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Velominati’s Sock Height Calculator: Refining the Goldilocks Principle

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Firstly, all you kids, kindly get off my lawn. Especially you kids who wear too tall black socks with white cycling shoes. Get off my lawn and stop racing in my favorite bike races. There’s no call for that. Why should my Milan-Sanremo enjoyment be ruined by this? It’s a sunny day, no snow, no rain, white socks not good enough, eh? Riding along the Ligurian coast from Milan to Sanremo without two seconds consideration about sock selection, eh? Just thinking about Sock Height not good enough, EH?

Winnipegcyclechick’s stellar treatise on sock height should be required reading for everyone, even non-cyclists. People should have this knowledge. Mongols on the Steppes; Тийм ээ, тийм, би энэ оймс өндөр мэднэ.*

While we have lost the battle on sock color the final battles on height continues. We can use the VSP generator between VSP runs to work on other important 1st world problems. To this end, straight outta the Velominati bunker we have this: the sock height calculator.

S = A/π – √B ± (B/A) / (1/CS¹)

Where:

  • A= Lower leg length measured from inner ankle protuberance to top of the inner tibia in cm.
  • B= Distance between inner ankle protuberance to bottom of calf in cm.
  • S= Sock height measured above inner ankle protuberance in cm.
  • CS¹= Calf Shame factor on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 equals no shame (some pride) and 10 equals great shame (seppuku or calf implants are fantasized about equally).

The term CS¹ has become most controversial in peer review but most agree a correction factor should be available for individual taste.

*In English: Yes, Yes, I know of this sock height.

// Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. @Gianni

    no beer # factor involved with your equation

    mathematicians around world are laughing

  2. It’s a little known fact that for men sock height is directly related to penis length. Do with that as you will.

  3. @Julio

    Assuming A=45 cm; B= 25 cm…

    http://fotos.subefotos.com/4e139939e06b990641df4938a6e9815co.png

    You have mad excel skills. Well done.

  4. @Clank

    I personally would recommend you ditch the entire curriculum on socks. You just know. Proper sick height is the Masonic secret handshake of the cyclist. It’s the secret decoder ring of the velominatus, the ‘Joe sent me’ of the sister and brotherhood of the road. If you can’t work it out from watching those who went before, do you even deserve the knowledge? Leave the slide rule in the desk. You just know.

    Well, I’d like to ditch it but this tall sock thing has driven me to it. I’m forced out of my bunker into the blinding light of day to fight this fight. The Velominati are cool, I’m ranting to the masses here.

  5. @Winnipeg CycleChick

    Gracias for the shout-out G. With your scientific prowess and my keen ability to colour things, we are unstoppable.

    Our pleasure to promote your awesome colouring skills. They are razor sharp and my scientific prowess was questionable even when I was peaking. For some reason I can’t resist falling back on a stupid formula for a laugh. I’m easily amused.

  6. @Oli

    It’s a little known fact that for men sock height is directly related to penis length. Do with that as you will.

    Inversely proportionally, to a pont, and then it becomes proportion, right???

  7. You know what they say; short socks, tiny penis…

  8. Of course we are being stupid, there is a simple empirical guide to sock length….

  9. @Buck Rogers

    @fignons barber

    @Buck Rogers

    White and a bit above the malleolus (2-5 cm). That should be the end of the discussion, esp for Velominati.

    Must we also wear terry cloth head bands and sport our cables with at least a 14 inch radius above the bars as well? Evolution of fashion. Socks between 9-12cm. If your legs are longer, pull the socks up. Shorter legs? Calf stretches and drink more milk.

    Sock color? GQ states in fundamental dress: socks should always be as dark or DARKER than shoes. The only reason they wore white socks with black shoes is because colored athletic socks had not been invented yet. The dye would run into your feet causing serious injury and/or death. Fact.

    Bullshit! When fashion reaches its apex, one should not try to change it. The discussion is socks, not head bands. Stay on target, Mate!

    This is genius debate here folks. Me, firmly in the camp of evolution, get knocked back on my heels with that response and thinking dang, why fix perfect after all ? BUT, then I figure seriously, is it the triathletes with their shorty sox that have ultimately co-opted the apex ? No ! Evolution counts for better in the end. Anywho… I was in a new shop jersey today (for which this photo was snapped) feeling particularly fantastic with the new kit on a beautiful spring day before Easter when in retrospect, ultimately it was the subconscious positive mojo being generated by the perfect shorts and sox length! Sure the knees are ugly but they’ve been around for a while. What ya gonna do… Cheers

  10. Hugh Carthy at Catalunya this year. Need I say more?

  11. Black Shoes? Check

    White Socks at perfect height? Check

    V-Logo maximising awesome factor? Check

    Here endeth the lesson

  12. That being said on the days where I’m feeling more partial to some modern length & colour, the white shoes are perfectly suited to the job.

  13. @justDave

    Hugh Carthy at Catalunya this year. Need I say more?

    Yes you need to please… I’m not sure if this is an example of good sock length, bad shorts length or a slightly unhealthy looking weight.

  14. @hubbard

    Seriously? too much work just trying to punch in those variable in..i’m just gonna wear whatever socks i can get my hands on..can’t give two s*** about what others think.

    Wrong place.

    It’s not about caring how someone else feels about your aesthetic choices and appearance. It’s all about pride in making sure you look aVVesome, at all times. Pride, take pride.

  15. Life-long mid-calf enthusiast, for most sports (not ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding or futbol). I have serious skankles. No need to show those off. The only benefit of breaking my tibia was that my lower leg grew back thicker. The VMH has lower legs twice the size of mine. Upper guns are good, lower legs remain in the Chicken Leg category, no matter what.

  16. Black shoes, white socks, black shorts…is that a line from an Ian Dury song? Carthy is only 21, 6 foot three inches tall, and yes, a little it of an ectomorph. But unhealthy? He just finished ninth overall in Catlunya, between Froome and Uran. Personally, I would cut him a little bit of slack on the shorts length…

  17. @Mikael Liddy

    Black Shoes? Check

    White Socks at perfect height? Check

    V-Logo maximising awesome factor? Check

    Here endeth the lesson

    Bang. Perfect. Hubbards take note, this is how it’s done.

    To my everlasting shame, I’ve found the Specialized socks to be nearly perfect (for my height). I have tried taller, more heavily patterned socks, only for them to get really loose, the colours run and fade too quickly, and then they look like rubbish. Good business model to sell lots of socks, but durability shouldn’t be overlooked.

    De Feet socks, additionally, always, ALWAYS look spot on.

    It’s heartening to see how much time, thought and excel has gone into this.

  18. @Oli

    You know what they say; short socks, tiny penis…

    Although I never ride in them, I have knee high compression socks.

    https://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/6037467/il_fullxfull.305017154.jpg

  19. There are many cycling-related things Heinrich Haussler is good at and choosing socks is one.

  20. @minion

    Now we’re talking.

  21. @Owen

    If I’m reading this correctly, having great shame actually leads to *higher* sock heights. Surely that can’t be right.

    you are wrong

  22. @justDave

    Black shoes, white socks, black shorts…

    This is it for me. Purely Classic and pure class. Some things never go out of style.

    I am going to find some good, all white, 2-5 cm above the ankle De Feet socks and buy about 10 pair.

  23. @Buck Rogers

    @Oli

    It’s a little known fact that for men sock height is directly related to penis length. Do with that as you will.

    Inversely proportionally, to a pont, and then it becomes proportion, right???

    A tad complicated? Much easier, perhaps, to look at the wheels on motor vehicles of aspiring males: It would seem that in many cases, penis length is more or less identical to the amount of sidewall left visible around the alloy wheel rim.

  24. A simple way to be sure… if the socks reach the tattoo, they’re too long.

    And if the kirin has bristles it’s time to shave.

  25. @KogaLover

    @Owen

    If I’m reading this correctly, having great shame actually leads to *higher* sock heights. Surely that can’t be right.

    you are wrong

    Good thing a math whiz swooped in to profoundly assert this.

  26. Unfortunely looking like a twat doesn’t keep you from riding fast. The dude that sprinted for second well ahead of me this past Saturday had high socks pulled over his leg warmers and no arm warmers.

    But I held the high ground.

  27. @Ccos

    Unfortunely looking like a twat doesn’t keep you from riding fast. The dude that sprinted for second well ahead of me this past Saturday had high socks pulled over his leg warmers and no arm warmers.

    But I held the high ground.

    It’s the moral victories that count!

    BTW, next time I write a historical article, I’m going to leave out all that shite about palmares and personality etc and just concentrate on two things: how his handlebars were wrapped and how long his socks were.

    To all those who are making some kind of relationship between penis length and sock length, I give you two names: Anquetil and Cippolini. Short sock wearers both.

  28. @wiscot

    @Ccos

    Unfortunely looking like a twat doesn’t keep you from riding fast. The dude that sprinted for second well ahead of me this past Saturday had high socks pulled over his leg warmers and no arm warmers.

    But I held the high ground.

    It’s the moral victories that count!

    BTW, next time I write a historical article, I’m going to leave out all that shite about palmares and personality etc and just concentrate on two things: how his handlebars were wrapped and how long his socks were.

    To all those who are making some kind of relationship between penis length and sock length, I give you two names: Anquetil and Cippolini. Short sock wearers both.

    Oli has me convinced now to wrap left drop clockwise and right drop counter-clockwise. Socks will also be worn left and right with matching length.

  29. @universo

    @wiscot

    @Ccos

    Unfortunely looking like a twat doesn’t keep you from riding fast. The dude that sprinted for second well ahead of me this past Saturday had high socks pulled over his leg warmers and no arm warmers.

    But I held the high ground.

    It’s the moral victories that count!

    BTW, next time I write a historical article, I’m going to leave out all that shite about palmares and personality etc and just concentrate on two things: how his handlebars were wrapped and how long his socks were.

    To all those who are making some kind of relationship between penis length and sock length, I give you two names: Anquetil and Cippolini. Short sock wearers both.

    Oli has me convinced now to wrap left drop clockwise and right drop counter-clockwise. Socks will also be worn left and right with matching length.

    My brain just imploded trying to understand that!

  30. @Gianni

    Fair point. If we are to have strict standards though, maybe they should be enforceable – like the law about having a bell on your bike and all the other craptastic nanny state BS in New South Wales. Now there’s a rant waiting to happen.

  31. @Clank

    @Gianni

    Fair point. If we are to have strict standards though, maybe they should be enforceable – like the law about having a bell on your bike and all the other craptastic nanny state BS in New South Wales. Now there’s a rant waiting to happen.

    Rant away, @Clank. Guest articles are always welcome. A bell, ffs! That is overkill. That is why we have vocal chords. “Outta my way, pecker-head” works better than a bell.

  32. I’ve got some DeFeet Woolie Boolies and they are the wrong height. This is very irritating.

    Means I can only wear them with full length leggings/bibtights or under shoe covers.

  33. @ChrisO

    A simple way to be sure… if the socks reach the tattoo, they’re too long.

    And if the kirin has bristles it’s time to shave.

    Shit me, the famous ChrisO wears the same socks as me! And I must say, I find them exactly the right length/height.

  34. @Joe

    That said, I’ve since gone to the darkside, 12-13 cm with a little color. Shoot me.

    As someone who wore “traditional” DeFeet Mavic “low cut” white socks back when I raced in the 90s, I have to admit that I’ve since become a fan of 5-6″ (12-15 cm) socks. My newest pair of Sock Guy socks. Probably the least “colorful” pair of socks I have.

  35. @RobSandy

    Excellent choice, and yes they are Goldilocks in knitted form.

    They also seem to stay nice and white too.

  36. @RobSandy

    I’ve got some DeFeet Woolie Boolies and they are the wrong height. This is very irritating.

    Means I can only wear them with full length leggings/bibtights or under shoe covers.

    I bought a couple pairs of DeFeet Aereators which fall on the line between zone 1 and 2 (according to Winnipeg Cycle Chick) long before I found my way to the path of the Velominatus. Apart from the lack of height, they are perfect, and easily the best socks I’ve ever put on my feet. As a thoroughly practical velominatus budgetatus, I can’t justify replacing them until they’ve worn out. Even to the point of accepting Frank’s annual Rule #43 compliant comments at the Cogal of the Fallen Leaves.

  37. @wilburrox

    @Buck Rogers

    @fignons barber

    @Buck Rogers

    White and a bit above the malleolus (2-5 cm). That should be the end of the discussion, esp for Velominati.

    Must we also wear terry cloth head bands and sport our cables with at least a 14 inch radius above the bars as well? Evolution of fashion. Socks between 9-12cm. If your legs are longer, pull the socks up. Shorter legs? Calf stretches and drink more milk.

    Sock color? GQ states in fundamental dress: socks should always be as dark or DARKER than shoes. The only reason they wore white socks with black shoes is because colored athletic socks had not been invented yet. The dye would run into your feet causing serious injury and/or death. Fact.

    Bullshit! When fashion reaches its apex, one should not try to change it. The discussion is socks, not head bands. Stay on target, Mate!

    This is genius debate here folks. Me, firmly in the camp of evolution, get knocked back on my heels with that response and thinking dang, why fix perfect after all ? BUT, then I figure seriously, is it the triathletes with their shorty sox that have ultimately co-opted the apex ? No ! Evolution counts for better in the end. Anywho… I was in a new shop jersey today (for which this photo was snapped) feeling particularly fantastic with the new kit on a beautiful spring day before Easter when in retrospect, ultimately it was the subconscious positive mojo being generated by the perfect shorts and sox length! Sure the knees are ugly but they’ve been around for a while. What ya gonna do… Cheers

    You’ve got a screaming baby head trapped in your left knee! Great sock/ shoe combo BTW

  38. @Gianni

    @Clank

    @Gianni

    Fair point. If we are to have strict standards though, maybe they should be enforceable – like the law about having a bell on your bike and all the other craptastic nanny state BS in New South Wales. Now there’s a rant waiting to happen.

    Rant away, @Clank. Guest articles are always welcome. A bell, ffs! That is overkill. That is why we have vocal chords. “Outta my way, pecker-head” works better than a bell.

    But wouldn’t that violate Rule #43? I prefer not to have a bell but I do need one more often than not.

  39. Just ordered 3 pair of these. All white, no logo, 3 inch. They should come to around 3-4 cm above the malleolus, which is what I am aiming for. I think Le Blaireau probably would not throw me off the podium for wearing them.

    http://defeet.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=5735CDC01A3048F0A8CC888C7712C80A

  40. @Buck Rogers

    Those are great socks…i was quickly led to DeFeet after experimenting with a few others…LG, Castelli, Gore…..its all i buy now…all white (i don’t mind the brand on the cuff, its simple enough). I prefer the 5 inch, brings it to the part of my calf where the muscle really gets nice n flexed on a long ride, looks fantastic. I’m also 187 cm, so short socks look even worse on me than shorter riders.

  41. @gilly “You’ve got a screaming baby head trapped in your left knee!”

    Please explain

  42. @KogaLover

    @gilly “You’ve got a screaming baby head trapped in your left knee!”

    Please explain

    Easier to spot in the original pre-zoom shot. I suppose you can either see it or you can’t, but I did run it past the font (aka Mrs G) and she saw it straight away.

  43. @KogaLover

    A technical breach perhaps. However NSW government aren’t arguing that bells create a more polite society. They’re worried about you and your 8 kilo bike ploughing into a group of pedestrians at a crossing killing 6 and injuring 13 due to a lack a tiny tinkling on your 80 kph approach.

  44. @Gianni

    @Clank

    @Gianni

    Fair point. If we are to have strict standards though, maybe they should be enforceable – like the law about having a bell on your bike and all the other craptastic nanny state BS in New South Wales. Now there’s a rant waiting to happen.

    Rant away, @Clank. Guest articles are always welcome. A bell, ffs! That is overkill. That is why we have vocal chords. “Outta my way, pecker-head” works better than a bell.

    Can’t speak for my east coast colleagues, but I know here in South Aus the wording of the law is an “audible warning device”, to which my response would be to point in the direction of my mouth should I ever be questioned.

    Scariest thing about the raft of law changes in NSW is not necessarily the laws being enforced, but the increase in the penalties. Take riding without a helmet for example, this act (entirely legal in the majority of countries worldwide) used to incur a $71 fine, since the start of March that penalty is now $319, an increase of 450%!!!

  45. @Mikael Liddy

    @Gianni

    @Clank

    @Gianni

    Fair point. If we are to have strict standards though, maybe they should be enforceable – like the law about having a bell on your bike and all the other craptastic nanny state BS in New South Wales. Now there’s a rant waiting to happen.

    Rant away, @Clank. Guest articles are always welcome. A bell, ffs! That is overkill. That is why we have vocal chords. “Outta my way, pecker-head” works better than a bell.

    Can’t speak for my east coast colleagues, but I know here in South Aus the wording of the law is an “audible warning device”, to which my response would be to point in the direction of my mouth should I ever be questioned.

    Scariest thing about the raft of law changes in NSW is not necessarily the laws being enforced, but the increase in the penalties. Take riding without a helmet for example, this act (entirely legal in the majority of countries worldwide) used to incur a $71 fine, since the start of March that penalty is now $319, an increase of 450%!!!

    There’s also the very Soviet quasi-registration system requiring cyclists to carry ID so their fines can stick which is dressed up as a safety issue. (clearly emergency depts need to know who you are before they can treat you). Then there’s ripping out bike lanes. Welcome to the North Korea of cycling.

  46. Oh Jesus – those f**king black socks. Maybe the worst thing to ever happen to cycling kit. Well, except maybe for $300 bib shorts (WTF?) If I see one more dork on a million dollar carbon bike while wearing those shitty black, over-the-calf socks……. Time was, you showed up at the Tuesday Night World Championships wearing your business suit socks because you forgot your real socks, and everybody laughed at you, with good reason, because you looked like a moron.

    Now you show up with them, and it’s like it’s some sort of secret society. I get multi-colored shorts. I get white shoes. I get $250 sunglasses (well, sort of). But I do not get how anybody can look at those hideously tall black (or red, or orange, or yellow, or plaid) socks and think that it was ever going to be a good idea. It’s just too reminiscent of the days when the preppy crowd wore color-coordinated polo shirts two-at-a- time, with the collars turned up. Just like wearing business suit socks while riding, they thought it was a fashion statement, when really, it was just sorry-assed herd mentality at its very worst.

    Here’s the deal: Black socks are to be worn, not seen. The only people who can wear any kind of shorts with black socks are young children and old drunks. Otherwise, you think that you’re making a fashion statement, but really, you just look like a dumbass. Or a toddler. Or a drunk. Put another way: Long pants, black socks. Short pants: Not black socks.

    It’s a sad day when we have to look to the tri-guys for fashion sense.

    Here endeth today’s sermon. Go forth and sin no more.

    It’s like the fat middle-aged guys who go out and buy the massive Harley.

  47. While there is a certain merit to matching the shoes to the socks, what if the socks go with the rest of the kit? Compliment the helmet accents? Matching caps and socks? Is that a thing?

  48. @Buck Rogers

    @fignons barber

    @Buck Rogers

    White and a bit above the malleolus (2-5 cm). That should be the end of the discussion, esp for Velominati.

    Must we also wear terry cloth head bands and sport our cables with at least a 14 inch radius above the bars as well? Evolution of fashion. Socks between 9-12cm. If your legs are longer, pull the socks up. Shorter legs? Calf stretches and drink more milk.

    Sock color? GQ states in fundamental dress: socks should always be as dark or DARKER than shoes. The only reason they wore white socks with black shoes is because colored athletic socks had not been invented yet. The dye would run into your feet causing serious injury and/or death. Fact.

    Bullshit! When fashion reaches its apex, one should not try to change it. The discussion is socks, not head bands. Stay on target, Mate!

    Yes, clearly the headband is only there to hide the shit haircut you gave him..

    And fuck me if that Renault team wasn’t the strongest team in the history of the universe. By the power of Grayskull. Granted the GC riders back then could also ride one day races, but its like having the 3 top ranked riders of a generation in the same team. If you said Froome, Contador and Nibbles were in the same team, that would still leave out all the classics LF and BH put together at the same time. Or Sagan Contador and Boonen (when he was at his best, please prove me wrong in PR Tommeke!) you would achieve naught in the tours.

    You couldn’t even put that much awesome in the same bus these days for the explosion of pouty mouth, let alone have them ride for each other.

  49. @Marshall Ellis

    You’re completely wrong. The worst thing to happen to cycling is aero helmets worn by dudes who can’t make 35kph on the flat.

  50. @Beers

    @Buck Rogers

    @fignons barber

    @Buck Rogers

    White and a bit above the malleolus (2-5 cm). That should be the end of the discussion, esp for Velominati.

    Must we also wear terry cloth head bands and sport our cables with at least a 14 inch radius above the bars as well? Evolution of fashion. Socks between 9-12cm. If your legs are longer, pull the socks up. Shorter legs? Calf stretches and drink more milk.

    Sock color? GQ states in fundamental dress: socks should always be as dark or DARKER than shoes. The only reason they wore white socks with black shoes is because colored athletic socks had not been invented yet. The dye would run into your feet causing serious injury and/or death. Fact.

    Bullshit! When fashion reaches its apex, one should not try to change it. The discussion is socks, not head bands. Stay on target, Mate!

    Yes, clearly the headband is only there to hide the shit haircut you gave him..

    And fuck me if that Renault team wasn’t the strongest team in the history of the universe. By the power of Grayskull. Granted the GC riders back then could also ride one day races, but its like having the 3 top ranked riders of a generation in the same team. If you said Froome, Contador and Nibbles were in the same team, that would still leave out all the classics LF and BH put together at the same time. Or Sagan Contador and Boonen (when he was at his best, please prove me wrong in PR Tommeke!) you would achieve naught in the tours.

    You couldn’t even put that much awesome in the same bus these days for the explosion of pouty mouth, let alone have them ride for each other.

    I was right with you till “let alone have them ride for each other” – not sure the facts bear that out!

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