Rico's Rants: Am I too old for Lycra cycling clothing?

Rico's Rants

Lycra shorts have a definite advantage for bike riding and racing. Their aerodynamics, hot-weather comfort and resistance to snags on a tight trail have keep them at the top of my cycling clothing list for almost two decades now.

I really hated them at first; a high school kid doesn't look forward to sliding on a pair of tight shorts, especially if not one of his buddies understands what they are for (fashion is at the bottom of the list of Lycra shorts advantages, for sure). But eventually the benefits outweighed the snickers and laughs from the cycling uneducated.

Eric disliked baggie MTB clothing Rico's face shows how he used to feel about Lycra versus baggies.

As I progressed further into cycling and began racing seriously as part of a road team, it became natural to fully kit up before a ride. Anyone that didn't wasn't considered a serious roadie or XC MTB racer, but more of a recreational rider. Lycra sponsor-clad bib shorts became my friends for nearly twenty years.

As time has gone by, I have progressed to a nearly-40-something father of four, and I have recently started to ponder the Lycra shorts versus the baggies. I have collected a couple of baggie MTB shorts over the years and never really used them.

Some funny comments about older men still wearing Lycra shorts on a recent Facebook post from a friend of mine really got me thinking, "Is it my time to retire the Lycra shorts for a more natural and 'normal' look of baggy shorts for my mountain bike rides?" Along with the shorts comes the Enduro-style, full-coverage helmets and sponsor-less jersey tops that most young riders are into now.

Eric in baggies Then our camera caught him riding in them.

After a few recent rides in my baggies, I am slowly opening up to the change, but I still find more advantages in the Lycra shorts. So for now I will keep my bibs under my baggies, and when the heat finally returns this summer, I will probably leave those baggies behind.

So this begs the question: How old is too old for a man to be wearing tight Lycra clothing for cycling? I am sure there are several opinions on this topic. Let’s hear them.

Eric Rasmussen

by Eric Rasmussen

Eric, AKA Rico, is a long-time competitive road, MTB and cyclocross racer. He has been gracing Bikewagon with his bearded presence since 2013.