The Olympic gold medal winning cyclist’s “new baby”, her personally designed bike range, has sparked unprecedented demand at suppliers Halfords – and it is all being put down to the midwife-effect!
The fact that the traditionally designed cycles bear an uncanny resemblance to those featured on the TV show, with star Miranda Hart recently photographed riding a similar retro-style bike across London, is believed to have helped create a buzz around the classy new model.
Following a record number of pre-orders on the internet Halfords has rushed the range of three classic women’s bikes into store, almost a month earlier than planned. These are the traditional Somerby, the hybrid Brooke and the more sophisticated Dalby.
The powder blue, white and plum coloured cycles with sprung saddles could not be further from the hard-bodied pared-down bike that helped Victoria win gold in Beijing, but their nostalgic appeal seems to have released a desire by women to return to cycling spurred on by the pedalling midwives of the 1950s show.
Miss Hart, who often takes her pet shih tzu Peggy with her on bike rides, is in good company with Ewan McGregor, Kelly Brook, Elle McPherson, Helena Christenson, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, all confirmed A-list cycling fans.
A delighted Victoria, 31, said: “I wanted to help create a bike that you could just jump on to go down to the shops or the park without having to change into cycling kit. I do recognise that most women don’t want to squeeze into lycra before they get on a bike and I am pleased to say you can definitely wear a dress to ride these cycles.”
The Olympic champion’s timing has been as impeccable as ever with the release of range of three bikes, tapping into the growing craze for two wheels, not four.
Clare Standage, Halford Product Expert, said: “We are not surprised by the demand for the Victoria Pendleton range. There is certain elegance about the traditional lines of a classic bike and it seems that the trend-setters are moving away from the macho, sporty look and going for a more relaxed everyday style which is perfectly epitomised by these bikes. It is an added bonus that all three models are so competitively priced at £279.99 to £349.99.”
The launch of the Victoria Pendleton cycle range follows an upsurge in sales of Halfords classic bikes last year.
National cycle network Sustrans has launched a campaign to encourage more women to get back on two wheels after research showed that 79 per cent of women don’t cycle.
International designers such as Paul Smith and Giles Deacon have also tapped into the retro-mood by creating new lines of cycle chic clothing based on the timeless designs of a gentler, more stylish era.