Retro Cycling Kits - Great Tour De France Team Jersey Inspired Options
Retro cycling chic is back
My Favourite Retro Kits-Mario Cipollini
Retro kits on Amazon
Retro Chic Jerseys From The Tour De France
Cycling is a sport which continues to move forward technologically however retro has recently begun a revival. The sport has encompassed technological fabrics such as high modulus carbon fibre, hydro formed aluminium and titanium ultra lightweight components while also keeping sight of it's past.
Many of us have a great respect for the performances of the likes of Eddy Merckx, Sean Kelly, Laurent Fignon and other stars from the Tour De France. We wish we could ride just like them and imagine ourselves winning the bunch sprint on the Champs Elysees or Climbing up L'Alpe D'Huez.
It is a faux pas in cycling to purchase a Polka Dot Jersey or Yellow Jersey from the Tour De France as riding in them when with a group you open yourself up to 'attacks' or other riders sprinting away on climbs. However it is perfectly acceptable to wear retro team kit. One of the strange etiquettes of the sport
Cycling has embraced technology and now shorts and jerseys are made from technically advanced fabrics designed to keep the wearer cool on hot days by wicking away sweat from the body or warm by blocking out the cool wind and rain. However the sport has also embraced traditional fabrics as well with the use of high quality merino wool in respect of tradition.
In the UK a great point of call is Prendas Ciclismo which specialises in retro and modern cycling apparel. To the right is my own Colombian National Team top I purchased from them which is simple, clean and crisp, while grabbing attention wherever I go- especially with my Aryan features (blonde hair blue eyes and very pale skin) which clearly mark me out as an albino Colombian!
Prendas stock a lot of Santini Italian jerseys. Like the retro Brooklyn cycling jersey pictured to the right. You too could ride imagining you're a star from the Tour De France from your youth.
This trend has seen many cyclists searching through their wardrobe to find old kits that they never threw out. Or they've simply gone out and bought a brand new retro kit. A rider could have the latest carbon fibre, electronic group set bike that would cost as much as a small car yet be wearing a retro Brooklyn Kit (as pictured) and it looks completely normal to have a fusion of past and present. This has a certain sense of irony.
The retro items which really are not to be worn however are helmets. As helmets deteriorate in their strength after a few years it is not recommended to coordinate with an old helmet as these may be likely to fail in their purpose in the event of an accident. And if you look at the photo I'm not sure many riders would want to wear one for the looks and lack of ventilation in the summer months. When it comes to helmets- technology rules and means a cooler head too!
Retro is Chic when done in the right way. Some of the more mature riders I know have a fantastic selection of old Tour De France kits they simply will not part with. Many years ago you could pick up these kits in bargain buckets at cycling jumble sales however now they've become highly valued antiques.
I'm just waiting for the reintroduction of Mario Cipollini inspired Saeco kits in all their guises in homage for my idol 'Super' Mario Cipollini. Super Mario Cipollini went so far as to enlisting fashion designer Roberto Cavalli to design kits for his team. (See right Roberto Cavalli designed Aqua Sapone Zebra Print Kit)
It doesn't matter what your level of fitness is. You can still look good and that's a big part of the battle.