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Splash Tape and Other Cycling Crimes

By Christopher Ashley

There’s something inherently beautiful about the simplicity of cycling. The elegant lines of a bike frame, the languid motion of a pedalling cyclist. There are countless pages of cycle chic that celebrate the stylish everyday choices cyclists make. But, for today, we’re going to celebrate the bad ones.

Splash tape

Please, stop trying to make splash tape happen – we’re looking at you, Cinelli. When God created bicycles, he left it several decades before adding splash tape to the mix. It was clearly an afterthought. The 80s were a hedonistic time as can be demonstrated by this abomination:

All they needed to do was choose black bar tape and this monstrosity would have become an urbane style classic. But instead of admiring the lugged steel frame, your eyes gravitate towards the swirling style vortex that is splash tape.

Ignoring expiry dates

Read the garment care label of your cycle kit. Getting it wrong can wreck your beloved merino jersey – or worse. You could fall foul of local indecency laws. Artificial fibres like lycra and polyester can be weakened by something as innocuous as using fabric conditioner.

Top tip: Before you go for a ride, ask your other half to take a look at you bent over. No one wants to see your exhaust port on the Sunday club ride – artificial fibres have an expiry date. Make sure you observe them.

Reinventing the frame

From aero-discs to different rim materials, reinventing the wheel has a long and honourable history in cycling. But reinventing the frame is an altogether different proposition. I give you – The Monocoque.

Some of you may think that the image looks pretty cool. I reckon if you left the wheels where they were and removed that frame, you’d have to admit the image looked a lot cooler. That doesn’t stop people having a go at doing away with the diamond frame. Maybe one day they’ll succeed.  Or maybe not.

Getting helmets wrong

There are a lot of reasons to wear helmets and there are reasonable arguments that it should be an individual’s choice. The debate can become very passionate because one side is arguing for safety, and the other is arguing for freedom – neither of which is a bad thing. But both sides agree on one thing:

I kind of see the logic in the above cyclist’s decision to wear his helmet backwards. There are more air vents at the back than the front, so if you want to stay cool, this decision makes sense. But you may as well not be wearing a helmet because this method offers zero protection should you go over your handlebars. Personally, if I was riding on aerobars, I’d rather have a sweaty head than risk my noggin.

We Love Cycling don’t mind being proven wrong – if you can find stylish examples of any of the above, please share on Facebook!