Fat cyclists, overweight people in general are still forgotten by great part of the cycling industry. When businesses lose touch with their customers everyone loses. XL biking is helping to build bridges and make cycling better for more people and brands.
It's a cold morning in Scandinavia, the body wants to go home, the mind is thinking of those who may benefit of the results of one more product test, the heart is exploding with cycling passion - it is inevitable, I have to go out and bike!
XL Biking has worked closely with a few brands that responded positively to our contacts, suggestions and ideas geared towards overweight cyclists and others who felt left out of our sport by the industry. Here in Scandinavia "SIGR" was the first to expand their view of cyclists and embrace the fact that everyone has the right of riding a bike in their own terms without being corrected or questioned for it. They developed the "Explorer" jerseys in close cooperation with our XLBiking Instagram Community, and are constantly pushing the envelope, the latest being the addition of the biomotion safety details to their collection! And, of course they wanted us to test them!
To have brands show that level of commitment to both overweight and left out riders is unprecedent! Never before has it been done in Europe!
There are good bike brands
Bicycle manufacturers that aim to cut down costs at the expense of the rider's safety are never a good starting point for anyone interested in cycling. With the technology available today there's just no way of justifying certain rider weight limits companies impose on riders - as if cycling was only for a few and not for everyone! Gambling with people's lives should lead to customers boycotting their products!
Fortunately, there are brands such as Finnish "Pelago Bicycles" which listened to XL Biking and told us about the bike's weight limit without us having to dig for it in some hidden .pdf file on the web! More than that, Pelago invited us to discuss our views and help collaborate for a more inclusive cycling world. To have brands show that level of commitment to both overweight and left out riders is unprecedent! Never before has it happened in Europe! They've even featured us in their blog!
We didn't have the same luck with the Swedish, Spanish, German and American bike brands we contacted. The view appeared to be the same: "Your niche (fat) of people don't buy enough bikes to justify modifications nor collaborations".
There are good cycling clothing brands in all continents
One of the hardest things to find when you're a larger rider is good quality clothing that actually fits! Aerotech Designs is a forward thinking company that ranks among the pioneers in clothing for large riders of all sexes! I've always dreamed cycling bibs with side pockets, but could never buy them because Rapha, one of the first with it, just doesn't cater to all riders. Lucky us, Aerotech brought this innovation to our community and let us test it! Businesses that listen to ALL riders will shape the future of cycling!
Dear friend, how can I better encourage you to let your voice be heard in the cycling world? Let me know and I will try my best! Things need to change, specially now that cycling is becoming part of our daily lives in greater levels due to Covid-19. Virus aside, cycling is one of the most fun things we can do for our mental and physical health! Everyone should be able to do that on equal terms! We need to unite and debunk the myths the cycling industry tries to impose on us! Here at XL Biking we believe the best way to do that is to invite to dialogue, collaboration, participation, mutual information and spreading the joy of cycling - among other things. We will, in the process, find out which companies shouldn't be trusted, and which ones are serious enough to care for all riders! Most of all, let us pass on the joy of cycling to a generation more and more glued to the screen, we fight for them! For the kids who are bullied for being overweight, the ADHD, Aspergers, LGBTQ, and others who are not invited to cycling clubs, and many more!
Ebbe Silva Founder - XL Biking.