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Cycling fashion history (bibs, etc.)

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Cycling fashion history (bibs, etc.)

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Old 04-23-13, 01:22 AM
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Cycling fashion history (bibs, etc.)

Was curious as to when bibs first started being worn? I'm thinking sometime in the 90s but I'm not sure.

Also, when did lycra/spandex shorts begin replacing wool shorts? I'm thinking 70s or 80s.

And is the whole "white shorts" craze a European thing? When did Euros start wearing white shorts and did anyone in particular start that?
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Old 04-23-13, 02:17 AM
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People were still wearing wool shorts into the 90s, and they've become popular again with some.

My first pair of padded cycling shorts was a sort of stretchy cotton, and I picked those up in 1990. I got my first pair of lycra-ish shorts in the mid-to-late 1990s.


Bibs and white shorts ... no idea. I don't wear them.
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Old 04-23-13, 05:46 AM
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Heres a pic from 1978-79. Wayne Stetina besting Jeff Bradley for a Prime. Jeff has a one piece "skinsuit".


Same race and Roger Young is in traditioanal garb, maybe even wool shorts.


Wool shorts with horizontal lettering early to mid 70's. Late 70's, lycra shorts , skinsuits with vertical lettering. I think bibs were common by early 80's.
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Old 04-23-13, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Aug View Post
And is the whole "white shorts" craze a European thing? When did Euros start wearing white shorts and did anyone in particular start that?
mario cipollini, not sure when he made his noise.
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Old 04-23-13, 11:08 AM
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I had spandie bibs already back in the early 80's.
black shorts were traditional for a long time, in fact the Cycling Federation mandated all black for a long time and that hung on in the US until the 90's. It was a big deal when the US federation allowed a 'name' to be put on the legs, as in the vintage race pics above....

late 60's, early 70's I had wool shorts and full tights with knitted on suspenders, pulled up over back and buttoned at waist in front - can't say I remember who made them, certainly from europe though...

can't remember exactly when I went all Spandie, there were a lot of years when we all rode both fabrics - wool was still more comfortable in wet and cool/cold weather...
The early spandie stuff was often a lot lighter than much of the nice current stuff and didn;t wear as well. Course the Italian stuff and PI made the best...
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Old 04-23-13, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Aug View Post
Was curious as to when bibs first started being worn? I'm thinking sometime in the 90s but I'm not sure.

Also, when did lycra/spandex shorts begin replacing wool shorts? I'm thinking 70s or 80s.

And is the whole "white shorts" craze a European thing? When did Euros start wearing white shorts and did anyone in particular start that?
Can't comment abiut white shorts, but I am generally credited with the movement (no pun intended) to brown shorts. They really help on those steep descents!
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Old 04-24-13, 02:38 AM
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Very interesting stories. You're definitely a veteran!

I'm just a fan of the vintage look so I try to buy vintage shorts/bibs and jerseys on eBay or whatever -- I wear the contemporary gear too.

I bought some cycling shorts from the 80s and the material definitely was thinner than the shorts today, and it didn't have the "grippers" at the leg openings and the padding wasn't as thick as they are today. Some of them weren't even multi-paneled (4 or more).

I'm glad they got rid of the "black only" rule for shorts. I like when cyclists and teams express their own individuality and colors & styles. It's not like colored shorts give someone an unfair advantage.

Kind of like how NBA players could only wear white sneakers up until the late 1980s.
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Old 04-24-13, 02:49 AM
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Lycra/Spandex and wool co-habitated for quite a while. Early 80's I had both in the closet. By late 80's it was lycra only. Bibs or braces were around throught that period.

Don't know who or when the white shorts thing started. But, thankfully, it already seems soo 5 years ago.

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Old 04-24-13, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Aug View Post
and the padding wasn't as thick as they are today. Some of them weren't even multi-paneled (4 or more).
Ah, the good ol' days of cycling shorts. It is so hard to find cycling shorts now without those horrible saddle-sore inducing multi-panelled pads in them. I still have a few, but they're getting rather old.
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