Home
Charity also launches partnership with British Cycling to get more people riding bikes

Nearly one in three people believe that cyclists should ditch Lycra before they turn 40, according to a new survey from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) - bad news for so called MAMILs (middle aged men in Lycra). The charity has also launched a partnership with British Cycling aimed at getting more people to ride bikes.

One of the aims of the partnership between the BHF and British Cycling is to help cyclists develop their skills and improve their confidence on the bike, and by joining the organisation via the charity’s website members will gain access to training materials, as well as other benefits. The BHF will receive a £4 donation for each person who joins.

Stewart Kellett, recreation and partnerships director at British Cycling, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the BHF to get more people pedalling, not only to improve their health but also to power research to raise vital funds to tackle the UK’s single biggest killer, coronary heart disease.

“Together with the BHF, we are hoping to inspire people the length and breadth of the country to saddle up to help improve their fitness and overall heart health as well as helping further a truly worthy cause.

“By becoming a British Cycling Member, cyclists will have access to training material to get them in tip-top shape for their upcoming ride. We also have a number of training rides available to BHF supporters to get them ready for any cycling challenge.”

Shoshanna Goodman, cycling project manager at the BHF, added: “Our partnership with British Cycling will provide our supporters with additional guidance and expertise to help them build their confidence and prepare for one of our bike rides.

“Each year around 60,000 cyclists get on their bike for us and challenge themselves on road, off-road, overnight or overseas, raising approximately £5million for life-saving research.

“Cycling is a fantastic way to keep your heart healthy and by taking on a ride for us, not only will you be keeping fit but you will be helping us fund life-saving research.”

The BHF and Santander, which sponsors the charity’s fundraising cycling events, including the London to Brighton Bike Ride, surveyed 2,000 people to find out their views on fitness and cycling.

They found that mechanics are the most physically active profession, exercising on average four days a week, but bankers who are keenest about cycling for leisure, with 87 per cent doing so.

Lycra’s biggest detractors were found in the beauty industry, with workers in that sector saying no-one beyond the age of 27 should wear it – bad news for the likes of Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Teachers turned out to be more MAMIL friendly, although even they said that 44 should be the upper age limit for donning tight fitting gear.

There are more results from the survey in the infographic below.

 

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

78 comments

Avatar
dreamlx10 [144 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Why is it "Bad News" ?

Avatar
bollandinho [64 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Yet more bad news for Chris Horner...

Avatar
mrmo [2016 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

as someone who has just turned 40 I have no interest in ditching lycra, why would I? it does the job after all. What do they suggest plus fours and a cloth cap?

Cycling isn't about fashion for me, so not really bothered about what is right and what is wrong.

Avatar
Dave Ody [20 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Yawn... let's see what lame PR story we can come up with, from a survey, to get some coverage.
What would be great is highlighting how much money over 40's raise for the charity and the excellent work that is derived from the donations.

(i'm still 39 though)

Avatar
brooksby [735 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Hang on, so over 40 is now "over the hill"? I thought all the dividers for middle-aged/old/etc, were moving up/older...

Or is it just that "the people" think that people over 40 are a bit too saggy?

Like mrmo said, lycra is a functional material for those that wear it, in particular circumstances. I don't think anyone wears it just to look good (and, I've never worn it).

Avatar
Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

When I'm in my 40's (long way to go yet), I hope that I still look fantastic in Lycra. Seeing the old boys in Lycra still going strong on their in their senior years riding their immaculate bikes fills me with hope.  41

Avatar
pubcyclist [22 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Theres nothing better than the sight of an older person or out of shape person blasting about keeping fit, keep wearing the lycra, I salute you inspirational characters, stay epic !

Avatar
paulrbarnard [182 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

At 54 I'm far less saggy than the majority of 'beauty' sector workers I have seen. Don't get me started on the teenaged muffin tops you see hanging around towns nowadays.

As someone past the MAMIL age, who still regularly wears lycra, I find the whole agist lycra debate to be facile. What we should really be talking about is a restriction on wearing anything tight fitting past a certain % of body fat. That will reduce the over stuffed sausage effect in all walks of life not just cycling. It's not about age!!!!!

Avatar
Joeinpoole [439 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think the guidelines should be more weight-related.

Why *do* fat people try to squeeze themselves into Lycra? It never fails to both amaze and revolt me. Don't they have access to a mirror or something?

Avatar
bendertherobot [705 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Because it's stretchy and helps them do the hobby they love.

Avatar
kie7077 [833 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

More than 2 out of 3 people don't think cyclists should ditch Lycra at 40.

The 'infrogram' doesn't work for me on either Firefox or IE 11, probably doing something horrible PC security-wise.

infogr.am loading

Avatar
Simon E [2539 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They can piss off. I'll wear what I want, thank you.

IMO overweight people can do what they want too, it's for me to judge whether they look 'good' in lycra. If nothing else, every extra MAMIL on the road is hopefully one more educated driver. That's far more important than how they look.

These and the comment about the beauty industry reminds me of yesterday's article about Jo Rowsell and body image. Every eyebrow plucking, botox injecting, waxing or tanning outfit wants to make you feel insecure so they can screw money out of you. They're just leeches, like people in advertising. F**k them all.

Avatar
Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Out of interest, what are the alternatives to Lycra?

Avatar
Wookie [212 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

I think the guidelines should be more weight-related.

Why *do* fat people try to squeeze themselves into Lycra? It never fails to both amaze and revolt me. Don't they have access to a mirror or something?

Because it’s comfortable. I am sorry you are revolted by it I can think of a lot more deserving things for you to be revolted by.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

If it was 1 in 3 regular cyclists saying cyclists should ditch lycra past the age of 40, then I'd take the survey a little more seriously.

But is there a correlation between people with excessive BMI and those saying cyclists over 40 should ditch the lycra? How many of those responding are regular cyclists? Does this survey not say more about the body image the respondents have of themselves?

I'm a long way past 40 but I've weighed the same and had the same 32" waist since I was in my early 30s. I race and can beat guys 20 years younger than me.

In any case, if some pudgy MAMIL wants to wear lycra while riding, so what? Lycra kit is practical.

Avatar
dassie [44 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Are we bothered what non-cyclists think about cyclists, of any age, wearing lycra? I think not. Cycling lycra is technical clothing - get over it.

Avatar
Simmo72 [584 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

What they missed was instead you need to take up golf and cricket and spend your leisure time walking around in a nautical blazer....because in no way will you look like a complete twat.

Better to live a healthy lifestyle in lycra and take the stick than die slumped over a dominoes pizza box in your fully stretched kappa tracksuit with blocked arteries.

Avatar
edster99 [334 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

.....
These and the comment about the beauty industry reminds me of yesterday's article about Jo Rowsell and body image. Every eyebrow plucking, botox injecting, waxing or tanning outfit wants to make you feel insecure so they can screw money out of you. They're just leeches, like people in advertising. F**k them all.

Absolutely spot on. Not interested in healthy, just the facade... I could go on.

Avatar
Dapper Giles [69 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Scoob_84 wrote:

Out of interest, what are the alternatives to Lycra?

Tweed! Or wool jerseys or black suit and bowler hat like the good ol' days, when bikes were made of strong british steel an' 'ad only 1 gear.

Lycra shouldn't be reserved for racing snakes. I'm not one myself but I wouldn't run a 10K in jeans so why would I cycle in them.

It is stuff like this that puts people off getting in to sport in general, they feel embarassed because they fear they might look silly.

'Oh you're over weight? Well then you don't deserve to have decent clobber and anyway it looks obscene on you fatty so no sport for you'

I see guys way past their fortys cycling in proper kit and I hope I still am when I'm 100.

Avatar
gazza_d [451 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

What percentage of the 1/3 of the surveyed who want to see Lycra dumped are lardarse couch potatoes who only ever shuffle between the sofa and the driving seat?

I wear lycra on the 17 mile commute to work as it the most comfortable and practical when either warm and sunny or raining like the apocolypse . I don't when only trundling to the shops.

It's no business of anyone else what I wear frankly.

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Scoob_84 wrote:

Out of interest, what are the alternatives to Lycra?

Sackcloth and ashes.

Repent ye sinners.

Avatar
mrmo [2016 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Scoob_84 wrote:

Out of interest, what are the alternatives to Lycra?

To try and be helpful.

Giro, Vulpine,

A few others too, or go for the MTB baggy shorts look.

Avatar
RobD [282 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think I'd much rather see people (of any size) out cycling in lycra than some of the ridiculously tight/small clothing that lots of people seem to think is ideal for wearing out of the house.
I may not look fabulous in lycra, but I don't think I look as bad as half the people wandering the high street at the weekend

Avatar
annamac [4 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I don't tell beauty industry workers not to go around with an inch of makeup applied with a trowel so why the hell should their opinion count as to whether I get to be comfortable on my bike? Enough of the bullsh*t studies, puhlease!

Avatar
workhard [397 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I look dreadful in lycra, middle-aged middle you see, but I don't give a toss what others think of the aesthetic and I don't ride about admiring my reflection. I wear it because it is the most practical stuff to wear at this time of year for the sort of riding I do. (And I can be found wearing plus two and a cap on a bike at times, or in baggies and a lumberjack shirt when mttb'ing).

Any non-cyclists/mates who rip the piss out of the collapse of my once sporting physique are immediately invited to come for a 50- or 100-km in the Surrey Hills/South Downs of a Sunday morning to let their legs do the talking. Oddly, it has converted a few of the piss takers into enthusiastic cyclists and MAMILS themselves.

Avatar
Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

.... and being a MAMIL is something to be proud of.

Avatar
levermonkey [646 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I will continue to wear lycra until someone comes up with a better way of embarrassing your children than Dad-Dancing in your bib shorts.  24

Bonus points if you do it in front of their friends.  24 21 24

[I know, I know! They get to choose my care home. But not yet!  4 ]

Avatar
PhilRuss [352 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

[[[[[ HUH! And one-in-one believes drivers (male & female) should stop carrying on like petulant children when using--or misusing--their vehicles on the roads. That would be another good way to "build cyclists' confidence" in the use of bikes as exercise and transport...I'm off message, of course, and more power to BHF's elbows, but their clothing survey is off message from them too....MAMILS? I see a lot of YAFIJATS on bikes (Younger Age Folks In Jeans And Trainers), but that's up to them, innit? Why add fuel to the fires of prejudice? OOOh! I could just spit, I could!
P.R.

Avatar
DrJDog [293 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

1 in 3 think over 40s should ditch lycra.

2 in 3 know over 40s should ditch lycra.

Avatar
djc1245 [23 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Ah. The beauty industry. The people encouraging anorexia?

I'm 50 in a couple of months. Always wear lycra on the road bike and look good in it if I say so myself.

Pages