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Decathlon says it still has “progress to make” after cyclist points out that new “micro pockets” on women’s bib shorts can just about hold a cereal bar

The cyclist also noted that some men’s shorts stocked by the French retailer featured pockets big enough for phones

French sporting goods retailer Decathlon says it still has “progress to make” and that it will continue to increase the “diversity” of its cycling clothing range – after a cyclist pointed out on social media that the new pockets on the store’s Rockrider women’s bib shorts are just about big enough to hold a small cereal bar.

Earlier this week, cyclist Pauline posted on Twitter a photo from Decathlon’s website of the women’s Rockrider Race mountain bike bib shorts and their snack size bar-shaped pockets, alongside an image of the retailer’s Van Rysel men’s bib-less shorts (complete with pockets seemingly large enough to store a mobile phone).

“Seriously Decathlon, you finally make women’s shorts with pockets... to hold a cereal bar, while the guys can put their phones in the men’s models,” Pauline tweeted.

Referring to Van Rysel’s replica Cofidis pro team bib shorts, which are also sold by Decathlon and only available in men’s sizes, the cyclist continued: “I’m not even talking about the fact that the models for the Cofidis team don’t exist for women, but frankly the difference in pocket sizes is a joke at this level.”

Pauline later posted another pair of men’s cycling shorts stocked by Decathlon, this time from Riverside, writing: “I just discovered the cargo model from Riverside and THERE ARE POCKETS IN THE BACK AND ON THE THIGHS! Meanwhile, we can put a tampon in our micro pocket.”

While some responded to the tweet (which has been viewed over a million times since Friday) by posting vile, misogynistic comments, others noted that Pauline was comparing shorts designed by different brands – prompting the cyclist to respond that there nevertheless remained a “slight disparity” between Decathlon’s range of men’s and women’s cycling shorts and trousers.

For example, on the chain’s UK webstore, of the 57 bike shorts, tights, and trousers sold by Decathlon, only 17 are specifically designed for women.

Responding to Pauline’s complaints, a spokesperson for Decathlon agreed with the cyclist’s concerns and revealed that the issue will be discussed with the retailer’s design teams tomorrow.

“Even if these two shorts are not part of the same range, you are right to question us,” Decathlon said.

“The diversity of our women’s offering increases every year, but clearly, we still have progress to make. We will talk about it on Monday with our design teams.”

The retailer’s social media team also responded to an accusation that Pauline’s complaint was a mere “cry for pockets” by arguing that women “want to have products that are as practical as those for men, with as many choices. It seems quite legitimate as a request.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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23 comments

Avatar
cyclisto | 11 months ago
0 likes

It is apples and bananas to compare. Two different lines of products, for different sex, with different discipline (ok that is mostly marketing) with diffent expected volumes to be sold. Some people have the time and energy to argue about everything, but I admit sometimes I am one of them, so there is some compassion for them.

Btw I love Decathlon, it sells plastic clothes for the price of plastic clothes as it should, and it has helped a lot of people to keep cycling on a budget. I don't wear a lot of plastic clothes as being a commuter, but all these crazy Rapha prices seem a good reason to try becoming world leader and crazy tax them (don't worry, I will also crazy tax any car bigger than 4,3m without having at least two kids)

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Capt Sisko | 11 months ago
1 like

Can someone explain in simple terms why it is masculine to have a pocket large enough to hold a mobile phone and feminine to have one only large enough to hold an energy bar?

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JustTryingToGet... replied to Capt Sisko | 11 months ago
2 likes
Capt Sisko wrote:

Can someone explain in simple terms why it is masculine to have a pocket large enough to hold a mobile phone and feminine to have one only large enough to hold an energy bar?

Firstly, Smaller pockets are cheaper to produce, and women's clothes typically have cheaper production values. An argument on a website can't do value to the wider issues here.

Secondly, women's clothes are typically more designed for the appearance than for function. A throwback to when women were to be looked at rather than do things. There will be plenty of women who purchase clothes for the appearance rather than function but equally it's a real issue, especially on uniforms, that function is not designed for women's bodies on clothes

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perce replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 11 months ago
2 likes

Agreed. High heeled shoes being a typical example -they look so impractical and uncomfortable.

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mark1a replied to perce | 11 months ago
4 likes
perce wrote:

Agreed. High heeled shoes being a typical example -they look so impractical and uncomfortable.

Tell me about it, it's why I've had to restrict trying on my wife's to when she's at work. 

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perce replied to mark1a | 11 months ago
4 likes

Me too. I keep falling over. I'm no Jack Lemmon.

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peted76 | 11 months ago
11 likes

The comments/trolls and on here are getting depressing. I came along to put a pithy comment in support of pockets on our sisters of the saddles bib shorts and find myself getting depressed.

Why is it that something which makes absolute common sense to most human beings, can still be found to attract egregious behavior, borderline insulting comments from the likes of Chucksneed.. can we just hit him with the ban hammer please.. if his comments are damaging to the community, then there's got to be a limit surely @road.cc 

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TheBillder replied to peted76 | 11 months ago
6 likes

Couldn't agree more. I've not been reading this site so much since the turn of the year, and it seems to have got worse. Seriously considering whether renewing my subscription will be worth it next time - something has to be done.

I miss the days when John Stevenson would join in, be very assertive with the miscreants and then boot them off.

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ktache replied to TheBillder | 11 months ago
2 likes

They have learnt, through experience after being thrown off before, what they get banned for, and what is distasteful and plain nasty for most of us, but not enough to get booted off.

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check12 | 11 months ago
2 likes

Good point but all pockets on shorts are a rubbish idea 

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brogs | 11 months ago
0 likes

Any cyclist knows you have pockets on jerseys, never on bib shorts, unless it's on the back for a race radio. Why on earth would you want to put a phone or anything else in a leg pocket of bib shorts? Women are clearly being provided with a product which is more "pro" then the men, but are still complaining. 

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perce replied to brogs | 11 months ago
8 likes

Any cyclist knows? I've heard that phrase before somewhere.

 

 

 

 

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Dnnnnnn replied to brogs | 11 months ago
3 likes
brogs wrote:

Any cyclist knows you have pockets on jerseys, never on bib shorts

Bib leg pockets seem to have become quite popular in recent years. Haven't tried them myself but can see some sense in being able to see where you're stowing things on the move (and whether things fall out while you're rummaging).
Being "more 'pro'" isn't everything in cycling.

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Dogless replied to brogs | 11 months ago
4 likes

The fact that people buy and use these shorts suggests that they're actually quite useful, especially in winter when getting stuff out of jersey pockets underneath pocketless jackets can be a right faff.

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Oldfatgit replied to brogs | 11 months ago
4 likes

I've got bib shorts with jersey style pockets at the rear. Not quite as handy as I thought they would be.
I've got MTB style shorts with more pockets than you can shake a big stick at.
Great for commuting as they zip up and hold safe and separate my keys, parking door fob and office swipecard.

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ktache replied to Oldfatgit | 11 months ago
1 like

My Endura Zymes, two summer and one winter 3/4 are excellent, lasted many years, pockets galore. Shame they discontinued the range.

Decathlon is a great store, the clothing is great value, but whenever I've popped in, and no one has ever complained about me taking the bike in, the clothing I wanted was never available in my size. Ah well.

But, good stuff otherwise. Cheapest muc off disk brake cleaner. Spare parts galore, cheap too. Bargain latex tubes a while back. Managed to pick up 2 sets of tacx jockey wheels, unavailable in the rest of the country, but available in my local store, according to internet. Wandered around a lot, eventually asked mechanic and he pulled both sets out of a drawer. Bargain too, though I would have paid much more.

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ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
1 like

Just buy the men's ones then.

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LeadenSkies replied to ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
11 likes

Comments like that are part of the problem that is endemic in society. Women make up 50% of the population so 50% of the potential sales for any product but their specific needs are often completely ignored by design teams usually staffed by exclusively or mainly men. Cycling apparel isn't exactly flying off the shelf, these manufacturers are struggling so they tell us and yet they can apparently still afford to alienate half the market.

Fit, shape and sizing are just three issues why most women won't "just buy the mens ones then".

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Rendel Harris replied to ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
8 likes
ChuckSneed wrote:

Just buy the men's ones then.

I don't know if you've noticed this Chuck - possibly not had the chance to check IRL? - but men and women are built rather differently in terms of hip and pelvis shape and, ahem, "equipment" around that area and so women require a very different cut of shorts and different-shaped pad inserts to be comfortable. If it was as simple as "just buy men's shorts" all shorts would be unisex.

Of course I suspect you know this and your comment is just another step in your apparent campaign to leave a stupid and annoying comment on every single article road.cc publishes.

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ChuckSneed replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
3 likes

Thank you for informing me of the differences. Did you find this out while trying on your wife's clothes in the flat that she owns?

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Freddy56 replied to ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
4 likes

if i dont like your comments,, and im easy going, imagine how much you hate yourself!

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Rendel Harris replied to ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
7 likes
ChuckSneed wrote:

Thank you for informing me of the differences. Did you find this out while trying on your wife's clothes in the flat that she owns?

Does Andrew Tate have Internet access from his prison cell in Romania? Maybe it's just one of his acolytes.

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perce replied to ChuckSneed | 11 months ago
8 likes

I've just been reading about the infinite monkey theorem. It's very interesting.

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