It seems easy enough, but many bike racers commit race number errors on a regular basis. They bubble, flap, and are badly positioned. Here is a quick how-to to secure your number for stability, aerodynamics, and visibility.
Note: this lesson applies to traditional Tyvek-style pin-on numbers. Not the fancy Euro pro adhesive
Placement is essential for visibility for officials and photographers. It ensures your identity and results accuracy. Place your number so that the bottom edge of the number hits the middle of your jersey’s side panel, aligned with your armpit. It’s “right-reading” from the side.
Pinning the Number
- Pin your number while your jersey is off of your body. Don’t count on friends or other racers to do this favor.
- Use about one pin per inch of surface. This could be as many as nine. More pins keeps the number flat and avoids catching the wind. The one pictured is sort of overkill, but effective.
- Don’t use the corner holes. Don’t!
- Pin in the center as well as the perimeter. Start on either side of the corners and pin one per inch around the perimeter.
- Double pin. This means pin through number and jersey, then come back up through the number and jersey again and lock the safety pin.
- Don’t crumple your number. Officials don’t like it. If you pinned correctly and generously, the number should stay flat.