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. @Batt57

    At least your legs are Rule #33 compliant.

    Well the three inches we can see are, at least.

    Someone who could wear socks like that is probably capable of leaving their hairline below their shorts line.

  2. @Batt57
    Can’t see any socks but your knee warmers are riding a bit low.

  3. @Batt57

    Yeah, I liked them the most out of ones I tried, but finances dictate I must remain with my black MTB shoes. Is the sole stiff so far, any hot spots or the likes? Seems like a good value.

  4. @Batt57
    First look at this, but come on! When showing up for the first time and (hopefully) having read the rules, to post such a picture. Hopefully, after the pic was taken, you tossed those tube socks into the bike-cleaning rag box and slipped on a nice, virginal all-white pair of ankle-length socks. Why would you desecrate such a fine pair of shoes? Why?

  5. @Batt57
    Ha! Mission accomplished.
    My guess is that with those cankles you need something to hide them. Black is very slimming. Either that or it’s the distortion of the phone camera lens.
    Re the Mavics. I’ve had my Pro’s for two weeks now and I love em.

  6. @frank
    My question is, how are they going to carry that stuff while riding their fixies? A shameful way to dress in public. Maybe they just came from the Garmin launch. The sartorial bar at that shindig is lying flat on the floor.

  7. So, where does one find socks that don’t cost $10 per pair? Mikael alluded to some, but there is no link.

  8. Black Kit > White socks

  9. @sthilzy
    Seems you can pull this off as long as the jersey is unzipped, displaying your white base layer.

  10. @sthilzy

    Nice, but careful with Rule #35 and Rule #36

  11. So, not sure where to post this, and this article seemed as good a place as any, but I was hugely encouraged on reading an interview with Cav in The Times yesterday: ‘… he still feels a thrill every time he pulls on the rainbow jersey, although he insists that he is not about to follow some of the fashion disasters of his predecessors who daubed the bands on every spare inch of kit. “They were talking among the team, the [Sky] management, and thought I wanted extravagance, rainbows everywhere. I want the opposite. A lot of the sponsors want it everywhere but I didn’t win a rainbow helmet, I won a rainbow jersey. I’m a student of the sport. I like adhering to the traditions. I saw a picture of Eddie Merckx. I want to look like that. It’s my jersey, the biggest honour in cycling and I go out training in it every day. But I don’t want bands everywhere. The bands need to be treated with respect”…’

    He’s really growing on me… And I’ve been a fan for years. I’m now a BIG fan (at 88kg winter training weight, what other kind of fan could I be). #Cav4SPOTY oh, wrong website

  12. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  13. I read somewhere the original tour riders wore black socks. Black socks were easier to make look clean as the riders had to wash there own cloths each day

  14. @DerHoggz


    Are those Avenirs? How are they?

    Avenirs good for certain rides — and rain shoe. And (calling all V) help me to determine an unrelenting pair other than Zxellium Ultimate (Black) for race events — and intense days training ??

  15. @sthilzy
    Trust ELWOOD Black kit and White sock’ses (see Merckx embellished photo)

  16. MERCKX was backwards, so here it is with ELWOOD again.

  17. I mentioned much earlier in this thread that I sided with Gianni and his “socks are white” principle, but was reading William Fotheringham’s biography of Fausto Coppi this morning (sitting at the mechanic’s waiting for them to drop me with a new bike-sized bill””but it’s okay: I’m over that), and this came up.

    [At the 1940 Giro, Mario Ricci] had noticed that his young team-mate only wore black socks and asked him why. Coppi replied that as an independent he could not afford white ones, which got dirty far more quickly and were harder to wash. ‘We joked that when he won the pink jersey, he would get white socks to go with it.’

    Boom. White socks. End of.

  18. I prefer to keep the any-damn-colour-you-like rule. It’s first and foremost the size that matters, and knee socks on a road bike are just wrong (whereas non-white knee socks or no socks at all are a gentleman’s only two options when not cycling, of course.)

  19. The great Armstrong (as in Louis – arguably to Jazz what Merckx is to cycling) often wore white socks while in a suit or a tux.  Style is style.

    Satchmo in White Socks

  20. He was a great musician, and an unsophisticated dresser ad one can also tell by his fugly shirt-tie combination.

  21. White socks look cheap. Like a little kid who has a drawer full of tube socks his mother bought at the local swap meet.

  22. Rules for white socks found at The Cycling Scrapbook on FB

  23. @sthilzy this is gold dust!!

  24. @sthilzy Oh shit, I hope this copy write is expired or we’re fucked. That is gold.

  25. @marko I was only referring to 108 DRESS (b), re white socks. Anyhow, the rules  there were for amateurs. We’re here for The Rules for looking Pro.

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