Are you a 'typical' cyclist?

According to Cycling Weekly the average cyclist is male, 43 years-old, 5’10” and 12 stone. But we’re not sure that’s necessarily the case anymore. Not only has the industry seen many novices join the ranks, it has also seen an influx of ‘non-typical’ cyclists. The lads and lasses in the Fat Lad At The Back community are shifting the gears within the ever-growing landscape of cycling and still smashing their ride goals despite not looking like the ‘average’ cyclist.

Often, people who don’t fit the conventional cyclist mould aren’t taken seriously and aren’t allowed in the ‘cyclist’ category, but this growing number of people ARE cyclists. We need to throw away our image of what a typical cyclist looks like because people outside of these standards, are bossing it!

We have a Fat Lad At The Back community forum with well over 7000 members. These members are very active in supporting and encouraging each other, they enthusiastically provide invaluable advice and suggestions for one another. On this forum, a fellow fat lad member posted about being over 24 stone and wondering if there was anyone else out there like him cycling. It truly highlighted the amount of people out there on bikes actively (and frequently!) cycling at 20+ stone.

The post received nearly 60 comments in response, all from fellow cyclists stating their affinity with his weight; between 20-25 stone. Reassuring him of their presence and spurring him on with words of encouragement, the comments section was an oasis of positivity and encouragement with many sharing their amazing cycling achievements.

There were some brilliant suggestions to make the most out of their cycling. Much of the advice centered around how to make the bike more comfortable and suitable for you when you’re a heavier cyclist.

Letting go of any fear of making changes to your bike, your wheels in particular, is a huge part of it.

Multiple members mentioned having more spokes helps, 32-36 to be exact – “the trick is strong rims and lots of spokes” one member commented. Others heavily advised getting bespoke wheels following their personal experiences – “Custom made wheels are the best investment you can make” another commented. One member got his wheel handmade at his local bike shop and another suggested DCR Wheels or Ryan Builds Wheels. 

Other advice included ensuring your tyres were inflated fully for every ride rather for maximum support every time. One member, a 6 foot 5 and 23 stone cyclist commented – “chamois crème is your friend. The seat that came with your bike isn’t”. He also mentioned how important it is to stretch as a bigger cyclist, especially being taller - “stretch. Stretch some more. We need flexibility more than skinny people.”

Top tips for heavier cyclists from the Fat Lad At The Back community:

  1. 32-36 spokes for maximum support

  2. Make sure you get a good set of padded shorts

  3. Look into pedal extenders

  4. Custom made wheels are the best investment you can make

  5. Chamois crème is your friend

  6. Stretch!

If you haven’t already, be sure to join our cycling forum for more.

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