'Sex sells' is dead - long live sausage legs and the joy of riding

The cycling media landscape has changed, and whilst relics of the past still linger, a new generation of cyclist is seeking a different representation

montage of images shows Rapha x Outdoors Voices campaign, Marzocchi image, Muc Off still
(Image credit: Rapha x Outdoors Voices, Marzocchi, Muc Off)

The days of sexy cycling calendars and bikini clad 'bomber girls' wielding forks may be over, but hypersexualised advertising is not - as an Instagram ad published last month by cleaning product brand Muc Off demonstrated. However, the reaction it prompted is a symptom if a shifting audience. 

The Muc Off ad in question - which depicted a man "finger blasting" (according to one commenter) every orifice of his bike and suggestively rubbing down surfaces, accompanied by the caption "show that filth who’s boss" - is several years old, but was reposted in January. 

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.