March 3, 2010

The shape of things to come? The cycling-booty conundrum

By Elisa | 25 Comments »

Anna and I have talked about this a bit, so I thought I would put it out there to the interwebs:

Do you suddenly have trouble fitting your ass into your ‘pre-cycling’ jeans?

I was born with a bad case of pancake ass.  My entire life I had to rely on my hips and belts to hold my pants up as they would slide down over my flat booty.  Seriously…flat. I had gotten used to it, made proper blue jean purchasing adjustments (actually comes in handy to have no ass when you have a 34inch inseam) and was coming to terms with my affliction.  My flat ass and I were making friends.

Then I get on a bike.

One year-ish later, not one pair of those pants (or pencil skirts) fit this derriere.  I went from having trouble finding pants that didn’t sag to desperately searching for some with enough stretch to leave ample room.  From no remarks about my backside to “damn, those jeans make your ass look great!“.  I had to replace all my Long and lean, slim fit jeans with Curvy fit.  I was NOT a curvy girl until recently.

And I think I like it.  I think I like it a lot.

What about you, dear readers?  Anyone else experienced this ba-donk-a-donk phenomenon?  Please, do share!

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  1. On March 3rd, 2010 Darryl said:

    Hey…what a great idea for a blog. Good for you guys for just getting out there and telling it like it is. Nice.
    As a male, I haven’t quite had the experience you talk about, but it sure is cool to hear about the female perspective and learn about one angle on the effects of cycling.
    Keep up the great work and good to hear that you’re now bouncing quarters off your butt cheeks.

  2. On March 4th, 2010 Matt said:

    My girlfriend gets a hard, muscular butt from riding, but alas, no enlargement. We call it the un-butt.

  3. On March 4th, 2010 Jenn said:

    Oh….no….please don’t tell me things like this. I’m getting fitted and picking up my new Orbea on Monday, after a 20+ year hiatus from cycling. My junk-to-trunk ratio is already maxed out, thank you very much!! I shall report back, mid-season. Wish me luck!

  4. On March 4th, 2010 Kelly Cummings said:

    apparently I need to start cycling.

  5. On March 4th, 2010 Cyclin' Missy said:

    I have a bit of a butt naturally – not as much as J-Lo, who has a fantastic butt, BTW. But when I ride a lot, by backside actually tightens up. Kind of the opposite of what you’re experiencing. It’s fantastic for me.

    My theory is this: Women with no “junk in the truck” will probably develop muscle they never had from riding. Women well endowed in the rear will develop muscle, too, but also tone that muscle and lose fat. I think biking is an all around win for us ladies!

  6. On March 4th, 2010 oldfool said:

    I like it a lot too but what is the problem? Just wear a skirt it’s much nicer looking than pants.

  7. On March 4th, 2010 Ghost Rider said:

    As a scrawny male with a decidedly Fausto Coppi-like physique, I’m not exactly blessed with extra padding in my booty.

    But, as my mileage ramps up during the warmer months, I notice that my pants get tighter and tighter — it’s like a surgery-free “booty lift”. And, it makes my wife very happy.

  8. On March 4th, 2010 jdmitch said:

    Very nice, congrats. As someone else mentioned, riding will get you to a place of balance (it won’t continue to grow). Filling out what needs filling out and toning / firming what needs toning down. If you want to accelerate the process start hauling a couple of rambunctious boys around… I suspect style of riding (spinning or mashing) may slightly alter results but I’m not nearly smart enough to deduce which.

    PS I love the “surgery free butt lift” comment from the poster above.

  9. On March 4th, 2010 rebekka said:

    I don’t know but I really hope that pic is photoshopped…because the shading on the crack is GROSS!

  10. On March 4th, 2010 bikebike said:

    I know EXACTLY what you write about. It’s as if I wrote the blog myself, except I never had a flat butt. It won’t stop! And I get comments from friends, families, and strangers – and yea, I like it too, a lot.

  11. On March 4th, 2010 wle said:


    a. spicy bike skirt ['cheeky'? :) ]

    but ['butt'? :) ]

    b. i don;t think so, really, i think it just kind of tightens up, which as others said, not a bad thing, but it is kind of the opposite of your observed phenomenon, so maybe it;s b/c of something else


  12. On March 4th, 2010 welshcyclist said:

    I just think you’ve always looked GGGGreat !! Absolutely no need for improvement.

  13. On March 4th, 2010 mamavee said:

    I’ve could rival j-lo actually pre cycling. And yes, I find pants not fitting. I have gone to stretch denim. I also find that it’s my upper thighs and butt. So things like bathing suit bottoms and such don’t fit well and it’s kind of annoying me. I need lean thighs. oh well.

  14. On March 4th, 2010 Anna said:

    Yeah my experience has been that I’ve almost always had a substantial butt, except for a short period when I lost a lot of weight. It eventually came back, and now that I’m cycling it’s firmed up a lot, but not getting smaller this time.
    To which I say: very interesting progression, ass. Keep it up!
    And to jdmitch’s comment about your booty not continuing to grow, I can’t help but imagine if it did continue to grow for the rest of Elisa’s life…hilarious! BLADOW!!!

  15. On March 4th, 2010 welshcyclist said:

    Obviously the picture of J-LO drew this red blooded male’s attention to this particular post. However, close examination of her rear end, quite frankly put me off, too much is too much. Having said that,and I hope I haven’t caused offence, or will with what I have to say, most girls, ladies, females, that I’ve seen cycling tend to have very attractive and shapely bottoms, or “booties”, as you call them. As a male, my experience has been quite similar, my backside has got bigger and firmer, my shorts that used to fit my rear end, are now too small, and I’ve had to go to a larger size, even though my waist has diminished. Hopefully I don’t look like J-LO !

  16. On March 4th, 2010 locus said:


    I’ve notice the same situation happen to me. I started out as a very skinny guy with no back end (flat) and chicken legs. Fast forward through eight years of biking and I’ve not got a small, firm butt and decent thighs/calves. Like others posted above, biking tones the flab (if you had it to begin with) and adds muscle. If you ride with additional cargo/weight, it only hastens the inevitable.

    For the last year, I’ve carried two kids on a Surly Big Dummy. The extra weight of the longtail and cargo have really helped quicken things up.

    Perhaps I should go out and get a pair of “skinny jeans” to show off.

  17. On March 4th, 2010 Rob Sayers said:

    I’m male, so no butt issues here. However, my quads have become much bigger since I started cycling. My skinny jeans barely fit any more despite my waist being smaller than when I bought them. I really can’t complain though!

  18. On March 4th, 2010 Elisa said:

    Wow! I had no idea a post about my ass would garner so many comments…we normally only get this response when we talk about clipless pedals. :)

    Thanks for the feedback everyone, glad to see I am not alone. I should have said that it is getting larger AND firmer. Amazing stuff, this cycling.

    Coming soon-a post about how hot cycling makes your legs look!

  19. On March 4th, 2010 Hayley said:

    Oh dear. I’m in trouble. I already had an, ahem, ample caboose…

    I’ve particularly noticed how much more muscular my legs get when I’m on the bike lots! This can also have some fit issues!

    But, honestly… I agree with you. I’d rather struggle with fitting my ample woman-ness into mass-produced pseudo-fashion than not be able to fill out a grown woman’s clothes!

  20. On March 4th, 2010 PLS said:

    Another post is going to be about legs? Damn… I was going to reflect on the fact that my butt ain’t that great, but I now have banging legs at 54!

  21. On March 5th, 2010 April said:

    I recently started biking to and from work about a year ago. Six months into it I was already seeing what you’re talking about, I’ve always had kind of a big butt, but it became firm and toned, and my hips and thighs EXPLODED. I used to play soccer, so I’ve always had strong legs, but I have bigger muscles in different places now thanks to the bike. And it’s nice. It’s kind of even outed my figure. I think different people have different riding styles which will lead to different muscle distribution.

    Could I extol the virtues of riding a bike more? Ladies: Want a nice ass? Ride a bike, seriously.

  22. On March 5th, 2010 Deanna said:

    All I have to say is – if that gets your butt in better shape, my bike is going to be ridden a lot more now! I have always thought my butt was commendable but adding to it wouldn’t be so bad! Thanks.

  23. On March 6th, 2010 dc said:

    i have always been a bit more well endowed when it comes to the backside, okay, A LOT endowed. when i sold my car, moved to boston and became a full-time/ year-round bike commuter, i was really happy with the way my body was changing. BUT the backside did not get smaller! it got higher and sticks out more! needless to say i wear mostly skirts and dresses because the jeans situation is no fun!

  24. On March 8th, 2010 wade G. said:

    my wife can’t keep her hands off mine when I am wearing my shorts. So something has changed.

  25. On April 1st, 2010 Randy said:

    when i was racing, back in the dark ages of the mid 80′s, I always thought the cycle chicks had the greatest asses in the world. I lived in south Florida, so i got to see a lot of great asses on the beaches, but nothing compared to a the women at the weekend crits in Miami or the monthly time trials in Palm Beach.

    The fact is all that riding makes for a great lower body. Great legs, great hips, great booty. So what if it’s a little bigger, the point is it ain’t sagging!

    Peace Out!

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