Updated, March 4 2014

leroica2To be properly equipped for a vintage bike rally you need vintage cycling gear of the same period as the bike you are riding. The gear should be functional and must look good too! This is hard to achieve with the sources available today but it is still possible. There is also the “style” factor to consider and if your are riding at an event like L’Eroica then the bar is set very high indeed! No problem, I’ll just go down to the vintage bike store and buy the proper gear right? Wrong!

My 2012 L’Eroica bike was a 1974 Legnano Gran Premio, so to put together a kit appropriate to that bike was a bit of a challenge. For me it took a lot of time scouring eBay and Googling specific items. Eventually I was able to put together a kit suitable for L’Eroica that was comfortable to ride in and the correct style if not actually vintage.

Helmet:  I found this on ebay, it is made by Kucharik, probably from the early 80’s but it is the right size and has the right look. It is actually pretty well padded and should offer some protection in case of an unfortunate mishap. It is does not measure up to modern standards of protection so I will keep this in mind when I ride in it but I think it will work okay!

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IMG_0709Jersey:  There are lots of wool jerseys available these days so finding a nice jersey would be easy. Finding a Legnano jersey would prove to be quite a bit harder!  This jersey was made by Ellegisport, and is a reproduction manufactured in Pistoia Italy. I purchased it from an online vendor in Australia of all places, but it is made from a good quality wool and is totally correct for the bike. I often wear wool jerseys anyways so I am quite comfortable with the material. Since the weather in Chianti in October can be quite variable a quality wool jersey would be an excellent choice.

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Shoes:  Here is a new item for the kit, and a present from Santa! Leather cycling shoes from Quoc Phan, made in England. They are of a classic style, made for toe clips and are very comfortable! Mine are numbered #194. Italians are known for their shoes and I think that I will be able to ride proudly in Italy with these!

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Knickers:   I have had Swobo wool knickers for years and they are great to ride in. They have been durable and comfortable with a real leather chamois. I can ride in these all day long!

SANY0182Sunglasses:  Originally I was looking for some type of goggle but I wasn’t finding anything. Then I ran across these reproduction sunglasses with round lenses. They were very cheap (about $10 on eBay) and I ordered a pair. The style is perfect, they are quite functional and a perfect addition to the kit!

Cycling cap:  I normally don’t wear a cap but this one was a perfect match for my jersey as well as the bike! Locals wear them proudly and so will I!

Gloves:  Really, is there any other type of glove you could ride in for a vintage event other than a classic leather glove with a crochet back?

Canvas bag:  Many people might not think of this item but a Camelback would be as out of place at a vintage rally as a carbon fiber bike! For a 200 km event which is partly held on dirt roads you may need to take a little more than you can fit in your jersey pockets. This is the ticket!

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