Michele Bartoli, possibly the pioneer of the small frame and slammed stem.

Style and Fashion

by / / 74 posts

The difference between Style and Fashion is that Fashion changes, but style is something that persists through the ages. You can’t buy it, and you either have it or you don’t. In other words, you can get all the best and expensive kit and still look complete crap if you don’t have Style. Conversely, you can wear the most crap kit possible and make it look good if you have the gift. That is why photos of Anquetil, the Prophet and Roger de Vlaeminck still blow our minds even though they are wearing completely outdated kit. This is also why Pantani could wear lycra jeans and Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)

If there was an upside to the EPO era, it meant that a number of riders who had immaculate style may never have risen to the top of the fish bowl if it weren’t for EPO. Allegedly. Michele Bartoli was a prime example of a rider who was so doped up that he had plenty of bandwidth left for a complete and total commitment to Looking Fantastic at All Times. Allegedly. Let’s face facts (allegedly): the Mapei kit would have been lining the rubbish bin if it weren’t for riders like Bartoli and Frank Vandenbroucke. And Michele pioneered the mini-frame with long, slammed stem and a meter of seatpin.

I think we all agree that doping is wrong, but it doesn’t feel so wrong when they looked so good. We owe him a weighty debt for his contribution.

Shameless Plug: come down to the Rouleur Classic this week to listen to me cover this topic in greater detail. And then head to the pub with me afterward to hear me do it louder. My speaking schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday 19th – 22:00: Host Ned Boulting and I will talk about Style.
  • Friday 20th – 19:15: Host: Matt Barbet and I will talk about what is Cycling means to us as a lifestyle.
  • Saturday 21st – 13:30: Matt Stephens and I will discuss the dichotomy of being a profoundly innovative sport while at the same time being fiercely protective of our history and culture.

// Awesome Italian Guys // Belgian Affirmations // Evanescent Riders // Irreverence // Look Pro

  1. @Ron

    I think it’s because they’re so busy racing one another on Strava and the Saturday morning A-ride that they can’t locate any style. I’m always amazed. I’ll ride over there on the weekend and see many dudes out and never, ever see anyone cool.

    Maybe try talking to all those young dudes. I meet lots of cool people while I’m out riding. Maybe that means I’m not cool, but I’m cool with that.




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  2. @Apex Nadir

    @Ron

    I think it’s because they’re so busy racing one another on Strava and the Saturday morning A-ride that they can’t locate any style. I’m always amazed. I’ll ride over there on the weekend and see many dudes out and never, ever see anyone cool.

    Maybe try talking to all those young dudes. I meet lots of cool people while I’m out riding. Maybe that means I’m not cool, but I’m cool with that.

    @Apex Nadir knows what’s cooler than being cool… Ice cold!




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  3. @Owen

    True enough. Four days in the freezer I can handle. What really hurt was having my immaculate and carefully selected Santini kit compared to underwear.




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  4. @RedRanger

    The ultimate style photo.

    Immaculate. Flawless.




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  5. @Chipomarc

    Beer and movie night !

    Ok, he didn’t win the TdF seven times, but rode pretty well back in the 80’s

    What’s that shit you’re drinking?!




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  6. @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    That was one of the coolest helmets ever. I’d totally ride in it if I could still get one that was safe!




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  7. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    I’ve actually always liked the Aqua Sapone zebra kit. Along with Mapei, so 90s. So hideous but oh so cool. Have been tempted to get it. Would be great for #TbT ride.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but Aqua e Sapone was 2002, not 90’s.

    I rmemeber seeing the mockups and thinking it was the most hideous kit ever, then seeing Mario rock it on the bike and it totally worked.

    That is style.




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  8. @frank

    @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    I’ve actually always liked the Aqua Sapone zebra kit. Along with Mapei, so 90s. So hideous but oh so cool. Have been tempted to get it. Would be great for #TbT ride.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but Aqua e Sapone was 2002, not 90’s.

    I rmemeber seeing the mockups and thinking it was the most hideous kit ever, then seeing Mario rock it on the bike and it totally worked.

    That is style.

    Saw Mario at the Rouleur Classic event last night and he’s even more gorgeous in real life. And taller.




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  9. @frank

    @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    That was one of the coolest helmets ever. I’d totally ride in it if I could still get one that was safe!

    What type of lid is it? Let me look at some other pictures and see if I want to revise my opinion.

    I’m sure I’d look like a tool wearing it.




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  10. @RobSandy

    @frank

    @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    That was one of the coolest helmets ever. I’d totally ride in it if I could still get one that was safe!

    What type of lid is it? Let me look at some other pictures and see if I want to revise my opinion.

    I’m sure I’d look like a tool wearing it.

    That’s a Briko Twinner. http://www.briko.com/en/iconic_products




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  11. @chris

    Saw Mario at the Rouleur Classic event last night and he’s even more gorgeous in real life. And taller.

    For a velominatus dutchetatus living abroad, a visit to London is not easy to organise at short notice, and then even have to pay up to GBP 200 to hear Frank explain the 3-point system? Incl travel and hotel, I should be able to get a good 2nd hand Cyclocross. But agreed, quite some important and interesting people attending that event (besides Frank of course). Would have been great to shake his hand, do we have a special handshake…?




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  12. @KogaLover

    It was a great evening, the trade stands were laden with all sorts of drool worthy bike porn but main highlight was the banter between Ned Boulting and the stars (Bertie did come across a bit Manuel from Fawlty Towers). Eddy was superb, his delivery and enthusiasm didn’t betray the fact that he’s probably answered those questions a million times.

    I’d have been shitting myself if I’d been in Franks shoes following on from the likes of Millar and Merckx but he’s Dutch and guess it’s never entered his head that people won’t be interested in his message. He even managed to divert one of Ned Boulting’s questions in my direction which I wasn’t entirely prepared for.

    If there is a handshake, it must be for some inner circle that I’m not aware of. I do recall pictures of the Keepers doing some sort of Spocklike V hand signal.




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  13. @frank

    That was one of the coolest helmets ever. I’d totally ride in it if I could still get one that was safe!

    Yes, Briko is trying to get back into the cycling market, but just don’t capture the style like the old days:

    http://www.briko.com/en/news/real_freefighter_sonny_colbrelli_conquers_the_tour_du_limousin/53




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  14. @chris

    If there is a handshake, it must be for some inner circle that I’m not aware of. I do recall pictures of the Keepers doing some sort of Spocklike V hand signal.

    This is all I could think of:

    And I did have a chat with Frank about Dutch courage before, so he must have had quite a bit of it yesterday then. Any recordings btw?




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  15. I keep wondering what that red thing coming of the fork is. Im referring to the title picture.




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  16. @RedRanger

    I keep wondering what that red thing coming of the fork is. Im referring to the title picture.

    one of the original timing chips.




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  17. @KogaLover

    @chris

    If there is a handshake, it must be for some inner circle that I’m not aware of. I do recall pictures of the Keepers doing some sort of Spocklike V hand signal.

    This is all I could think of:

    And I did have a chat with Frank about Dutch courage before, so he must have had quite a bit of it yesterday then. Any recordings btw?

    A bit like that, but like this.

    Frank was going easy on the free recovery beverages (some decent IPA and Pale Ale from Look Mum No Hands), he’d been warned off them by the organiser and she checked that he was in a decent state before he went on.

    I haven’t seen any recordings, yet.




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  18. @RobSandy

    @Chipomarc

    Beer and movie night !

    Ok, he didn’t win the TdF seven times, but rode pretty well back in the 80’s

    What’s that shit you’re drinking?!

    That thar would be none other than your ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

    Not some malty pretentious hipster ale.




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  19. @wiscot

    @Clank

    Some subjectivity at play here. I once walked through our lounge room past my teenage daughter and five friends après ride in my absolute black best with attention to every detail and fine gossamer of perspiration sculpting every chiselled muscle. Not only did I suck every sound from the room but she didn’t speak to me for four days.

    Clearly they were dumbstruck with admiration. Your daughter’s friends left wondering why their Dad’s don’t look so awesome.

    Perhaps. Although in the long fashion critique that followed resumption of communication ‘awesome’ didn’t feature once.




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  20. @Owen

    @Clank

    Some subjectivity at play here. I once walked through our lounge room past my teenage daughter and five friends après ride in my absolute black best with attention to every detail and fine gossamer of perspiration sculpting every chiselled muscle. Not only did I suck every sound from the room but she didn’t speak to me for four days.

    To be fair, you could have walked in looking the balls in a perfectly tailored Italian suit and gotten the same reaction from that group.

    True enough. Four days in the freezer I can handle. What really hurt was having my immaculate and carefully selected Santini kit compared to underwear.




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  21. @Chipomarc

    @RobSandy

    @Chipomarc

    Beer and movie night !

    Ok, he didn’t win the TdF seven times, but rode pretty well back in the 80’s

    What’s that shit you’re drinking?!

    That thar would be none other than your ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

    Not some malty pretentious hipster ale.

    Why is he about to pour it into his eye?




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  22. @Ccos

    @Chipomarc

    @RobSandy

    @Chipomarc

    Beer and movie night !

    Ok, he didn’t win the TdF seven times, but rode pretty well back in the 80’s

    What’s that shit you’re drinking?!

    That thar would be none other than your ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

    Not some malty pretentious hipster ale.

    Why is he about to pour it into his eye?

    He’s a construction worker, too much welding torch fumes




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  23. @davidlhill

    @EBruner

    Sorry, but I have to post this again. Style.

    I’ll be the party pooper: if you didn’t know who he was, would you still seriously say he’s a style icon? So much is wrong, bar the “f you” expression.

    If I didn’t know who he was I’d say he was off to fly a red Fokker Dr.1 triplane rather than ride a blue Gios Torino…




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  24. @Skip

    Skip!!




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  25. @frank

    @Skip

    Skip!!

    Hey. Been lurking for a while but hadn’t posted. Re: all the style inputs, there’s still a big difference between the theory and the actual results when I kit up. But one can still dream. (I just don’t look in the mirror before a ride and reality won’t rear its ugly head.)




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  26. @frank

    @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    “Cipollini could wear a Zebra suit and make us contemplate trying our hands at it. (We should not.)”

    I’m less offended by the zebra suit than I am by that helmet.

    That was one of the coolest helmets ever. I’d totally ride in it if I could still get one that was safe!

    I’ve been thinking lately why some companies don’t just roll out their old products anew. I used to love the S-Works helmets but now I think they look terrible. And though he’s now in Oakleys, image Sagan racing as the WC in some mid-80s Rudy Project Masks? My god.

    Quite a few helmets and shades I wish companies would start producing again. Why not take a tip from shitty Nike and their reissue of seemingly every model of Jordans ever made and roll out awesome old products that were the business and just rake in the dough?

    Oakley has seen the Nike light with their reissuing the Razors, man, I’d like to see some older Rudy shades rolled back out.




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  27. @Chipomarc

    Clearly the welding fumes have affected his taste buds




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  28. @Lister

    @Chipomarc

    Clearly the welding fumes have affected his taste buds

    That’s the finest beer your old women can bring to you after a hard day at the shipyard.




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  30. @Skip

    @frank

    @Skip

    Skip!!

    Hey. Been lurking for a while but hadn’t posted. Re: all the style inputs, there’s still a big difference between the theory and the actual results when I kit up. But one can still dream. (I just don’t look in the mirror before a ride and reality won’t rear its ugly head.)

    Well, great to see you around again my friend.

    @gilly

    My trip to London suggests that the English have a natural affinity for it.




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  31. @frank

    @Skip

    @frank

    @Skip

    Skip!!

    Hey. Been lurking for a while but hadn’t posted. Re: all the style inputs, there’s still a big difference between the theory and the actual results when I kit up. But one can still dream. (I just don’t look in the mirror before a ride and reality won’t rear its ugly head.)

    Well, great to see you around again my friend.

    @gilly

    My trip to London suggests that the English have a natural affinity for it.

    Chapeau @frank, hope you’ve enjoyed your time here. I had hoped to catch you at The Rouleur event but family came first ( yes I know that’s a rule violation! ) For me, Kennaugh hits effortlessly cool and CD in that shot, you’ve got it or you don’t.




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  32. I’ve been taking on bike selfies with my cell phone but it always makes my face seem too fat. Just purchased a nice little point and shoot camera but it also is doing that. : (




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  33. @Chipomarc
    This will make you feel better.




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  34. We can always do some slight tweaking to selfies




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  35. EEEK!

    That really does not help.

    *sob*




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  36. @Chipomarc

    @Chipomarc

    Beer and movie night !

    Ok, he didn’t win the TdF seven times, but rode pretty well back in the 80’s

    What’s that shit you’re drinking?!

    That thar would be none other than your ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

    Not some malty pretentious hipster ale.

    Pretentious? Hipster? Ale? I’ve never seen those three words in the same sentence before. What did I miss?

    I’ve been drinking real ale for years and I couldn’t be any less hip if I’d just had my pelvis removed.

    Have hipsters taken over our ale as well as our cycling caps and track bikes now too? Fuckers.




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  37. @Chipomarc

    @Lister

    @Chipomarc

    Clearly the welding fumes have affected his taste buds

    That’s the finest beer your old women can bring to you after a hard day at the shipyard.

    Perhaps if I worked in a coal mine it would be an appropriate beer, other that that it is just a poor excuse for drinking.




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  38. This here should prove my point




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  39. Well, the new Movistar kit is just fugly.




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  40. @chuckp

    Well, the new Movistar kit is just fugly.

    The white simply does not make sense at all! Green would be logical . . . .




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  41. Sometimes I wish I didn’t do twitter




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  42. @chuckp

    Well, the new Movistar kit is just fugly.

    Not to mention that the jersey pictured is their attempt at a Spanish champs jersey for Malmerde, simplest fucking colours in the world, but they can’t do a simple hoop design cos Movistar wouldn’t want their logo interfered with (I assume).




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  43. Check out the new Tinkoff training kit.




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  44. @chuckp

    Unfortunately I saw that too. Sagan must be doubly happy to be wearing the WC bands. At least for most of the season he won’t have to wear that abomination. It’s like that awful Rock n Roll kit (or whatever it was called) matched with shitty club wear.

    The IAM kit looks about the best that I’ve seen for 2016. Etixx is blah. Sky will be black.




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  45. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    Unfortunately I saw that too. Sagan must be doubly happy to be wearing the WC bands. At least for most of the season he won’t have to wear that abomination. It’s like that awful Rock n Roll kit (or whatever it was called) matched with shitty club wear.

    The IAM kit looks about the best that I’ve seen for 2016. Etixx is blah. Sky will be black.

    I know @frank will probably excommunicate me, but I have to admit that I kinda like it. I’ve always had a soft spot for Acqua Sapone zebra kit. So ugly it’s beautiful. And I’m fine with a team daring to be different. For me, so much of the pro peloton is sameness and boring. Almost to the point where you can’t tell which team is which. At least this dares to go out on a limb and be different. I actually wish they’d race in it (at least once).




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  46. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    Unfortunately I saw that too. Sagan must be doubly happy to be wearing the WC bands. At least for most of the season he won’t have to wear that abomination. It’s like that awful Rock n Roll kit (or whatever it was called) matched with shitty club wear.

    The IAM kit looks about the best that I’ve seen for 2016. Etixx is blah. Sky will be black.

    It’s just their training kit. It won’t look too horrible with his bands, thankfully.




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  47. I like it.

    Instant recognition, a nod back, and definitely better than straight white with the bands. I hope it’s a riff on their race jerseys.




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  48. Sagan is stylin’. Both kit and bike.




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  49. @chuckp

    For sure. From the London Bike Show.




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