Gear Guide: Emulating Your Bike Heroes

Love cycling? Looking to emulate the heroes of the sport? With just a little effort, your look can rise from bike-dork to domestique. Let’s start at the feet and move up: If you’ve been hot-lapping the neighborhood in Keen’s comfy, do-it-all Commute sport sandals, we suggest a move to something more single purpose. Specialized S-Works Road shoes are a spendy $350, but they are top-notch and good enough for dozens of pros in the Tour de France right now.


Christian VanDe Velde wears Specialized S-Works Road shoe


Around town only: The Keen Commute Shoe

Got a pair of cycling-specific jeans like the Osloh Pedal? These are perfect for riding to a gallery opening or on a beer run, but you’re going to want a kit like the Louis Garneau Corsa for anything serious. The $425 kit is snug, vented, and it features laser-cut sleeves and cuffs. Chosen it white, it is undeniably euro! And since current TDF leader Thomas Voeckler is sporting a nearly identical Louis Garneau kit (in yellow, of course), your street cred is guaranteed to rocket!


Osloh Cycling Jean


Louis Garneau Corsa racing kit

If you’ve been wearing a bladder backpack or using other hydration systems like the Shower’s Pass under-the-seat reservoir, we recommend a move to the Camelbak Podium water bottle. That way you can casually mention to riding buddies that “Christian Vande Velde and I are using the same bottle today.”


Shower’s Pass hydration system


CamelBak Podium bottle

If you took our advice about buying the Adidas Terrex Pro, do-it-all shades, we have more advice for you. Buy the Oakley Jawbones and make them your favorite bike eyewear. The $200+ shades perform great, look aggressive and give you and Vande Velde one more thing in common.


Adidas Terrex Pro shades


Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar wearing Oakley Jawbone shades; photo by Michael Steele

If you’ve been rocking out with the Silicon Valley Global helmet speakers on your multi-purpose lid, it’s time to trade up to the Specialized Prevail. This feathery, 8 oz. and highly-aero lid is another top-shelf item with a $200+ price tag. But it’ll be worth it when your riding buddy asks you “Isn’t that the helmet that super-sprinter Mark Cavendish wears?”


Helmet-mounted speaker


Jelle Vanendert wearing the Specialized Prevail helmet; photo by Graham Watson

While these gear picks alone cannot put you directly on the podium, we can assure you that you’d look more at home there. At least we think so.

T.C. Worley is a contributing editor for GearJunkie and a self-described bike dork.