Does cycling make you fat?

Cycling makes you fat.  Well, according to cycle clothing manufacturers it must do, because how on earth does a woman who normally buys size 10 or size 12 (UK sizes for our continental friends) possibly end up with LARGE shorts and an EXTRA LARGE jersey?


An average UK women is a UK14-16.  That would make her an XL or XXL. The size correlation between cycling clothing and normal UK clothes would look something like this:

XS = UK 4/6
Small = UK 6/8
Medium = UK 8/10
Large = UK 10/12
XL = UK 12/14
XXL = UK 14/16
3XL = UK 16/18

I know I’ve had a lot of cakes and biscuits (and not as much exercise) during lockdown, but I still only weight 9stone 10lb.  I’m 5ft 4″.

My M&S pants are a UK10.
My M&S trousers are a UK10.

Okay, I will admit that my size 10 jeans are a little snug, and my cheaper end clothing is usually a 12 anyway, but that’s because I have shoulders (and boobs).

And it’s not just the clothes – I don’t think I’ve big hands but I need Large gloves for a traditional glove size 7.5 (which to take a trip into Marks & Spencer again would net me a Medium).

Then there’s my feet: My Dunlops are a 38, Converse are a 39, and even my running shoes are a 39, so why are my cycling shoes a 41?

No wonder women can get put off by cycling, imagine going into a shop as a newbie cyclist and suddenly finding that you have to go at least two sizes up in everything?!  Wow, that’s really going to make you feel good.

It’s not one make either; I have Endura, Gore, and Cycology.  They are all smaller than you’d expect.  Endura are even designed in Scotland – come on guys, you know what size Scottish women are!

There is an exception to this and that’s Altura, in Altura’s sizing I am perfectly normal to my dress size.  Some common sense prevails.

I can’t explain this, but (she says reaching for a cookie), cycling has definitely made me fatter than I ever was before.




3 thoughts on “Does cycling make you fat?

  1. I always have this problem! Buying women’s cycling gear often feels like I’m buying child’s clothing and they NEVER factor in chest size. Really grinds my gears.


    1. I always find my sleeves are loose because I have to buy for chest (and sadly postlockdown belly now). My legs are often loose at the bottom too but otherwise I don’t get the bib straps long enough. And don’t get me started on shoes or socks!


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