Gender, sport and retailers

This got me thinking. The Asda bike shop (who knew they had one!) advert - <a title="link" href=",default,sc.html" target="_blank">,default,sc.html </a>- has a section for men's and women's bikes. The images are quite different - the guy is in sports kit, wearing a helmet, looking quite serious and with an off-road background. The woman is in jeans, sans helmet tootling along in front of some houses. And they have a much larger range of men's bikes than women's. 

Do retailers take men's sport more seriously than women's?



  • Guess the new forum doesn't like the link...,default,sc.html

  • Pish...same goes for the boys and girls, the girls are all clean and "pretty", the boys are engrossed in something "activey". Don't get me started on gender and marketnig S, I'll be here all night! grrrr.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Seems Asda do. I certainly don't look like that woman when I'm out riding. Maybe send them a photo of myself riding through muddy puddles in the rain. image

  • When my LBS introduced a womens range of clothing they asked me what I thought.  I said that it would be nice if they stocked something other than pastel pink and black, as I can't wear pink and black is just a stupid colour for cycling in.  They asked me what colours I would like so I went over to the mens section and pointed to the red, orange, blue and green tops that they had.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Her bike's not even very practical.

    ...where's the shopping basket?


  • It's like something from the dark ages image

  • The person who created the advert should be very very embarassed. Asda should be very very embarassed.
  • Just had another look - 9 girl's bikes, 25 for boys...

    I'm actually tempted to write to them and see what they have to say about it.

  • I was thinking that too. I would love to hear their right to reply
  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭
    I'm not condoning the advert at all but maybe it's all down to supply and demand. Most of the ladies I know ride men's bikes anyway. Maybe the demand isn't there?
  • Most of the ladies I know ride Ladies bikes.  But then I don't know that many female cyclists that aren't short so they wouldn't be able to find a mens bike that would fit them.

  • many might rise mens bikes as the choice of womens bikes is restricted........

    but for children.why on earth do we need section with girls bikes and boys bikes......surely it should just be a section of bikes and you pick which ever one you want........

    there is no need for a difference in kids bikes........image

  • I'm surprised at the number of black/dark jackets and jerseys on sale (for men and women), surely bright colours (preferably with a choice of not just pink!) are more appropriate for cycling?

    I do ride a women's bike, but it's not girly!

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I ride a womens and a unisex bike, I think the unisex bike has gender issues, it's name is Bob and Roberta Smith.

    Again - 7 womens bikes, 18 mens bikes. Why?

    There again would any serious cyclist buy a bike from Asda?

  • Argh, my company is really into trying to encourage us lot to cycle which is generally really positive ... apart from they got Kelly Brook to demonstrate how us girls can cycle AND look lovely.  They had pictures of her looking very glamorous in a variety of non practical outfits..

    The guys love sending me the Intranet links as I tend to start ranting about how I'd like to see her cycle round <insert name of crazy busy road junction> in said outfit in the p1ssing rain.  But hey, if it encourages more people ... image

  • There's still a discrepancy in what's available regardless of how seriously people take it. I've found an address to write to, and since I've got nothing important to do (*ahem*) then I'll write and see what they have to say image

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    remember folks - this is Asda we're talking about here, not some trendy, right on, gender aware organisation.  they're a subsidiary of Walmart who aren't exactly known for their defence of women's rights in the USA - I belive that until a couple of years ago they paid their female staff less than the men for equivalent roles.

    but are Asda doing anything different to many other large companies in their advertising?  no.  they're pitching at stereotypes and sadly the UK still lives in a stereotyped world.  they're appealing to the emotions of the masses, not the small number of people who are posting on here who could be called "the Guardian classes" - of which I am a fully paid up member btw!

    StB - it will be very interesting to see if a) Asda respond and b) hear what they say.

  • I went into Boots earlier to get some shaving gel and was disgusted to see that there was a small section for mens stuff and the rest filled with expensive creams, make up, hair related gadgets etc etc... anyone would think that some research had been done and the stock reflected the sales. Who would have thought it.

  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    But that's the thing.  Stock does reflect sales.  Dare I say it we represent a very small proportion of the population.  ***sweeping statement alert*** we are generally fit, healthy and active and look to function rather than looks in our sporting products.

    Asda advertises to the mass market who are looking at different criteria than what we may apply to our own purchases.  If there was a demand for masses of ladies bikes in that market then there would be a supply. 

    And whether you agree with it or not, stereotypes exist.  Just look at the Apprentice episode on Wednesday.  Mass selling of fake tan in Essex.  They applied the stereotype, bought shed loads of fake tan, sold it for a good price and won the task because it of it. 

  • FB. Is your general outlook on life "bend over and take it"? Just an observation(would post a smiley wink if I could)
  • Isn't this supply and demand though? Presumably if they sold more bikes to women than they did to men they'd sell more bikes geared towards women. I know when I see the cycle clubs out and about at weekends they tend to be about 95% men, and in general the number of men I see cycling anywhere at all far outnumber the women.

    I agree with the OP however - the stereotyping in some advertising is painful.

  • fat buddha wrote (see)

    they're appealing to the emotions of the masses, not the small number of people who are posting on here who could be called "the Guardian classes"

    StB - it will be very interesting to see if a) Asda respond and b) hear what they say.

    Guardian classes? How very dare you! imageimage

    On the face of it, I'm massively over-reacting to a common occurrence. But in reality, I'm in the advanced stages of post-wedding CBA syndrome and looking to amuse myself by challenging a stereotype that I don't agree with and see no harm in challenging image

  • I'd agree with HappyChap, except that maybe it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy?  You don't stock many men's products and don't advertise them much and guess what - not many get sold.

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    Booky - there are research papers written on this sort of thing, I remember reading something about sports deodorant adverts - if for men, will likely use images of sweaty, dirty men getting stuck into sport. If for women, will be much less 'dirty' and more sexy of a woman in a cute tennis outfit or semi naked woman in changing room.  I can't find the source to hand but there's work out there on it.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
    FB. Is your general outlook on life "bend over and take it"? Just an observation(would post a smiley wink if I could)

    nope - get me riled on a subject and then see the blood flow. I have to say I've mellowed in my old age, and rant less than I used to. 

    anyhoo - I was purely making an observation on the Asda ad

    oh btw - this is what you were looking for - image

  • I suppose it's a professional curiousity. Gender, body image, sport, etc. It fascinates me. I'll see if I can find those articles M..ouse image

  • Marketing people spend a lot of time and money on discovering how best to sell product.  It may be sexist and irritating, but I expect it works, and that's why they continue to do it. 

    There are  lots more men out there on "proper" bikes than women.  Any bike manufacturer has a tiny range of women's bikes compared to mens, because they just won't sell as many to women.

    And although I chose my bike for function, it is nonetheless gorgeous image

  • I've just come back from a bike ride with another couple of girls and the issue of bike kit came up.  We all commented on how we had a lot of running and swimming kit, but when it came to bike kit we only had the basics because we couldn't find anything in the bike shops that fitted the category of practical, not pink and not black.

    We also happened to discuss the fact that we don't tend to cycle with the club as we don't feel that we fit in with the highly competitive male egos.  Maybe that is just how our club is, but maybe it is a reason why women don't cycle as much, as they feel excluded from the sport.

  • I was looking on Cycle Surgery's website earlier, and there are loads and loads of different/more interesting jerseys for men - team kit replicas, Foska stuff, GB Olympic kit. 

    There was only one team replica jersey in a women's style, no Foska, no GB kit.  I think they're missing a trick there, because women do like nice clothes, and they like them to fit properly image

  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    Caz, could you set your own cycle club up?  It sounds like there is a need? 

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