90s Fashion: Bike Shorts


By Ryan Zimmerman
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanzonline


Bike ShortsThere were definitely a lot of fashion trends in the 90s, whether it was throwing on a pair of Zubaz or getting some lightning bolts shaved in your hair, they all had their own uniqueness. There was one, however, that stood out that really continues to make me scratch my head. I am still perplexed by how something so unattractive got so darn popular. I am talking, of course, about the widely spread, early 90s fashion craze that was biker shorts. This fashion trend was embraced by both guys and gals with equal enthusiasm.

You might think, if you aren’t familiar with biker shorts in general, that the apparel was for bikers. Not Hell’s Angels bikers, but your ten-speed-soaring, water-bottle-guzzling, aerodynamic-helmet-wearing bicyclists. In all actuality, the trend should have stopped there,


but as we know, it didn’t. Now, I am not wanting to totally bag on the biker short. I would be a hypocrite if I did, since I owned quite a few pair. However, the awkward teen boy in me wouldn’t sport those tightie ride-ies without some sort of cover-up. For instance, I always wore my pair of Umbros over the bike shorts so that only a portion of the leg of the biker shorts was revealed. It was either that or wear a really long tee shirt that covered up the entire shorts area, and basically just looked like I had no pants on.

There definitely were many, many people that were okay going sans cover up, and sans dignity. Then, there were the guys that decided to throw all caution to the wind, and bike without wearing a shirt–just shorts. And God help us if they decided to get off the bike and try and make some kind of conversation with you. You could either try and look them in the eye, but as they came towards you, almost Saran-Wrapped from the waist down, all you could do was pray your gag reflex would stay in check.

Something I will never understand, is why on earth did the clothing lines ever make biker shorts larger than a "large?" Is it really a good idea to make biker shorts in XXL? What good could possibly come of that? Perhaps it was a mental motivator for those that were out to shed a few pounds–kind of like that Bow Flex you bought. You buy it and are somewhat convinced, that even though it sits in your basement, just having it will help you get in shape. Either way, the idea probably wasn’t the best. It was like trying to cram a jelly donut into a Dixie Cup; it just doesn’t quite work.

See this trend in action with The Out of Breath Jogger from 1992.

And oh no! Check out these 2009 fashion trend photos. Looks like bike shorts are back in!


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