5 sure signs you're a road cyclist

Every true roadie has these items

5 sure signs you're a road cyclist

Whether it’s sprinting your local crit or slogging your guts out up category one climbs, roadies live a tough life. If your idea of fun is immense physical suffering in pursuit of 347th place on a Strava leaderboard, then you’ll likely have at least some items on the following list.

1. The roadie cap

That little piece of cotton with a stubby peak is a sure-fire identifier of a road cyclist. Traditionally worn under a helmet to keep both rain and sun out of your eyes, everyone else thinks that little peak is just too short, but you know better.

If you ever see one worn by a person not on a bike, nor hidden under a helmet, give them a nod, because no other subculture would dare wear such a piece of headgear out in public.

2. Performance estate/station wagon and roof-rack

You ride a fast bike, so, really, you should drive a fast car and accessorise it with the best kit.

While a hot hatch or softtop might be cool in any other circle, the sporty estate - preferably from a German or Czech marque - is the king of cool in the cycling world, thanks to impressive performance and load carrying capability.

When it comes to bike-carrying adornments, you’re going to need a high-end roof-rack, and - while other great racks are available - typically this will be a Thule.

3. Coffee paraphernalia

No ride should start without a coffee, the caffeine buzz giving you those couple extra Watts that become all important when racing your friends-slash-bitter-rivals to the next road sign.

Crucially: that coffee must not be instant, and should ideally be espresso.

Ensuring the grind and roast are correct for your preferred method of brewing is as important as whether you run dry, wet or wax lube, and the true roadie works a barista machine, tamper and milk jug as fluently as their brakes and gears.

4. Generic cycling themed material possessions

Given that 90 percent of your conversation is about bicycles, it’s incredibly difficult for your friends and family to buy you gifts, and so you’re festooned every Christmas and birthday by a raft of generic cycling gifts bearing slogans and images that instantly mark you out as an awkward-to-buy-for cyclist.

On your wall at home you’ll have a print that reads “Eat, Sleep, Cycle, Repeat”, in your wardrobe a T-shirt with the slogan “life behind bars” and, no doubt, a mug declaring the five things you like almost as much as you like riding your bike (looking at your bike, talking about your bike, watching programmes about bikes, websites about bikes, coffee).

5. Strong opinions

Complaining about things. We’ve all done it, and we’ll continue to do it. Especially if it’s complaining about things we haven’t actually ridden, yet are sure we know what it’ll ride like when we do.

For example…

Disc brakes

Carbon, alloy or steel bikes

Aero bikes

Super lightweight climbers' bikes

TT bikes

Endurance and gran fondo bikes

Gravel bikes

Recumbent bikes

Track bikes

1x drivetrains

Wide tyres

Tubular tyres

Tubeless tyres

Deep section wheels

Disc wheels

Tri-spoke wheels

Elastomer rear suspension

Aaaaand absolutely anything electronic whatsoever.

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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