Monica McCollin in Road Cycling Apparel, in Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC

The Birth of Cool... Lycra? Yes, We Said It.

The golden age of design in cycling gear is happening now. Boom! An explosion of creativity and passion has profoundly changed the world of cycling clothes for the better. Much better.

After years of resorting to the least offensive items out there and the occasional eBay score, we've recently found ourselves with a never-ending stream of options. Swirling all around us are new brands featuring fresh looks with improved functionality, fit, performance, and style. Suddenly, we've got access to options being designed by inspired riders all over the world.

Poke around on Instagram and you'll find that the influx of new brands can be overwhelming. I blame fix-geared ex-hipsters who hit the streets in selvedged jeans before discovering road cycling. I blame style-savvy European ex-cycling pros looking for interesting post-racing career options. I blame fresh-eyed, bike loving, graphic designers and forward-thinking artists working with cyclists who started their own brands. There is a lot of blame—or credit—to go around. 

Prior to this big bang, guys visiting the local bike shop had about 4 color choices: white, yellow, bright red, and royal blue. Women had light purple, light pink, dark purple, dark pink, and the purple/pink combination piece. If you raced, you wore whatever sponsor-splattered kit your team distributed. Charity ride jerseys showed you rode with a conscience but said nothing of style.

So now what do we have? Sharp looking jerseys, bibs, caps, arm-warmers, jackets, gillets, socks, shoes and now even base layers screened with wild prints. You can keep an eye on this relatively recent development by following Kitwatch and WTFkits on instagram. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see.



A photo posted by Team Dream Bicycling Team (@teamdreamteam) on

Always Game... Photo: @rmdub

A photo posted by Team Dream Bicycling Team (@teamdreamteam) on

These two!

A photo posted by Ringtail (@ridewithringtail) on

All day everyday!!!

A photo posted by Ringtail (@ridewithringtail) on

Loving this mix of colors posted by @tmkoo1 - thanks for the pic. The Ekiden yellow looking amazing mixed with this blue.

A photo posted by The Athletic Portland (@theathletic) on

My little finger told me it's time for crochet gloves season! #teamwoolymammoth training camp is coming!

A photo posted by The Athletic Portland (@theathletic) on


Eric Brewer

Finally! The best dressed man on two wheels in DC is giving up his wardrobe secrets! I’ve been trying to figure out where he gets his threads for 2 years!

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