Sure, you don't have to worry about wearing last year's bicycle shorts or clashing your patterns while attempting to mix-and-match, but there are a few style mistakes you need to avoid. Before climbing on your bike, take a long look in the mirror and make sure you aren't making any of these fashion mistakes.
Dangling Helmet Straps Are a Fashion Don't
It goes without saying—hopefully—that you need a helmet that fits snugly. Do you know that you need to pay attention to the straps, as well? If your straps dangle more than four inches below your chin, they're too long. Not only do they pose a potential danger—as you speed along, they could fly up and slap you in the eye—but they also look silly. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. You can cut the excess strap on your own. Leave about two inches emerging from your buckle. Don't worry about fraying, either. You can either glue the chopped ends or singe them using a match or lighter.
Baggy Pants Are a Bad Look
Worse, baggy pants are dangerous. You don't necessarily have to wear skintight pants or leggings, but avoid wearing any bottoms with too much extra material. The last thing you want is to get caught in your bike chain. You don't want your clothing to get all tangled up in the pedals, either.
The Shoes Make the Outfit
Arguably, you can wear any style of footwear you want if you're just riding around casually. Even then, it's best to avoid heels, certain types of sandals, and any shoe with a slippery sole. For the most part, however, it's better to wear sneakers when you ride. There are more detailed rules in the world of specialty riding, though. For example, you never want anyone to see you riding a road bike while wearing off-road shoes.
Lycra and Undies Don't Mix
This advice is only suspect if you've never worn underwear beneath Lycra riding shorts or leggings. If you have, then you know the swampy horror that awaits you as try to freshen up and change your clothes. Listen, no one can tell. Ride free. Go commando without fear or paranoia. It makes your ride a hundred times more refreshing anyway. Just pack a pair of underwear with your change of clothes.
Remember the Reflector
Make sure every driver of every car can see you. The best way to do that is to wear reflectors on your clothes or your bike. You can also wear reflective clothing. Honestly, anything bright and visible will work. Even if you slip into a neon yellow vest before mounting your bike, that's plenty. It's especially important to make yourself visible on foggy, rainy, or snowy mornings. This is why it's critical to check the weather before you ride. Don't risk it if there's low visibility.
The fashion mistakes cyclists make are inherently different from day-to-day fashion faux pas. The clothing you wear can make you safer—or less safe. Since safety is paramount on a bicycle, it's always better to err on the side of comfortable, visible, and neatly tucked away before you pump the pedals.