Kits of Old, Gear that Sucked

It’s that time of year when team kits (describes matching team gear: shorts, jerseys, socks, arm warmers) have arrived or are arriving and I’m reminded of Kits of Old. Like the year we had smurf blue legs warmers shown here in this flattering photo.


One year we had arm coolers that actually made your arms colder. There was a curiously hot and cold jacket. Good and warm, but didn’t wick the sweat and would get freezing cold when the wind whipped up.

Worst ever was the Blik skin suit that was like a sauna suit – you sweated profusely in it. Good for losing weight, bad for staying hydrated. To add to the suffering, the pad was little more than a sponge.

I think we’ve all probably had clear rain coats that were wetter inside than out.

What’s been your worst kit or gear that sucked?


My worst would have to be the tri-color neon kit from the 90s. Or maybe the size-medium neon pink jersey with a white silk screened shark on the chest (I wore a large at that time).

Fit is always the biggest issue for me.  One year I got a team issue skinsuit in Xsmall:  the top was probably XS, but it was stitched to a size *small* lower.  I actually had to roll up the leg portion because it hung down to my knees.  Because my quads are pronounced, the gripper portion didn’t even touch my skin in the unrolled state. It was the antithesis of the skinsuit concept.

Same team different year, we got these jerseys with a raglan sleeve cut.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I remember raglan cuts as being a relatively new style for cycling jerseys at the time, and the kit supplier didn’t have the pattern perfected.  Those jerseys didn’t look good on anything: not on a person standing, not on someone riding, not even on a clotheshanger.  It always bunched up at the shoulders, like you were perpetually shrugging. One day, I decided to be super Euro and cut the sleeves off the jersey for hot training rides, after all this was Florida.  Voila! It fit much better.

Sleeveless isn’t so “super Euro”, but it is definitely “super Tri”...  Fashion faux pas all the way around!  Of course, I might be biased because the only folks I see with sleeveless jerseys have incredibly hairy upper arms and backs.  Yuck.

I’ll have to second the clear rainjacket…like slipping on a clammy trash bag and sweating it out. No thanks—I’d rather get wet from the outside in!

Seriously man - team kits only look good when you wear the WHOLE team kit and not mis-matched shorts/vest/socks/armwarmers.

Did I mention that was the year of the lacerating shorts . . . But yes, that was a funny photo to illustrate the smurf blue legs.

You are not allow to complain about the Smurf warmers when you make a conscious choice to wear them (4) years after they have been replaced by a much more neutral color. Wasn’t that picture taken last weekend, and more importantly why do you have a garter belt on “Moulin Bleu”

Yes, that’s correct and that photo is from our tour of [South Central Alaska in 2004]( Admittedly, that ensemble was not intended for public viewing ... just figured a few truckers would see that along the way.

When I was writing the post, I thought it illustrated smurf blue legs. And remember the ride this winter when I thought it was smurf blue knicker day? I love those knickers. Got 3 pairs and rotate them.  I also have, I think many of us kept, that “best evar” winter Windtec jacket + rain slicker. That rules. I barely wash that jacket to sustain it. No jacket has ever worked better.

The reason I wore the blue is Hincapie makes the best damn warmers in the business. I paired them with Assos shorts for the big miles.

Oh man - Hincapie leg warmers are great.  Knee warmers…gotta give the nod to Assos.  Hincapie’s are WAY too long.

...must confess that I once had a pair of those shorts that looked like blue jeans. The ones with the pockets and zipper printed on them.

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