Fat Lad at the Back is helping plus-sized cyclists saddle up for Tour de France

Fat Lad at the Back MD Richard Bye cycling in Ilkley wearing his kit. Picture by Gerard Binks.
Fat Lad at the Back MD Richard Bye cycling in Ilkley wearing his kit. Picture by Gerard Binks.
Have your say

Bringing up the rear is the fear for many who are new to cycling.

But feeling comfortable in your own skin and going at your own pace is something to be treasured, according to a tongue-in-cheek cyclewear start-up that is helping larger riders saddle up.

Fat Lad at the Back was born in October 2013 after cycling enthusiast Richard Bye decided he’d had enough of ill-fitting Lycra having always been broader than his fellow riders.

The 41-year-old’s brand, which caters for cyclists with up to a 60inch waist, has gone from strength to strength as local interest in the sport soars ahead of the July Tour de France Grand Depart from Yorkshire.

In just seven months of trading as Fat Lad at the Back, or FLAB for short, 13,000 people have bought their plus-size jerseys.

“There are so many people getting into cycling, the middle aged men in Lycra theme is going all over the sports industry and all those people are going to be able to find top quality gear,” Mr Bye said. “It fits you nice and snug but not too tightly.”

Thousands have bought into the idea, which has been praised by Welcome to Yorkshire chief Gary Verity, including Scottish slimmer Phil Jones who dropped 10st in just 20 months of cycling.

Far from an insult, Mr Bye sees the FLAB tag as the Yorkshire equivalent to the Lanterne Rouge – the name given to the last rider to finish the Tour de France.

A cyclist of 18 years, Mr Bye said: “It’s changing the opinions of the people that are seeing those fat lads out riding. As much as they may be struggling to get up the hills and stay with the pack, they’re far further ahead than the person sat on the sofa.”

The YP’s Let’s Get Cycling campaign is hoping to tap into the growing interest in cycling ahead of the Tour de France by encouraging readers to send their cycling pictures and stories to jonathan.brown@ypn.co.uk.

With two months to go until Le Tour, City of York Council has announced details of its free spectator hubs at York Designer Outlet, York Racecourse, Monk Stray and Rowntree Park. Visit www.experiencetherace.com or www.fatladattheback.com.


Caroline Verdon: Nothing quenches your soul like the taste of a great cuppa