You want to reduce sun glare and show the world how focused you are, but is that worth sacrificing jauntiness and field of vision? – By Jen See, and Taylor Rojek
Why do cyclists love high socks so much?
Show up to a group ride and you’ll find socks in every colour, with lengths extending to mid-calf and beyond. “I think tall socks are best for racing, because they protect the ankle,” says Alison Tetrick of Cylance Pro Cycling. “But let’s be honest, they just look better.” A larger canvas means more space to express your personal style and mood. “Do I need a pop of colour today?” says Tetrick. “Or do I need to stay black, serious, and race ready?” Don Powell, the founder of Panache Cyclewear, prefers high socks because they remind him of the wrapping on racehorses’ legs. “It makes me think of speed,” he says.
When it comes to sock height, how tall is too tall? Some riders have begun embracing knee-high socks, which can offer protection for your legs while mountain biking or extra compression, but may not be ideal for hot days. Maybe it’s time for the short, white socks cycling great Fausto Coppi wore in the 1940s and ’50s to make a comeback. – Jen See
Should I offer to help a stranger fix a flat tyre?
Of course! Just make sure your ask is friendly, not patronising: “Do you have all the tools you need?” is a great way to offer assistance without sounding like you’re judging the stranded rider’s mechanical prowess. If the person says they’re fine, keep rolling and don’t hover. Above all, don’t be this guy, says Bicycling associate digital editor Caitlin Giddings: “The last time I had a flat on a busy trail, I was replacing the tube with the swiftness of a former bike messenger. A man swung by and asked if I needed anything, ignored my cheerful ‘No, thank you,’ and continued to barrage me with questions. (‘You have your levers? You have a pump? You have a spare tube? You searched the tyre for glass?’) It was distracting and insulting – and it made me feel more irritated than thankful.” – Taylor Rojek
RELATED: How To Prevent a Flat Tyre
Cycling-cap brim: up or down?
Why not both? Cycling caps are the arm warmers of headgear: They help you deal with changing conditions as well as moods. Each style has its advantages.
Up Pros: increased field of vision in the drops; projects an air of jaunty insouciance.
Con: less effective in a rainstorm.
Down Pros: reduced sun glare; shows the world how focused you are.
Con: “Oh $%^&! A squirrel!” – J.See