20 signs that you’re an old school cyclist

A self-assessment quiz from #OldSchoolCyclist

Does all this talk about electronic drivetrains, power meters and GPS uploads make you feel a tad, well, old?


Cycling is growing and new riders are popping up every day, which is all fine and good. It’s a beautiful sport, and there’s room for everyone (just not in our paceline, thanks). 

But within the continuum of newbies to, ahem, veterans, how do you know when you have crossed the line to become, in fact, an old school cyclist? By playing the following game, that’s how.

Bike industry veteran and old school cyclist (that sounds so much nicer than “retro grouch”) Rick Vosper has been tweeting snarky #OldSchoolCyclist one-liners once a day, seven days a week, for the last couple of years. (Does the fact he tweets negate his old-school cyclist status, you ask? Never you mind that – we’re asking the questions here!)

He collated the top 20 for your self-assessment here.

How to tell if you are an old-school cyclist

  • Read the statements below. Score one point for each one that applies to you.
  • A score of five points of higher qualifies you as old school. A score of 15 or higher means you really should consider buying a new helmet.
  • If the questions below all leave you with a quizzical look on your face, then you might be a modern roadie. Do you suffer from any of these 20 problems only modern roadies have?

1. You know what a Peanut Butter wrench is. +1 point if you know why it’s called that. +2 if you own one.

2. You still wear white socks.

3. You still use toe straps. Just not on pedals.

4. You’ve told a newbie that Super Record ball bearings were hollow.

5. You’ve secured a spare tubular under your saddle with a toe strap. +1 points if you still do. +2 if wrapped in Gazzetta dello Sport.

6. You know what “drillium” is. +1 if you owned any.

7. You know what you had to drill out when the pin extractor failed and the @#$%! hammer wouldn’t budge it.

8. You talk about being “on the rivet” and you’ve actually been on a saddle with a rivet.

You know you’re an old school cyclist if your idea of two bottle mounts is one on either side of the stem

9. Someone mentions their Rapha jersey and you think they rode for Gitane.

10. You know why cycling shoes had long laces. +1 if you still tie your street shoes off to the side.

11. You used Modolo shifters and they broke. (If they didn’t break, you never used ’em.)

12. Your first freewheel had five cogs.

13. You already have a digital pressure gauge. One on each hand, in fact.

14. You still refuse to admit that indexed shifting is that much of an improvement over Positron.

15. You wore wool. Under your wool.

16. You know which gutta is red and which is white.

17. You still think of them as “Maes” bars. +2 if you know who they’re named for and why.

18. You took the Conconi test. -2 if you thought it actually measured lactate threshold.

19. You put a wet sock over your spare bidon. Because ice cubes were for sissies.

20.  You can name all five – oops, four – five-time Tour de France winners.


Want more? Follow @Rick_Vosper on Twitter, and view his complete list of more than 500 old-school quips by searching for the hashtag #OldSchoolCyclist.