cycling truths

Cycling Truths #5

Italian ‘race cut’ cycling kit doesn’t look the same on us as it does on them

This needs a caveat of course; we all have those cycling companions who count calories, deny themselves many of life’s food and drink related pleasures, and slip effortlessly into the kind of cycling kit that would make the average man blush, but for most us, that’s not the case. You’ve seen this stuff hanging up in your local bike shop, tightly cut kit made by Castelli or Nalini, and at first glance you assume you’ve read the label wrongly. 

“In no-one’s language is that a ‘Men’s Large’”, you think, as you cast your eye over a summer jersey which looks about the size of a twelve year old boy. But it is, of course, in the language of the tiny, skinny, mahogany tanned southern European cyclist. Subsisting on a diet made up entirely of bottles of sparkling water, Mediterranean vegetables and espresso, and growing up with the genetic inheritance of several generations of wiry mountain climbing sun worshippers makes your ‘Boy’s Large’ their ‘Race Cut’.

Alejandro Valverde takes race cut to the next level (Photo: Tonan111
Alejandro Valverde takes race cut to the next level
(Photo: Tonan111

This doesn’t stop us buying it though. You could argue it should have some kind of warning label, advising those of us who weigh in anywhere near the 80 kilo mark to think very carefully before splashing out on this stuff; even if you buy it in black, the slimming illusion that this gives can only go so far.

So, we either ignore the evidence of our own eyes, convince ourselves that we can pull off the wiry Italian look, and buy it anyway, or we delude ourselves. We become convinced that with the amount of mileage we’ve been clocking up lately, it’s only a matter of time before the pounds begin tumble off to reveal a lean physique just waiting to be framed by expensive European kit.

However, I seem to remember thinking that would happen last year, and I can only conclude that I have an unusually slow metabolism.

I suppose if I keep the Castelli kit in its packaging it’ll make a nice gift for my son on his twelfth birthday. 


2 comments on “Cycling Truths #5

  1. Chikashi

    Yep, Castelli sizing is a bit aero… I had to go up to large, not that I couldn’t wear my usual size (medium for Rapha) but because they all just felt a little too aero (bib shorts, jersey, soft shell jacket), making me feel a wee bit self conscious. However, I recently got a Pocket Liner in medium because large was far too big, and the medium is roomy enough for a thick winter jersey.


  2. Now that’s funny! Try the European sizing rather than going by S, M and L… I’m a 39 so that means anywhere from a small to a large depending in who makes the stuff. 😉


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