As waistbands expand, more people are returning to cycling to shed the pounds – so how do we avoid looking like a blimp when the ideal body size is a toothpick?
Mass market and body mass
Shops like Decathlon offer short-sleeved cycle jerseys for less than £5. By offering a “relaxed fit” they allow a broader market to buy their clothes – competitive pricing is all about scale. Forget about skin tight, Decathlon want you to feel comfortable when you’re getting back in the saddle.
We are the Fat Lad at the Back
The average waist size for men in the UK has grown to 38 inches, but that average increases with age. Fortunately, the average disposable income also increases with age, and brands are noticing. Fat Lad at the Back are a Yorkshire based clothing company who also cater for Lasses up to size 26. They even offer “debranded” jerseys and shorts that don’t mention the F word.
Go large with Rapha
Everyone knows Rapha are expensive, and their image caters for the beautifully skinny, right? Wrong. First of all, their men’s city shorts are surprisingly elastic, and their women’s leggings forgiving. Second, they tempt the larger cyclist with their Jersey Downsize Offer. If you lose weight within a year, Rapha offers you a 50% discount on your new jersey size. So get on your bike!
Just wear normal clothes
If you understand how “fabric performance” works, you don’t need to buy cycle specific clothes. You need breathability and wicking so avoid cotton and choose merino. The natural lanolin in merino stops bacteria from stinking up your clothes and even in warm weather merino keeps you cool.
Merino also evaporates moisture quicker than cotton and keeps the rain off, avoiding the swampy feeling of man-made fibres. The Outlet by John Smedley offers high-quality clothing, that may even surpass Rapha – but at a fraction of the cost. Make sure you look for easy or relaxed fit options and you’ll arrive at your destination looking bright and breezy regardless of size.