Pantani shows how to do it.

Look Pro: Baller

by / / 87 posts

Whenever something tries to be something it isn’t, you wind up getting into trouble. Those Cutlass Cruisers in the 70’s and 80’s with vinyl wood panelling weren’t fooling anyone. Neither are those linoleum tiles in my kitchen; not one person in history has ever mistaken them for being marble. And Lycra has never tricked anyone into believing it was a pair of jean shorts. Despite the extra effort to add a fly and pockets to them.

Which brings up an important point. Looking Pro is not the same as Looking Fantastic. They mostly just stumble into looking cool because they’re on their bikes so much that everything becomes natural for them. But Pros frequently look completely crap, often because their sponsors are paying them to wear something no one in their right mind would ever wear. Like denim-printed bib shorts. But sometimes, when you’re baller enough, you can pull off the most horrendous of kit and still Look Fantastic.

Pantani is the only rider on the long list of those who rode for Carrera who ever pulled off this look. Shit, he even pulled off the all-denim-print long sleeve jersey. He might even have special-ordered it, just to prove he could do it.

Don’t try this at home, kids. You are not this cool, and you can not pull off that look. Pencils down, class dismissed.

// Anatomy of a Photo // Awesome Italian Guys // Kit // Look Pro // The Rules

  1. @frank

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Oli

    Fuck yeah faux jeans

    Cappuchino gets away with this on two counts: 1) he’s Italian and 2) the polka dots are so loud and dominant that they distract the eye away from the “denim” shorts. Really, it should be the French who started this look as the word denim is sourced from a cloth known as serge de Nimes. Castorama was naff, but I still maintain a quiet liking for AG2R’s kit.

    Check out the attention to detail there — little epaulettes over the suspender straps. To say nothing of the mullet.

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  2. @frank

    @Nate

    This thread needs some Castorama. Not even Cipo could make that look good.

    I beg to differ.

    LOVE! Takes more balls to wear this than denim. For those who dare, you can buy here: Jersey http://procyclegear.com/acqua-sapone-zebra-retro-jersey/ Bib shorts (XS only) http://procyclegear.com/acqua-sapone-zebra-retro-bib-shorts/

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  3. @AJ

    @frank

    @Nate

    This thread needs some Castorama. Not even Cipo could make that look good.

    I beg to differ.

    WTF is that?! Was there some sort of race across the Serengeti where they riders had to worry about lion attacks? I must admit, it might look cool to see the whole team wearing that and moving.

    The idea was the lead out train was the pack of zebras that the Lion King was chasing.

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  4. @Nate Frankly, it’s the mullet that disturbs me the most. Why would you sign someone who makes such irresponsible decisions regarding his personal appearance? Oh, yeah, because they got to wear the Castorama kit. That being said, the fact that we still discuss the Castorama kit means the designer did their job. Most of use could give the cops a pretty good description of it from memory – more than could be said for most kits past and present. Let’s have a good kit/bad kit discussion again. They always liven things up. First rule of Good Kit Club – Atala from the 80s is top 5 cool together with La Vie Clair, Del Tongo, Skil-Sem and Peugeot.

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  5. Re-issued Nalini Carrera jeans bib shorts can still be had. http://procyclegear.com/carrera-retro-bib-shorts/

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  6. Here’s a bit of a review…………..

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  7. @Teocalli

    Here’s a bit of a review…………..

    Thanks for posting! Rock Racing? Are you kidding me? Whoa! Where to start – they cite TI Raleigh and show Fignon in Systeme U kit. They talk Bianchi and show Ullrich – not Gimondi. No Peugeot checkered bands? The Kit of Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Esclassan et al? Saeco FFS? What about Flandria – the original Red Guard? DeMayer, Maertens, Kelly. Put together by a hipster intern who knows SFA I think.

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  8. @wiscot Don’t shoot me I’m only the messenger! I didn’t say I agreed with the list (which I don’t either).

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  9. @Teocalli

    @wiscot Don’t shoot me I’m only the messenger! I didn’t say I agreed with the list (which I don’t either).

    Oh Merckx no, I’m not blaming you. I called for fire and you, very amiably, poured gasoline on it! Let’s add Anquetil’s Ford France jersey to the killer list. The Cilo-Aufina one from the 80s was ace too.

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  10. All the kits in the old Jorgen Leth movies. Filotex jumps out. KAS. Mapei.

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  11. OK so Pantani making denim the look look good…………..amongst a shed load of other kit………

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  12. Let’s just all be thankful that Member’s Only, and whoever the hell it was who made parachute pants didn’t sponsor a team.

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  13. This has proven to be some of the best kit that I’ve tried in awhile — le coq sportive.

    hot enough to go full mesh

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  14. sportif sportif sportif

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  15. @frank

    Jesus, came across this little gem searching from Figgles rockin’ the Castorama kit…helmets have really made a bit of progress in the style department, haven’t they?

    That’s the old Vetta helmet. I had one around ’91 or ’92. I remember purchasing it because : 1) it was the same one Rolf Sorenson wore with Ariostea, and 2) it was $40 at Bike Nashbar. I found it in the garage a couple months ago, looks surprisingly similar to an aero-road lid of today.

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  16. @DaftPunk

    I think Claudio Chiapucci rocked it just as well, a decade before Il Pirata.

    Totally agree, Chiapucci rocked it in Carrera denim

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  17. @frank

    Jesus, came across this little gem searching from Figgles rockin’ the Castorama kit…helmets have really made a bit of progress in the style department, haven’t they? I’m not so sure Frank. That monstrosity Kristoff wears looks alarmingly similar.

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  18. @wiscot

    @Nate Frankly, it’s the mullet that J disturbs me the most. Why would you sign someone who makes such irresponsible decisions regarding his personal appearance? Oh, yeah, because they got to wear the Castorama kit. That being said, the fact that we still discuss the Castorama kit means the designer did their job. Most of use could give the cops a pretty good description of it from memory – more than could be said for most kits past and present. Let’s have a good kit/bad kit discussion again. They always liven things up. First rule of Good Kit Club – Atala from the 80s is top 5 cool together with La Vie Clair, Del Tongo, Skil-Sem and Peugeot.

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  19. @nate. Now THAT is a mullet!!

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  20. @gilly

    @nate. Now THAT is a mullet!!

    GERT!!!!!

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  21. @Teocalli

    @osbk67 Lace-ups were good enough for The Prophet (not that he had much choice) so as long as the bike is of a suitable era and riding clips I see no sin. In fact I have a pair (though not so shiny) for riding The Butler. As they say, Cuff and Tails should match so I trust @stephen also has leather gloves with string backs.

    Far be it from me to accuse another cyclist of sin. More a comment on the overall look really. To me red socks don’t go with nothing… Merckx may have worn black lace-ups, but with red socks? Not unless they were soaked with the blood of crushed fools perhaps… Anyway, a nostalgic vote here for the first cycling jersey I owned which did not have chest pockets (as wrong then as now) – Ceramiche Ariostea in wool, before printing technology allowed the addition of a red and yellow inverted fish scale pattern. From the sublime to the ridiculous, yet again…

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  22. @Teocalli

    @osbk67 Lace-ups were good enough for The Prophet (not that he had much choice) so as long as the bike is of a suitable era and riding clips I see no sin. In fact I have a pair (though not so shiny) for riding The Butler. As they say, Cuff and Tails should match so I trust @stephen also has leather gloves with string backs.

    now I’m going to pull you lot up on this, there’s no need for laced shoes to be reserved for vintage days…

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  23. @Mikael Liddy

    @Teocalli

    @osbk67 Lace-ups were good enough for The Prophet (not that he had much choice) so as long as the bike is of a suitable era and riding clips I see no sin. In fact I have a pair (though not so shiny) for riding The Butler. As they say, Cuff and Tails should match so I trust @stephen also has leather gloves with string backs.

    now I’m going to pull you lot up on this, there’s no need for laced shoes to be reserved for vintage days…

    Strong Empire game ! However why has the shower got carpet in it ?

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  24. @Chris A Mario Bro’s mushroom ?!? Ohhh man… so classic. That was good. Really good. Quite a remarkable achievement ?? Hah, double cheers!

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  25. @Barracuda haha, office has floor based air con vents, causes interesting feels when you combine an upward cool breeze, freshly shaved guns & suit pants! Also, ride departs are slightly delayed nowadays due to extra time choosing which shoes to wear…

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  26. @Nate

    @gilly

    @nate. Now THAT is a mullet!!

    GERT!!!!!

    You know it!!! Half cyclist half son of Satan

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  27. El Diablo in the polka dot jersey: the real deal. A climber who rides with heart and goes on these crazy, long solo breakaways? Yes, please. When I was a kid that’s the rider I wanted to be (and, in my heart, that’s still true). I’ll admit that I wanted a polka dot jersey because when I thought of it, he was wearing it. Sometimes it’s the man that makes the shirt. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/OmRQ3hBz7H4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

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  28. @Mikael Liddy Goddammit man! Your sartorial splendour is giving me a serious case of footwear envy. Empires and Rapha GTs?? If I manage to ever make it back to the Land Down Under you and I are going for a ride.

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  29. @gilly

    @Nate

    @gilly

    @nate. Now THAT is a mullet!!

    GERT!!!!!

    You know it!!! Half cyclist half son of Satan

    You know what he’s thinking “If I look dopey enough no-one will associate me with this monstrosity of a “bike” I’m holding. Either that or he’s pretending not to see the mysteriously airborne truck right behind him.

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  30. @fignons barber

    @frank

    Jesus, came across this little gem searching from Figgles rockin’ the Castorama kit…helmets have really made a bit of progress in the style department, haven’t they?

    That’s the old Vetta helmet. I had one around ’91 or ’92. I remember purchasing it because : 1) it was the same one Rolf Sorenson wore with Ariostea, and 2) it was $40 at Bike Nashbar. I found it in the garage a couple months ago, looks surprisingly similar to an aero-road lid of today.

    The Z Peugeot rider is wearing a Giro Air Attack. Still got mine. If it wasn’t a good fit out of the box you just added more and more foam padding inside.

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  31. @unversio @Chris

    @Stephen

    Never in doubt.

    You were either posting pictures of yourself dressed as a Mario Bros mushroom to random internet sites or you’ve missed every point ever made on this one. Either way, it’s quite a remarkable achievement. Chapeau.

    Poor lads. You underestimate me. It all ties together with the frame colors quite nicely…

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  32. @Stephen Not to keep railing on you, but is that a fucking cup of coffee in your rear bidon??

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  33. @frank based on the stem, saddle, tires and bar tape combo, this was a few years ago, but I would assume it was a post ride cappuccino. The ambient lighting makes me think it was an overcast and cool day, but not Rule #9 weather.

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  34. @Mikael Liddy

    @Teocalli

    @osbk67 Lace-ups were good enough for The Prophet (not that he had much choice) so as long as the bike is of a suitable era and riding clips I see no sin. In fact I have a pair (though not so shiny) for riding The Butler. As they say, Cuff and Tails should match so I trust @stephen also has leather gloves with string backs.

    now I’m going to pull you lot up on this, there’s no need for laced shoes to be reserved for vintage days…

    Get some shoe modeling talent to hire for any other images like this — or just don’t do it.

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  35. @unversio yeah I wasn’t particularly happy with it either, but it was the only shot I had of that pair in use & uncovered at this stage. Belgian Booties are all I’m seeing at the moment with pre-dawn winter rides.

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  36. @wiscot

    @Nate Frankly, it’s the mullet that disturbs me the most. Why would you sign someone who makes such irresponsible decisions regarding his personal appearance? Oh, yeah, because they got to wear the Castorama kit. That being said, the fact that we still discuss the Castorama kit means the designer did their job. Most of use could give the cops a pretty good description of it from memory – more than could be said for most kits past and present. Let’s have a good kit/bad kit discussion again. They always liven things up. First rule of Good Kit Club – Atala from the 80s is top 5 cool together with La Vie Clair, Del Tongo, Skil-Sem and Peugeot.

    The “designer” was Larry Fignon, according to his autobio. He apparently did up the Systeme U kit as well. As for the mullet, well, the two-time Grand Boucle winner had a little more class than that . . .

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  37. @wiscot

    Thanks for posting! Rock Racing? Are you kidding me? Whoa! Where to start – they cite TI Raleigh and show Fignon in Systeme U kit. They talk Bianchi and show Ullrich – not Gimondi. No Peugeot checkered bands? The Kit of Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Esclassan et al? Saeco FFS? What about Flandria – the original Red Guard? DeMayer, Maertens, Kelly. Put together by a hipster intern who knows SFA I think.

    Many of these top 10 lists out there are put together by some dopey intern who thinks history begins in about 1998. It’s pathetic. As a historian, it’s depressing. I have no idea how anyone is going to impress upon someone raised with a smart phone and wikipedia that there is more to the world than googling something for instant gratification, which then goes out the window to be forgotten.

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  38. Since this has somehow morphed into a shoe, sock, and kit thread … Rode my retro-mod steel is real Hollands over the weekend with retro Renault-Elf jersey and modern Sock Guy plaid socks. Stripes and plaid. Le Blaireau meets Sock Guy style.

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  39. @Ron

    @wiscot

    Thanks for posting! Rock Racing? Are you kidding me? Whoa! Where to start – they cite TI Raleigh and show Fignon in Systeme U kit. They talk Bianchi and show Ullrich – not Gimondi. No Peugeot checkered bands? The Kit of Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Esclassan et al? Saeco FFS? What about Flandria – the original Red Guard? DeMayer, Maertens, Kelly. Put together by a hipster intern who knows SFA I think.

    Many of these top 10 lists out there are put together by some dopey intern who thinks history begins in about 1998. It’s pathetic. As a historian, it’s depressing. I have no idea how anyone is going to impress upon someone raised with a smart phone and wikipedia that there is more to the world than googling something for instant gratification, which then goes out the window to be forgotten.

    Amen brother. I’m not that old, but my point of reference for “old” is pre WW2. After that we’re in the modern era. I fear we are going to be succeeded by generations of people with the attention-spans of fruit flies.

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  40. @chuckp Lookin’ good… wait… why is your Hollands in the little ring / big cog? @Stephen What the hell man? Those shorts don’t tie anything together.

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  41. @chuckp nice, especially liking the socks.

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  42. @Stephen

    @frank based on the stem, saddle, tires and bar tape combo, this was a few years ago, but I would assume it was a post ride cappuccino. The ambient lighting makes me think it was an overcast and cool day, but not Rule #9 weather.

    You Sir, are surely taking the piss ! Please tell me Im right.

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  43. @Stephen

    Poor lads. You underestimate me. It all ties together with the frame colors quite nicely…

    While we may give you credit for a piss take, that frame is mostly black. ‘nuf said.

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  44. @DeKerr Thank you. End of my ride. I pretty much start and end all my rides from home these days. Gives me a chance to both warm up and cool down riding in an urban environment. So I’m always in my small ring leaving and returning. Plus my Hollands is old school gearing. 53/39 up front and 12×23 in back — used to be 12×21 when I raced but I had to make an accommodation for getting old(er). :-) Even so, 39×23 is hardly that small a gear compared to modern compact gearing.

    @chuckp Lookin’ good… wait… why is your Hollands in the little ring / big cog?

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  45. @Mikael Liddy Thank you. IMHO they match in a clashing sort of way. :-) And these days I kind of prefer my socks to be “loud.”

    @chuckp nice, especially liking the socks.

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  46. @chuckp you may be keen on the work of Jeremy Dunn & The Athletic – http://www.theathleticcommunity.com/

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  47. Cooler than ice…

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  48. twice…

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  49. @Mikael Liddy Thanks Mikael! I see a pair of their La Cubiste socks in my future.

    @chuckp you may be keen on the work of Jeremy Dunn & The Athletic – http://www.theathleticcommunity.com/

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  50. @frank Isn’t it spelled, “Balleur”?

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