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Category: Style man

Rear-vision helmet

I plan to try criterium racing. Should I remove my helmet mirror for style reasons or use it during the first few races for safety? — Mike Hanson, IL

You’re gorgeous, Mike. A true piece of art. Most people would rely on conventional wisdom and say that running a mirror at a crit would be the equivalent of announcing at the start line, “Get within 5 feet of me and you’re going down.” But the stunning fact that you even conceive of helmet-mirror crit style suggests you might be flying somewhere above the constraints of convention. That earns you the Style Man Seal of Crit-Mirror Approval—as long as you win. If there’s any chance you’ll be anything other than first by 27 points, then you gotta settle in and be part of the pack, in which case, it’s not what’s behind you that matters—it’s what’s going on up the road. You don’t need a mirror; you need an LT like the guys whipping your ass.

Italian supreme

I am 14, from LA. My father is Italian and my mother is Japanese. My father brags about Italian this and Italian that (it makes Mom sick), but he rides a Bianchi with Shimano Ultegra! I’m afraid if coolness is hereditary, I’m only halfway there. — Pietro, CA

In claiming his love for all things native to him yet riding Shimano, your dad’s being a supreme Italian—completely confused and nonsensical, and thus hip beyond logic. Study the man. Anyway, I have a hard time feeling sorry for you. You’re a Sony digi-cam designed by Gio Ponti shooting footage of Thora Birch. Get yourself a black Comme des Garcons suit, a Prada tie and a pair of flip-flops and do some damage.

Trek 5200

At the end of last season, I bought a new Trek 5200 with Zipp wheels. Suddenly, guys who once liked me were razzing me like I’m miserable yuppie scum. Why do cyclists judge each other based on gear? — David-Michael Hansen, CA 

Let’s consider the evidence here:

1. You have a Trek 5200
2. It has Zipp wheels
3. Your name is David-Michael

Obviously you are miserable yuppie scum. Your only chance at a life with true style is to be who you are to the fullest. Stop trying to keep one toe in the real world. Upgrade the Trek to a 5900 with a one-off paint job and seal the deal with $3,500 German Lightweight or ADA all-carbon wheels. You’ll never ride like Lance but you, my disgusting friend, can buy like Lance. Earn respect with pure and absolute purchasing power.

By the way, we don’t judge people by what gear they own; just those whose gear owns them.

Lycra bike shorts

I can’t really wear those skintight Lycra bike shorts, and the last time I priced baggies, they were out of my financial range. A friend of mine suggested buying some padded underpants and wearing those under my regular shorts. Do those really work? Or do they rub the wrong way? 

What you’re telling me here is that you’re not only fat, you’re broke and fat. Condoning (never mind encouraging) a bunch of fat people in padded underpants is just not a socially responsible thing to do. Here’s a better plan:

1. Get a job.
2. With your first paycheck, buy a pair of good Lycra riding shorts, preferably Assos or Castelli.
3. Tape them to the door of your, I’m guessing, sizeable refrigerator.
4. Keep working hard and, every time you see those shorts taped to the fridge, think of how big and flabby your butt is.
5. In a month or two you should be trim enough to sport a pair of Lycra shorts. You’ll also be slim and sexy enough to ditch your so-called “underpants” and get something proper to wear beneath your new wardrobe.