatantly crushing their soul.

    I say this a lot, but Hinault is a fucking legend.

    You may be forgiven if you could say you’re better acquainted with his knuckles than his face.

  23. @Oli

    With all due respect (insert smilie)

  24. @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

  25. @The Pressure

    *nods cagily yet with air of respect*

  26. @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?

  27. Top end of Zone #03?

    Nice seeing WC jersey and black bibs! No gloves! Pity pinning race number not upside down.

    Great pic from Gruber Images

  28. Peter has shaved recently…….

  29. @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.

  30. 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.

  31. @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.

  32. @sthilzy

    Top end of Zone #03?

    Nice seeing WC jersey and black bibs! No gloves! Pity pinning race number not upside down.

    Great pic from Gruber Images

    Perfection on a bike!

  33. @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………

  34. @sthilzy

    Peter has shaved recently…….

    Damn! Man, he had the Jim Morrison locks going there. Loved his hair. Pure head hair envy here! Now if we could only get him to shave his legs!!!

  35. @RobSandy

    @sthilzy

    Top end of Zone #03?

    Nice seeing WC jersey and black bibs! No gloves! Pity pinning race number not upside down.

    Great pic from Gruber Images

    Perfection on a bike!

    Amen.

    Quite magnificent.

  36. @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.

  37. 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.

  38. @Scott

    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.

    Interesting, but mostly because the idea was aired here by Frank in January…

    Gunslinger

  39. @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)

  40. 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.

  41. @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.

  42. @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?

  43. @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.

  44. @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.

  45. @Harminator

    In which case – Respect.

  46. @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.

  47. @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.

  48. @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…

  49. @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.

  50. @frank

    @wiscot

    Looks better in the photos than it does on TV.

    The backstory for this just popped up on Rouleur’s site today – https://rouleur.cc/journal/history/bernard-hinault-punch

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