Look Pro: Baller

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.

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98 Replies to “Look Pro: Baller”

  1. At the risk of being soundly ridiculed … denim shorts … in my much younger race days.

  2. Well if jeans with a denim jacket is known as a Canadian Tuxedo, what should this be known as? An Italian Fiasco?

    On another note. I once actively enjoyed making myself look terrible. I was a child of the ‘oughts – the bigger the pants, the cooler you were. I had a pair of absolutely tremendous royal blue velour pants that I would wear with the loudest paisley shirt (complete with coast-to-coast collars) I could find at Salvation Army. All that being said, maturity is a beautiful thing. Had I been into cycling in high school, I would have sought out that kit desperately. A decade later, I realize that no amount of panache could make me look good in that.

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

  4. This is not a victory salute, this is ” who the fck designed this shit looking kit ”

    Marco would’ve rocked it though !

  5. @Barracuda

    This is not a victory salute, this is ” who the fck designed this shit looking kit ”

    Marco would’ve rocked it though !

    I remember the first time the VMH saw someone race in that kit, “Oh no! That guy crashed!”

    I’m always amazed to see someone win a race in that kit. You’d think they’d know better.

  6. @Oli

    Agreed, but pointing that out in the article would have been too messy. In fact, Cuppucinno rocking it in the spotted jumper was possibly the high point.

  7. @frank

    @Oli

    Fuck yeah faux jeans

    +1 Frank!

    I always imagined Roche, Pantani, and a host of other pros were deep down offended by the crappy ass design of the team jersey and faux denim shorts, pay day aside. But rather than cry as they had a post-stage massage, they instead inflicted pain upon the teams who had color-coordinated, well-styled kits. Except Fignon. See, he designed that nasty Castorama jersey/shorts combo. So he was personally offended by your smirk at his stylin’, suspenders styled jersey. Thus, you must suffer.

    Chapau Laurent! Now please, slow down.

  8. @Stephen

    What the hell mate? You on your way to a clown convention or did you mistake this for an \altsubreddit?

    Love the Darth Vaders though.

  9. @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.

  10. @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.

    Espresso spat onto keyboard

  11. @frank

    (From the original post)

    “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, often because their sponsors are paying them to wear something no one in their right mind would ever wear.”

    Pros look completely what? I can stand the suspense.

    For the record, I would look like a complete tool in that Carrera kit. I’m not sure I don’t look a tool in my club kit, although I like to tell myself I look pro and awesome. Reality, delusion, what’s the difference?

  12. @VeloJello

    @Teocalli

    @Stephen

    I fixed your post………….

    Tidy work sir, tidy work.

    Fixed? I still see a yachting enthusiast wearing Team New Zealand Americas Cup lucky red socks and rugby boots about to mow the lawns…

  13. @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.

  14. @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.

  15. Those Carrera bikes are uber though.  I have a hankering for a steel bike in white with chrome forks and chainstay.  Came close to buying another project a couple of weeks back for a vintage track bike but the VMW was not too keen till I clear out some old parts and ski gear I no longer need to give me the base budget.

  16. @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.

  17. 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?

  18. @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.

  19. @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?

    At least le Professeur is rocking the 3-point system.  Otherwise that kit looks like something a fat French appliance repairman would wear.

    @frank

    @Nate

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

    I beg to differ.

    That is crazy and Cipo pulls it off, but it does not prove that he could have made the Castorama kit look good.

    Where is one of our Photoshop mavens?  Get on putting Cipo in Castorama, please.

  20. @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.

    An ironic bit of kit for the Lion King, no?

  21. @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.

  22. @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.

  23. @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.

  24. @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.

  25. @wiscot

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

  26. @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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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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