Fat Lad At The Back

  • Size Does Matter

    Getting decent cycle wear if you're over a 44" chest is challenging enough, without the bewildering SML size system.


    Is cycle wear sizing about the most complicated thing about cycling?

    Once you get over a 42" chest it's anyones guess how many X's you need. We couldn't make head nor tail of it, so we decided to scrap it and use measurements instead. It's different to other manufacturers but it's better and it works about 99% of the time.

    There's a lot of vanity sizing on the high street, which adds to the complication because it means that although you may be wearing for example a 44" jacket, your actual measurement may be a 46" or more. Our Fat Lad in Charge got a bit of a surprise when he found that his size 38" jeans were actually a 42" waist. Although it can be a bit disheartening to find that you are 'bigger' than you thought, getting the right size gear is a lot more important and once you're cycling, you'll quickly get rid of those extra inches that appeared whilst you weren't looking!Fat Lad At The Back Cyclewear Vanity Sizing


    Ideally you want your gear to skim the skin, so that the fabric is in contact and can wick moisture away, but without being so tight that it gives the appearance of a shrink-wrapped chicken, unless of course you like the shrink wrapped look!

    That's why we ask our customers to get measured and use this information to order the correct size of garment. If you prefer a looser fit, just go up a size.
    When trying on the garments we also suggest that customers sit on their bikes or at least adopt ‘riding position’, so they can feel how the garments will fit particularly on the shoulders, back and arms.


    Because the fabrics we use stretch in all directions, if you have especially large Popeye arms or chunky thighs or bottoms you may find that garments feel too short or smaller than you had expected. This is because the fabric gets 'used up' across the wider parts and therefore effectively 'shortens'. Equally, items can appear too small if you are very tall or too big if you are more petite.

    There can be some challenges getting the right fitting gear, but it's worth persevering with and don't forget you can always drop us an email and we'll be abe to make some suggestions as to the best size. We're quite good at sizing up cyclists now! The important thing is don't fear the tape measure - it's just a number and it's the start of your cycling journey!


  • What makes our gear better? - YOU do!


    Not long after we launched our men’s cyclewear, we were inundated with requests from women or should we say lasses, demanding the same thing. It made sense of course, that if average sized lads were struggling to find quality cycling gear, then average sized lasses would be too, so we set about producing a women’s collection to fit and flatter the curvaceous shape of the female body.

    But first we asked our community of Facebook Lasses what was wrong with Women’s cycle wear and ‘hold the phone’, they were desperate to tell us!

    Firstly women's gear didn’t seem to be fitting in any of the right places and it didn’t have any ‘room’ for bust or hips - even though busts and hips are a pretty common thing amongst Women. Secondly it was shapeless, so even if our lasses had been lucky enough to find gear that was big enough, it wasn’t at all flattering. Thirdly jerseys were generally too short, so lots of women felt exposed and uncomfortable and spent a lot of time pulling their hemlines down and finally women’s cycle wear just wasn’t very feminine.



    Consequently our jackets and jersey’s have been designed with proper, woman friendly curve and feature a contoured side panels which help to slim the silhouette. Based on women’s body measurements, this tailoring helps to ensure a great and flattering fit and our longer length tops, ensure that our lasses feel comfortable, both on and off the saddle. Finally our designs and use of colour ensures that no matter what size, our clothing accentuates the parts of the body (most) women like and detracts the eye away from the bits they’re even less happy with!

    Our research also identifies the latest colour trends and we pick the most popular colours from the blue and yellow colour spectrums, to compliment women with either blue or yellow skin tones.

    We’re always interested in feedback from our customers and if enough people share your opinion, you may well see your suggestion being incorporated into the collection.

  • #1 ‘A MAMIL For All Seasons’

    By Chris McGuire Guest Blogger

    Chris 1-1

    I’ve just had a cleat failure. Know what I mean?

    If you’ve never had it, you will if you start riding ‘clipless’. For the uninitiated, being ‘clipped in’ is great for building speed and using your energy economically, but it’s less good if you want to maintain balance when moving slowly. Keeping upright in these situations is a skill I haven’t fully mastered; as all the dents in the pavement outside my house show.


    As I lay on my side once again, a question popped into my head.
    “Why on Earth do I do this?”
    And just as quickly an answer
    “I do it because it makes me feel alive!”

    I’m a big fella, 6’5” and around 18 stone. But before I started cycling I was even heavier – about 22 stone. Back then I felt sport was like stamp collecting: great for those who were interested in it, but I really couldn’t see the attraction. I didn’t see my weight as a problem; it was all part of my charm. Then, in my mid-30’s, I went on holiday to Spain and things changed. This trip became legendary in my social circles because of what my friends called: ‘Patio-furniture-gate’.
    On this single holiday I managed to break 7 items of patio furniture just by sitting on them. 7 broken chairs and loungers is, I’m sure you’ll agree, quite a lot.

    For a short period I was in denial, reasoning there had been a sudden downturn in the quality of continental plastic furniture. Yet eventually – as I lay on my back on top of another crushed chair – I came to the realisation that it was me, not the furniture, that was the problem.

    I was told I needed a low impact sport to help me lose weight and get fit and after an extensive research (a quick Google) I came up with cycling. Initially it wasn’t a natural fit - a 22 stone man and Lycra weren't the World’s greatest combination and as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, the ballet-dancing hippos in Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ sprang to mind.

    On my maiden voyage I learned some lessons. Before I’d got to the end of my street I’d discovered it was the right decision to wear padded shorts, without them I’d be permanently walking like John Wayne. I learned another lesson when I stopped at traffic lights and received a chorus of wolf whistles. For some reason, becoming a cyclist makes you massively attractive to builders. I waved to my fans and carried on. Finally I learned that cycling can be exhausting.

    I didn’t go far on that 1st ride and on my return, collapsed onto the sofa, but even as I lay exhausted, I was determined to go out again the next day. My fans in the building trade deserved that much! So that’s what I did and the rest is, as they say, history.

    I’ll be honest with you, I’ve had some ups and downs along the way - weight has come off and gone back on again and I’ve recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, which threw me off course for a while, but I’m back on my bike and I don’t regret for one moment my decision to be a cyclist.

    Over the coming months I’ll be sharing my cycling adventures with you but for now, I'm off to slip into my Lycra.

    Fat Lad At The Back Chris McGuire

    Chris McGuire is a writer who lives in the Westcountry. He loves riding his bike and in no way resembles a dancing hippo. @McGuireski

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