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Ironic Cycling Fashion: What to Wear?

July 12, 2010

In general, the Bikefag recommends wearing shit that “looks hilarious.”

That’s easier said than done, though.

You don’t just throw on some neon pink shorts and call it a day.  Assembling the perfect ironic cycling kit is a craft!

Human beings register hundreds of tiny details subconsciously.  For instance:

While we’d probably concede that Little Legs here has a “pretty sick” jersey,

We would all agree that his legitimacy level stacks up about as flat as a pancake next to the dudes who ride L’Eroica.

Is that guy wearing a wool skinsuit?!

The Erioca guys definitely have their shit together, but the problem with their getups, irony-wise, is that they look too cool.  To be a truly ironic cyclist, you want to look “cool” in a more roundabout way – by looking ridiculous.  And nothing looks more ridiculous than:

The Year 1990

Also the peak of cycling-eyewear-size

My research indicates than any cycling fashion before the late ’80s now looks “cool,” and anything from after 1996 looks too close to “modern.”  This will unfortunately change with time (check out Jezebel’s “Unending Cycle of Hipster Fashion“), so it might be prudent to get ahead of the game by buying up all the USPS kits you can find.

Of course, 1990 was also the peak of one of the funniest color-schemes ever:

All Neon!

Remember the ironic-all-neon-electro phase of 2007-2008?  Man, I miss those days!  No big deal, though, because in the world of ironic cycling fashion, all-neon is still enjoying a tremendous vogue.  I hope you held onto your neon biker shorts, ladies, ’cause they’re about to get a second life!



Nothing is funnier than a skinsuit.  Nothing!

Except maybe a sleeveless skinsuit.

The ironic skinsuit is the pinnacle of my “preemptive strike” logic from the last post.

“Everybody’s already wearing spandex?  Fine, then, I’ll wear less spandex!”

That oughtta learn ’em!



Obviously, no ironic cycling getup would be complete without some hilarious sunglasses.  Sunglasses inordinately represent the absurdities of their time, so they’re a must-have ironic accessory.  The most important ironic sunglasses to know about are:

Oakley Razor Blades

The Oakley Factory Pilot

Briko Stinger


These sunglasses are all magnificent, and they’ll certainly do the job.  The problem is that they’re also highly sought-after, and command totally ludicrous prices on eBay.

The trick is to find the sunglasses that were ripoffs of the above cutting-edge eyewear.  They may not function quite as well, but it beats spending $500…






You’ve gotta have the kit, dawgs.

There are some classic ironic kits, such as the above zebra-striped Acqua e Sapone and Coors Light/ADR.

Alexi Grewal

But just like with the sunglasses, you’re better off looking for one-off, bush-league Euro team kits from ebay (we’ll get into that in the next post).  Second-rate team kits also help to distinguish the “ironic cyclist” from the “classic cycling collector.”  Very important.



Nothing ruins an ironic kit like wearing a modern helmet, or a pair of white shoes, so get your shit together, ironic cyclists, and pay attention to the details!

Play your cards right, bike fags, and you might get a call-out from the announcer at your next cat. 4 criterium!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2010 1:11 pm

    small point, but in your pic for Briko Stingers, neither of those dudes are wearing them, Cipo is wearing the Raiders and I forget what the other pair are called, but these are the Stingers!

    I point it out as my love of the Stingers is only trumped by my love of the Briko Zen

    • bikefag permalink*
      July 13, 2010 5:26 pm

      Wow, thanks Martin. How could I have forgotten the Cippolini smoking pic. I’m gonna switch them out.

      For reference, anyone who’s interested, I originally had this picture in place of the smoking pic.

      One day I hope to know my Brikos so well, Martin. Thanks.

      • July 13, 2010 5:59 pm

        my head is so full of useless knowledge, from BB dimensions to stem weights, there needs to be a cycling trivia show

  2. burnsadam permalink
    July 13, 2010 5:16 pm

    1st! njspanasonic you’re slippin. ps. razor blades are excellent for riding.

  3. July 14, 2010 8:53 am

    Good news for us Ironic Cyclists:

    They’ve re-released the Eyeshade/Factory pilot!!!!

    I NEEEDD THESE (despite already owning a vented iridium pair with an intact sweat band).

  4. Pop Richmond permalink
    July 19, 2010 4:12 pm

    Love those wild aerobars on the cover of Bicycle Guide. Does the rider have to put his arms under the flats to get into them?

    You should do a post on how to “upgrade” your bike with ironic components.

  5. Double Douche permalink
    July 24, 2010 10:18 am

    You are driving the prices of used FAGOR clothing higher.

    That world champion jersey is pretty simple and sweet.

  6. August 2, 2010 5:22 pm

    I think I have a pair of Swatch-branded Alpina’s in perpetual storage at my Mom’s house. Or did I leave them at your dads? I can’t remember.


  1. Ironic Cycling Fashion: eBay Guide « Bikefag's Blog

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