Cycling company apologises after saying women should buy electric bikes to keep up with men

'I’ve always wanted to go cycling with my boyfriend but it seemed impossible'

Tom Barnes
Wednesday 22 November 2017 19:28 GMT
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Pinarello's Instagram post sparked outrage on social media
Pinarello's Instagram post sparked outrage on social media

A cycling firm has been forced to apologise following a backlash over an advert suggesting women buy electric bikes to keep up with their boyfriends.

Italian manufacturer Pinarello, which supplies Team Sky, launched its new “Nytro” electric bicycle with marketing material claiming it was perfect for female riders “who would like to follow easily the men's pace”.

The press release was followed by an advert posted on Instagram, featuring a 24-year-old "couple rider" named Emma, alongside the quote: “I’ve always wanted to go cycling with my boyfriend but it seemed impossible”.

The post sparked outrage on social media as angry cyclists queued up to take aim at the company using the hashtag “#pinarellNO”.

Competitive cyclist Sasha Rayzl tweeted: “@Pinarello_com As a longtime Pinarello owner and as a female racer, I was horrified and dismayed by your advertisement for the "women's" e-bike. You should be leading the anti-gendered bike industry crusade, not helping to promote it. #babesinbibs #womenracebikes #pinarellNO.”

In a post on Instagram, former Olympic cyclist Emma Pooley said: “I’ve always wanted to go cycling with people (guys and girls) even if they’re faster than me. And so I did. Without an e-bike. That’s how I got stronger.

“Nowadays, if the guys can’t keep up, they don’t get upset - because they don’t hold old-fashioned misogynistic gender stereotypes. And they know it’s good training.

"Cycling is not a gender battle. It is a tool for transport, freedom, mobilisation, recreation - and also a sport.”

A screenshot of Pinarello's Instagram advert, which led to the hashtag '#pinarellNO'

Stefan Wyman, husband of nine-time British cyclo-cross champion Helen Wyman, also hit out at the advert.

He added: “I’ve always wanted to go cycling with my wife but it seemed impossible. Soon everything will become possible.” #EverydaySexism.”

Pinarello has since removed the post from its social media accounts and issued an apology, claiming it had failed to convey its intended message.

In a statement, the company said: “Our recent advertisement failed to reflect the values of diversity and equality that are core to Pinarello.

“The Nytro is designed to make cycling accessible to more people and our advertisement clearly failed to convey that message. We sincerely apologize and have pulled the ad."

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