Monday, December 13, 2010

Classic Cycling

A few weeks ago, I was in the turn lane getting ready to u-turn on Coast Highway when a guy in a mint late '60's Pontiac GTO convertible pulled up next to me.  It was a long light, so I looked over and told him he had a sweet ride and the car was a "great piece of Detroit steel".  He laughed and said "Thanks, man.  I assume your ride is made of carbon?"

I love classic design of all kinds.  And bikes are no exception.  Sure, I love the sleek lines and modern composition of a new bike.  But take a look at the Colnago's below.  They are both sexy as hell, but there's no denying that the vintage bike has a certain majestic presence that the modern bike can't touch.  Just like the GTO at the traffic signal.
1980's Colnago      

Modern Colnago

The same goes for cycling kit.  Though there is little doubt that modern synthetic fabrics are better than cotton or wool when it comes to performance clothing, style has seemed to take a turn for worse, at least in my opinion.  Take a look in your closet.  Most of your cycling jerseys are probably garishly colored, loud and busy.  And if you are a club or team rider, almost every piece of available real estate is covered with a sponsor logo of some sort.

But there was a time when kit was much simpler.  I recently found these replica national team jerseys at  Check them out - rich colors and clean design.  I think they are amazing looking.

These jerseys are from a classic age of cycling when Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Sean Kelly (Ireland) and  Fausto Coppi (Italy) ruled the road.  Not a big European cycling fan?  Use Jim Brown, Joe Namath and Wayne Gretzky's early career with Edmonton as time references. 

Feeling nostalgic?  If so, check out Cycling Art Blog.  Richard posts great vintage/classic cycling related photos every day.


KovasP said...

Funny enough, except for my Bigfoot Tri jersey and a garish fluorescent yellow jersey, all mine are very simple, one or two colors max.

Christi said...

I love the look of the classis jerseys but I also can do garish. What can I say, I'm a girl! Just don't give me garish flower jerseys. I'm not a sissy!

Jill said...

Do those things come in PINK? Hum...I might have to do a cycling events if so cuz those are COOL. If you saw my 50 lb mountain bike I own, you'd think that was funny. I am getting sweat pants for doing 3 of those stupid Du's, though. :)

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Please tell me your love for the vintage will include growing the requisite Burt Reynolds' moustache? Because that would be awesome.

TRI714 said...

Classic post. I just lost a bid on a Retro Bianchi jersey I was going to try and hook you up with. I'm still looking for you though. That was supposed to be a surprise. But I kind of suck at it.

Shawn Kelly is one of my all time favorites. I actualy used to dream about one of his tricked out Vitus bikes just climbing mountains in the rain.
And both those Colnagos rock.
Having been cycling for decades now, I'll choose the latter of the two though.
Those jersey are you homie.

Richard said...


So glad you're enjoying my retro look back,



Unknown said...

Agree with everything you said. Also agree with Shannon and think you could rock the Burt Reynolds stash.

I hate the ugly ass loud jerseys, but still wear them because they make me more visible to drivers.

Emz said...

why do "models" always have to stand with their legs THAT far apart?

Sorry you lost me at the word bike. I need one though.

Barbie said...

Emz, I agree. Must be a macho pose.

Jason said...

The Italian jersey grabbed me immediately.

I love watching them play soccer in the Azure as well....

Nice post on the Throwbacks.

Lindsay said...

i'm definitely a retro/old-school style person. i especially like the idea of re-habbing or re-furbing something old instead of buying something new. (makes me real fun to shop for, trust me i've heard all about it)

Unknown said...

I'm all for the classic look in cycling gear. Today's gear is too flowery for me to wear.


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