It all began with a nickname. Richard, our Co-founder, had always been called the 'fat lad at the back' as a term of endearment by his cycling mates. He was never the conventional cyclist and knew it, so he wore the name with pride knowing that, although he might have been the fat lad at the back, he was still on the bike and that's all that mattered. Plus it didn't matter much when he owned the down hills.
It became clear to Lynn and Richard (our founders) that cyclewear wasn't made for guys of Richard's size and he was constantly uncomfortable on his bike. So, it occurred to them that if they couldn’t find any premium cycling gear, in a plus-size and a comfortable fit, then it was highly likely no one else could. That's where Fat Lad At The Back was conceived. They took a bit of a punt and set up a brand that aimed to make premium and stylish cyclewear for every body, no matter the size.
Now, it's not just about making the finest cycling clobber, it’s also about the people. It's our mission to challenge the stereotypes of cycling and to break down the barriers so that everyone can love riding as much as we do. We do this by nurturing our community of FLAB enthusiasts and by delivering premium quality products that look good and feel fab.
We didn’t just size up our gear, we re-designed the way the traditional garments were made so that they would properly fit and flatter the new ‘average’ size of cyclists. It took months to track down a manufacturer who understood that we wanted cyclewear that didn’t make the wearer look like a shrink wrapped chicken. They had to be prepared to make the sizes much larger and change the traditional patterns altogether.
The Fat Lad garments were originally created for the average male with a 44” chest and a 38” waist. However, it quickly became apparent that there were bigger cyclists who needed something to wear too, so we introduced larger sizes. More and more Lads said to us, “as soon as I read it, I knew you were talking to me!” and from there we grew an amazing community.
It was clear that the average female was crying out for the same kind of comfort and style too. We designed a completely female focused range which took into consideration women’s curves and comfort in a bid to flatter every size and shape of our female riders. Our women's range is now arguably the best fitting and most comfortable available in the market.
Our cycle and sportswear now includes some of the most technically advanced fabrics and the finest components available. We understand that everyone should have access to the very best. Plus, our gear lasts for years - we don’t make 'throw away fashion'! All of our cycling apparel is ethically made in Europe, in factories that we have visited and by people we know. It’s certainly not the cheapest way of doing things, but we know that our clothing has been made by adults that have been paid a fair wage, all whilst working in good conditions. We also have the reassurance that all waste materials produced are disposed of ethically and within EU guidelines.
The core of our brand is our community. A huge community of people who are dedicated to our mission. They help us develop our product range, they fill our social media with comments, great photos and great advice for each other. They have also been the lifeblood of our annual Big Fat Bike Ride - now known as the friendliest and most inclusive Sportive in the UK. FLAB continues to grow (no pun intended) and in a short space of time, we have become a brand authentically serving the people. Key to that is encouraging everyone to have fun and enjoy their sport. We don’t discriminate between old and young, lads and lasses, skinny and fat, beginners and pro’s. How good you are or what you look like isn’t important to us, it's what’s in your heart that counts!
Our Flampions are awesome cyclists and brand ambassadors who get what we stand for. They are committed to helping us get people into cycling and help to organise local social rides for our community across the country. Riding with small groups and stopping for some cake and a chat on the way. We now have 30 Flampions across the 33 regions in the UK running regular FLAB Social Rides with riders of completely mixed abilities.
We’re still a small business with a small hardworking team headed by Lynn and we have retained the same values we’ve always had. We're serious about our mission but we don't take ourselves too seriously.
We are PROUD of who we are and this seeps into everything we do and all of our community. They are proud of who they are too and so they should be.
We CARE about people and the environment and this shows throughout all the touchpoints of our brand. We don't make 'throw away fashion' or think of our customers as numbers.
We believe in being BOLD. Being confident in achieving our mission is what keeps us going and many of our community are unafraid of expressing themselves authentically.
We are PREMIUM. We make gear that fits, flatters, feels comfortable and lasts chuffin' ages. Not only that, we make premium easily accessible for every body.
We are HONEST. We don't know everything there is about to know about cycling and we're not afraid to admit that. We know people. We are transparent and open with our community and that's what matters most to us.
We are YORKSHIRE. Born and Bred.
Those of us who have struggled up never ending hills, dropped back from the pack, been overtaken by people twice our age and half our weight, felt dejected, deflated and forlorn. We are the Fat Lads and Fat Lasses At The Back. Join us, we are proud not perfect.