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OK it's official, Lance is a "fred"...(41 posts)

OK it's official, Lance is a "fred"...lonefrontranger
Aug 8, 2002 8:07 AM
Gawd I can't believe roadies sometimes! And I AM one.

Now I've heard (and participated in) a lot of Fred and Anti-Fred discussions in my many, many years of cycling. This had to be the absolute pinnacle of roadie snob arrogance taken to its ultimate conclusion though. Check out this discussion I overheard at the LBS last night:

A couple of Cat 4 club racers (who for their sake shall remain anonymous) were going on about how Lance is the original fred tri-geek, and still demonstrates his "freddish" lack of True Roadie Style by wearing "shorts down to his knees and socks halfway up his calves".

So apparently these guys have been officially promoted to Fashion Cops of the UCI peloton? One could assume they were kidding, but these guys were deadly serious as only Cat 4s who've done fewer races than they can count without dropping their shorts can be. So now they know everything there is to know about fashion, too.

I made the observation that back in the 70's, guys in the NBA wore tight gym shorts and now they wear loose baggies; clothing styles evolve in cycling just as in any other sport. Someone has to be the trendsetter. They looked at me like I'd grown six heads and continued the conversation as if I weren't there.

So I leave it up to all the experts on this board to decide - trendsetter or fashion victim?
dont know about style, but...Steve_0
Aug 8, 2002 8:11 AM
triathletes wear neither shorts nor socks; dont see their correlatoin to triathlon.
Aug 8, 2002 8:14 AM
That's what made the whole discussion so damn hysterical - if these guys had only thought about it...

Sadly the same lack of perspective and logic often occurs in the discussions on this board. Partly why I posted the thread in the first place.
I say FRED then, cool dude today..........african
Aug 8, 2002 11:06 AM
Well, I've worn shorts like that for years...brider
Aug 8, 2002 8:13 AM
Just found them to be more comfy, for some reason.

The socks, however, I could do without. But then I go sockless (in flagrant disregard for the USCF rules which say otherwise, though I've never been called on it).
^^^ Case in point ^^^Steve_0
Aug 8, 2002 8:15 AM
How dare you!?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 8, 2002 8:16 AM
Shall you never step foot on a bike until you:
1) life your shorts up above your knees.
2) wear socks like Lance.

I'm going out to buy socks identical to his right this very moment.

(I like the new Nick) nmSteve_0
Aug 8, 2002 8:17 AM
Could be driven by jealousyPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 8, 2002 8:14 AM
It could be just driven by jealousy and thats why they are acting stupid about it. They can't criticize his riding so why not criticize his style? As for Lance's shorts who knows why he does it. Then his socks... how many millions of dollars does he get PAYED to endorse Nick? Those socks make the Nike sign more visible. This may not be the reason why he does it but that alone is enough reason to wear long socks!

As for your observation... your absolutely right that style does change. But cycling is a sport where aerodynamics rule supreme so baggie shorts will never be used in the pro peleton unless everyone stops shaving their legs. In the NBA the fashion is just driven by that.. fashion. In cycling it is driven by practicality.

Nick Corcoran
Umm...your slip is showing. (nm)RhodyRider
Aug 8, 2002 8:17 AM
oh, it's driven by a lot of thingslonefrontranger
Aug 8, 2002 8:19 AM
ignorance being the main.
Pretenders allmr_spin
Aug 8, 2002 8:20 AM
Lance doesn't give a damn, I'll guarantee that. Look how high his brake hoods are!

Shorts length is way down on my list. My fashion beef is with colors. There are some really ugly team kits out there, and I want them all eliminated.

Getting back to Lance, in that shot you can see how glorious the yellow jersey looks with the USPS logo. It's beautiful. Simple and elegant. Some teams should never get the yellow jersey because they make it look ugly:

hey, if nike paid me $1 million a year ...tarwheel
Aug 8, 2002 8:23 AM
I would wear shorts down to ankles and socks up to my knees. I might even do it for $500,000. BTW, if Lance posted a picture of his bike in the RBR photo section, he would also get blasted for having too many spacers under his stem.
If Nike paid me a million dollars I'd even endorse NickKristin
Aug 8, 2002 9:53 AM
Lance has tied everything together nicely here. At first I was disturbed by the red stripe on the shorts. There isn't a hint of red anywhere in his jersey? But he tied the red into his ensamble by adding the red sunglasses and water bottles--both of which cleverly match his race number! The grey frame is unfortuntate--thou it goes well with blue bar tape he's chosen, which again, ties everything back to the jersey and shorts. This prooves that Lance is a champion at accessorizing his ride. No one with such a complex and carefully planned color scheme could qualify as a Fred.
Hey be nice!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 8, 2002 10:13 AM
You know you'd endorse me for less than a million dollars :)

LOL about the spacers!ET
Aug 8, 2002 11:33 AM
Good point. I've said it before and I'll say it again: a 56 Trek is really a 54 to you and me. So even Lance needs loads of spacers to handle the seat/bar differential.
Who cares? Cycling is not a sport anyway... nmtz
Aug 8, 2002 8:23 AM
Hey, I have some black socks I can give him...Djudd
Aug 8, 2002 8:33 AM
Nothing like black kneehighs to give that real old school look- some call it freddism
re: OK it's official, Lance is a "fred"...brurider
Aug 8, 2002 8:35 AM
I thought the whole idea behind cycling was enjoyment, what does style have to do with it? Sounds like these guys read too much of the one "cycling" magazine with that jack-ass style man with in it's covers. Ditto's on the comment regarding jealousy of Lance's abilities.
Noob question: what's a "fred"? nmfbg111
Aug 8, 2002 8:51 AM
Fredland? Is where all good riders eventually go!!! nmDjudd
Aug 8, 2002 8:57 AM
A 'Fred' is what poseurs call the unfashionable.Steve_0
Aug 8, 2002 9:25 AM
Until they are wearing the yellow jersey they can zip it -nmmlester
Aug 8, 2002 8:59 AM
Yellow TDF JerseyColnagoFE
Aug 8, 2002 9:37 AM
Just saw a replica at Niketown. They are selling it for $100.
i dont know what youre talking aboutishmael
Aug 8, 2002 9:53 AM
those shorts arent that low, maybe an inch or two lower than the norm, nothing freakish. On the other hand the socks (although you cant see them in the picture) are kinda high. High socks look goofy on or off a bike but I can imagine how it might benefit riding - less leg sweat in shoes, tighter on the muscles might be a good thing. And those brakes arent that high either.
I guess it's official. I'm a Fred too.Quack
Aug 8, 2002 9:57 AM
When you're a skinny dude with fairly large legs, the longer length shorts are much more comfortable as the elastic does not constrict across the big part of the quad. I have some of those short inseam shorts and they hurt like hell once the muscles pump up in the heat. As far as the tall socks go, if you do long rides in the heat, nothing beats the long sock for keeping the majority of shin and calf sweat out of your shoes.

Maybe the Cat 4 guys should have been out doing their base miles instead of bashing "the man" and they may have understood why he wears the clothing that he does.
yep; agreed on many pointslonefrontranger
Aug 8, 2002 11:08 AM
The saddest part about this is these guys don't even have the experience to found their argument on. Just pictures off the front of Bicycling mag, and I'm not gonna touch that can 'o worms with a 27 1/2 foot pole.

Agreed mr. spin. LA could give a flying **** what people think. And for what he's getting paid, I'd be happy to race in a tutu.

Agreed on your points too Quack. I'm a small girl who wears men's shorts because women's shorts either don't do bibs, or else do those dumb front-cross aprons (yuck). So instead of wearing my shorts as quasi-knickers, I opt for a common women's "out" of rolling up the elastic, which REALLY looks dumb. Feels good & doesn't bind. And my legs are so short that about any socks come halfway up them.

I wear a Camelbak on really long hot road rides. I tend not to give a rat's ass what my average speed is. I wave to other cyclists, too. But you'd better believe that as soon as I get this collarbone healed and get back into some semblance of shape, I'm gonna track down these guys and teach 'em how to lose to a "fred". Too bad I don't still have my old custom Mike Melton Huffy with 105 downtube shifters. They'll have to settle for getting trounced by an unfashionable girl. Make that a "wilma".
re: OK it's official, Lance is a "fred"...RayBan
Aug 8, 2002 10:05 AM
I have ALWAYS been puzzled as to why he wears such long socks, I guess he DOES have a bit of Fred in him LOL
Most rider's shorts are that long down their legs...Tig
Aug 8, 2002 10:40 AM
...Unless they have really long femurs. Is that all those guys can find to complain about... Lance's shorts and socks? LOL I like my socks a little lower to keep the tan line from looking so silly, but would gladly wear triple-stripe knee high tube socks for 10% of what Nike pays him.

Heck, he was putting in twice the weekly mileage they (as well as myself) currently ride back when he was in 11th grade as a "tri geek"!

I bet you could smoke them in a sprint after a long, painful race. They might actually wise up and listen to you next time!
Wait, isn't Lance known for his usually long. . .js5280
Aug 8, 2002 10:52 AM
femurs? I've read that is part of his anatomical advantage as a cyclist, it makes for a more efficient pedal stoke. So, are his shorts unusally long or is it more a visual illusion? The socks, well, that's a still a mystery to me.

Hmmm, I've heard that Kristin Armstrong is quite fashion savvy. Perhaps a conversion along the lines of "Come here Lance. . .you're not going out to ride like that are you?" transpired.
Lance can wear anything any way he wants...GK
Aug 8, 2002 11:07 AM
Not even Style Man would disagree.
Look at the ONCE rider right behind himMel Erickson
Aug 8, 2002 11:18 AM
Shorts look about the same length and maybe the socks a smidgen shorter. Nothing to write home about. Tell 'em to get a life.
the point is that they don't have a life TO get...lonefrontranger
Aug 8, 2002 11:21 AM
for clarification, read my "exactamundo" response.
Didn't mean youMel Erickson
Aug 8, 2002 12:50 PM
meant the Cat 4 guys need to get a life.
Every time I hear a fred discussion........Len J
Aug 8, 2002 11:29 AM
I can't help but get a picture in my mind.

In the mid- 80's i did the assualt on mount mitchell. Was hanging on to the lead group when we got to the bottom of the last climb where it looked like someone threw a grenade as the group exploded. Halfway up the climb as I'm suffering like a dog, trying to figure out a way to simotaneously unhinge my jaw so I can get more air & create an additional gear out of thin air, I hear a ungodly noise from behind. a few seconds later I am passed by a 60+ year old guy with a beard, on a 30 lb cruiser dressed in cutoffs, cotton tee shirt, chuck taylors and toe clips. He passes me like I'm standing still and worst of all doesn't look like he is even breathing hard.

He was the strongest "fred" I've ever seen. I learned a severe lesson in humility that day. Never forgot it. Never judge a rider by what he is on or how he is dressed.

Another perspective...brider
Aug 8, 2002 12:17 PM
Lance has been through chemo and radiation treatment. That messes you up for life. Ask any woman who's been through it (I know a lot of them through my involvement with Fred Hutch and Race for the Cure), and they'll tell you that sunlight is particularly intolerable. Maybe he's just trying to shade as much of his body as is feasible.
Pretty sure that's not the case. . .js5280
Aug 8, 2002 2:07 PM
I've never heard of testicular cancer chemo regimes having long term photo-sensitivity issues nor have I experienced them myself. Radiation, probably does have issues with sun exposure but I'm pretty sure Lance didn't do any radiation and certainly not on his legs.

I would also argue that cancer treatment does not necessarily "mess you up for life." Some treatments can have longer reaching side effects but I'd say a vast majority of cancer survivors are as healthy, or even healthier than before they were diagnosised, with little to no long term side effects. I think Lance has been a huge testimony that cancer survivors aren't "damaged goods" just because you had cancer. I know that wasn't really your insinuation, brider, but just wanted to clarify for others. It's a common misconception about cancer survivors. Most people don't know how many of us there really are (almost 9 million in the US alone!) because you can't tell. We're just like everyone else although I'd say cancer survivors have a much more positive view of life because the big problems that concern most people are but just small bumps in the road to us. So much so, that many survivors say they're even "lucky" because they have this new perspective on life.
re: OK it's official, Lance is a "fred"...xcandrew
Aug 8, 2002 6:05 PM
This one is easy. He is neither trendsetter nor fashion victim. He is just wearing what he has and its obviously comfortable for him. I never noticed anything unusual about his shorts and socks and I still don't. The shorts look very normal to me. Mine are a bit shorter, but no big deal. Some people like knickers too.

As for the socks, they are clearly about 1" below the calf muscle bulge, not "halfway up his calves". The socks that I wear are mostly just over the ankle because if they are on the ankle they leave gaps that allow dirt/grass/etc. to get in. When I run out of my shorter socks, I also wear thin socks (sold as sockliners) that do go halfway up my calves, though usually shoved down a bit in the summer. You should see some of Paula Radcliffe's socks. She is currently the top female distance runner in the world, and has in the past worn black or white knee socks - over the calf - in races including the Olympics and World Championships. Now, what she wears clearly stands out. Lance dresses not unlike any other pro cyclist.
I guess that you could argue......Soultrain
Aug 8, 2002 6:32 PM
that he finds the longer short to help minimize muscle fatigue, that is why we wear lycra, isn't it?
If so, then logic would suggest that the longer the short the better it minimizes muscle fatigue. I think that Lance is the consumate tech geek. This MIGHT just be an extension of that.
I don't know, just my idea,
I am not caring now.djg
Aug 9, 2002 9:23 AM
I don't care much about the cycling fashions of total strangers I see on the commute, fast or slow or in between. At Lance's level...he can wear what he wants.

I like the Cat 4 mini-rant. But frankly, you see it at nearly every level of U.S. cycling. I gather you've run into the sorts of Cat 2s who don't consider Cat 4s real bike racers. Or even real cyclists. As if the Cat 2s are riding for the glory of the sport ... as if they'd raise an eyebrow amongst wholly anonymous Belgian amateurs.
Posers hate Freds...Leisure
Aug 9, 2002 10:27 PM
Especially when the Fred casually blasts past them and all the team lycra in the world doesn't keep them from being powerless to stop it.