A woman’s curves should not be a factor in finding comfortable cycling clothing. But good news, the selection of cycling kits specifically suited to plus size female cyclists is on the rise. More companies are becoming wise to the flaws of the ‘shrink and pink’ ethos, so things are starting to improve. The following brands design beautiful, comfortable plus size cycling clothes for women with curves.
No cycling gear is sized the same. If you’re one of many plus size riders, you will find the selection in your local bike shop wanting. Women who normally wear a size L (UK size 14) are too big for some mainstream cycling brands. Being excluded in this basic way doesn’t contribute to the joy cycling should bring.
As we draw awareness to this problem and make an appeal to major cycling brands to get their act together regarding sizing and inclusivity, we want to share the names of some companies that understand there are plenty of women who don’t fit the ‘skinny cyclist’ stereotype yet love spending time on their bikes. Enter the power of the Internet where plus size women can find cycling brands on the right track to fit their curves.
Fat Lass At The Back (FLAB)
A pioneer in terms of plus size cycling clothing Fat Lass is an offshoot of Fat Lad At The Back, a brand created by the male founder to best describe himself. The name was a touchy subject when co-founder Lynn turned her attention to the women’s range. They meant it with affection and went on to design a complete, comfortable and flattering line of women’s cycling clothing for every feminine shape and size up to 6 XL.
Their cycling clothing is not inexpensive, but their fit and comfort reviews are positive. The folks at FLAB use technically advanced fabrics made to handle stretch and high-quality components such as reliable zippers and a high density foam used in their padded cycling shorts. They are also proud to claim their products are made ethically in Europe, in factories they have visited, by people they know—a fact worth shelling out extra for (in our opinion!).
Corinne Dennis, another known UK label, has a selection of plus size women’s cycling clothing. Based in Cornwall, they make handmade, performance cycling apparel for the discerning rider in UK sizes 10-20. Every garment is designed and made in England using local fabrics when possible. Prioritising functionality, they make breathable jackets that don’t not to flap around in the wind, and women’s padded underwear, for commuting or riding when traditional cycling shorts won’t do.
Team Estrogen, a subsidiary of the brand Primal, makes plus size cycling clothing for curvy women in a complete size range up to 2 XL. Their lineup includes jerseys in a variety of funky categories including destinations, teams and events, and officially licensed collections like and rock & roll where you’ll find cycling clothing inspired by Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. There are plenty of companies having fun with hip designs, but it’s very rare they think of plus size women when they do.
Aero Tech Designs
Based in the US, Aero Tech Designs has years of experience designing tall and plus size cycling clothing for curvy women (and men). Sizes go up to 5 XL and the Women’s Century Shorts, described by the brand as the short with the ‘butt pillow’, are said to be some of the most comfortable cycling shorts on the market. They also have a dedicated Sale Rack section if you are looking for road cycling clothes but may be on a tight budget.
Custom cycling gear is going to cost you, but if budget is no object, the following experienced brands offer customised plus sized cycling gear you are sure to love.
Founded by a couple who’ve been cycling together for over 40 years, their products are born out of a genuine passion for the sport and the desire to provide people of all shapes and sizes with the proper sized cycling clothing. To get the best fitting cycling jerseys, shorts, and jackets, they take the fear and guesswork out of the process by sending you a fit kit first so you can find your ideal size before you buy.
These tops are great for running, yoga or gym workouts – made from super lightweight moisture wicking Coolmax material, several awesome designs to choose from with a zipper in the back. Or order custom team singlets!https://t.co/g5Rnmd5Lm6#running #gymworkouts #yoga pic.twitter.com/q77AKF9bxf
— Artletic Apparel (@ArtleticApparel) February 1, 2019
One of our favourite brands offering vibrant coloured cycling apparel to athletes everywhere, ellemenTRI started out making triathlon fashion only, but has since branched into custom cycling kits for all sizes. Self-described as ‘free spirited with an ultra-feminine aesthetic’, they have excellent reviews and seem eager to please their growing customer base.
Plus size shopping tips
Now that you’ve got a few options to choose from, here are some tips to make the actual buying process go smoothly. If purchasing online, make sure the provider has a solid reimbursement policy for hassle-free returns in case the fit is not right. Remember that sizing varies dramatically from brand to brand, so it is worth measuring yourself carefully and studying brand sizing charts. Ask if the company provides a fit kit or samples before purchase. Once you’ve got the clothing, put it on and sit on your bike to establish if it fits properly, provides excellent coverage where you need and want, and it doesn’t ride up.
Finally, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time. Your hard work will pay off. Comfortable cycling clothing makes an enormous difference, and it’s worth finding the perfect fit for your body’s curves. As we see riders of all sizes claim their rightful space on the road, we hope more brands pay attention to how diverse, big, and beautiful the cycling community really is.