GCN Show: speed and the sacrifice of cycling aesthetics

Si and Dan delve into the look of modern cycling, aerodynamics and why style might be on the way out

Clock08:18, Wednesday 27th September 2023

Cycling aesthetics are a big deal. Fashion, elegance and style have always been staples of the bike world. Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, Miguel Induráin and even the controversial Lance Armstrong have, to some extent, been both the champions and fashion icons of the different paradigms of cycling fashion.

This week on the GCN Show, we examine the current trend towards aero and if, after over a century, cycling has lost its aesthetic pulse.

Dan Lloyd and Si Richardson discuss a smattering of the tech that is making riders faster, but that is making cyclists look goofier and goofier, including: aero socks; the Poc “Darth Vader helmet"; the aero “head condom” from Specialized; aero bras; chest fairings; and every piece of cycling kit that Ollie Bridgewood owns.

In the larger context of cycling, how does all this reflect on cycling and particularly prospective cyclists? The aero tech not only looks a bit ridiculous, but is also prohibitively expensive. Yet, the fact remains that speed and tradition are independent. Science is science, even if it looks like hot garbage.

It's not just been ugly time trail tech in the news this week. Check out these other headlines:

Cycling shorts:

  • Moots, the consummate titanium bike brand, has branched out. Not only have the Steamboat Springs-based brand released an e-bike, it's also not even titanium. While carbon e-bikes are nothing new, this is a bit surprising move from the classic Colorado brand.
  • Shimano has announced a big recall of many of its road cranks. Shimano has issued the recall of its cranks – which have been known to split, crack or become delaminated – from an eight-year period. Find out more from our article here.
  • A Malibu triathlon is likely to be cancelled because of endangered fish gathering below an underpass on the bike course and officials are not letting the race proceed because of the fish’s vulnerable status. (Update: it's all clear! Long live fish.)

Hack/bodge:

Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network

Next week on GCN:

  • Tips for getting started with training
  • Top ten signs you need to change your position
  • Do more zone four
  • How much is your gravel bike slowing you down on the road?
  • Cheap e-bikes versus pro hill climber

GCN+:

  • Coppo Agostoni
  • Giro de Emilia
  • Franco Belge
  • Tour de Langkawi
  • CRO Race
  • Mountain Bike World Cup in Snowshoe
  • USCX
  • Malibu Triathlon

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