The provision of cycling kit cut specifically to suit female riders is on the increase but women looking for plus sized cycling clothing are still finding gear hard to locate.
Whilst there’s a wide range of high street clothing retailers catering for the plus sized market, the world on wheels hasn’t really responded yet – says Tanya Newman.
Tanya’s request to cycling clothing manufacturers: “I just want nice cycling tops that can fit the women with boobs.”
Having been a cyclist all her life, the 42-year-old from Penkridge said she got more serious about her riding last year to “challenge herself”. Signing herself and a friend up for a Macmillan sportive, she ticked that one off the list and says “it all escalated from there”.
It certainly did. Next, Tanya became a ride leader for the South Staffordshire Cycling Scheme, and completed a Coast to Coast ride. Upcoming goals on her list are riding London to Paris, and completing her first 100 mile ride in a day.
An Office Manager, Tanya commutes to work occasionally and rides her road bike on the weekend. Describing her approach to cycling and fitness, she says: “I have an under active thyroid – that has been a struggle the last 6 years of my life. Trying to lose weight has been such an obstacle anyway because of that. I used to go to the gym, but I didn’t enjoy that – so I thought ‘oh let me go on the bike, I’d rather be outside in fresh air than be stuck in the gym’.”
She added: “I cycle because it’s something I enjoy. I wouldn’t say I did it just for trying to lose weight. If I lost weight that’s a bonus.”
Tanya owns a Trek Lexa road bike and a Cube hybrid – but not as much cycling clothing as she’d like. Though sizes vary between brands, she says she’d usually wear a size 20 top and 18 bottoms. As the market is, she just can’t find cycling clothing that fits at an affordable price.