Critical Sass

Chicago’s bike community has rapidly become one of the city’s largest subcultures and with that comes a style that’s hard to miss.

Bike style incorporates functionality into their fashion sense with things like colorful Chrome messenger bags, vintage t’s or jerseys and cuffed pants. Flair is also a large part of bike style, which usually comes in the form of tattoo sleeves and facial piercings.

Although their sassy style goes unnoticed by fashionistas, it is a beacon for city drivers which may or may not be a good thing.

A little Mid West pride…
Chicago flag, Chicago Bears patch & Hammond, IN pin

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  • Sh@nnon

    You can’t give props to the Bike crowd without mentioning Cal’s Bar! You’ll find tons of bike messengers/functionistas there. You should check it out 1 night. I think you and your camera will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Anonymous

    This is not even close to what I consider bike style. like Sh@nnon said. Check out Cals if you want to see the “real” bike crowd.

  • monica!


    i have been to cal’s, many a time.

    do you mean the guys with chains for belts and bike grease for nail polish? Yea, well, from my calculations chicago bike kids come in all breeds…hipsters, messengers, craft nerds(no offense)…

    this girl is a PRIME example of how riding a bike effects personal style, sorry if she isn’t grimy enough.

  • Anonymous

    it has nothing to do with griminess, she just reminds me more of what I see walking around clarke and belmont than what i see riding a bike for a living.

    to each his own.

  • monica!

    ok, that’s cool but i have one question…

    are there a lot of bike kids where you live in Orland Park?

  • bibliogrrl

    wow, I’m behind the times (this is what happens when you don’t write down the URL of the nice person who takes your picture).

    Hey @ BOTH anons – I ride a bike. I work on my own bike. I alter my own clothing so that I can ride my bike in it. SO FUCKING SORRY if I don’t look like a messenger, or if I don’t hang out at Cal’s. There is more than one kind of Rider in the city, and the center of bike life is NOT ONLY CAL’S. Look to West Town, or Working Bikes.

    There is no “REAL” bike crowd, unless you are a 22 year old hipster who only considers a fixed gear bike the only REAL kind of bike. So sorry I don’t fit your standards.

    I ride an old 10 speed Schwinn that I’ve been working on myself, and the only thing I haven’t been able to do is replace some popped drive side spokes. So if I’m not authentic enough for you, sod off. I’ll go back to making my clothes and riding my bike in peace, and I’ll just keep avoiding Cal’s, stick to my local, and do the Sadie race again next year. Thanks. 😛

    Thanks again Monica! It was great meeting you!

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