Are You a Bike Snob? Take the Test to Measure Your Road Cycling Status

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Cervelo R3 with Cal Poly Jersey

Are you a bike snob? How can you tell? Never fear, I’ve created a test! Read the following descriptions and assign yourself points as follows. Then, skip to the end to measure exactly how much of a pure road cyclist you are. The answer may shock you–or impress you.

Point Scale (give yourself 1, 2, or 3 points per question):

3 points: This describes you exactly–maybe you’ve even taken it to a greater extreme.

2 points: This is kinda you. You’ve done this once or twice, but were appalled at yourself.

1 point: Nope. You’ve never done this at all. Who would do this?


1. Weird Fashion Rules

You adhere to some pretty strict cycling fashion rules. You never ever tuck your sleeves into your arm warmers, you avoid black socks at all cost, you never wear a pro team kit unless you’re a member of that team, and you make certain your sunglasses are outside your helmet straps at all times–even for split seconds.You embrace riding around in colorful, matching lycra that’s pretty much the same as exercising in a 1980s leotard. The best way to embrace this awesome lycra is to live by crazy rules, so that you can feel superior when others don’t follow the proper fashion advice.

2. Snobbing it Up

Perhaps you’ve made fun of a triathlete’s bottles mounted behind his saddle. Maybe you even fondly refer to it as “bottomed water.” You take snobbery to extremes, and you even know the Velominati’s rules. You totally know better than to ride with excessively large water bottles, you make sure those smallish bottles match each other exactly, and you carry everything in your jersey pockets–never on your bike. The rules are vast, and they are unforgiving.

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3. Nature Breaks

You knew I’d go there. Are you guilty on this one? Do you at least stop and pull off to the side of the road when you have to go, or do you completely refuse to stop? I once asked a fellow cyclist why he had neat holes drilled in the instep of his expensive, carbon shoes. He replied, “So I don’t have to stop to pee. It runs out through the shoes and to the ground. Doesn’t get my frame grimy.”


I avoid riding behind that guy on group rides. Are you nodding in agreement, or do people avoid riding behind you too?

4. Rubbernecking

You have an incessant draw to check out other cyclist’s bikes on a ride. Whether you’re driving by in your car, walking down the sidewalk, or hammering past them, you can’t quite help but check out a fellow cyclist’s gear, setup, and bike fit. How often do you tell someone their saddle is too high–especially when they can’t hear you? Or how often do you pass a cyclist a little too closely because you want to see what kind of saddle they’re riding?

5. Discount Hunters

Do you chase cheap speed? There are supplements (legal ones, folks, legal ones), aero helmets, feather-light pedals, you name it. You’re bound to want just one more accessory or just one more bike or just one more set of bib shorts that match your jersey. Do you cope with all the want by scouring the web for 5% off, beg your LBS for a few dollars in discount, or search Craig’s List for used but pristine gear that you can lowball a seller for? Sometimes it gets so bad that you do the math on sixteen different situations involving shipping, free shipping with no discount, local pickup with a small discount, or whether your club dues will be offset by your sponsorship discount.

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OK, now tally it up:

What was your score?

5-9 points: Don’t worry, you’re OK. You’re not a snob. In fact, you might be a Fred–or maybe a triathlete. Maybe you should make friends with a bike snob and even things out.

10-14 points: Hmmm, you’re dangerously close to being awesome. You’ve got some of the rules under control, but you’re still not afraid to break a rule here or there. You probably put in four times the miles of a bike snob.

15 points: Oooooh. You’ve got this purist cycling thing down. You probably have all of your kits on special hangers separated by compression qualities and whether or not you can be seen on the road in them–some bibs are only for riding on the trainer in a blacked-out basement. You might consider relaxing a bit, or keep building up more snobbish habits. I’m not complaining . . . cuz maybe there’s a reason I can describe all these things so accurately.

So where’d you come in? Comment!

About Bek 301 Articles
SLO Cyclist's former chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek made sure everything ran smoothly around here. She was also the one who reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.

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