Anatomy of a Photo: Denim Shorts

The Rules, of course, are a sort of reference guide for those of us who may need a little bit of help making sure we act and look Fantastic at all times, whether on or near the bike. However much they are steeped in the history of our sport, they are by their very nature incomplete and always evolving, subject to the continuous development of the sport. They are also greatly influenced by the little things the Pros do, mostly because they invariably look better than any of us and, due to the immense number of hours they spend on the bicycle, have figured a thing or two out that we can learn from without having to interrupt our beer drinking or stop critiquing them from the comfort of our sofas.

However influential the Pros may be in determining The Rules, their actions are still subject to Good Taste, and should they violate that ever-important element, their actions will never find their way into the cannon. Conversely, they may also – through the sheer volume of the V they are able to channel – transcend The Rules and venture into Velomitopia despite any garish choice of aesthetics they may choose. Il Pirata’s bandana comes to mind, as does Gilbert’s up-flipped cap; if we are to try such things ourselves, we would be damned to an eternity of indoor windtrainer intervals.

Which brings me to the subject of the Carrera Jeans bibshorts. Taken out of context, these are perhaps the worst idea anyone has ever had since putting an ejector seat in a helicopter with no detachable rotors. But put in the context of Il Diablo and his 232 km escape to Sestriere, those fake denim bibs are, in my mind, some of the coolest bits of cycling kit ever created. Rule Violation? Absolutely. Looked all kinds of Awesome on Chiappucci? Fuck yeah. Horrible helmet notwithstanding.

You just won’t be seeing me sporting a pair, is all.

 

Related Posts

77 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: Denim Shorts”

  1. Carrera denim = way cool (on pros). also acceptable to wear on “fancy dress” rides.

    The Big Mat(I think?) faux overalls = a crime against humanity.

  2. Top 5 article! Perhaps the designer of the atrocious denim bibshorts knew that any rider racing in them would feel a desperate need to lay down major V. Genius, really.

  3. @otoman
    Cos they’d be in the biggest hurry to take them off and get the hell away from them. The pockets on the arse crack me up, they’re hilarious.

    @Marcello
    That Carerra is a beautiful bike. Something good going on right there.

  4. Happy to report that I have never donned pair of those. Ever. Then again, I’m not a waifey little Itialian And like the ‘disco’, perhaps I’ll never understand.

  5. FUCK. Way too much glue has been sniffed around here these last few days, what with the endless discussion about sew-ups. And the result of all this chemical mayhem? A post, and then a whole article about the return of the DENIM SHIT bibs. They looked ATROCIOUS when they were first worn. It was a crime against good taste in general and professional cycling in particular when they came out.

    They’d been thrown high up on the trash heap of bad taste. And some fuckwad has climbed up on that trash heap, grabbed the ugliest fucking kit in the history of ugly, slid down the pile of historic nastiness, and is now pawning that shit off on my stoned-out-of-your-fucking-minds fellow Velominati.

    Stop it right now! Avert your eyes. La Vuelta is happening, gents. Real bike racing. We can discuss real bike racing. Instead, you want to pay reverence, and possibly even purchase this dreck?

    First, go sleep off your glue highs. Then detox with some hill repeats.

    Merckx would never be caught dead in those. Look to him for guidance.

  6. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Settle down JiPM! It’s all in good fun, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe once you make it out to hill country and ride some hills you’ll feel better.

  7. @Nate
    Yes – that’s what I was thinking of – no need for you to put up a pic though! Nasty even on Fignon

  8. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    FUCK. Way too much glue has been sniffed around here these last few days, what with the endless discussion about sew-ups. And the result of all this chemical mayhem? A post, and then a whole article about the return of the DENIM SHIT bibs. They looked ATROCIOUS when they were first worn. It was a crime against good taste in general and professional cycling in particular when they came out.
    They’d been thrown high up on the trash heap of bad taste. And some fuckwad has climbed up on that trash heap, grabbed the ugliest fucking kit in the history of ugly, slid down the pile of historic nastiness, and is now pawning that shit off on my stoned-out-of-your-fucking-minds fellow Velominati.
    Stop it right now! Avert your eyes. La Vuelta is happening, gents. Real bike racing. We can discuss real bike racing. Instead, you want to pay reverence, and possibly even purchase this dreck?
    First, go sleep off your glue highs. Then detox with some hill repeats.
    Merckx would never be caught dead in those. Look to him for guidance.

    I’ve gotta quit hanging around this joint at the end of the evening after a couple of IPA’s (OK a few). If I keep shooting beer out my nose, I’m going to have to go see an ENT Doc.

  9. Looks like he’s wearin a foam cap too, but maybe just a tiny head…?

    Loving the pomp of wearing a Man’s Watch (heavy) in the days of concern for minutia like tire weight and min seatpost length–whildst competing for and carrying the dotty jumper.

  10. I have found a U.S. dealer & shall place an order quite soon. They’ll be awesome on “fancy dress” rides, like when I roll on the Tommasini on Sundays; Italian steel + Italian “pre-bulged” denim = class! Now I just have to decide if I want to pay that much for denim bibs when I could have a new pair of daily wearers, not just some wacko once-a-monthers. Oh well, style can hurt one’s wallet.

    While I observe a Zero Denim Rule off the bike, how can I resist form-fitting faux denim on the bike? Especially if it comes with pockets for my tubes and smokes.

    I shamelessly admit I also love the Castorama kit.

  11. Jeff – Shall it be known as the Denim Shit Kit?

    Could we be onto a new entry?!

    The odd thing is that I haven’t been gluing tyres, nor taking a puff, but I also haven’t been watching La Vuelta and I’m away from home and without a bike for a week now. Maybe these conditions are to blame for my lust?

  12. Would wearing them with a hi-vis neon green Performance jersey, club fit, of course, be the equivalent of wearing a denim button-up with jeans?

    And sheeit, I’m worried now with all this press there is going to be a run on them; better order mine tomorrow.

  13. @Ron

    Would wearing them with a hi-vis neon green Performance jersey, club fit, of course, be the equivalent of wearing a denim button-up with jeans?
    And sheeit, I’m worried now with all this press there is going to be a run on them; better order mine tomorrow.

    I implore you. Save your duckets and get one of these. I understand what Frank is saying, but I don’t think his holiness would be impressed.

  14. @Ron

    Jeff – Shall it be known as the Denim Shit Kit?
    Could we be onto a new entry?!

    I suspect your exploits in that garment will generate more content than just a Lexicon entry.

    I’m away from home and without a bike for a week now. Maybe these conditions are to blame for my lust?

    You may need to seek prompt medical advice if your symptoms continue for another 24 hours.

  15. @mouse

    Gentlemen;
    I give you Lisa’s Mum.
    A sage meditation on the very subject upon which we are currently deliberating.

    perfect explanation!

  16. @Ron
    Don’t want to harsh your buzz, but I mentioned in a previous post that the pockets on the kit cracked me up – you know they’re painted on right? Non functioning pockets? Like the painted on zipper?

  17. @mouse

    Gentlemen;I give you Lisa’s Mum.A sage meditation on the very subject upon which we are currently deliberating.

    LMFAO!!! That is awesome.

  18. @Ron

    I have found a U.S. dealer & shall place an order quite soon. They’ll be awesome on “fancy dress” rides, like when I roll on the Tommasini on Sundays; Italian steel + Italian “pre-bulged” denim = class! Now I just have to decide if I want to pay that much for denim bibs when I could have a new pair of daily wearers, not just some wacko once-a-monthers. Oh well, style can hurt one’s wallet.
    While I observe a Zero Denim Rule off the bike, how can I resist form-fitting faux denim on the bike? Especially if it comes with pockets for my tubes and smokes.
    I shamelessly admit I also love the Castorama kit.

    Oh, oh, oh. Whoa is me. My friend, Ron, is lost.

    Seekers, what constitutes an exorcism for a Velominatus?

  19. EDIT: …Woe is me.

    I got my Texan all mixed up with my proper English. This happens a lot.

  20. @mouse… Lisa’s mum is awesome… NOT what I was expecting when I clicked that link… I thought, since the article was about painted on denim shorts, it would take me through to some MILF heaven… And actually was way better.

    @all… Come on, playtime is over. Put the taste specs back on and start talking about racing and shit. It’s a given, since we all don tight Lycra regularly, that we have no fashion sense whatsoever… Let’s just not boast about it. Hoping this article is a one-off aberration

  21. Perfect timing, as I have just started a retro build project in homage to my teenage hero Il Diablo.

    Unfortunately, extensive Googling only seems to yield recent photos of the great man with various models slash p0rn stars. All attempts to find the decals are coming up with donut. Anyone?

    I must say I can recall the denim nicks, but for some reason don’t recall Claudio being in anything but the royal blue nicks (like a ’70’s Roos jumper, if any Aussies like me remember). The Carrera Vagabond Jeans jersey was a much treasured part of my kit back in the day.

    Apart from his fantastic exploits in ’91 and ’92, there was a story about Chiapucci in a fairly decent race heading off on a breakaway, but jumping off into the bushes for a leak. He got the idea that it would be funny to stay there and watch the peloton chase past. Story is he rejoined quietly, no one noticed (including DS’) and the bunch wound up a fairly desperate chase before the jig was up.

    Suggest you look up the 2011 model Carrera Phibra, Teeceboy. It’s a pretty aggressive looking bike, very schmick to my eyes.

  22. ok ladies, go ahead and drink the purple kool-aid, but I am not….pass it on down the line and pass an espresso please, I’m donning my Castelli’s and heading out to race

    Its a dark secret, but I am going to tell you one, even PRO’s make mistakes. Its the unwritten Rule. There are not many mistakes, but it happens and denim kits are the equivalent of JimJones dose of cyanide laced kool-aid…a big mistake

    Oh, you don’t think, go ahead mary, put’m on, go down to your Thursday night world championship crit/race/ride and see what your buddies say….go ahead.

    I just can’t believe it has generated so many ‘cool’ comments or ‘yeah, I’d like some cause I ride steel too’.

    I’m w/jeff on this one, somethings are best handled w/a turn of the head for a moment til it passes like when your buddy who slept with the ugly girl at the bar the night before, turn your head, give him some dignity for a moment, he’ll realize what he did and shake her off.

    Thats what we should do to the denim kit

  23. You notice who’s conspicuously missing from this discussion? Mr. Frank. Like one of those guys who gets folks all riled up at a bar or dinner party, then stealths off into a corner and watches the mayhem slowly unfold.

  24. Coincidence is a funny thing. As if anyone reading this site was contemplating buying a pair of vile “denim”-look shorts, I have a suggestion that will help you look shit for less. And let’s face it, if you’re going to deliberately look like shit, there’s no point spending $$$$ doing so. This morning I was at a popular high-volume mass market retailer. In the clearance section were “denim”-look leggings. Printed on seams, pockets and all. $4.50. They were in the knicker-style mode, but with fall just around the corner they could be just right if you are so inclined. Just sayin’ . . . .

  25. OK people. FOCUS now…!
    There’s a grand tour on you know. Lets not let this herring suck up all the oxygen.
    Its a mountain stage and Saussler’s in the break goddamit!

  26. wiscot – I’ve seen some curvy well-built gals in those faux denim tights/leggings. Dual thumbs up from me. Now, if we can just get the muffin-topped tubbies to quite wearing leggings in public…

    Alright, back on topic. How many of you had ever heard of Elia Viviani before yesterday? He’s news to me.

  27. @eightzero

    @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Merckx would never be caught dead in those. Look to him for guidance.

    Indeed. Look deep into your soul, then look to Him for guidance. Channel The V. That is all.

    By the way, this article in NO WAY sanctions the purchasing of this item. See the below for any questions.

    @Ron
    I’m looking at you.

  28. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Oh, oh, oh. Whoa is me. My friend, Ron, is lost.
    Seekers, what constitutes an exorcism for a Velominatus?

    I’m surprised you have to ask. Hill Repeats. Preferably 25 reps of Haleakala.

  29. @Abdu

    Perfect timing, as I have just started a retro build project in homage to my teenage hero Il Diablo.
    Unfortunately, extensive Googling only seems to yield recent photos of the great man with various models slash p0rn stars. All attempts to find the decals are coming up with donut. Anyone?
    I must say I can recall the denim nicks, but for some reason don’t recall Claudio being in anything but the royal blue nicks (like a ’70″²s Roos jumper, if any Aussies like me remember). The Carrera Vagabond Jeans jersey was a much treasured part of my kit back in the day.
    Apart from his fantastic exploits in ’91 and ’92, there was a story about Chiapucci in a fairly decent race heading off on a breakaway, but jumping off into the bushes for a leak. He got the idea that it would be funny to stay there and watch the peloton chase past. Story is he rejoined quietly, no one noticed (including DS’) and the bunch wound up a fairly desperate chase before the jig was up.
    Suggest you look up the 2011 model Carrera Phibra, Teeceboy. It’s a pretty aggressive looking bike, very schmick to my eyes.

    Chiappucci, in spite of my inability to spell his name without looking it up, was also one of my childhood heros, starting with his rockin’ shades in ’91 and being solidified by the break I mentioned in the article, up to Sestriere. I hated him in 1990, though, probably because he wasn’t wearing the blue jeans.

    Assuming you’re only talking about doing the build on the bike, that era of Dura-Ace (with DT shifters, not STI) was the only incarnation of Shimano that rivals Campa for beauty. Those brake levers were a work of art. Absolutely top shelf. Just don’t put the DT shifters on SIS and attach them to a Cannonwhale’s massive down tube; each click from a shift might as well have been a gun going off, signaling that you were shifting. CLICK!!

    But the shape of those brake levers, with the metal trim on along the hoods, and the single-pivot brakeset…be still my beating heart. I’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your rebuild on The Bikes.

  30. @Teeceboy
    that’s true, however there is a big difference between the Italian Carrera and Halfords; one was handmade Eyetalian with a pedigree, the other mass prod MOR shite. The thing is the Yanks wouldn’t know about Halfords.

  31. The guy ho owns a pair and rocks them out around here, LBG (Little British Git) is a very strong rider, rips the legs off it more often than not and rides either a Carerra or De Rosa. He does it a bit tongue in cheek (wears them to Sunday rides, when everyone else is in their sunday best. You’ve gotta be in the front tier of riders to pull that shit off is all.
    BTW, merino? that stuff’s a revelation.

  32. Just was able to watch the racing in CO. Damn, Elia does it again! Nice, very nice. I think watching some racing has pulled me back to earth. I’m not saying I don’t want the Denim Shit Kit, but as cx season nears, there are a bunch of needs far ahead of faux denim.

    Frank, thanks for that visual tutorial!

    Oss might have the biggest mouth in the PRO peloton. And is it me or does Leipheimer just not look PRO? I know he is and all, but he just does not look cool nor Casually Deliberate. Maybe it’s the black shoes, maybe his pasty skin, maybe his egghead.

    Oh, and is that a pink computer on sitting atop the Cinelli forged quill stem? Just spotted that; I’d been blinded by the bibs for so long.

  33. Perhaps this abomination will quell the debate about the Carrera jeans shorts, but making them seem inconsequential in comparison.

    Of course, I will admit a secret love of the Lion King’s outfits, but I know never to actually wear one.

  34. And really, that’s just the top of the slippery slope that leads to this…

  35. Oh my word. Forgive me Keepers, for I have sinned. If I had known it was going to unravel into this, I’d never, ever had started this.

  36. @scaler911

    @Ron

    Would wearing them with a hi-vis neon green Performance jersey, club fit, of course, be the equivalent of wearing a denim button-up with jeans?And sheeit, I’m worried now with all this press there is going to be a run on them; better order mine tomorrow.

    I implore you. Save your duckets and get one of these. I understand what Frank is saying, but I don’t think his holiness would be impressed.

    I think some of us need to pin this photo somewhere so it’s the last thing we see before heading out for a ride. One look in those eyes will tell you whether (a) your kit/general cycling aura is acceptable (b) you need to change (c) you should just give up and take up some sort of ballsports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.